Grow up and remember your youthful idealism, Democrats!

There appears to be two main narratives circulating about the cause of the widespread Democratic losses in the elections on November 2nd. The first is that the Democrats earned it because their actions over the last two years de-energized the Democrats who voted for hope and change in 2008. The second is that the Democrats who stayed home instead of voting in the mid-terms need to grow up and realize that they were never going to get everything they wanted, that Obama had done everything (or nearly everything) he could, and that they’d just shoot their beliefs in the metaphorical foot. While I’m solidly in the second camp, I remember a time when I would have related to those Democrats whose liberal idealism was deflowered over the last two years. And because I remember what it was like to be young and idealistic, I can appreciate that there is certainly some truth to the first narrative as well.

While I didn’t vote for Bill Clinton in 1992, I was still quite satisfied with him as President when he won the election that year. I was so excited about what that would mean that it was nearly physically painful when many of the campaign promises he’d made ran into stiff resistance from a GOP minority and Clinton was forced to give them up or modify them in ways I didn’t like. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was one of those issues – I felt that the military should take anyone and let them be open about their sexuality, but Clinton felt that DADT was a better option, and I felt betrayed by him as a result. It was like my idealism was a pigeon hitting a plate glass window at 100 MPH. And I was turned off from voting in 1994 because Clinton wasn’t the President I had hoped he would be. I still voted, but that was because I felt (and still to) that voting is a duty, not merely a right.

Since then, however, I’ve watched enough national and local politics to know that it’s a messy, ugly business, and you never get everything you want, no matter how much control over a political body you think you have. There was never any chance that Obama would pass even half of his intended agenda, and so his most fervent supporters were fated to be disappointed. And when fervent supporters are disappointed, they don’t vote until they’re excited by something again. That could have happened this election, but the Democrats missed the opportunity to drive home the message that everything that had been accomplished could be lost if the GOP took control of Congress. Add it to the list of missed opportunities.

So what, if anything, can we learn from this? Well, there are legions of Democrats who need to learn that politics is messy and stuffed full with unpalatable compromises. There’s also a whole slew of Democrats who need to realize that they can’t compromise so much that they turn off the very voters who got them into power in the first place. Put simply, the Democratic base needs to grow the hell up and the Democratic leadership needs to remember what they were like when they were young and before their own idealism had been smacked against a plate glass window at 100 MPH.

Nothing short of the future of the United States is at stake.

24 replies »

  1. I appreciate your fair-handedness, but we have to stop pretending that Obama made an effort to give the progressives everything they wanted. Or ANYTHING they wanted. Ian Welsh said it quite well here: http://www.ianwelsh.net/why-dems-lost-for-complete-idiots/

    A snip: “The Democrats gained control of both Congress and the Presidency in 2008. They then pursued ineffective policies which didn’t fix the economy. They increased deportations of Hispanics. They restricted abortion rights for women. They spat on gays repeatedly. They betrayed unions. They gutted civil rights, going even further than George W. Bush (who never said he had the right to assassinate Americans.) They saved bankers who then rewarded themselves with record bonuses and salaries while average American wages actually declined.”

    • It’s not pretending, Sam – Obama DID give progressives things, even if they were imperfect things. Like health care, a functioning economy, an attempt at climate and energy legislation, an EPA that is acting to restrict CO2 emissions, money spent on bridges and roads, an attempt to shut down Guantanamo (it’s not Obama’s fault that he couldn’t shove that through Congress or find a state that actively wanted suspected terrorists housed in their prisons), a drawdown in Iraq, and so on. Sure, he didn’t succeed on everything, and most of his successes were mixed bags full of compromises, but he sure as hell tried.

      If you want to say that the negatives outweigh the positives, then that’s fine. I may or may not agree. But saying that there are no positives, that there have been no progressive victories over the last two years, is flat out wrong.

