Saturday, February 12, 2005

It's My Party Too

A lot of us here along the Blogway have been discussing feeling abandoned by the Democratic Party. We realize, unlike the party, that having John Kerry as our candidate was a huge mistake (not my own -- I didn't vote for him in the primary!). But it doesn't seem like the Dems are learning anything from their loss. If they're going to let someone like Howard Dean run the DNC, it leaves many of us with very little hope that they'll move back towards the center.

Apparently, it isn't just the Dems who are facing an inter-party struggle. There is a faction of the Republican Party that wants to abandon the agenda of the far right and bring things back to the center. Leading the charge is former New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman -- with her new endeavor, It's My Part Too. If the Dems don't do something similar, I'm afraid I'm going to end up finding more in common with this new movement than I do with the party I've been registered with since I became old enough to vote.


At 8:24 PM, Blogger American On Line said...

I do not get this.

The dems are not the party's voters: the senators, congresspeople, and others, they did not pick Kerry.

The outside the beltway dems picked Dean. Not DC insiders.

Kerry was picked by the people across the nation.

Later on 55,000,000 of them voted for Kerry.

3.7 million more, a small number compared to other incumbents - voted for Bush.

Why do you blame the other elected officials for not learning from their loss? It was not their loss.

As to Dean: He is the DNC organizer, not the issue/policy maker. You will not hear much from him in regard to daily issues just like you did not from Ron Brown or Terry.

His job is to raise money and give a voice to the millions that vote for the party nominated. In this capacity I have no doubt he will do that.

At 8:26 PM, Blogger American On Line said...

"I'll pretty much be living in red states in the South and West for quite a while," Dean told reporters. "The way to get people not to be skeptical about you is to show up and say what you think."

The normally outspoken Dean appeared to be trying to shift his role from flamboyant presidential candidate to cautious party chairman.

"The proper place for the day-to-day battles is Congress," Dean said in response to a question about his opposition to the war in Iraq. "My views are well known, but most of the policy pronouncements will be coming from the leaders in Congress and not from me."

At 10:08 AM, Blogger Gindy said...

"But it doesn't seem like the Dems are learning anything from their loss."

That's the truth. Obviously both parties are controlled by special interest and selfish intentions. But, the Democrat elite seem to be taking it to a new level. It seems like they want to go back to the Jimmy Carter days when they talk about moving left. I think that one could say that administration wasn't too successful.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Esther said...

60% of the people who voted for John Kerry didn't vote for him but rather against Bush. I don't know anyone actually who voted for him. They all (lots) voted against Bush.

I live in CA. By the time the primary got to me, there wasn't anyone left I felt good about. We haven't had an open convention in decades. Everything is decided by New Hampshire/Iowa -- they have a stranglehold on our political system.

I blame the democratic party because of what i saw from everyone at the convention and what i've heard post-election. Those other officials go on the political talk shows and say what they feel is the reason they lost so that's why I feel I can say they don't get it -- at least in my opinion. I don't know what doesn't make sense to you about that.

I accept your comment about Dean being organizer rather than issue/policy maker. that's fair. But I think his talking about "red state/blue state" shows he doesn't get it. There is no such thing. Every state had plenty of people who voted for both. It is so devisive to use those terms -- I'm a believer in the purple country concept. Also, his saying he hates all republicans wasn't exactly endearing.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger American On Line said...

60% of the people who voted for John Kerry didn't vote for him but rather against Bush. I don't know anyone actually who voted for him. They all (lots) voted against Bush.The good news is that most people that I know that voted for Bush, did so as their vote against Kerry, and not for Bush. That is crystal clear from the fact Bush won by the smallest popular vote of any incumbent president since Wilson in 1916.

Bush won, yes, we all know that, but not much can be said about how either party did at the top.

Seems compelling that Bush - a war time president who owned the WH for 4 years, and successfully painted Kerry the most liberal man in the world, a flip flopper, anti-war, anti-veteran, false hero and a false patriot, elitist, intellectual, do nothing senator, who was only known to all of America for 5 months - should have won by the kind of margins that Eisenhower (9 million) Nixon (17 million) and Reagan (16.5 million) and Clinton (6 million +) got.

I am not all that sure that the election of 2004 was anything more than - in most races - a vote for those that would help Bush defend the country and a comfort zone with keeping things status quo.

The polls may have been off, but they were within most margins of error. Those same polls do not show overwhelming support for republicans.

If, as you say Esther, the Kerry vote was anybody but Bush, was it (a) because of what Bush stands for, (b) that Bush would hurt the country with his policies,
(c) that Bush was killing our trade deficits, debt, budget deficits,
(d) you fill in the blanks: _____________________________

In a country with more than 113,000,000 voters, and more than 300,000,000 with opinions, no party will command the political loyalty of all Americans. That is what makes this country so viable and great.

But the sands shift quickly with the right candidate.

From a centrist Carter, we got a Conservative Reagan, back to a centrist Bush, to a centrist Clinton, to a conservative Bush, and the next time?

How about a centrist from....either party?

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Esther said...

"From a centrist Carter"

Carter a centrist? Are you joking? He was to the left of McGovern. A guy who praises Castro and Chavez is someone you see as a centrist?

Anyway, you spent your whole response to me talking about Bush. I didn't write this to promote Bush on any level. My concern is what's happening to the democratic party and how I feel like I'm not welcome in it anymore because everything they are spouting these days is out of line with the way i'm feeling. So if votes for Bush were against Kerry, that simply supports my point.

