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The Strategic Incompetence of Democrats

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Posts

  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Thirith wrote:
    Altalicious, I seem to remember this Obama guy being elected, even though his campaign indicated that he might be more left-wing than other Democrat options. Doesn't that mean anything re: what the people want?

    Sure, as always it could mean plenty of things, or a combination of them. My argument would be this:

    You have to differentiate, as I said before, between the party voters and the national voters. Obama won the primaries, i.e. among party voters, by being more left-wing than his opponents. He then had a very different situation to fight in the national elections. He was running against 8 years of a controversial 'far-right' government. What did he run on? Change. He was relatively policy-lite aside from a few specific areas (which themselves were coherent with the "Change" theme, i.e. withdrawing from Iraq), for which he was attacked at the time.

    Obama didn't run the presidential election on left-wing issues: he ran his primary on them, if anything. He ran the presidential campaign on the fundamental point of change from a government which had, in many peoples' eyes, skewed too far over to the right. It was, if not statedly a centrist campaign, one that occupied or defused the central ground as an issue. What he didn't do was run a statedly left-wing campaign, and was quite careful not to be portrayed as such when his opponents tried to do so. The voters didn't have a choice of Democratic options, the party did. The voters had a choice of Democrat (Change) or Republican (Continuity), and they went for resoundingly for Change.

    In response, while in government Obama and the Democratic policies have been portrayed as left-wing, and what we are seeing is a far-right resurgency and a collapse of popular support for the Democrats: doesn't that mean anything re: what the people want?

    PS nescientist: I've got a lot of sympathy for that point of view, and I think it's broadly right from a rational point of view. The problem is that most voters don't respond in such a rational manner as you describe. I think you underestimate the importance of broader, instinctive impressions of political positioning. And for clarity, I think you are definitely centre-right as a nation from a European perspective, but my argument was that you are just centre-right from an American perspective too. If that sounds like a contradiction (i.e. surely from an American perspective you can't be anything other than the centre?): my point that the positioning of the political left-wing has more voice and influence than actual support among the population.

    Altalicious on
  • nescientistnescientist Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    When you speak of the voice and influence of "the political left-wing" what exactly do you mean, if not the Democratic Party? It seems nonsensical to urge that party to move away from "the left wing" when it defines the left wing in the United States.

    In fact I think that some of the party's problems with cohesiveness stem from this sort of avoidance of its own defining political principles. Leftism has been a slur, in the minds of many voters, for half a century now (since McCarthy, I'm thinking) and left-wing (ie Democrat) politicians are painfully aware of this. Even though Obama was plainly left wing - if only by contrast with his opponents, aside perhaps from Kucinich - I'm sure he would take great pains to avoid being described as such because of the public distaste for that label.

    Which makes me wonder at the idea that "the political left wing" has such a stranglehold on the national discourse; if that is so, then why do the members of the political left wing fear being tarred with the label?

    nescientist on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    What happened to listening to what the population actually say?

    Are you intentionally daft? What the population actually says, as defined by you, is a media narrative.

    I don't typically have to recommend Chomsky to many people these days, but your plodding really needs it

    Goumindong on
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  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    What the population says has nothing to do with reality. "OK, the population says for there to be zero taxes and free beer for all. Let's get on that!"

    Couscous on
  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Which makes me wonder at the idea that "the political left wing" has such a stranglehold on the national discourse; if that is so, then why do the members of the political left wing fear being tarred with the label?

    I'm not saying it has a strangelhold, this isn't the "olol liberal media" argument. I'm saying that the left-wing within the Democratic Party has a habit of being louder and more influential than its actual base warrants. The same applies to the Republicans (see: Tea Party). They don't have a stranglehold on national discourse, they are over-represented in the Democratic discourse, which negatively affects the Democrats national prospects.

    My point is exactly what you say: politicians are afraid of being tarred with a "left-wing" label, and when they are, they lose. I just disagree that this is because it is an unpopular label, but that it is because left-wing ideas are less popular than Democrats - particularly the Democratic left-wing - would like to believe.

    Saying that it defines the left-wing is also part of the point. For example, nobody would disagree that if the Democratic party suddenly started espousing communism, it would die pretty instantly. Though it would still be "defining the left-wing" of the country, it would de facto be a hundred miles out from the nation. Therefore "defining the left-wing" does not mean "be more left-wing". The party needs, as it did with Clinton, to find a version of left-wing which chimes with the nation. It needs to define the left-wing in a way which is popular and electable - or to put it another way if you find the idea of being electable unprincipled, which is democratic and in tune with what the people want.

    I think the party are finding at the moment that this doesn't mean "be more left-wing".

