MAD AS HELL

Over at that other site, I read too many posts from frustrated, angry Democrats. Hey, I get it. I am frustrated and angry with my Party too—frustrated with Obama too. But what worries me tremendously is the repeated vow, “I am never going to vote for a Democrat again!” I don’t know that if push comes to shove they will really stay home or vote Third Party, but there is a good chance many will. I’ve considered it myself during my voting life.

What these people are trying to do is to send a message, and voting (or not) is the way they feel they can best do that. The message they (and I) want to send is: Stop compromising with Republicans! Behave like true Democrats! Stop moving to the Right! But here’s the deal—we send NO message by staying home. Sure, a few pundits will interpret it as a dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party, but that is really no message at all. It could easily be misinterpreted that voters feel we are moving too far left. We want them to understand clearly why we are dissatisfied.

In my mind, one way to do that is to vote for candidates who stand for the values we want to see reflected in legislation. Those candidates might be Democrats, Greens, Socialists or another iteration. Most likely, for those unhappy with the Dems, it will be a Third Party candidate. But we know where that can lead—2000 and The Shrub. So what to do? I’ve written, e-mailed, and called my representatives so many times, I imagine their staff will expect me to show up for Christmas dinner this year. I believe it may have made a slight impact, but who knows?

When you get right down to it, I am a Democrat, in agreement with what the Democratic Party stands for:

  • alignment with the plight of minorities and the poor.
  • that government has an obligation to provide essential services for citizens —Social Security, welfare, unemployment insurance and food stamps, e.g.
  • supporting the needs and rights of workers– minimum wage,  labor unions, family leaves of absence
  • universal health care, Medicaid and Medicare.
  • a woman’s right to choose

So I don’t need a Third Party as long as my Party stays true to its platform. And that’s the problem; too many haven’t. How do we make them?

We may need to look to the Reptilians to learn how to do that. Let’s face it: For a variety of reasons they’ve been successful at keeping their representatives firmly to the Right. I both hate them and envy them. Many conservatives (and I mean the regular type- not the crazies) stayed home in 2008 after George W. to our advantage, but many of them did not go gently into that good night. Nope. They’ve reared their racist, ignorant heads in the Teabagging Movement. Led by Fox, ClearChannel , Churches, and dozens of well-funded Reich-wing groups they have taken to the streets. Damn,they are organized! And what do we on the Left have? Not as much, but we have Rachel, Keith and Ed. We have MoveOn, and several really wonderful activists centered on health care reform. And I’m kinda wincing as I write this, but we maybe we need our version of Sarah Palin. (Ew.)

What is wrong with us?! Are we too reasonable? Are we too lazy? Are we too—well, too basically content? I know we are not by nature as scared of government as they are, but I know we are just as angry, aren’t we? Maybe their message is just much simpler and easier to rally around—No More Government!  My rallying cry would be—No More Corporate Control of Government and More Social Safety Nets! It just doesn’t have the same ring.

And while we on the Left and in the Center ridicule the efforts of Sarah, Rush and Glenn to purge their Party–not just because of their ideology, but because we know they can never win a general election with so narrow a Party– what we are advocating is actually the same thing. They want a more “pure” more right-wing Party and we want a more pure Democratic Party. We want to banish the Blue Dogs and the DNC. At least, I do.

Whenever I read the frightening number of posts from over yonder from frustrated, angry Dems, I want to tell them all this, but of course I can’t. Perhaps we can only point out how much worse the Reptilians are and what they would do if they got another chance. To which I get replies like, “I am tired of choosing between the lesser of two evils!” All I can tell them is that this is a false choice, that there are the evil Reptilians and the not-so-evil Democrats. But it’s hard to motivate people to vote for the not-so-bad.

(I am sorry this is so long. Is there a word length I should stick to? And thank you guys so much for providing this forum!!!)

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Imago
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Imago

Finally took advice from “the other site” and checked out planet pov, and what do my wondering eyes appear, all of the people I find interesting!

Chernynkaya, this is a great post.

And escribicat, I have found myself wondering about the age thing, too. I’m finding as I get older I’m more comfortable with nuance and uncertainty, am more aware that the world isn’t ever going to be a black and white place (and never was, even when I saw it that way).

I’ve worked in regional and state politics a bit and know how slowly things shift even on this much smaller scale. And we are coming back from so far off course, it is going to take a while.

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escribacat
Member

Welcome Imago.I’m very glad to see you over here! That’s a nice way to put it — “more comfortable with nuance and uncertainty.” That’s exactly right.

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kesmarn
Admin

Welcome, Imago. “The other site” is getting to be a royal pain, no? 😮

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Scheherazade
Member

Hello Imago. 🙂 I have missed you.

hugs2u

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Bernard Marx
Member

I find myself vacillating between three moods:

1) Telling myself to be patient and acknowledging the structural constraints to change.

2)Optimism that real change is happening, albeit in a tactical, deliberate and understated manner.

3) Outright disappointment.

And to be honest I don’t think I’ll be able to make up my mind which one holds sway until after Obama’s presidency. Having said that though I think the Obama presidency will undoubtedly be the most progressive in living memory and we should NOT forget this. The problem is that he raised hopes to an unrealistically high level.

Until there is reform of the politcal system, the Democrats definitely remain the best option. A system of proportional representation would change things though, but can’t see that on the horizon anytime soon.

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KQµårk 死神
Member

We all don’t like some things the Dems do and their willingness to compromise with conservatives but the vote on extending tax breaks and taxing hedge fund managers shows you the stark difference between the major parties. Most of the tax breaks go to home owners but even though Republicans love tax breaks they voted against the bill to protect the super rich hedge fund managers.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091210/ap_on_bi_ge/us_congress_taxes

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nellie
Member

You know KQ, fully 1/3 of the stimulus package went to tax cuts for 95% of Americans, and no one talks about that.

