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The Strategic Incompetence of Democrats

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Posts

  • mrdobalinamrdobalina Registered User
    edited September 2010
    SammyF wrote: »
    mrdobalina wrote: »
    As for gay marriage... milquetoast? What?

    2) Yes, milquetoast. We've had a ton of gay marriage threads, and my position was discussed (and dismissed by this crowd) repeatedly. But that's part of the left's problem. If you want be more "strategically competent", you can't just yell "civil rights" until you are blue in the face. A not-so-small portion of the country doesn't believe this is a civil rights issue, and yelling it louder just annoys them. You can disagree on the validity, but if you want to be more successful, you'll need to accept that fact (the royal you, not the specific you).

    Thanks for the hand-wringing about how maybe we'd be more successful on gay marriage if only we stopped talking so much about gay marriage. We appreciate your concern, but I think we're going to take a pass on your advice. Doing so would be a tacit agreement that the public has a right to weigh in with their opinions on anyone's private marriage in the first place, to the point where ultimately they have the moral authority to invalidate those unions. And that's a slippery slope that I don't think either of us want to go down since -- let's be honest -- your wife is way too good for you and should be with someone both more-handsome and smarter.

    I can promise you with a fair degree of confidence, however, that the moment these poor unfortunate souls who have been so "annoyed" stop trying to interject their own personal and unsolicited opinions into the private marriages of other Americans -- by which I mean to say the moment they agree to stop making what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their homes into a matter for the public forum -- at that point in time we'll agree that we don't have to talk about it any more, either. Sort of like how we never really have to talk about the validity of interracial marriages anymore even though those also used to be illegal.

    You make the perfect example. You're condescending and dismissive of discussions that agree with the result but differ on the specifics. Let's not derail this into another policy debate, because that's not the point of this thread. The point is that your response is indicative of the "strategic incompetence" of the party -- it does nothing to further dialog or move your position forward. If this is how you treat someone who actually agrees with gay marriage, how do you think this helps your position with those who are on the fence?

    mrdobalina on
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    SammyF wrote: »
    mrdobalina wrote: »
    As for gay marriage... milquetoast? What?

    2) Yes, milquetoast. We've had a ton of gay marriage threads, and my position was discussed (and dismissed by this crowd) repeatedly. But that's part of the left's problem. If you want be more "strategically competent", you can't just yell "civil rights" until you are blue in the face. A not-so-small portion of the country doesn't believe this is a civil rights issue, and yelling it louder just annoys them. You can disagree on the validity, but if you want to be more successful, you'll need to accept that fact (the royal you, not the specific you).

    Thanks for the hand-wringing about how maybe we'd be more successful on gay marriage if only we stopped talking so much about gay marriage. We appreciate your concern, but I think we're going to take a pass on your advice. Doing so would be a tacit agreement that the public has a right to weigh in with their opinions on anyone's private marriage in the first place, to the point where ultimately they have the moral authority to invalidate those unions. And that's a slippery slope that I don't think either of us want to go down since -- let's be honest -- your wife is way too good for you and should be with someone both more-handsome and smarter.

    I can promise you with a fair degree of confidence, however, that the moment these poor unfortunate souls who have been so "annoyed" stop trying to interject their own personal and unsolicited opinions into the private marriages of other Americans -- by which I mean to say the moment they agree to stop making what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their homes into a matter for the public forum -- at that point in time we'll agree that we don't have to talk about it any more, either. Sort of like how we never really have to talk about the validity of interracial marriages anymore even though those also used to be illegal.

    :^:

    Styrofoam Sammich on
    wq09t4opzrlc.jpg
  • DistramDistram __BANNED USERS
    edited September 2010
    I'd just like to chime in and say the Democrats are completely fucked in the rhetoric department until wealth worship disappears.

    Things like:

    - http://www.mtv.com/shows/sweet_16/series.jhtml
    - http://www.mtv.com/shows/the_hills/season_6/series.jhtml
    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_O.C.
    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_in_the_city

    Pretty much destroy any sense of compassion people have for one another while instilling in said people a desire to compete with, and be wealthier (better looking, more successful, etc.) than others.

    The Democrats always attempt to fight a political war when they should be fighting a culture/class war. Obama waged a culture war in 2008; he won because he made a lot of people believe in cooperation over competition.

    That's what it's really all about - "I'd rather be better than that guy over there, rather than work with him." This is merely anecdotal, but all the Republicans I've known want to be better than everyone else; the Democrats I've known want everyone to be better-off. It's "I" vs. "We."

    This may all sound like an oversimplification but my thesis is just that the Democrats will quit snatching defeat from the jaws of victory when a generation - that values cooperation, honor, loyalty, charity, and welfare - takes the reigns.

    The Democrats will lose in the long run as long as the majority of U.S. citizens worship wealth.

    Distram on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Well a large percentage of americans believe they'll be rich someday so, they base their policy around that.

    I often hear in regards to taxing the mega rich "well hard work should be rewarded!". I'm really not sure how a wall street executive works harder than a migrant apple picker.

    override367 on
  • KastanjKastanj __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2010
    I just loathe "on-the-fence" people, who sit and wag their fingers at others, warning them that they will not persuade anyone if they don't show good manners and put up with sophist, high-school debate-class bullshit. I think I would actually tolerate full-on, honest bigotry than this disgusting "Don't be too zealous or you will scare us sensible and pragmatic moderates awayyy" goosery.

