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The Strategic Incompetence of Democrats

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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    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...

    Reagan's convenient because he got re-elected by a landslide, which means voters got a taste of it and decided they wanted four more years. If he governed from the right (which I think we can agree he did), well, looks like it worked!

    Presidents have campaigned and governed from the left; I avoided mentioning them because it is hard to disentangle the effects of the economy or wars from their electoral success or defeats. Roosevelt was a realignment election; Kennedy had New Frontier and LBJ Great Society programs. LBJ crushed Goldwater so devastatingly by painting Goldwater as someone who wanted to abolish social welfare programs like SS.

    ronya on
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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael 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

    Given how the Senate works I'm not sure that they're really "caving" so much as they're a diverse party (which allows them to have more seats) while the Republicans are extremely good at culling dissenters, which makes their numbers in congress smaller, but allows them to move in lockstep.

    Republicans also have the vote of old fuckers, which is like the most reliable bloc there is.

    Loren Michael on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum 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

    Given how the Senate works I'm not sure that they're really "caving" so much as they're a diverse party (which allows them to have more seats) while the Republicans are extremely good at culling dissenters, which makes their numbers in congress smaller, but allows them to move in lockstep.

    Republicans also have the vote of old fuckers, which is like the most reliable bloc there is.

    Democrats probably shouldn't have told their base about all the awesome things they could do if they just had 60 votes then.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael 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

    Given how the Senate works I'm not sure that they're really "caving" so much as they're a diverse party (which allows them to have more seats) while the Republicans are extremely good at culling dissenters, which makes their numbers in congress smaller, but allows them to move in lockstep.

    Republicans also have the vote of old fuckers, which is like the most reliable bloc there is.

    Democrats probably shouldn't have told their base about all the awesome things they could do if they just had 60 votes then.

    "We're all fucked and everything is broken" isn't a message that I can conceive of as getting lots of votes.

    Loren Michael on
    a7iea7nzewtq.jpg
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum 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

    Given how the Senate works I'm not sure that they're really "caving" so much as they're a diverse party (which allows them to have more seats) while the Republicans are extremely good at culling dissenters, which makes their numbers in congress smaller, but allows them to move in lockstep.

    Republicans also have the vote of old fuckers, which is like the most reliable bloc there is.

    Democrats probably shouldn't have told their base about all the awesome things they could do if they just had 60 votes then.

    "We're all fucked and everything is broken" isn't a message that I can conceive of as getting lots of votes.

    I'm just saying don't make promises you can't keep if you want to keep the trust of people.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael 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

    Given how the Senate works I'm not sure that they're really "caving" so much as they're a diverse party (which allows them to have more seats) while the Republicans are extremely good at culling dissenters, which makes their numbers in congress smaller, but allows them to move in lockstep.

    Republicans also have the vote of old fuckers, which is like the most reliable bloc there is.

    Democrats probably shouldn't have told their base about all the awesome things they could do if they just had 60 votes then.

    "We're all fucked and everything is broken" isn't a message that I can conceive of as getting lots of votes.

    I'm just saying don't make promises you can't keep if you want to keep the trust of people.

    Okay.

    Loren Michael on
    a7iea7nzewtq.jpg
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'm just saying don't make promises you can't keep if you want to keep the trust of people.

    You are going to be eternally disappointed by politicians everywhere :P

    Politicians who make realistic promises don't win; ergo, the politicians that you will observe necessarily made promises they are going to proceed to break...

    e: "By the end of my first term, I will reduce the Reagan budget deficit by two-thirds. Let's tell the truth. It must be done, it must be done. Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won't tell you. I just did." Gee, that worked. Reagan, of course, raised taxes.

    ronya on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    I'm just saying don't make promises you can't keep if you want to keep the trust of people.

    You are going to be eternally disappointed by politicians everywhere :P

    Politicians who make realistic promises don't win; ergo, the politicians that you will observe necessarily made promises they are going to proceed to break...

    I'm not surprised the Democrats aren't doing what they said they were. However, it's basically why the base is depressed. After working their asses off in '08 to get them their filibuster proof majority they... well, yeah.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    I'm just saying don't make promises you can't keep if you want to keep the trust of people.

    You are going to be eternally disappointed by politicians everywhere :P

    Politicians who make realistic promises don't win; ergo, the politicians that you will observe necessarily made promises they are going to proceed to break...