    Altalicious on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    My point is exactly what you say: politicians are afraid of being tarred with a "left-wing" label, and when they are, they lose. I just disagree that this is because it is an unpopular label, but that it is because left-wing ideas are less popular than Democrats - particularly the Democratic left-wing - would like to believe.
    If only there were some way we could measure whether or not the actual provisions of democratic proposals were more or less popular than the labels they are given.

    Oh wait, there is. And the results say "no Altalicious, you are dead wrong on this". For instance, people don't like the health care bill... they just happen to like all of the provisions in the health care bill

    Goumindong on
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  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Are you intentionally daft? What the population actually says, as defined by you, is a media narrative.

    I don't typically have to recommend Chomsky to many people these days, but your plodding really needs it

    You heard it here first folks, your votes are all part of a media 'spirciy.

    Except as insomuch as everything nowadays is part of a media narrative, no, ballot box results (i.e. what the population actually says, as defined by me) are not part of a media narrative. I don't think you've quite understood what I wrote.

    Coincidentally, "what the population actually says" as defined by me, is also the only way in which either party gets into government, so a smart man might pay some attention to it. This might also be why the Democratic strategists this thread has been slagging off are Democratic strategists, and you are people on an internet forum.

    You can continue waving your literary e-penis now. Carry on.

    Altalicious on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Coincidentally, "what the population actually says" as defined by me, is also the only way in which either party gets into government, so a smart man might pay some attention to it. This might also be why the Democratic strategists this thread has been slagging off are Democratic strategists, and you are people on an internet forum.

    Bullshit. Buying into the narrative works in the immediate short term. But it does not work over time. [edit: Hell, it typically fails by the next election cycle] The Democrats were successful in congress for years not because they went center, but because they had the narrative of the time, which was decidedly more left wing. Nixon ran to the left. And then the Republicans learned that if they could control the narrative they could control the system.
    You heard it here first folks, your votes are all part of a media 'spirciy.
    Its not a conspiracy. But the effect does exist. Its very prominent and a significant factor in both everyday and political life. If you want to win, you cannot just follow the path that the narrative is currently running. You must mold the path.

    E.G. this is something the Chicago school of econ has learned, despite the majority of economists being democrats and supporting generally left wing solutions. Despite roughly all economists offering generally left wing solutions to the solutions they actually study. Despite RBC being both controversial and in the vast minority. The Chicago school has been able to continually push the narrative on econ in their direction, and it has yielded results far in excess of what a representative solution would represent.
    You can continue waving your literary e-penis now. Carry on.
    Read a book. It will do you good.

    Edit: In short, haven't you learned anything from the Republican successes of the past 30 years? They didn't win because people independently decided that trickle down economics was for them. Republican's haven't been able to run on supply side economics for 30 years despite pretty much everyone who knows anything about econ saying it was a crock because people independently took up the theory.

    They have succeeded because they know how to sell their product. As lame as it sounds, AIDA works.

    Goumindong on
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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Hey, guys.

    Remember that talk we had about types of crazy?

    OptimusZed on
    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Hey, guys.

    Remember that talk we had about types of crazy?

    Yup. But they're wrong. All crazy ought to be fought.

    The only time you don't fight crazy is if no one knows about it. But that so rarely happens given the current technological environment. Birthers did not become marginalized because no one engaged them. They became marginalized because people saw the damned cert. If you don't fight the crazy, the crazy will move the narrative.

    Goumindong on
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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Goumindong wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Hey, guys.

    Remember that talk we had about types of crazy?

    Yup. But they're wrong. All crazy ought to be fought.

    The only time you don't fight crazy is if no one knows about it. But that so rarely happens given the current technological environment. Birthers did not become marginalized because no one engaged them. They became marginalized because people saw the damned cert. If you don't fight the crazy, the crazy will move the narrative.
    The birfers got attention, and the crazy became apparent. The direct pushback by actual people of importance was minimal. Their views were just made plain and the consensus quickly became that they were batshit.

    The only narrative that the birfers ended up moving was "what the fuck is going on with the Right in this country?"

    Edit: What I'm saying is that Alt appears to be the "wharglbarblnoonecantakethisseriously" crazy as opposed to the "swiftboat we should push back on this" crazy.

    OptimusZed on
    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'm not sure presidential success as perceived is determined by adoption of moderate or left-wing positions as much as creating low unemployment and economic growth. Altalicious noted the downturns and upturns but seems to have dismissed it in favor of invoking a myriad of epicyclic factors.

    ronya on
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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Edit: What I'm saying is that Alt appears to be the "wharglbarblnoonecantakethisseriously" crazy as opposed to the "swiftboat we should push back on this" crazy.