      • Health care. Dammit, that law doesn’t give us dick. What it does is require that 30 million Americans buy insurance from insurance companies at prices the insurance company sets. A few thousand kids benefit, which is nice, but the main beneficiaries are the insurance companies who cut the backroom deal with Obama before the “debate” ever began.

        If this approach is actually “providing health care” then we can cure world hunger by passing a law requiring starving people to eat more.

        As I’ve said before, it’s one thing to lose and another entirely to surrender before the fight starts.

        • The health care bill also guarantees no lifetime maximum, no more dropping coverage AFTER a condition is discovered, no denial of coverage due to existing conditions, and over time, it’ll lower overall healthcare costs by making cheap preventive care preferable to expensive emergency care. Open your eyes, Sam, and stop focusing on the things it had to give away in order to get the things that really mattered.

          Lex, I do think that the meme is correct, but I don’t see how it ties into the “it’s not our fault” meme you mention. Please explain.

          I continue to find it amazing that I, of all people, am defending Obama from attacks from the left. I guess that I have to because my skepticism (maybe even cynicism) that he’d be able to accomplish a ton during the election means that I’m actually quite happy with what Obama has been able to accomplish over the last two years, while far too many people seem to be unwilling to accept that he wasn’t going to be able to act on all their pet issue, whatever it might be.

  2. One quibble here…Obama didn’t draw down in Iraq. The SoFA was signed by Bush. Obama may be taking credit for that, but it wasn’t his decision. Further, at the same time one conflict was being drawn down, the other was ramped up.

    It is a messy, ugly process not for the faint of heart, but i think that this meme that Obama’s supporters were/are too idealistic is false. More importantly, i think it’s a continuation of the Democratic Party meme that bad things/lost elections are never their fault. But, if those voters were too idealistic, then just a bit of the blame has to rest at the feet of a Presidential candidate who gave them a campaign not even a little bit like his governing style.

    Sure, there have been positives, but they don’t outweigh the negatives. They don’t even come close to equaling the negatives. We all get that it’s an ugly process where no victory is complete. Does Mr. Obama? Where’s his tough, ugly side that gets things done? The Democratic Party wants people to stand up to the Republicans and keep them out of power; when will it stand up to the GOP?

    Because it wasn’t just the young voters who stayed away. Black voters stayed away. Hispanics stayed away. Union families didn’t vote. Women didn’t vote. Look at that list (and include young people), they’re all part of the big, happy family that Obama has ignored, kicked and disparaged. Why would they vote for a person who hates them? That shit’s for Republican voters.

  3. I agree Brian. Obama’s team failed rhetorically to get out their message about the accomplishments of first two years. See for instance: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/02/how-obama-saved-capitalism-and-lost-the-midterms/. I also agree that politics is slow messy process, but it only works if most citizens treat it as a serious “duty”. So, my major concern goes beyond the future tactics of the Democratic party because I am troubled that a disengaged electorate has emerged the past two decades. If the general electorate continues to remain uninformed and only engaged when they are viscerally stimulated, then we are at serious risk of losing our democratic republic. By the way, Brian, did you see this: “The GOP plans to hold high profile hearings examining the alleged “scientific fraud” behind global warming, a sleeper issue in this election that motivated the base quite a bit.”(http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/11/what-now-an-epic-election-meets-the-future/65477/)

  4. No question that Obama and the Democrats screwed the pooch on this one, Frank. They were going to lose seats this time around no matter what they did – the party in the White House nearly always loses seats in midterms, and that’s in good economic times, never mind bad economic times like now. But that they lost so many seats is firmly the responsibility of the Democrats.

    Yep, I saw that the GOP were planning on holding hearings. I expect that I’ll be reporting on them extensively here at S&R.

  5. Gee, the Dems I remember in College Dems were all star struck by Bill Clinton and Carl Rove. So I don’t think there was that much idealism in their youths to remember. Try remembering young Dems of the 60s whose devotion was to meaningful dialogue and scared the hell out of the dirty old pros.