    This is why democracy can never be intrinsically good - if the order of a nation was more hard-line meritocratic, elitist, intellectual and disrespectful towards the stupid, gay marriage would be an ironcast feature and no one would have to court smug "fence-sitters" or actually care about their immensely useless and cheeky little apprehensions about gay marriage.

    Dob, I know you have one vote and one voice like everyone else, and I am not gay myself so this is not my battle entirely, but my position is that if people who support gay marriage actually has to pay attention, good faith and respect towards these precious "fence-sitters" to achieve their goals, it's not worth it. It's too humiliating and demeaning to have to kneel down and talk eye-to-eye with people who could just as well grow a spine and stand up instead, to reach up to your eyes rather than the other way around.

    I'm sure there are many otherwise decent people who don't think gay marriage is a civil rights issue. But I will personally not abandon my pride and dignity to approach them on good faith and try to untangle their mediocre, infantile little minds. I'm above them, and I don't want to extend them any respect, good faith or other resources that depreciate with overuse. They are worse people, talking to them would make my mind worse and more toxic, and life is too short. Fuck them.

    Kastanj on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • PeccaviPeccavi Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Distram wrote: »
    I'd just like to chime in and say the Democrats are completely fucked in the rhetoric department until wealth worship disappears.

    Things like:

    - http://www.mtv.com/shows/sweet_16/series.jhtml
    - http://www.mtv.com/shows/the_hills/season_6/series.jhtml
    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_O.C.
    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_in_the_city

    Pretty much destroy any sense of compassion people have for one another while instilling in said people a desire to compete with, and be wealthier (better looking, more successful, etc.) than others.

    The Democrats always attempt to fight a political war when they should be fighting a culture/class war. Obama waged a culture war in 2008; he won because he made a lot of people believe in cooperation over competition.

    That's what it's really all about - "I'd rather be better than that guy over there, rather than work with him." This is merely anecdotal, but all the Republicans I've known want to be better than everyone else; the Democrats I've known want everyone to be better-off. It's "I" vs. "We."

    This may all sound like an oversimplification but my thesis is just that the Democrats will quit snatching defeat from the jaws of victory when a generation - that values cooperation, honor, loyalty, charity, and welfare - takes the reigns.

    The Democrats will lose in the long run as long as the majority of U.S. citizens worship wealth.

    Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much.

    Peccavi on
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'd rather the Dems keep is positive and focused on the campaign trail. "We want to do this this way" that sort of thing. The public responds well to positive campaigns and you can run a positive campaign without letting the other side control the narrative.

    And then when they get in office do whatever it fucking takes to make it happen.

    Styrofoam Sammich on
    wq09t4opzrlc.jpg
  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited September 2010
    gay marriage in my state is legal.

    the way they got it there was largely by pushing the line of how gay people are your friends and family and neighbors and just like you and entitled to seek happiness in their way and finlly join society in loving couplehood just like straight people.

    it was a very heteronormative appeal - that gay people deserve something like traditional straight marriage - and probably the only thing that really would work in new england. and it worked very well! while the initial creation of gay marriage was done by the courts, the institution has survived multiple referenda as well as enjoyed well-suppored legislative support.

    i am definitely a strong democrat and left-winger, but i guess i'm also one of those people strongly turned off by noisy protests and finger-wagging and demands. the tea party people sicken me, but i'm nearly as repelled by noisy hippies.

    when the gay marriage referendum was going on, i volunteered for the Mass Equality organization and phone-banked, calling people with vulnerable state reps. I did my very best to be polite and respectful and not to harangue people.

    Irond Will on
    Wqdwp8l.png
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited September 2010
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    If it wasn't for term limits Clinton would still be president. Guy is just that good.

    Honestly, for all that I disagree with some of his particular stances, at least he could get shit done with an obstructionist congress.

    Bionic Monkey on
    sig_megas_armed.jpg
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Irond Will wrote: »
    gay marriage in my state is legal.

    the way they got it there was largely by pushing the line of how gay people are your friends and family and neighbors and just like you and entitled to seek happiness in their way and finlly join society in loving couplehood just like straight people.

    it was a very heteronormative appeal - that gay people deserve something like traditional straight marriage - and probably the only thing that really would work in new england. and it worked very well! while the initial creation of gay marriage was done by the courts, the institution has survived multiple referenda as well as enjoyed well-suppored legislative support.

    i am definitely a strong democrat and left-winger, but i guess i'm also one of those people strongly turned off by noisy protests and finger-wagging and demands. the tea party people sicken me, but i'm nearly as repelled by noisy hippies.

    when the gay marriage referendum was going on, i volunteered for the Mass Equality organization and phone-banked, calling people with vulnerable state reps. I did my very best to be polite and respectful and not to harangue people.
    There seems to be a false dichotomy being drawn in this thread between either acting like the Republicans or taking it up the ass from the Republicans like we are now.