    I'm not surprised the Democrats aren't doing what they said they were. However, it's basically why the base is depressed. After working their asses off in '08 to get them their filibuster proof majority they... well, yeah.

    The base being depressed is an inevitability, then :P

    I don't know, the base on either side always seems to think that Congress is a parliament.

    ronya on
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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    I'm just saying don't make promises you can't keep if you want to keep the trust of people.

    You are going to be eternally disappointed by politicians everywhere :P

    Politicians who make realistic promises don't win; ergo, the politicians that you will observe necessarily made promises they are going to proceed to break...

    I'm not surprised the Democrats aren't doing what they said they were. However, it's basically why the base is depressed. After working their asses off in '08 to get them their filibuster proof majority they... well, yeah.

    The base being depressed is an inevitability, then :P

    I don't know, the base on either side always seems to think that Congress is a parliament.

    A minority veto is not conducive to a healthy democracy, and it confuses the hell out of voters.

    Loren Michael on
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  • NoughtNought Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    I'm just saying don't make promises you can't keep if you want to keep the trust of people.

    You are going to be eternally disappointed by politicians everywhere :P

    Politicians who make realistic promises don't win; ergo, the politicians that you will observe necessarily made promises they are going to proceed to break...

    I'm not surprised the Democrats aren't doing what they said they were. However, it's basically why the base is depressed. After working their asses off in '08 to get them their filibuster proof majority they... well, yeah.

    I'm not good at discussing politics, but didn't that filibuster proof majority include Lieberman. The guy that campaigned for McCain? I might be remembering that wrong.

    Nought on
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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Granted. The trick, I suppose, is that the majority was illusory to begin with, since the Democrats couldn't hold their sixty together without having to compromise within the sixty. The base won a few hard-fought seats at the edge but the underlying fifty+ were unreliable to begin with. DINOS and RINOS and whatever.

    The fact that the Senate and House run on hidden rules and procedures which nobody seems to be really clear about, with penalties for violation that are, at best, even more opaque... none of those are conducive to healthy democracy, either. Maybe Congress should be more like a parliament.

    ronya on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Nought wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    I'm just saying don't make promises you can't keep if you want to keep the trust of people.

    You are going to be eternally disappointed by politicians everywhere :P

    Politicians who make realistic promises don't win; ergo, the politicians that you will observe necessarily made promises they are going to proceed to break...

    I'm not surprised the Democrats aren't doing what they said they were. However, it's basically why the base is depressed. After working their asses off in '08 to get them their filibuster proof majority they... well, yeah.

    I'm not good at discussing politics, but didn't that filibuster proof majority include Lieberman. The guy that campaigned for McCain? I might be remembering that wrong.

    Somewhat more importantly, it contained Ben Nelson. But yes. Still, I'm just going based on what Harry Reid et al promised the base. If they got 60 Democrats (with Sanders and Lieberman counted), the Democrats could get things done. This was at best half true.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    The filibuster needs to die or the country is fucked.

    Loren Michael on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Seriously. I wish someone would campaign on that. Though frankly, it's more likely we get added supermajority requirements and not less. Until someone gets fed up with it and dissolves the Congress, Caesar style.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    No need to go that far, the US has had imperial presidencies before. Schlesinger wrote a book.

    ronya on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Still do, really. The President seems to think he can declare anyone an enemy of the state and have them murdered with zero oversight because the reasoning behind it is a "state secret."

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Like Watergate, the powers need to be abused on someone Americans feel is indisputably American before they'll be reined in again.

    (the "imperial Presidency" thesis has Presidents writing legislation at a de facto level, too, not just exercising powers that Congress seems to be aware of but does nothing about)

    ronya on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Yeah, I just used that example because it's pissing me off and I'm afraid to make a thread about it because I don't like being gang tackled. In this respect, I do admire some of the conservatives here. More so if they make intellectually honest arguments...

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    The filibuster needs to die or the country is fucked.

    You only need to a simple majority to declare it as against the senate constitution as long as you have the veep's vote, unless I'm mistaken

    override367 on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    At the start of a term, yes.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    It'd be worth doing just to watch the village's collective head catch fire.

    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
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    It'd be worth doing just to watch the village's collective head catch fire.