    But God forbid you look to academics as examples. They kept whoring though AIDS was believed to go through latex! That was true in 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and now in the new millennium’s 10s.

  6. I’m re-watching Ken Burns’ The Civil War. Historian Shelby Foote said the Civil War was caused by the US failing to do what it does so well: compromise. “Americans,” he said,” like to think themselves set in their positions. But they’re not. The genius of American politics is compromise. It was founded on it.”

  7. PS: maybe the hearings will also investigate “scientific frauds” like evolution and the tobacco-lung cancer connection.

  8. Anyone remember when a Republican was in power and we never stopped hammering home all the failures and loudly demanded better of our political process.

    And Americans by and large agreed with us and voted in the black guy.

    And now that the black guy is in we shouldn’t hammer away at every failure and demand better.

    Continuation of illegal wars. Continuation of the Patriot Act. Continuation of Guantanamo. Torture. Rendition flights. Food stamps cut. Real unemployment in the 20% range. No accountability for Wall Street, bankers, or the previous adminstrations war crimes. Hiding the truth about the BP oil spill. The list goes on and on and on and the accomplishments are anything but.

    Why have the Democrat and Liberal bloggers given Obama a pass on issiues we would be banging away at every day if it were Bush?

    Well doesn’t matter anyways. Obama’s failure to be a real president and not a corporate puppet hearlds the way for Bush III. The return of BUSH 2012.

    • I’m not saying that we shouldn’t hit Obama on things that he is responsible for, and we ARE. I don’t think I’m giving Obama a pass here (and WTF do you mean “hiding the truth about the BP oil spill?” That’s a new one to me.).

      Obama tried to shut down Guantanamo and got told “no” by the states and by Congress. If he can’t bring the detainees into the US because no state will let him and Congress defunds the shut-down effort, what should he have done with them? Give me a realistic alternative and I’ll happily bitch about this one too – I’m not aware of any real alternative.

      Real unemployment would have been way the hell worse if Obama hadn’t done some of the things he did, even at the risk of pissing off progressives AND right-wingers at the same time. So I don’t buy your complaint about real unemployment.

      Accountability for the prior administration’s actions was always a long shot, and Obama was the most likely to give us this. He didn’t, but given that no realist should have expected this, I’m not going to crucify Obama for it. The same goes for the continuation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

      I’m with you on the PATRIOT Act. I’ve not heard of proof that Obama permits torture like Bush did, or continues the rendition flights that Bush did, but if you’ve got proof of these, I’ll join you in pouncing on those as well.

      IIRC, the food stamps issue was buried in a bill that had so much other stuff that Obama couldn’t veto it over one item. This is a major peeve of mine – shoving changes to the law that can’t pass on their own in with stuff that Congress knows the President won’t veto just to get it passed – but it’s Congress’ problem with self control, not the President’s.

  9. The whole premise is wrong, y’all. How can anyone blame Obama? He is simply a manifestation of the wet dream marketing teams decided to go with, now obliged to TCB for the whoever is at the helm. He is the perfect “anti-Bush” in every way, excluding policy. The media is playing “Dallas” with our political system… for who? We will have to tune in next week to find out.

    The healthcare bill is shit. Afghanistan is really shit. The patriot act is shit. The terrorists won, due to our abundant complacency! Our liberties are being left to rot without the progress one would expect from losing them (social benefits, periods of peace between conflicts, etc).

    We should all be looking at the issues and policy with an open mind. We are now choosing between managment teams for the downsizing of America. In some ways I say good, this country sucks ten ways till dawn. In other ways, our sterngth will be used, as it is now, against PEOPLE/ us, to an “end” that gets lost in the next round of “means”. Thinking these clowns are living up to any progressive agenda is silly, at best. I don’ t care if they take every last cent in america for global retribution, shut down the internet in emergency, expand the shadow government, limit the only rights we have so long as they gives us a kiss and a wet wipe before they say good night!!!