    Styrofoam Sammich on
    wq09t4opzrlc.jpg
  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Kastanj wrote: »
    I just loathe "on-the-fence" people, who sit and wag their fingers at others, warning them that they will not persuade anyone if they don't show good manners and put up with sophist, high-school debate-class bullshit. I think I would actually tolerate full-on, honest bigotry than this disgusting "Don't be too zealous or you will scare us sensible and pragmatic moderates awayyy" goosery.

    This is why democracy can never be intrinsically good - if the order of a nation was more hard-line meritocratic, elitist, intellectual and disrespectful towards the stupid, gay marriage would be an ironcast feature and no one would have to court smug "fence-sitters" or actually care about their immensely useless and cheeky little apprehensions about gay marriage.

    Dob, I know you have one vote and one voice like everyone else, and I am not gay myself so this is not my battle entirely, but my position is that if people who support gay marriage actually has to pay attention, good faith and respect towards these precious "fence-sitters" to achieve their goals, it's not worth it. It's too humiliating and demeaning to have to kneel down and talk eye-to-eye with people who could just as well grow a spine and stand up instead, to reach up to your eyes rather than the other way around.

    I'm sure there are many otherwise decent people who don't think gay marriage is a civil rights issue. But I will personally not abandon my pride and dignity to approach them on good faith and try to untangle their mediocre, infantile little minds. I'm above them, and I don't want to extend them any respect, good faith or other resources that depreciate with overuse. They are worse people, talking to them would make my mind worse and more toxic, and life is too short. Fuck them.

    The thing is, Kastanj, you say that and fence-sitters and right-wingers say "well, you just lost our votes" and their votes are significant and sway issues. People read what you wrote, and feel insulted, and think "how dare you!" and all the rightness and righteousness in the world on your side is not going to get their support, and you actually kind of need their support in a place like the US.

    I would rather not deal with these people, either, and it shames and saddens me that their votes actually add up to something, and I'm frustrated because I ... well, I find myself just not wanting to be in a place where this is the reality. Pandering for these votes sickens me, but ignoring these votes sinks the issues that matter to me.

    Re: the failure of democracy, as you can well imagine, if the "order of a nation was more hard-line commonsense-valuing, anti-elitist, salt of the earth, moral and traditional, the bans against gay marriage would be an ironcast feature," and I fear that's the way the US would swing if it ceased to be a democracy today.

    sidhaethe on
  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited September 2010
    There seems to be a false dichotomy being drawn in this thread between either acting like the Republicans or taking it up the ass from the Republicans like we are now.

    well yeah there is definitely something in the middle.

    i guess my larger point is that showing strength and efficacy is one way to persuade people as to your way of thinking

    but ultimately, we need to make sure that we are persuading people.

    Irond Will on
    Wqdwp8l.png
  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    If it wasn't for term limits Clinton would still be president. Guy is just that good.

    Honestly, for all that I disagree with some of his particular stances, at least he could get shit done with an obstructionist congress.

    FWIW, my voted-for-Bush in 2000, seriously on the fence about McCain in 2008 fiance has completely done a 180 on Clinton and now wishes fervently that he were back in office today.

    sidhaethe on
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited September 2010
    mrdobalina wrote: »
    SammyF wrote: »
    mrdobalina wrote: »
    As for gay marriage... milquetoast? What?

    2) Yes, milquetoast. We've had a ton of gay marriage threads, and my position was discussed (and dismissed by this crowd) repeatedly. But that's part of the left's problem. If you want be more "strategically competent", you can't just yell "civil rights" until you are blue in the face. A not-so-small portion of the country doesn't believe this is a civil rights issue, and yelling it louder just annoys them. You can disagree on the validity, but if you want to be more successful, you'll need to accept that fact (the royal you, not the specific you).

    Thanks for the hand-wringing about how maybe we'd be more successful on gay marriage if only we stopped talking so much about gay marriage. We appreciate your concern, but I think we're going to take a pass on your advice. Doing so would be a tacit agreement that the public has a right to weigh in with their opinions on anyone's private marriage in the first place, to the point where ultimately they have the moral authority to invalidate those unions. And that's a slippery slope that I don't think either of us want to go down since -- let's be honest -- your wife is way too good for you and should be with someone both more-handsome and smarter.

    I can promise you with a fair degree of confidence, however, that the moment these poor unfortunate souls who have been so "annoyed" stop trying to interject their own personal and unsolicited opinions into the private marriages of other Americans -- by which I mean to say the moment they agree to stop making what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their homes into a matter for the public forum -- at that point in time we'll agree that we don't have to talk about it any more, either. Sort of like how we never really have to talk about the validity of interracial marriages anymore even though those also used to be illegal.

    You make the perfect example. You're condescending and dismissive of discussions that agree with the result but differ on the specifics. Let's not derail this into another policy debate, because that's not the point of this thread. The point is that your response is indicative of the "strategic incompetence" of the party -- it does nothing to further dialog or move your position forward. If this is how you treat someone who actually agrees with gay marriage, how do you think this helps your position with those who are on the fence?

    I disagree. I think this is exactly the kind of language we need to bring into the discussion, and we're only failing at it because the people in charge of the actual legislation are doing exactly what you suggest.