    He is espousing the "conventional wisdom" which is both pervasive and detrimental to progressive change. I could turn on just about any commentator and get this same drivel gussied up as "political strategy" from an "expert". Its bullshit and its been continually killing democratic reform.

    The Republicans throw a wave of shit out there, the democrats don't counter it and run from their positions. Then they defect to the right in order to gain votes from people who would never vote for them anyway and lose to people who are even further to the right because they cannot energize the voters who might actually vote for them.

    At the same time, those voters who might actually vote for them are fed bullshit about elections not mattering and how the parties are all the same. You can't get these people to vote by running closer to the other party. You need to take strong principled stands and modify the narrative. Franken and Grayson can't do it on their own. Without support of the democratic establishment they will fail just like Dean eventually did.

    Goumindong on
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  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I just like how this dude is named ALTalicious, and has posted a total of 248 times in the last 2 years.

    Either way, Goum is right. As long as the Dem leadership continues to act like bitches and promote candidates that are waffly and run away from their principles at the drop of a dime, people like Grayson and Weiner and Franken are going to be exceptions. I still think that we could take a few pages out of the teabagger playbook in mounting a populist uprising/reshuffling of the Democratic establishment. As long as the entrenched establishment types in the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC don't feel threatened, they'll never feel the need to change.

    wwtMask on
    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    But there's got to be a method for determining what is or isn't worth responding to. Because if there isn't then we get into a situation where one side can completely swamp the other with bullshit and the targets have to spend all their available time and energy responding to completely absurd things.

    There's a gradient here, that goes from "Jewlizards faked the moonlanding to give aids to africans" to "that's my statement and I'll back it up with these seemingly reliable sources that are in fact bullshit."

    If we assume that the American people aren't even capable of dismissing the truly crazy statements without Democratic assistance, then all we're going to be doing is mythbusting. Which doesn't leave any room for campaigning.

    OptimusZed on
    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Again, I suspect that as long as policy generates perceived prosperity - which seems most influenced by employment and acceptable inflation and GDP% rates - administrations can enact whatever elaborate changes on fiscal, redistributive, or social policies they feel are important: left wing or not, moderate or not, with the support of their respective bases or not.

    And, of course, the most powerful tools of said prosperity generation are generally not influenced by straightforward demagoguery. Monetary policy and the finer points of housing loan processing make or break recoveries, but neither are interesting campaign points ("vote for me and I'll... have the Fed commit to a 3% inflation target!" "No, vote for me and I'll have the Fed to commit to a 2% inflation target! 3% is socialist!" o_O Sadly the colorful imagery of crosses of gold isn't invokable, even though the content of the issue is the same...).

    It is entirely possible to engineer both left- or right- or moderate- wing policy and separately create, or fail to create, a perception of economic growth.

    ronya on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    It should also be noted that for all the "OBAMA IS HORRIBLY UNPOPULAR WHARGLBARGL!" he's still the most popular politician in the country.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Wow. Honestly, just wow. I know I mentioned echo chambers, but clearly I way undershot it. I post something that, as Goumingdog admits, isn't so far off "conventional wisdom". What are the responses?
    Goumingdog: Total bullshit. This book told me so. Go read a book.

    OptimusZed: He's crazy. Not just normal crazy, but drinking-his-own-urine off the reservation. (It might interest you to know that my girlfriend also thinks I'm crazy, but because I'm spending time to discuss this stuff with "clearly unpersuadable political zelalot type people" - there is probably a lesson about perspective in there somewhere.)

    wttMask: Oh my god look at his name!

    Do you honestly wonder why you have difficulty persuading the rest of the population?

    To the two people who gave halfway reasonable responses...
    ronya wrote:
    I'm not sure presidential success as perceived is determined by adoption of moderate or left-wing positions as much as creating low unemployment and economic growth. Altalicious noted the downturns and upturns but seems to have dismissed it in favor of invoking a myriad of epicyclic factors.

    Fair enough, plenty of people think that economic issues have primacy, and I quite agree they can. I just don't think they are the only and always most important factor. They are difficult to separate, because you can draw as exact a parallel between economic downturns / upturns in presidential switches over the past 30 years as you can to centrist policies or lack thereof (i.e. Reagan, Clinton, Bush 2 and Obama all won off the back of economic downturns). I would point out, however, that plenty of congressional switches have happened where the incumbent party lost badly despite a boom economy, so there isn't quite the direct correlation across all elections that there is for presidential elections. That would suggest to me that other factors still play into how voters think at the ballot box, however important the economy may be.
    Goumingdog wrote:
    Bullshit. Buying into the narrative works in the immediate short term. But it does not work over time. [edit: Hell, it typically fails by the next election cycle] The Democrats were successful in congress for years not because they went center, but because they had the narrative of the time, which was decidedly more left wing. Nixon ran to the left. And then the Republicans learned that if they could control the narrative they could control the system.