  10. If anyone thinks the health care bill is going to give the goodies they think it will, they’re gonna be awfully disappointed. For example, insurers have to insure kids with “pre-existing conditions” IF they offer child insurance. So, they just stopped offering it.

    With no cost controls, all that will happen on most of it is continued increases faster than the cost of inflation (and much faster than wages). Not to mention that yes, if you actually read the damn bill, it includes significant medicare cuts.
    However the bar is not “what you can get” the bar is “what you need”. The US needs certain things done. Perhaps it is true that those things are impossible. Okay then, get ready for a real economic meltdown, much worse than what’s already happened. Get ready to have happen to you what happened to Russia in the 90s.

    You can either outrun the bear or you can’t. If you can’t, well, too damn bad, and it doesn’t matter what your excuses are, you’re dead or horribly mauled.

    I agree that Americans probably don’t have what it takes to fix their country, not least because they both think it will happen automatically and they oddly also think it’s impossible to do the right things.

    Right now, the only population in the Western world who impresses me at all are the French. Far from surrender monkeys, they are actually fighting.

    Oh, also, telling people they are ungrateful children for being angry isn’t going to bring them around to your side. Just saying. You will, however, keep pushing them into my camp, so don’t let me stop you.

    • Ian, insurers have to insure everyone with pre-existing conditions, not just kids. And while some companies have dropped insurance, Medicare will (and has) picked up the slack. Not an ideal position, and I’m not going to say that it is. But it’s still WAY better than what we had before.

      What you seem loath to accept is that our system is set up so that nearly always the path to “what we need” is through “what we can get.” I happen to agree that getting the imperfect health care bill passed was critical, because once it’s law, it’s not going to go away. It’ll get modified, weakened in some places and strengthened in others, and that’s fine. Hell, that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

      Governance is about fighting tooth and nail for what you need but still being willing to accept what you can get so long as you’re always moving closer to what you need. You don’t seem to be willing to accept that. It strikes me that if you can’t get everything you want, it’s “screw you guys, I’m going home.” I take a great deal of solace in the fact that most people who find themselves in your camp mature and realize that governance and leadership are more important than sniping at your friends and undercutting your allies.

  11. It’s just too easy to say that Obama supporters were/are too idealistic. Were they idealistic, yes, yes they were and that idealism was purposefully fostered by candidate Obama. But i don’t personally know of anyone who believed that it would all turn around and be gravy with nothing more than Obama’s election. If anything, the opposite was true.

    There was a huge group of people who had banded together and done the political ground game to get the man elected. They were chomping at the bit to do more, but then as soon as Mr. Obama settled into the White House he disbanded his ground organization aside from sending emails to ask for money.

    And that’s where the “too idealistic/not realistic” meme runs right into the “it’s not our fault” meme. Obama walked into office with a clear cut political victory and one of the biggest organizations ever seen in American politics. He had political capital and leverage like nobody’s business. Then he throws it away, gets nothing done but some half measures and blames it on the organization he threw away? Shit….

    And like i said, it wasn’t just the young, overly-idealistic voters who stayed away. It was the Democratic base that stayed away. Why should Dem women vote for a party led by a president who signed an anti-abortion executive order that went farther than the Stupak Amendment that caused such a stir? Why should Hispanics vote for a party that’s upped deportation after promising reform? This list goes on and on.

    Yet somehow the loss is still the fault of the people who didn’t vote Democratic rather than the fault of the Democratic Party that didn’t give them anything worth voting for…except fear that if they don’t vote for the Dems the evil Republicans will take over.

    • Lex, anyone who was really paying attention to what Obama was saying realized that he wasn’t going to be the firebrand populist he was reasonably successful at being during the campaign. His early campaign style (Iowa timeframe) was much more reserved, much more like his governing style in the White House, than his later general election style. Either people naively allowed themselves to be sucked in by the PR-crafted Obama, or they weren’t paying attention.

      Frankly, I’m thrilled that we have a president who doesn’t shoot from the hip and who actually deliberates on tough questions instead of trusting his gut.