    Bionic Monkey on
    sig_megas_armed.jpg
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Irond Will wrote: »
    There seems to be a false dichotomy being drawn in this thread between either acting like the Republicans or taking it up the ass from the Republicans like we are now.

    well yeah there is definitely something in the middle.

    i guess my larger point is that showing strength and efficacy is one way to persuade people as to your way of thinking

    but ultimately, we need to make sure that we are persuading people.

    Agreed, but the way to do it I would argue is by taking a forceful high road. You can be positive and still control the message, it got Obama in office. We don't need to sink to their level to get the legislation we want, we just need to grow a spine and actually fight for it.

    The Republicans have such a bullshit message it shouldn't be hard for democrats to frame their arguments in a way that reaches voters, but instead we have people like Tim Kaine whining about giving the Republicans "the keys back". That shit doesn't work, you need to be pounding the Republicans on what you have done and what you want to still do.

    EDIT: Alot of Clinton's skill as a politician came from being a governor in a state where the governor had little actual power. He learned how to play ball.

    Styrofoam Sammich on
    wq09t4opzrlc.jpg
  • ronzoronzo Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    If it wasn't for term limits Clinton would still be president. Guy is just that good.

    Honestly, for all that I disagree with some of his particular stances, at least he could get shit done with an obstructionist congress.

    FWIW, my voted-for-Bush in 2000, seriously on the fence about McCain in 2008 fiance has completely done a 180 on Clinton and now wishes fervently that he were back in office today.

    History will be good to Clinton, if sole for the fact that the guy after him did so badly it makes him look awesome by comparison

    ronzo on
  • Dark_SideDark_Side Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Distram wrote: »
    I'd just like to chime in and say the Democrats are completely fucked in the rhetoric department until wealth worship disappears.

    Things like:

    - http://www.mtv.com/shows/sweet_16/series.jhtml
    - http://www.mtv.com/shows/the_hills/season_6/series.jhtml
    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_O.C.
    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_in_the_city

    Pretty much destroy any sense of compassion people have for one another while instilling in said people a desire to compete with, and be wealthier (better looking, more successful, etc.) than others.

    The Democrats always attempt to fight a political war when they should be fighting a culture/class war. Obama waged a culture war in 2008; he won because he made a lot of people believe in cooperation over competition.

    That's what it's really all about - "I'd rather be better than that guy over there, rather than work with him." This is merely anecdotal, but all the Republicans I've known want to be better than everyone else; the Democrats I've known want everyone to be better-off. It's "I" vs. "We."

    This may all sound like an oversimplification but my thesis is just that the Democrats will quit snatching defeat from the jaws of victory when a generation - that values cooperation, honor, loyalty, charity, and welfare - takes the reigns.

    The Democrats will lose in the long run as long as the majority of U.S. citizens worship wealth.

    Quite literally with the worship, see prosperity gospel.

    Dark_Side on
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    mrdobalina wrote: »
    You make the perfect example. You're condescending and dismissive of discussions that agree with the result but differ on the specifics. Let's not derail this into another policy debate, because that's not the point of this thread. The point is that your response is indicative of the "strategic incompetence" of the party -- it does nothing to further dialog or move your position forward. If this is how you treat someone who actually agrees with gay marriage, how do you think this helps your position with those who are on the fence?

    I agree that we shouldn't start a policy debate about this, primarily because it would lock this thread were we to get too thick into the weeds. But my strong second place reason for not wanting to start a policy debate on this particular topic is that within the broader context of Democrats' strategic incompetence, this is actually one of the domestic social issues where we've made the most headway over the past decade. On 16 May 2004, there was not a legal jurisdiction within the United States of America where a same sex couple could get a marriage license. The following day, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. Today, same-sex couples can legally obtain marriage licenses there but also in Connecticut, Vermont and in the District of Columbia. Additionally, New York, Rhode Island and Maryland have voluntarily agreed to recognize the marriage licenses of same-sex couples from other states, though they haven't yet started offering such licenses themselves.

    We certainly haven't won on this issue, but considering the societal prejudices we've been working around, the amount of progress we've made on this issue, legislatively-speaking, is still huge. Moreover, public opinion has been slowly but steadily trending our direction on the issue over time. Therefore, holding it out as a "milquetoast" example of what Democrats should not be doing is a stupid, stupid argument.

    Here's why: you're suggesting that we should speak less loudly, less frequently, and moderate our arguments to be less "annoying" to those who disagree with us, and while I'm sure you are sincere in believing that advice is good, you are mistaken. The practical results of following that advice is that we continue to cede the public forum for debate to the other side of the debate, which historically has a record of never speaking out as loudly, frequently and vehemently as possible about the lives and lifestyles of homosexuals. In essence, you are suggesting that we adopt the doctrine of "don't ask, don't tell" from the military and install it in how homosexuals and gay marriage proponents conduct themselves in society at large. Perhaps you are operating under the assumption that DA/DT has been a boon for gays and gay rights?

    Your broader argument about how we should conduct our political communications and offers our political arguments tends to follow this pattern -- that we should concede the point on every issue to those who disagree with us and coopt them where we can. But the victories we have had over the past decade demonstrate that this is exactly the wrong thing to do.

    SammyF on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    Distram wrote: »
    I'd just like to chime in and say the Democrats are completely fucked in the rhetoric department until wealth worship disappears.