    Sorry, but 'the narrative' was your point. My point was about peoples' votes being more important than what they answer in polling, and that to win political arguments you need to win the former and not the latter. I don't entirely buy your idea of 'the narrative', so instead of responding to my argument of "apples are good" by saying "no oranges are good", how about you tell me why apples are bad? Then we can talk about oranges.

    Oh, and I've read plenty of books, I just don't wave my BA Hons and MSc around unless someone is being a superior prick. I generally try to rely on my ideas and arguments, not my education in those of others.

    Altalicious on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    There was one major Congressional swing that occurred during a strong economy. It happened because the ideological incoherence spawned by the Civil Rights Act finally ended and the racist assholes finally joined the GOP instead of continuing to call themselves Democrats.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    "Conventional Wisdom" held that a black guy with a weird name couldn't beat a white war hero while we were fighting two wars.

    "Conventional Wisdom" still thinks that a simple majority should be able to move legislation in the senate.

    "Conventional Wisdom" says that Barack Obama is a failure as a president when he's done more in his first two years in office than basically anyone since FDR.

    "Conventional Wisdom" only really lives up to one of the words in its name.

    OptimusZed on
    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited September 2010
    There was one major Congressional swing that occurred during a strong economy. It happened because the ideological incoherence spawned by the Civil Rights Act finally ended and the racist assholes finally joined the GOP instead of continuing to call themselves Democrats.

    There were changes of control in both the Clinton and Bush 1 presidencies. Both before economic problems became apparent for the later presidential elections. Both well after the Civil Rights Act.

    You are also predicted to see another one which, though it is happening in troubled times for the economy, is happening 3 years afterwards and past the last set of both presidential and congressional elections.

    Optimus, ranting clearly gives you pleasure so by all means continue, but unfortunately your complete denial of the "conventional" to the point that you immediately call rational people making rational arguments which happen to disagree with yours "whargleblargle crazy", well I'm afraid that makes you the irrational one. Sorry the rest of the world couldn't live up to your expectations. I'm not going to respond to you now; please don't take it personally, it's just not worth it.

    EDIT: Apologies, "wharglbarblnoonecantakethisseriously" crazy

    Altalicious on
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Optimus, ranting clearly gives you pleasure so by all means continue, but unfortunately your complete denial of the "conventional" to the point that you immediately call rational people making rational arguments which happen to disagree with yours "whargleblargle crazy", well I'm afraid that makes you the irrational one. Sorry the rest of the world couldn't live up to your expectations. I'm not going to respond to you now; please don't take it personally, it's just not worth it.
    What rational arguments have you been making, exactly?

    I've seen a lot of appeals to authority, with that authority being the conventional wisdom, but little else.

    And I didn't call you "wharglebargle crazy". But you just keep humpin' that chicken, pal.

    OptimusZed on
    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    1994 was a realigning election based on changes which had their roots in the Civil Rights Act (Dixiecrats -> GOP).

    2006 was because the wars sucked and the economy sucked for average Americans. Plus a variety of other things that I will admit, fits your narrative to some extent. I'd argue it was less a move from centrism (Schaivo if you want to argue that case) and more a move towards mind blowing incompetence and corruption.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited September 2010
    Kamar wrote: »
    The facts show that if you describe liberal policies without mentioning they are, in fact, liberal policies, a strong majority loves the shit out of them.

    Tangental example: in Afghanistan, if ISAF soldiers or Afghan army ask what people's main concern is, the vast majority will say: security. If independent Afghan pollsters (often hired by the same people) ask the question, they get a panalopy of answers of which the largest is economy, and security is actually about 4th on the list.

    Point being, polling is an art, not a science, and peoples' answers to questions are extraordinarily subjective. Being asked your preference in a question is different to asking someone to do it themselves, or to take a hit for it being done: e.g. many more people respond positively to the idea of giving to charity than actually give to charity.

    Americans vote for the centre right. Not by a massive majority, but by a working majority. And when events rock the boat, they skew further towards the right, not the left. If you want to govern, that is what you need to accept.

    So, in other words, you have no response to that fact.

    Bionic Monkey on
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  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Class Traitor Smoke-filled roomRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    If every Democrat had Obama's political savvy, I think they'd be in good shape. Sadly, while a great many seem to be personable, not many seem to have a grasp of tactics or a bigger picture.

    joshofalltrades on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Wow. Honestly, just wow. I know I mentioned echo chambers, but clearly I way undershot it. I post something that, as Goumingdog admits, isn't so far off "conventional wisdom". What are the responses?
    "Conventional Wisdom" was in quotes for a reason.