    Their head is on fire every third day. At the moment it's because of how Stephen Colbert dishonored the decorum of Congress.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    It'd be worth doing just to watch the village's collective head catch fire.

    Their head is on fire every third day. At the moment it's because of how Stephen Colbert dishonored the decorum of Congress.
    But just imagine the difference in narratives if the Dems did it vs the Republicans doing it.

    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.
  • Dr Mario KartDr Mario Kart Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Its gonna be difficult to get 50 votes in the Senate against the filibuster next term. The split may be something like 52D/48R (caucus). Lieberman and Nelson will be out, and having another moderate(corporatist) D join the Rs on that vote is almost assured. The only way to get the filibuster rule out would be to let the Rs take full control and have them do it.

    Dr Mario Kart on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    You also wouldn't get friggin' Feingold on that vote. If he gets re-elected at all.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    I'm just saying don't make promises you can't keep if you want to keep the trust of people.

    You are going to be eternally disappointed by politicians everywhere :P

    Politicians who make realistic promises don't win; ergo, the politicians that you will observe necessarily made promises they are going to proceed to break...

    I'm not surprised the Democrats aren't doing what they said they were. However, it's basically why the base is depressed. After working their asses off in '08 to get them their filibuster proof majority they... well, yeah.

    Except it wasn't filibuster proof, as the mountains of filibusters have shown.

    And beyond that, they STILL got shit done.

    You are buying into the media narrative as much as any pundit here.

    shryke on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    shryke wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    I'm just saying don't make promises you can't keep if you want to keep the trust of people.

    You are going to be eternally disappointed by politicians everywhere :P

    Politicians who make realistic promises don't win; ergo, the politicians that you will observe necessarily made promises they are going to proceed to break...

    I'm not surprised the Democrats aren't doing what they said they were. However, it's basically why the base is depressed. After working their asses off in '08 to get them their filibuster proof majority they... well, yeah.

    Except it wasn't filibuster proof, as the mountains of filibusters have shown.

    And beyond that, they STILL got shit done.

    You are buying into the media narrative as much as any pundit here.

    No, I am explaining why the base is depressed. They were told by the Democratic leadership it would be filibuster proof so they could get card check and climate legislation and etc. etc. etc.

    Instead they get an improvement without the thing liberals really wanted in health care and some other nice legislation, but a lot of disappointment (for example, size of stimulus).

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • wazillawazilla Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    It was filibuster proof.

    Then Ted Kennedy died.

    Or am I wrong about that?

    wazilla on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Assuming the Nelsons, Lieberman, etc all voted for cloture, yes.

    EDIT: Also, it took months to get Franken seated. There was a 60 seat majority for something like 4.5 months.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    wazilla wrote: »
    It was filibuster proof.

    Then Ted Kennedy died.

    Or am I wrong about that?
    It was only ever filibuster proof if you pretended that Democrats have Republican-style voting habits.

    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.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    shryke wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    I'm just saying don't make promises you can't keep if you want to keep the trust of people.

    You are going to be eternally disappointed by politicians everywhere :P

    Politicians who make realistic promises don't win; ergo, the politicians that you will observe necessarily made promises they are going to proceed to break...

    I'm not surprised the Democrats aren't doing what they said they were. However, it's basically why the base is depressed. After working their asses off in '08 to get them their filibuster proof majority they... well, yeah.

    Except it wasn't filibuster proof, as the mountains of filibusters have shown.

    And beyond that, they STILL got shit done.

    You are buying into the media narrative as much as any pundit here.

    No, I am explaining why the base is depressed. They were told by the Democratic leadership it would be filibuster proof so they could get card check and climate legislation and etc. etc. etc.

    Instead they get an improvement without the thing liberals really wanted in health care and some other nice legislation, but a lot of disappointment (for example, size of stimulus).

    So basically Liberals are whinny bitches who don't know how the government works and are happy to let the perfect be the enemy of the good?

    The "filibuster proof majority" was tenuous at best and they STILL passed a bunch of shit. Not as good as some may have wanted, but shit. Just look at that list of what went into effect from the health care bill last week and tell me they didn't do some damn good shit on that front.

    But really, it's not like even if you know how the government works you could have predicted this. This level of obstructionism is pretty fucking unanticipated.

    wazilla wrote: »
    It was filibuster proof.

    Then Ted Kennedy died.

    Or am I wrong about that?