    Things like:

    - http://www.mtv.com/shows/sweet_16/series.jhtml
    - http://www.mtv.com/shows/the_hills/season_6/series.jhtml
    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_O.C.
    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_in_the_city

    Pretty much destroy any sense of compassion people have for one another while instilling in said people a desire to compete with, and be wealthier (better looking, more successful, etc.) than others.

    The Democrats always attempt to fight a political war when they should be fighting a culture/class war. Obama waged a culture war in 2008; he won because he made a lot of people believe in cooperation over competition.

    That's what it's really all about - "I'd rather be better than that guy over there, rather than work with him." This is merely anecdotal, but all the Republicans I've known want to be better than everyone else; the Democrats I've known want everyone to be better-off. It's "I" vs. "We."

    This may all sound like an oversimplification but my thesis is just that the Democrats will quit snatching defeat from the jaws of victory when a generation - that values cooperation, honor, loyalty, charity, and welfare - takes the reigns.

    The Democrats will lose in the long run as long as the majority of U.S. citizens worship wealth.

    Quite literally with the worship, see prosperity gospel.

    I almost think the religious right would bother me less if they actually read the bible.
    Jesus wrote:
    Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

    override367 on
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited September 2010
    Irond Will wrote: »
    There seems to be a false dichotomy being drawn in this thread between either acting like the Republicans or taking it up the ass from the Republicans like we are now.

    well yeah there is definitely something in the middle.

    i guess my larger point is that showing strength and efficacy is one way to persuade people as to your way of thinking

    but ultimately, we need to make sure that we are persuading people.

    Agreed, but the way to do it I would argue is by taking a forceful high road. You can be positive and still control the message, it got Obama in office. We don't need to sink to their level to get the legislation we want, we just need to grow a spine and actually fight for it.

    The Republicans have such a bullshit message it shouldn't be hard for democrats to frame their arguments in a way that reaches voters, but instead we have people like Tim Kaine whining about giving the Republicans "the keys back". That shit doesn't work, you need to be pounding the Republicans on what you have done and what you want to still do.

    EDIT: Alot of Clinton's skill as a politician came from being a governor in a state where the governor had little actual power. He learned how to play ball.

    You know what I'd like to see make a grand entrance into political discourse? The word "lie." Whenever Dems on TV try to call out the GOP for lying, they always dance around the word using euphemisms, or calling them "less than honest." Just bring out the "Liar" label, and set it right at their feet.

    Bionic Monkey on
    sig_megas_armed.jpg
  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Honestly I think the biggest determining factor in the failure of Democratic policy proposals is weak-willed leadership in the Senate. With the Republicans, you get in line or we fucking primary your ass. Reid (and Daschle before him) evidently doesn't like to pressure people. Put Schumer in there and shit will get done.

    Salvation122 on
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Reid in the senate couldn't really afford to play hardball. He came from a pretty red state and he wasn't going to issue a threat that could be used against him. He is running against a Tea Party candidate and he is barely leading.

    The Filibuster should be 51 votes though. Once you got enough votes to make a law, thats the end of debate. would suck for the minority party, but thats fucking politics. It would give marginal candidates cover too, they could vote against without holding up the law.

    Kipling217 on
    The sky was full of stars, every star an exploding ship. One of ours.
  • FartacusFartacus __BANNED USERS
    edited September 2010
    Irond Will wrote: »
    gay marriage in my state is legal.

    the way they got it there was largely by pushing the line of how gay people are your friends and family and neighbors and just like you and entitled to seek happiness in their way and finlly join society in loving couplehood just like straight people.

    it was a very heteronormative appeal - that gay people deserve something like traditional straight marriage - and probably the only thing that really would work in new england. and it worked very well! while the initial creation of gay marriage was done by the courts, the institution has survived multiple referenda as well as enjoyed well-suppored legislative support.

    i am definitely a strong democrat and left-winger, but i guess i'm also one of those people strongly turned off by noisy protests and finger-wagging and demands. the tea party people sicken me, but i'm nearly as repelled by noisy hippies.

    when the gay marriage referendum was going on, i volunteered for the Mass Equality organization and phone-banked, calling people with vulnerable state reps. I did my very best to be polite and respectful and not to harangue people.

    I don't think framing the debate is the same thing as being a "noisy hippy."

    Though there is a lot of self-consciousness and self-loathing on our side of the aisle, for some reason, and I can't imagine that does anything but hurt us.

    Fartacus on
  • Dark_SideDark_Side Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    mrdobalina wrote: »
    SammyF wrote: »
    mrdobalina wrote: »
    As for gay marriage... milquetoast? What?

    2) Yes, milquetoast. We've had a ton of gay marriage threads, and my position was discussed (and dismissed by this crowd) repeatedly. But that's part of the left's problem. If you want be more "strategically competent", you can't just yell "civil rights" until you are blue in the face. A not-so-small portion of the country doesn't believe this is a civil rights issue, and yelling it louder just annoys them. You can disagree on the validity, but if you want to be more successful, you'll need to accept that fact (the royal you, not the specific you).