    And as a note. I do not appreciate the ad hom or straw man. When i told you to go read a book, it was not because I am waving some e-peen around. Its because the book contains vital information relating to the subject that I think you should know. Maybe that is being superior, but you know what? I don't care, because some things are better and smarter and more cogent than others and I see no problem with exemplifying them and disseminating the information.

    I should not have to recount for you seminal works on language and culture which are vitally important to the conversation just as you should not have to account to me your preferences.

    But you do have to account that your preferences are preferences. Rather, you have taken the current system as tautology that cannot be changed. This is foolish.
    Sorry, but 'the narrative' was your point. My point was about peoples' votes being more important than what they answer in polling, and that to win political arguments you need to win the former and not the latter. I don't entirely buy your idea of 'the narrative', so instead of responding to my argument of "apples are good" by saying "no oranges are good", how about you tell me why apples are bad? Then we can talk about oranges.

    Have you bought into the system so far that you cannot even see that it is a system? No one is in disagreement that people need to win votes. The disagreement comes in that some people are advocating abandoning principles and policy as a means to achieve those votes when those principles and policy are the reason that people will vote for you. You are sitting in here saying that Dems should move to the "center" because the policies that they support have been labeled as unpopular(but are not actually unpopular).

    That is retarded. Its just pure idiocy. If the policies are good and supported, you make people support them and then they will vote for you.

    I mean, do you disagree that there is a cultural component of how we view policies? And that this cultural component is influenced by the media that we consume and the messages that it delivers?

    To deliver this point a bit, I want to refer to a talk called "the paradox of choice" which I do enjoy. In it, Barry Schwartz says that:
    "There is in American Society, not only in American Society, but more here than anywhere else, what I have come to call the official syllogism. And this is a set of assumptions about well-being and about how society should be organized that run so deep that I think we don't realize we make them. And the only time that you start to notice them is when you start to accumulate evidence that they are wrong.

    So what is this official syllogism? First, we all think that the more freedom people have, the more welfare they have. How could you think otherwise, its a no brainer. How you could make any argument to think otherwise? The second thing we think is that the more choice people have the more freedom they have. What does freedom mean if not choice. In fact for most American's especially Americans of the educated class, Freedom and choice are the same thing.

    [...]

    So, as I say we so deeply believe this to be true that we didn't -- probably most of us didn't realize this was just a set of assumptions that we have made and there may be other assumptions we can make and that the assumptions we make may be empirically false"

    I am calling bullshit on your official syllogism. I am saying that your entire concept of how the world works is false and I have told you how it is false and why it is false. I have even told you how you came from the evidence that you saw that made you think apples are good to the conclusion and told you why it was a false conclusions.

    To sum it up simply.

    1) You claim that the democrats should move the the center and that everyone wins when they move to the center politically.

    2) This claim is false because democrats did not ever win by moving to the center, rather they won by campaigning well on the issues and ideas that they espoused. And campaigning well and campaigning hard.

    3) This claims is false because its official syllogism, that the current political winds and its reading of them by the media are absolute, unchangeable, and indicative of the true policy wishes of the populace is false.

    4) We know this is false because peoples opinions of bills differ from their opinion of the policies that those bills contain.

    5) We know this is false because Republicans are successful in winning without moving to the center.

    6) We know this is false because we can see Republicans modifying the message and controlling the way in which we talk about issues. Key examples "Obamacare". Ever wonder why they use this? Because they successfully tied the last Health care issue to Hillary Clinton calling it "Hillarycare". This shit didn't pop up on its own. Its intentional disassociation of the bill with its policy and with a boogey man which can be vilified.

    Goumindong on
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  • LoklarLoklar Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Goumindong wrote:
    When i told you to go read a book, it was not because I am waving some e-peen around. Its because the book contains vital information relating to the subject that I think you should know. Maybe that is being superior, but you know what? I don't care, because some things are better and smarter and more cogent than others and I see no problem with exemplifying them and disseminating the information.

    :lol:

    Loklar on
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    The ideological incoherence was spawned by the New Deal coalition and the Progressives abandoning the Republicans for the Democrats back across the 20s and 30s, actually. Truman desegregated the army in 1948 by stretching presidential authority, knowing that his own party would have stonewalled him in Congress. The shift really has to be identified in this era; we can see the assorted reformers appointed to the ND programs being either openly segregationist or openly integrationist. Roosevelt himself appears not to have cared either way. Truman apparently did. Thereafter every presidential Democrat until the collapse of the coalition was from the progressive camp (Truman, Stevenson, Kennedy, LBJ, Humphrey - did I miss anyone?).