    It was only filibuster proof if you got people like Lieberman and the Blue Dogs on board.

    That didn't always work out.

    Ted Kennedy dying just took it from "sorta filibuster proof" to "not at all".

    shryke on
  • wazillawazilla Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Ahh it was the Franken thing I was really forgetting, and yes Zed, you are also correct

    wazilla on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    This level of obstructionism was pretty predictable, honestly. The previous Congress was obvious.

    And I would say liberals are kind of annoyed about the Democratic leadership being either unwilling or unable to follow through on what they told liberals they could do if they were given a 60 seat majority. Expectations were elevated (by both sides) and Democrats fell short of them. I tend to blame the elites in that situation, but obviously not voting is kind of stupid. But it's hard to work your ass off for them in this situation, you know? Especially given that they obviously won't have 60 seats next term so won't be able to pass things.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    You also wouldn't get friggin' Feingold on that vote. If he gets re-elected at all.

    Sure you would. Feingold introduced a constitutional amendment taking away the power to appoint senators, I think he'd be up for modifying or eliminating the filibuster.

    Captain Carrot on
  • FartacusFartacus __BANNED USERS
    edited September 2010
    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.

    Certainly that goes a long way in explaining things, but on the other hand you do have 36 years of progressive rule from 1932-1968 (Eisenhower essentially functioning as the Clinton of the Republican party -- while in name of the opposition party, progressive policy and ideology continued to prevail under his tenure), and then 40 years of conservative rule from 1968-2008 (Carter being a miserable failure who barely squeaked out a win within the margin of error thanks to Watergate, and Clinton being someone who did nothing to actually reverse the political culture of the time, and essentially functioned as a technocrat who executed the political mandates of his predecessors).

    Economic cycles exist within each of these periods, but they exhibit stark and distinct political cultures. There seems to be a political cycle as well as an economic one, and the political one is a fair bit longer, so I do think it takes more than unemployment to explain the political direction of the nation.

    Fartacus on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    You also wouldn't get friggin' Feingold on that vote. If he gets re-elected at all.

    Sure you would. Feingold introduced a constitutional amendment taking away the power to appoint senators, I think he'd be up for modifying or eliminating the filibuster.

    He's said he's wary of it publicly. Akaka, Feinstein, Pryor, Nelson, and Tester are opposed. It's kind of doomed.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • FartacusFartacus __BANNED USERS
    edited September 2010
    So far in the thread though, I'm not sure if I'm seeing any particularly persuasive arguments as to why the Democrats are in the position they're in, or how to get out of it.

    Certainly I don't buy the big-tent argument. The GOP is composed of quite an oddball assortment of ideologies, but that's not new in American politics. The reality is both parties have a cohesive ideological foundation -- conservatism being fundamentally about reward and punishment/moral order, and progressivism fundamentally being about nurturance and empathy.

    The problem is that while the GOP is quite good at articulating their ideological glue, the Democratic Party is not. And, as I said, the GOP's instinct at the first sign of trouble is to run back to their most well-worn beliefs, whereas the Democrats' first instinct is to run from those beliefs.

    Fundamentally, I think that Democrats have bought into the meta-narrative sold by the GOP. The GOP has pretty clearly got a stranglehold on the Overton window, and the Democrats are scampering to stay inside it while the GOP can shift it at will to leave the Dems out.

    Alt has been talking about following the desires of the people -- but (one of) the fundamental problem(s) with this is that the desires of the public change, and often do so thanks to coordinated and purposeful ideological movements and campaigns.

    The Democratic Party pretty much is full of people like Alt right now, who are chasing that mythical middle. Meanwhile, the Republican party doesn't seem much interested in what policies or values people actually espouse; they're interested in changing those values. They're interested in telling people what they want.

    And I think, fundamentally, if you're chasing the middle, you're always going to lose to the group that is capable of deciding where the middle is. If you debate within someone else's framework, you lose.

    Fartacus on
  • devCharlesdevCharles Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    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.

    I don't mean to bring up something kind of negligible, but this flies in the face of my experience at my school. This article says there's a correlation between the amount of econ classes people take in college and how much they tend to lean Republican.

    All the same, I don't think the democrats have too much too worry about as I haven't seen a Republican yet that has what I would describe as "charisma."

    devCharles on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Econ profs are Democrats.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
This discussion has been closed.