      I can’t say I’m thrilled by the executive order you’re talking about, but there’s a couple of key points to remember here. First, it’s an executive order – he can reverse it any time he feels that it won’t hurt him and the Democrats politically to do so. Second, he did it in order to keep anti-abortion language out of the health care bill. Ugly tradeoff, and I’m not sure I would have made the same trade myself, but I can accept that he felt it was necessary. Given that he kept anti-abortion language out of the health care bill in the process, maybe it was a fair trade – YMMV.

      The whole point of this piece is that there is enough blame to go around. Yes, I tend to blame folks like Ian and his fellow left-wing ideologues more than I blame the Democratic leadership. But the pragmatists like me and most of the Democratic leadership have forgotten what it was like to be idealistic and how easily idealists can be turned off and essentially driven away by having their heroes fall flat. Left-wing ideologues need to grow the hell up, but the pragmatists desperately need to reach out to them and, if not give them meat to chew on, at least explain why they had to bend on things that the ideologues were pushing for. Hell, this post and these comments were more than some of the Democrats did to try and explain things to the Democratic base. And that’s all on the heads of the Democratic party leadership.

  12. Idealism? Like Healthcare Bill? The Health Care Bill depends on people in Healthcare to make it more efficient as in cutting costs. But in fact, the remuneration a physician gets for all his/her efforts and the years of training at great cost to him/herself is less per hour than what gets a plumber. The real money makers are the devise makers and distributors and the institution managers who, like their Wall Street brethren are a touch of crook, overpaid and self-overestimating AND OFTEN DOWNRIGHT LARCENOUS. The result of all this is that the cellular revolution scientists lay out by the tons like spaghetti is beyond physicians’ grasp. All those proteins, each named for some esoteric reason, can’t be memorized and seized by physiologically trained physicians—their “education” was binary, not for “n” degrees of freedom to each process in cellular function. And still, each mind blowing bio-process diagram is short a step here, a step there, or a complicating process that makes clinical decisions STILL guess work….As a result physicians treat per the Pharma Industry’s salesman’s (miniskirted hot chick with BA in Jazz Ballet) instructions. There are no eclectic bio-universalists in medicine. Doctors today are glorified nurses bound by practices endorsed by tort lawyers. So much for a doctor’s idealistic education!

    And yet, Obama wants insurers and physicians to create a one-size-fits-all giant logarithm so we “stop wasting money in medicine” and physicians can escape fearful liability. Of course, don’t touch Pharma, Obama’s cash cow.

    America’s intellectually, supposedly saintly teachers of how to think, passing on to students their “critical judgment,” academics were no help, are no help, have always been just self-interested (AS A RULE with a lot of very happy exceptions, God bless them). In fact, today’s college student is not the idealist of the 60s. He’s out there racking up a tuition debt that’s astronomical and for him college is what it used to be in 1950s: place where you meet your future fellow Wall Street mobsters.

    At 60s UC Berkeley I argued that students are America’s only aristocracy because they’re the only Americans allowed so much free time to think of what are the nation’s social problems and how to solve them. It resonated and was even lifted by a hack, then lefty now neocon, writer. Fine and dandy, but let’s take note of the 60s student activists and their difference compared to today’s embryonic corporate cannibals in our classrooms. They’ll accept mis-truths like suppositories, to s—t back on exams, so they can get that “sheep’s skin” and start making money to pay tuitions loans. Professors are like child molesters sentenced to a life term at Club Med beachfront of the class performance. What they teach matters no more. Their academic freedom extends to gibberish or replacement by a student teaching students at cost of a professored class. And they get to do research with Federal public tax funds they split with the university; and, should they discover anything on the public dole, why they and the U can paten it, couple-up with cannibal corporations and rip off the public that paid for the initial discovery.