    'Losing the South' was extremely rapid; voters punished LBJ very rapidly - the very next presidential election, in fact. Nixon ran on the Southern Strategy and won.

    But that aside.
    ronya wrote:
    I'm not sure presidential success as perceived is determined by adoption of moderate or left-wing positions as much as creating low unemployment and economic growth. Altalicious noted the downturns and upturns but seems to have dismissed it in favor of invoking a myriad of epicyclic factors.

    Fair enough, plenty of people think that economic issues have primacy, and I quite agree they can. I just don't think they are the only and always most important factor. They are difficult to separate, because you can draw as exact a parallel between economic downturns / upturns in presidential switches over the past 30 years as you can to centrist policies or lack thereof (i.e. Reagan, Clinton, Bush 2 and Obama all won off the back of economic downturns). I would point out, however, that plenty of congressional switches have happened where the incumbent party lost badly despite a boom economy, so there isn't quite the direct correlation across all elections that there is for presidential elections. That would suggest to me that other factors still play into how voters think at the ballot box, however important the economy may be.

    The parallel between economic downturns and upturns in Presidential switches seems a lot stronger than centrist policy or the lack thereof, actually. You can't really claim with a straight face that HW Bush was particularly non-centrist; he was a Republican raising taxes. Clinton won on the economy nonetheless, as you noted.

    Conversely, you can't claim that, say, Reagan was a centrist. That non-centrists can win on a strong economy, and centrists lose on a weak economy, seems to be the prevailing case.

    I grant that Congress and state governorships can change dramatically despite economic booms, although how easily this can be distinguished from the collapse of the southern coalitions is difficult, as enlightenedbum suggested. American political party unity is weak anyway; this isn't a parliamentary system. Party switches there certainly do not necessarily indicate ideological shifts for that reason (see also: race).

    ronya on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    'Losing the South' was extremely rapid; voters punished LBJ very rapidly - the very next presidential election, in fact. Nixon ran on the Southern Strategy and won.

    This is true in Presidential elections, but those states still voted for Democrats in Congressional elections and Gubernatorial elections for a long time afterwards. Which is what changed largely in '94 but continuing on through 2002 and finished about when Zell Miller went nuts at the 2004 RNC.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited September 2010
    So, in other words, you have no response to that fact.

    I think my response was pretty clear: people give different responses to the same question according to situation, and peoples' responses to questions aren't always followed through with their actions.

    What matters to political strategy is ther actions, namely who they vote for.
    Goumingdog wrote:
    And as a note. I do not appreciate the ad hom or straw man. When i told you to go read a book, it was not because I am waving some e-peen around. Its because the book contains vital information relating to the subject that I think you should know. Maybe that is being superior, but you know what? I don't care, because some things are better and smarter and more cogent than others and I see no problem with exemplifying them and disseminating the information.

    Sweet. If you don't appreciate it, don't bring it. I don't believe for a second you are stupid enough to misunderstand that you were being anything other than condescending. But since I have no interest in a fight for it's own sake, let's just be reasonable people, not do it again and move on. Yes?
    Have you bought into the system so far that you cannot even see that it is a system? No one is in disagreement that people need to win votes. The disagreement comes in that some people are advocating abandoning principles and policy as a means to achieve those votes when those principles and policy are the reason that people will vote for you. You are sitting in here saying that Dems should move to the "center" because the policies that they support have been labeled as unpopular(but are not actually unpopular).

    No, I'm saying that the population have attitudes which move independent of what political parties would like them to do. Those principles and policy which you talk of fundamentally reflect the attitudes of the general population as much (mostly more) than they 'lead' them. The two are responsive to the other. It is not simply a case of a party setting out their principles, then taking anyone who is willing to sign up to them.

    A certain road to political obscurity is to stand on your principles and refuse to budge. Clinton and Blair both recognised that: they recognised that certain deeply-held principles of their parties were anachronistic, and the country had moved on. My argument is that the advice from within the Democratic Party to 'move to the left' following current problems is a misreading of the situation on the basis that they should stand on their principles and refuse to budge. I think the country has moved on, and the Democrats need to respond to that.

    It's an unfortunate part of what has become the narrative (I do accept the idea, just not in the context you were using) for much of both the Democratic and Labour parties that this 'third way' was a tactic to win votes, rather than based on principles themselves: these were two people who did essentially believe in much of what they were saying, it was just different to what 'classic' Democrats or Labour thought, and therefore disbelieved.

    In essence, my point can be summed up as: If the Democratic party is losing voters, it should ask those who haven't voted for them what is wrong, rather than those who have

    To your specific points:

    1) You claim that the democrats should move the the center and that everyone wins when they move to the center politically.