    Thanks for the hand-wringing about how maybe we'd be more successful on gay marriage if only we stopped talking so much about gay marriage. We appreciate your concern, but I think we're going to take a pass on your advice. Doing so would be a tacit agreement that the public has a right to weigh in with their opinions on anyone's private marriage in the first place, to the point where ultimately they have the moral authority to invalidate those unions. And that's a slippery slope that I don't think either of us want to go down since -- let's be honest -- your wife is way too good for you and should be with someone both more-handsome and smarter.

    I can promise you with a fair degree of confidence, however, that the moment these poor unfortunate souls who have been so "annoyed" stop trying to interject their own personal and unsolicited opinions into the private marriages of other Americans -- by which I mean to say the moment they agree to stop making what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their homes into a matter for the public forum -- at that point in time we'll agree that we don't have to talk about it any more, either. Sort of like how we never really have to talk about the validity of interracial marriages anymore even though those also used to be illegal.

    You make the perfect example. You're condescending and dismissive of discussions that agree with the result but differ on the specifics. Let's not derail this into another policy debate, because that's not the point of this thread. The point is that your response is indicative of the "strategic incompetence" of the party -- it does nothing to further dialog or move your position forward. If this is how you treat someone who actually agrees with gay marriage, how do you think this helps your position with those who are on the fence?

    I disagree. I think this is exactly the kind of language we need to bring into the discussion, and we're only failing at it because the people in charge of the actual legislation are doing exactly what you suggest.

    It's the whole you catch more flies with honey than vinegar thing. I think it's important to understand why a person feels the way they do on a subject like gay marriage, or any other contentious cultural issue. It is not necessarily wrong to feel that marriage should be between a man or woman. Nor is it wrong to feel that gay people are going against god and society. It's simply an opinion, usually informed from an individual's past experiences and upbringing. Now I'm not saying I feel that way because I certainly don't, but I do understand where some of that belief comes from, and it doesn't all erupt from a bottomless well of hate.

    The bottom line is that vitriol and ignorance will fall on deaf ears, every time, regardless of which side of the argument one may find themselves on. You are not going to change someone's mind by calling them an idiot. Perhaps you see it as dumbing down and stooping to their level, and I think therein lies your problem, because to change hearts and minds, you have to be willing to meet in the middle somewhere.

    Dark_Side on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Honestly I think the biggest determining factor in the failure of Democratic policy proposals is weak-willed leadership in the Senate. With the Republicans, you get in line or we fucking primary your ass. Reid (and Daschle before him) evidently doesn't like to pressure people. Put Schumer in there and shit will get done.

    And by "shit" you mean "whatever Wall Street wants."

    Put Durbin in and good legislation will get done.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Reid in the senate couldn't really afford to play hardball. He came from a pretty red state and he wasn't going to issue a threat that could be used against him. He is running against a Tea Party candidate and he is barely leading.
    Then don't vote for him as Majority Leader. Put someone in there that can push your agenda safely.

    I mean, seriously, when was the last time a Republican Majority Leader/Speaker was in danger of losing his seat? Trent Lott doesn't count.

    Salvation122 on
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Irond Will wrote: »
    There seems to be a false dichotomy being drawn in this thread between either acting like the Republicans or taking it up the ass from the Republicans like we are now.

    well yeah there is definitely something in the middle.

    i guess my larger point is that showing strength and efficacy is one way to persuade people as to your way of thinking

    but ultimately, we need to make sure that we are persuading people.


    I think part of the aptness of Styrofoam's point is this notion that we somehow never pursue the middle. And as you yourself pointed out, we're actually good at incorporating "polite" into our spectrum of arguments. ALL gay marriage movements are heteronormative. This sort of mistaken belief that most gay advocates persuade undecideds by fucking one another up the ass on the lawns of a church on Sunday while screaming "LOOK AT IT, BITCH! LOOK AT IT!" is just a right-wing bogeyman.

    SammyF on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Reid in the senate couldn't really afford to play hardball. He came from a pretty red state and he wasn't going to issue a threat that could be used against him. He is running against a Tea Party candidate and he is barely leading.
    Then don't vote for him as Majority Leader. Put someone in there that can push your agenda safely.

    I mean, seriously, when was the last time a Republican Majority Leader/Speaker was in danger of losing his seat? Trent Lott doesn't count.

    The Democrats also refuse generally to target them. With a little support, McConnell actually might have lost in '08, that was a shockingly close race (5 points, if I recall).

    They also didn't even put anyone up in Paul Ryan's district this term. And Boehner's opponent has absolutely no support, but the netroots are (probably wastefully, but still) trying to take him out all by themselves.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • lazegamerlazegamer Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    The Filibuster should be 51 votes though. Once you got enough votes to make a law, thats the end of debate. would suck for the minority party, but thats fucking politics. It would give marginal candidates cover too, they could vote against without holding up the law.

    With rules guaranteeing a fixed amount of time a bill should rest on the floor before a vote can be called, I agree that the filibuster should go.

    lazegamer on
  • ronzoronzo Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    It is not necessarily wrong to feel that marriage should be between a man or woman. Nor is it wrong to feel that gay people are going against god and society. It's simply an opinion, .