    Then for everyone else there’s COMMUNITY COLLEGE. That’s like birth after only 4 1/2 months gestation– that’s non-viable birth, it’s abortion. Already college is four years drowning in textbook seas of minutia (often wrong) to make up for twelve wasted years of “free” public education, now at astronomical price that looks more like ransom than tuition; but what you get there depends on you, not the high priced prof with lecture notes yellow on the edges and whose motto is “if you can’t get it on your own you can’t get it.”

    Pedagogia is a dead art in a nation that turned cannibalistic since 1960s idealists transformed into 1970s me-ists. As of 1969, education can only be remembered as the equivalent of child molestation while high on pot or soused on beer. Under the guise of teaching you how to think (18y/o is kind of late) academia molests your rear, just left of your anus, where your wallet resides, paying back tuition for a decade after.

    The computer may yet save us as we get pedagogia in U-tube videos showing us how the genes in a cell work and how blood flows, etc. THAT, which I sit around with physicians to watch and discuss, is the medical education we paid for but never got. Yet, more and more U-tubers decided to charge for the brilliant cartoons so the freebies are here too coming to an end. A degree earner can well empathize with a molested alter boy!

    Essentially there are the students that are food and the profs that are eaters (some even feasters). I don’t see where the idealism can be found given that universities are halls of MONOLOGUE, no longer MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE. There are the AssProfs who bend over for tenure and the FullProfs who do it to everyone else. There’s no give and take in between. If you’re still idealistic that’s great grass you’ve got, please get me a toke!

  13. Yes, I tend to blame folks like Ian and his fellow left-wing ideologues more than I blame the Democratic leadership.

    Well, they’re louder, but I don’t know that anger-fueled disengagement really has more influence than simple apathy. How disengaged are they, anyway?

    But the pragmatists like me and most of the Democratic leadership have forgotten what it was like to be idealistic and how easily idealists can be turned off and essentially driven away by having their heroes fall flat.

    Yes, like children. Or anyone of any age when they’re forced up against the reality of what is rather than what they think should be. Happens to most of us throughout life, I believe, and often in the same damn areas over and over.

    Left-wing ideologues need to grow the hell up, but the pragmatists desperately need to reach out to them and, if not give them meat to chew on, at least explain why they had to bend on things that the ideologues were pushing for.

    I wonder if “explaining” would ever work, though? Let’s say Obama were to descend from Washington, sit down with Ian and Sam and “explain” in complete, infinitesimally nuanced detail exactly what compromises were made for what reasons on, say, the health care bill. Giving up this got that. Letting this in kept that out. Setting up a system set the stage for future thises and thats. Ian and Sam get it. They’re not stupid. They follow his reasoning, see the plan, understand the choices and the grand result? They’re still pissed off.

    Because neither one of them really sees compromise as anything other than failure. They’ll give you the inherent, potentially fatal flaws of the political system, admit that humans are less than perfect (in fact, they’ll trumpet that one from the rooftops), concede for form’s sake that progress happens slowly and painfully and then turn right around and say,”What the hell is wrong with you people? Can’t you see this is still not right? Why aren’t you fixing it completely and fixing it now and fixing it so it stays fixed?” You know, this:

    What you seem loath to accept is that our system is set up so that nearly always the path to “what we need” is through “what we can get.”

    And I wonder if that’s just how different people work; if it’s something to do with character type or life experience; if there somehow needs to be a dynamic tension between the idealists and the pragmatists (or whatever you want to call them), no matter how annoying they find each other.

    Oh, and the “anti-abortion language?” Brian is exactly right about why it happened; how it happened is even uglier and what a godawful decision that had to be to make. What would you have done? Was it worth it in the long run? No one knows – but at least we have a decider now who can comprehend the questions, let alone calculate the odds and think in terms of the endgame…

  14. Ann, you’re a wise lady– things indeed are more complcated than they seem so really harder to judge whether to give up on or keep the faith….I still believe in Obama’s ability to become a man under the pressure of his spunky wife. That’s how we all are, rubber spines until you ladies, inject us with courage.