    Broadly, yes. I also allowed for occasions when other factors intervene and tip the balance. It isn't an absolute rule, because nothing is.

    2) This claim is false because democrats did not ever win by moving to the center, rather they won by campaigning well on the issues and ideas that they espoused. And campaigning well and campaigning hard.

    Proof. If this coincided with moving to the centre (which it often has), how do you know you are right and I am wrong?

    3) This claims is false because its official syllogism, that the current political winds and its reading of them by the media are absolute, unchangeable, and indicative of the true policy wishes of the populace is false.

    I never even came close to saying that, it was your imposition, so...no.

    4) We know this is false because peoples opinions of bills differ from their opinion of the policies that those bills contain.

    I addressed that in a previous post and at the top of this one. I disagree with your trust in the reading of peoples' opinions.

    5) We know this is false because Republicans are successful in winning without moving to the center.

    Which was my point about the country being essentially centre-right. It rewards the centre, but given a choice, it rewards the right more than the left.

    6) We know this is false because we can see Republicans modifying the message and controlling the way in which we talk about issues. Key examples "Obamacare". Ever wonder why they use this? Because they successfully tied the last Health care issue to Hillary Clinton calling it "Hillarycare". This shit didn't pop up on its own. Its intentional disassociation of the bill with its policy and with a boogey man which can be vilified.

    Sorry, not sure how that is relevant to the Democrats moving to the centre. It seems to be based on point 3. which is your claim, not mine.

    EDIT:
    ronya wrote: »
    Conversely, you can't claim that, say, Reagan was a centrist. That non-centrists can win on a strong economy, and centrists lose on a weak economy, seems to be the prevailing case.

    First, Reagan fits in with what I said re: the left have to move strongly to the centre, whereas the right can get away with moving less to the centre. Therefore: centre-right is the balance.

    Second, despite various revisionist ideas of history, Reagan campaigned by getting the equivalent of a Clinton/Blair 'third way' coalition. He then governed from the right, again as I said. My argument is about what people can convince voters of at election time. This often bears no relation to what they actually do. Once again, as I've already said in previous posts...

    Altalicious on
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    1994 was a realigning election based on changes which had their roots in the Civil Rights Act (Dixiecrats -> GOP).

    2006 was because the wars sucked and the economy sucked for average Americans. Plus a variety of other things that I will admit, fits your narrative to some extent. I'd argue it was less a move from centrism (Schaivo if you want to argue that case) and more a move towards mind blowing incompetence and corruption.

    Yeah, 1994 was the Conservative Coalition (Reagan core + remaining Southern Democrats) collapsing; the seats with the Republican party gained were overwhelmingly in the South.

    2006 was the war; not so much the economy (sorry ebum). Polling consistently suggests that war, not the numerous corruption or sex scandals dogging Congress Republicans, was the headline issue. Congress, at least, is subject to other concerns. I suspect McCain would have won 08 if the economy hadn't folded in 07, though.

    e:
    'Losing the South' was extremely rapid; voters punished LBJ very rapidly - the very next presidential election, in fact. Nixon ran on the Southern Strategy and won.

    This is true in Presidential elections, but those states still voted for Democrats in Congressional elections and Gubernatorial elections for a long time afterwards. Which is what changed largely in '94 but continuing on through 2002 and finished about when Zell Miller went nuts at the 2004 RNC.

    haha, yep.

    ronya on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Because they don't win by moving towards the center. They win by campaigning hard for liberal causes.

    The Clinton and Obama campaigns were very much all about liberal causes. They then governed as moderates and immediately lost electoral support (assuming 2010 goes as expected).

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    When they repeatedly cave to the right on every issue of importance it's like they're begging their base to just stay home and not vote

    override367 on
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    'Losing the South' was extremely rapid; voters punished LBJ very rapidly - the very next presidential election, in fact. Nixon ran on the Southern Strategy and won.

    This is true in Presidential elections, but those states still voted for Democrats in Congressional elections and Gubernatorial elections for a long time afterwards. Which is what changed largely in '94 but continuing on through 2002 and finished about when Zell Miller went nuts at the 2004 RNC.

    The 98th Congress (Reagan's second) had 11 Republicans from the former Confederacy plus Tennessee. The House was 35-81, which is admittedly a lot more one-sided. Still, it wasn't monolithically Democratic after 68.

    Captain Carrot on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    'Losing the South' was extremely rapid; voters punished LBJ very rapidly - the very next presidential election, in fact. Nixon ran on the Southern Strategy and won.