    Actually, it's pretty easy for an opinion to be wrong.

    ronzo on
  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Honestly I think the biggest determining factor in the failure of Democratic policy proposals is weak-willed leadership in the Senate. With the Republicans, you get in line or we fucking primary your ass. Reid (and Daschle before him) evidently doesn't like to pressure people. Put Schumer in there and shit will get done.

    And by "shit" you mean "whatever Wall Street wants."

    Put Durbin in and good legislation will get done.

    Whatever. Point is that he'd knock people into line. Durbin or Feingold works too.

    Salvation122 on
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Except there's pretty much jack shit we can do to change the Majority Leader. That's a decision made by the caucus. We could pressure them, but they only ever seem to listen to the other side, not their own base.

    Captain Carrot on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Could have primaried Reid. On some levels it's really obnoxious the GOP didn't nominate someone vaguely sane for that position.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    ronzo wrote: »
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    It is not necessarily wrong to feel that marriage should be between a man or woman. Nor is it wrong to feel that gay people are going against god and society. It's simply an opinion, .

    Actually, it's pretty easy for an opinion to be wrong.

    Pfft. I'll believe that the day I start believing in gravity.

    SammyF on
  • FartacusFartacus __BANNED USERS
    edited September 2010
    Irond Will wrote: »
    There seems to be a false dichotomy being drawn in this thread between either acting like the Republicans or taking it up the ass from the Republicans like we are now.

    well yeah there is definitely something in the middle.

    i guess my larger point is that showing strength and efficacy is one way to persuade people as to your way of thinking

    but ultimately, we need to make sure that we are persuading people.

    Honestly, what you said about Massachusetts seems like a good example of framing things from a progressive moral standpoint. It might not be academically the most gender-enlightened thing, or whatever, but I'm not saying we need to go around talking to people about rape culture or stimulus economics. That's not at all what I'm advocating for -- just the opposite. Instead of arcane academic notions or fact-based arguments, we need morals and values. We need gut feeling, but not just any gut feeling.

    The people who are peddling "Just throw in more shout-outs to Jesus and the flag and stuff" are over-simplifying it. It's not as simple as going negative, it's not as simple as peddling words and phrases that focus-group well. It's not as simple as being aggressive or angry or loud.

    It's about the way the human brain works. We develop worldviews, and those worldviews can stand up to a good deal of factual beating. You can throw evidence at a true believer for years and never erode their faith (and I'm talking about anything here, not just God).

    We construct ways of interpreting and understanding the world, which facts fit into. Facts we don't like are thrown away.

    That's why a Democrat saying "Healthcare is good for businesses!" doesn't work. It's actually a fact, but it's a fact that bounces right off of conservatives, because in their conception, the idea that government can ever be good for business is highly skeptical at best. It is definitionally a meddling hand that disrupts the reward/punishment machine of the market.

    It's not even necessarily really about what's good for business, in literal terms, because business is really a totem that represents self-reliance and a system that rewards moral discipline and punishes profligacy and immorality. Whether healthcare is functionally a tax break for business or not isn't really even the issue -- the issue is the fundamental idea of government horning in on things that are taken care of right now by the private sector, which is inherently better. You can't just erode that belief by showing evidence that says the government would be cheaper and have better outcomes because how can something immoral possibly have better outcomes?

    You have to give people different things to value. If people are going to judge the healthcare debate by who helps business, we will lose. If people judge the healthcare debate by who will help the needy, we will win.

    You need to give people an entirely new set of priorities -- an entirely new way of judging the debate.

    And that's hard. That's not a glib or simple solution. That's complex, and frankly it can take decades to full implement into the national consciousness. Conservatives were not fluent in their moral language in 1960. It took time.

    "gay people are your friends and family and neighbors and just like you and entitled to seek happiness in their way and finlly join society in loving couplehood just like straight people."

    That's a progressive moral outlook. It emphasizes empathy and fairness (They're just like me! We all deserve the same opportunities!). That's how we will win that argument. And we are winning the gay marriage argument. Public opinion on that issue has moved faster in our direction than anything else I can think of in the last 15 years.

    As an example of what doesn't work, it's when people quote Leviticus, and we say "but really there's scholastic dispute over whether or not the Bible explicitly condemns homosexuality, and aren't you being pretty hypocritical given that you don't abide by many of the other precepts of the Bible, like about mixed cloths or shellfish?"

    That's an example of something ineffective. Because those facts bounce right off -- because it's not about what's in Leviticus, really.

    That's why you can't attack moral arguments with facts -- because facts only work against other facts, and demand that everyone is willing to measure persuasiveness by an agreed-upon standard of truth. But when people are simply picking facts that are close at hand that bolster their pre-existing moral case, then attacking those facts is irrelevant; the best possible scenario is that they abandon those arguments and simply pick new ones. Almost no one hates gay people because it's in Leviticus. They hate gay people because it undermines important beliefs about the world that they hold, about the structure of family, gender, order, dominance, and so on. They would be just as bigoted whether they could find ammunition in the Bible or not, because it's not really about the Bible, it's about tradition. It's about a Right way and a Wrong way -- about a natural order of things.

    So if you try to win the tradition argument by pointing out how the Bible isn't necessarily anti-homosexual, and how homosexuality has existed in varying degrees in many cultures throughout history, and it doesn't actually undermine the family, and blah blah blah -- you lose. If you ignore the tradition argument and instead say "who gives a shit about tradition? These are human beings just like you and me and they deserve the same treatment as everyone else." Then you can win.