    Obama came to presidency as a political pre-adolescent and let the Clintonistas run his presidency. As you saw, they drove him into the ground. But, thinking job’s done, they left him….god ridance, he may now become a man like his ex-Marine Revered Wright who fought for this nation and has more right than most to damn it for its killings by drone and shock&awe.

    Don’t worry about about Republicans. Teabaggers will eviserate them as isolationists and as take no prisoners on social welfare. I tell you, McConnell’s gonna get the rape of his life on Senate floor.

    We who pout in our tents mad at Obama for being a shadow president instead of a black president will suffer loss of the respect of our youths. They hold us responsible for America’s fecal state and expect us to at least help clean it up. I only fear that we’re weaker than our parents who went through world wars and 20th century protecting us. But MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE on all issues aloe will save us.

    The problem is that sites like HuffPost, as soon as successful are bought off by one message billionaires and they become censors of internet assets. I hope this site stays clean.

    Anyway, it’s too early to give up on Obama even though he makes you so mad playing as the White House door mat insisting: you have to step on me before you get in!

    • DE said something that I don’t know if I believe it’s true, but I really hope so. Obama has been accused of listening to ALL the wrong people so far, and I believe this is true (when I think of hope for the future, Rahm Emmanuel’s face is not the one that pops into my mind). Can Obama now take stock and conclude that the path he has been on isn’t the best for the country or his legacy? Might he conclude that he should compromise less and fight more, even if it means losing? My thinking is that people will rally around the guy who loses the righteous fight quicker than they will the guy who claims badly compromised victories.

      If so, the next six years might be very different from the last two. Yes, I’m still seeing the lay of the land in the way I have been for some time, and I don’t think I’m describing something that’s likely. But I’d damned sure be all for it. I’d love to see Barack Obama bringing the same passion to a progressive agenda that the teabaggers do to their freakbag dogma train agenda.

      I may be depressed, but put up a fight and see how fast I jump into the fray with you.

  15. The primary difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party is that the latter actively encourages its ideologues. It then has room to move in a more “moderate” direction while still achieving its goals. The Democratic Party spends a lot of time telling its ideologues to shut the fuck up, and so consistently argues/negotiates from a position of weakness.

    Other than that, i guess i don’t have anything else to say. It’s not like i’m falling out with the Democratic Party over this. I’ve never been registered, never donated, never wore a shirt, button or put a bumper sticker on my car. Nor did i ever plan on doing any of those things.

    It’s probably for the best, because if there’s one thing the last two years have taught me, it’s that i’m not good enough for the Democratic Party.

  16. The difference Lex is that Republican Party is like Communist Party where the guy above you sits right on your face and you must, like a snake, dislocate your jaw so you can swallow him whole to get into his slot. They all know they are mediocrities and cowards so they try to play “outside the [legal] box” before the next guy. It is a party of cynical corporatist cannibals. You can see it in the Young Republican viper types in colleges like puny Rove. I was in it a long time because I thought it was anti-Communist and for freedom. But it really is for cheap slave labor abroad to get rich. That’s why we’re where we are. I am devastated that most Democrat big shots are like that too. We may see the end of American idealism forever.

    Obama’s now afraid as he was when he dumped ex-Marine Reverend Wright who fought for his country, unlike most Republicans. Now he’s afraid to be labeled “dumb black president” so he’s trying STILL to go along to get along.

    Watch Obama now that the Clintonistas are leavig him for roadkill. Did you notice how Bill spoke so much for hopeless Democrat Congressional candidates. Unless Mrs. Obama stays by her man all night HIllary will come by and drink his blood so she can run as Democrat against Petraeus as Republican in 2012. The real issue is what WE “ain’t my kid going to war” fat ugly Americans are doing to our mom&dad volunteers now that there’s no draft. We prefer Petraeus incompetently wasting them, making for lots of orphans&widows at home, rather than accept defeat by utter incompetence. I cry for my adopted country of dirty old me-ists.