At 12:17 PM, Blogger American On Line said...

My apologies Esther, I gather I missed your point earlier. There are just too many points under consderation for me to address properly.

The important point you make - from what I gleaned - is that your party made a big mistake by choosing Dean, that the Dems do not seem to be learning anything from their Kerry loss, that if they're going to let someone like Howard Dean run the DNC, it leaves you with very little hope that they'll move back towards the center.

In a later comment, I gathered that your center, and what 'I' view as the dems center, are much different, given that you think Carter was to the left of McGovern; this is an observation we will not agree on, as in my opinion this country has never elected a president from the left (unless one views every democrat as a member of the left, as many do). But that's politics and means little !

My point about Bush was not worth making in this context, so I shall not go there again.

In the end, it is fair to say that except for Israel, I do not truly know what your core beliefs and values are, so I cannot grasp what it is your party once reflected as to your beliefs and convictions, and where your party may have departed from them.

To the extent that I tried to do so without that knowledge, it was a mistake. Certinaly not my last.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Tom Carter said...

Esther, I'll save some bandwidth by just saying, "Ditto!" I feel just like you do.

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Thanks Tom.

Marty, I appreciate your words. We'll agree to disagree about Carter. I guess the best way for me to explain what I feel the dems have lost can be found in a quote from JFK:

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

I don't feel the Dems feel this way anymore -- unless the president has a "D" after his name. Do you think people would be so against this war if Clinton were the one sending the troops? I can't help but wonder if that's true and if it is, that leaves me feeling kind of sick to my stomach.

At 1:40 PM, Blogger American On Line said...

Esther asked, Do you think people would be so against this war if Clinton were the one sending the troops? The only analogy is Kosovo: Back then substantial minorities agreed that "Kosovo is a European problem which Europe should be able to handle without American troops" (45% agreed, 52% disagreed) and that "it is not worth risking American lives to bring peace to Kosovo" (41% agree, 53% disagree"). Those who opposed included many Republicans. I I am sure that many criticize Clinton's going, his handling of it, and all that. Whenever action is preemptive and not in response to an imminent threat, voices of opposition make sense.

Another action Clinton took was to try and kill Laden with missiles. Back then everyone on the other side of the aisle criticized him, saying that he should take hard military action. Yet, when they took over in 2000, what did they do to take action against Laden? Nothing. The Laden known threat was placed on the back burner by NSA, DOJ, and Pentagon, as was Clarke's 13 page memo, and the rest of the known threats hidden from us that keep leaking out.

I dare say that if 9/11 happended on Clinton's watch with the known facts that Bush had, Clinton would have been lynched.

Consider how quickly we Americans change our mind: Poll, released Thursday, March 2, 1999)'

Despite the interventionist sentiment driving the two largest U.S. political parties and their presidential candidates, it seems a substantial majority of Americans favor a libertarian-style U.S. foreign policy of non-intervention. A majority even oppose military intervention in defense of countries with which the U.S. has defense treaties, including South Korea, Taiwan, and Israel.

That's the startling results of a poll conducted by in late February. Zogby - one of the most respected polling organizations in the country -- asked 1,155 Americans: "If attacked by another country, should the U.S. help defend militarily, even though it could cost American soldiers their lives, . . ." and then listed these nations/political entities: Kosovo, Israel, Taiwan, South Korea and Kuwait.

*Remarkably, in every case, a significant majority of respondents opposed using the U.S. military to intervene in conflicts in these places.* And opposition to military intervention cut through party lines. A majority of self-identified Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all opposed intervention in every case asked. The poll had a statistical margin of error +/- 3%.

Here are the percentages supporting or opposing U.S. intervention, broken down by the country/political entity in question:
Taiwan: Yes - 31%; No - 69%.
Israel: Yes - 41%; No - 59%.
Kuwait: Yes - 29%; No - 71%.
South Korea: Yes - 28%; No - 72%.
Kosovo: Yes - 26%; No - 74%.


As an aside, the only democrat in the 20th century not to take us to war was Jimmy Carter. Democrats do war just fine.

At 2:07 PM, Blogger American On Line said...

Let me add this: I think substantial numbers of people do not favor aggressive war unless they believe they are threatened imminently or are attacked.

Back in March 2003, after 9/11. the country felt threatened and nerves were raw; they were led to believe that Iraq had WMD in some form that were an imminent threat to us. The country as a whole, dems, included, believed it as well.

Thus, there was broad support, even though there was a substantial number in dissent.

Yet, it soon became clear that the many reasons for going there were false. Many people felt duped. Keep in mind that if 30% oppose, and 10% more felt duped, that is around 80,000,000 unhappy people (many not lefties), and that many people can make a lot of noise.

One can call the dissenters lefties for so long before it is clear that there are a lot more than lefties opposed.

Further, the millions of Americans who oppose have to deal with accusations that they do not care if they hurt the troops. In other words, if politicians get us into a bad war, once we are there, we cannot complain since it hurts the troops. Which means that we are stuck with bad policy and to question is treason? If it is so, this country is in deep crap.

I have little doubt Esther that in 2003, if Bush said we are going to war in Iraq to bring democracy there, instead of a WMD mission and imminent threat to us, he never would have gotten a war resolution.

At 5:21 PM, Blogger Gindy said...

"From a centrist Carter"

Marty, I can't think of anyone who was more to the left in my lifetime. I definetly don't think Clinton was even close to Carter in terms of degree to the left.


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