    This is true in Presidential elections, but those states still voted for Democrats in Congressional elections and Gubernatorial elections for a long time afterwards. Which is what changed largely in '94 but continuing on through 2002 and finished about when Zell Miller went nuts at the 2004 RNC.

    The 98th Congress (Reagan's second) had 11 Republicans from the former Confederacy plus Tennessee. The House was 35-81, which is admittedly a lot more one-sided. Still, it wasn't monolithically Democratic after 68.

    Never said it was totally monolithic. But they dominated the region technically. Which led to a lot of muddled policy in Congress and general ideological incoherence.

    If you want an amusing exercise, look at the party affiliation of Governors in the South from 1877 - 1980.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Because they don't win by moving towards the center. They win by campaigning hard for liberal causes.

    The Clinton and Obama campaigns were very much all about liberal causes. They then governed as moderates and immediately lost electoral support (assuming 2010 goes as expected).

    Bill "it's the economy, stupid" Clinton? You need to elaborate, I think...

    Regardless, Clinton's first administration agenda tried healthcare and failed. Thereafter, even after Gingrich rose and then crashed and burned, Clinton's admin was fairly moderate. NAFTA, the compromise we know as DADT, etc.

    Regardless of the Republican Revolution in 94 - which, as earlier noted, was more of a relabeling long in coming rather than a voter rejection - Clinton won in 96.

    ronya on
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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I think my response was pretty clear: people give different responses to the same question according to situation, and peoples' responses to questions aren't always followed through with their actions.

    What matters to political strategy is ther actions, namely who they vote for.
    Which is, ironically specifically why what you are espousing is stupid

    This point that is quoted above and this point which is quoted below both cannot be true at the same time
    No, I'm saying that the population have attitudes which move independent of what political parties would like them to do. Those principles and policy which you talk of fundamentally reflect the attitudes of the general population as much (mostly more) than they 'lead' them. The two are responsive to the other. It is not simply a case of a party setting out their principles, then taking anyone who is willing to sign up to them.

    It cannot both be true that people give different responses to the same question AND also be true that political attitudes are independent of the way the question of an election is asked.

    Your defense against the polls requires that your entire argument fail at the first step.
    In essence, my point can be summed up as: If the Democratic party is losing voters, it should ask those who haven't voted for them what is wrong, rather than those who have

    Except that, again, you fail to understand the assumptions in what you have said. You did not say "The democrats should ask those who didn't vote for them" you said "the democrats should ask those who voted for the other guy"
    Proof. If this coincided with moving to the centre (which it often has), how do you know you are right and I am wrong?

    Except that its NOT coincided with moving to the center. It never has! As much as you say it doesn't make it true. E.G. why did Gore lose to Bush? Because he wasn't central enough? And Bush was?

    No, its because Bush had the story to tell, Bush had the narrative to drive. Thus the narrative was asked at the polls.
    I never even came close to saying that, it was your imposition, so...no.

    Actually you have said it many many times. Its just so ingrained in your thinking that you cannot even realize that you have said it.

    Goumindong on
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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Didn't Gore win, technicality aside?

    ronya on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    Because they don't win by moving towards the center. They win by campaigning hard for liberal causes.

    The Clinton and Obama campaigns were very much all about liberal causes. They then governed as moderates and immediately lost electoral support (assuming 2010 goes as expected).

    Bill "it's the economy, stupid" Clinton? You need to elaborate, I think...

    Regardless, Clinton's first administration agenda tried healthcare and failed. Thereafter, even after Gingrich rose and then crashed and burned, Clinton's admin was fairly moderate. NAFTA, the compromise we know as DADT, etc.

    Regardless of the Republican Revolution in 94 - which, as earlier noted, was more of a relabeling long in coming rather than a voter rejection - Clinton won in 96.

    Yeah, OK, I'm biased so shouldn't have included the Clinton losing bit. Anyway, he campaigned on health care, increased taxes for the wealthy to fund an investment in education and infrastructure, gay rights, choice, and what not. Remember, gays in the military was one of the very first things he tried to do as a symbolic I'm a liberal thing. Then post-healthcare/'94 Dick Morris convinced him he had to govern as a moderate, Gingrich fucked up to gift him re-election, and the stupid fucking Rubin reforms created a false boom. Wheee!

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    Didn't Gore win, technicality aside?

    Given Gores advantages, not really. He had a booming economy and was coming off a relatively popular Presidency (despite Republican efforts). By all accounts, Gore should have crushed Bush. I mean, if we take Alt seriously, then Gore, the centrist candidate with the booming economy who ran on a campaign of "lets do sensible things" should have crushed Bush who ran a campaign pretty much about how we was a cowboy and a fighter pilot.

    Goumindong on
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