    Fartacus on
  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited September 2010
    SammyF wrote: »
    I think part of the aptness of Styrofoam's point is this notion that we somehow never pursue the middle. And as you yourself pointed out, we're actually good at incorporating "polite" into our spectrum of arguments. ALL gay marriage movements are heteronormative. This sort of mistaken belief that most gay advocates persuade undecideds by fucking one another up the ass on the lawns of a church on Sunday while screaming "LOOK AT IT, BITCH! LOOK AT IT!" is just a right-wing bogeyman.

    Well, they don't

    but a lot of people here are frustrated by the indignity of having to appeal to people who don't already accept the fundamental equivalance of homosexuality and heterosexuality. and the tone is "well we need to kick more ass and stick it to these fuckers"

    but we don't! "those fuckers" are the great majority of this country. a large chunk of people who support gay marriage don't really like homosexuality but are also uncomfortable with overtly discriminating against gays. they tolerate homosexuality, but fall short of really accepting it. we need to appeal to these sorts of persuadable people if we're ever going to get anything done.

    now, in terms of winning elections, i agree that kicking ass and getting stuff done really galvanizes supporters and has kind of a mixed effect of galvanizing and despiriting opposition. it also can convince persuadables that your party is competent and has a sense of direction and a destination. the republicans are good at this, and the democrats are terrible.

    i do think that putting someone like schumer in as majority leader would be better than reid. for as much as the right wing hates pelosi (god do they hate pelosi), she's been a pretty effective speaker (granted that she doesn't have to contend with a filibuster).

    Irond Will on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    She does an excellent job of petty narcissistic asshole wrangling. Which is really what you need when trying to get politicians to go where you want.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited September 2010
    Could have primaried Reid. On some levels it's really obnoxious the GOP didn't nominate someone vaguely sane for that position.

    I was actually a tiny bit disappointed when Angle ended up being insane. We're going to lose seats November, and losing Reid as a result was a small consolation prize.

    Bionic Monkey on
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  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited September 2010
    Fartacus wrote: »
    "gay people are your friends and family and neighbors and just like you and entitled to seek happiness in their way and finlly join society in loving couplehood just like straight people."

    That's a progressive moral outlook. It emphasizes empathy and fairness (They're just like me! We all deserve the same opportunities!). That's how we will win that argument. And we are winning the gay marriage argument. Public opinion on that issue has moved faster in our direction than anything else I can think of in the last 15 years.

    As an example of what doesn't work, it's when people quote Leviticus, and we say "but really there's scholastic dispute over whether or not the Bible explicitly condemns homosexuality, and aren't you being pretty hypocritical given that you don't abide by many of the other precepts of the Bible, like about mixed cloths or shellfish?"

    That's an example of something ineffective. Because those facts bounce right off -- because it's not about what's in Leviticus, really.

    That's why you can't attack moral arguments with facts -- because facts only work against other facts, and demand that everyone is willing to measure persuasiveness by an agreed-upon standard of truth. But when people are simply picking facts that are close at hand that bolster their pre-existing moral case, then attacking those facts is irrelevant; the best possible scenario is that they abandon those arguments and simply pick new ones. Almost no one hates gay people because it's in Leviticus. They hate gay people because it undermines important beliefs about the world that they hold, about the structure of family, gender, order, dominance, and so on. They would be just as bigoted whether they could find ammunition in the Bible or not, because it's not really about the Bible, it's about tradition. It's about a Right way and a Wrong way -- about a natural order of things.

    So if you try to win the tradition argument by pointing out how the Bible isn't necessarily anti-homosexual, and how homosexuality has existed in varying degrees in many cultures throughout history, and it doesn't actually undermine the family, and blah blah blah -- you lose. If you ignore the tradition argument and instead say "who gives a shit about tradition? These are human beings just like you and me and they deserve the same treatment as everyone else." Then you can win.

    i also find it frustrating when everyone's pet issue then gets tacked onto the coattails of the (slowly, falteringly) progressing acceptance of gays. yes, i know it feels like polyamorous arrangements and transgender/ nongender assignments need to happen right now, but maybe it would be better to tie gay marriage to all this other stuff that many persuadables find downright shocking until after gay marriage has won widespread support.

    i guess to me it's about pragmatism, persuasion and slow but steady wins the race.

    it's almost as though the only people who are going to compare gay marriage to turtle-fucking are the very right-wing people (because they're against gay marriage) and the very left-wing people (because they're for turtle-fucking).

    Irond Will on
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  • Dark_SideDark_Side Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    SammyF wrote: »
    ronzo wrote: »
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    It is not necessarily wrong to feel that marriage should be between a man or woman. Nor is it wrong to feel that gay people are going against god and society. It's simply an opinion, .

    Actually, it's pretty easy for an opinion to be wrong.

    Pfft. I'll believe that the day I start believing in gravity.

    My point was simply trying to say that it is important to take into account someone's cultural frame of reference when debating contentious cultural issues, not simply calling them idiots and bigots. And of course it has fallen on deaf ears.

    Dark_Side on
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