Our media is doing everything they can to make success look like failure.

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FrankenPC
Member

I’m pretty upset with “business as usual” politicians in general. But, voting for a third party to show how disgruntled I am would only hand over control to Satan (Republicans). So, like a dutiful dog, I’ll keep voting Democrat because I have no other choice. I feel like I’m trapped like a rat on a sinking ship.

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bito
Member

I,m sorry you feel that way. there are many things one can do. Like nellie says “work for your candidate in the primaries”. Become a precinct committee person.
It is your ship do what you can to help guide it.Grab bucket and start bailing.
I will guarantee you will feel rewarded and frustrated at the same time. ~smile~

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nellie
Member

Work on primary candidates. That’s the key. And campaign finance reform. (And IRV.)

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KQµårk 死神
Member

Excellent post but let’s look at the compromise in one significant way it’s much better than the House public option. Medicare rates anyone?

Letting people buy into Medicare at 55 is brilliant. In my opinion it will lead to Medicare being available for all faster than the House public option.

I’ve been out of the loop so I’ll have to read up on the details but in theory what is bad about getting the same healthcare options that federal employees get including a non-profit insurance plan? The best insurance I ever had was a company self pay plan where the company only paid the insurance company a fee for administering payments to providers but the company paid the providers. From what I’ve heard so far federal employees love their healthcare plans.

BTW wasn’t it a couple weeks ago that Huffy wrote a bunch of articles telling us how the public option didn’t really matter?

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KevenSeven
Member

Quark,

Also take some thought as to what the reconciliation process is likely to be to look like, assuming we understand the Senate bill and its differences from the House bill.

Can the PO go back in in reconciliation without risk of a filibuster?

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Kalima
Admin

This just caught my eye,

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AdLib
Admin

I agree with others here, I’ve seen it before during the election, the GOP Concern Trolls blubbering, “I won’t vote for Obama now!” just as they’re playing the game now by feigning that the’re frustrated Dems, “I won’t vote Dem now!”

In smaller proportion, there are the Baby Dems over there too, the ones who act like petulant little brats because they haven’t gotten everything they wanted exactly when and how they wanted.

“Here Baby Dem, I have a lovely health care reform bill for you…”

“WAAAH!!! I wanted it sooner! And I want it to look like it did on the commercial!!! And I want it made out of chocolate!!! WAAH!!!”

Look, I would oppose this bill if it had a mandate for all Americans to buy insurance but had no Public Option, Medicare Buy in, or some viable alternative to getting robbed by the insurance industry. Other than that, I remain flexible. I don’t expect we can get everything we want with the Blue Dog Poops in the Senate.

But whatever my POV on the bill, I would never imagine voting for the Repubs or helping them regain power by not voting for Dems. That is child-like thinking.

“I can’t get a Public Option? Then I hate you! I hate you! You’re not my best friend anymore! You’re a doo-doo head and I’m telling my Dad on you!”

WTF?

Again, I think the majority of these weenies are GOP concern trolls but for the cry-baby Dems who are threatening not to vote Dem if they don’t get everything they want, they should be sent to their room with no dessert…and no HuffPo for a month!!!

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bito
Member

My first national campaign was for JFK as a young pup, as K7 says “WHAAAAA! I still don’t have a pony!”

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escribacat
Member

LOL. Hilarious post, Adib. I’ve seen this term “GOP concern trolls” tossed around. Do you mean “phony disgruntled dems?” I don’t get where the word “concern” comes in.

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nellie
Member

They pretend to be “concerned” about how badly things are going. And really — all they want to do is bash.

Like any other troll. 😡

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KevenSeven
Member

Exactly so. One of my favorite terms.

I like to brush them off with:

“Thank you for your concern. Troll.”

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VegasBabe
Member

Mind if I borrow that?

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KevenSeven
Member

Anything for you, babe.

And I’m not wearing any pants.

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nellie
Member

People have a very short memory, don’t they?

In the last eight years, we invaded two countries, stole the wealth of the American people, tanked the economy, turned our backs on the environment, shredded our constitutional protections…

Need I post this reminder from HP:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/huffposts-the-bush-year_b_75722.html

For people who say they aren’t going to vote for Obama, I have one question:
For WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOM are you going to vote?

Someone with no chance to win? That’s a good way to throw away your power.

The GOP candidate? Are you kidding me? Look at the posters.

A spoiler who will send us back into hell? I hope you think more of your country than that.

And just to stand up for our president, here’s a brief list of some of the things this administration has accomplished over the past 10+ months:

Stem cell research
Wilderness protection = 1 million acres
Equal pay
DOMA and DADT on the docket in the congress
Health care — Real reform on its way
Economic recovery and growth
Ending the job drain
Ending torture
Closing Gitmo in the works
Regulating CO2
S-CHIP restored
Credit card holders’ Bill of Rights

Anyone who has already decided they won’t vote for Obama when he has THREE YEARS LEFT before re-election is not using the “little grey cells,” as Poirot would say.

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boomer1949
Member

One should vote one’s conscience and those that don’t not only betray themselves, but also their country.

99.9% of the reason we are where we are is not because of what President Obama has or has not accomplished in almost one year. The former administration left a pile of CRAP on the front steps of the White House, wiped its cowboy boots ALL over the Constitution, allowed those in the shadows to make decisions, and basically Screwed us, our country, and our reputation. Yet, those who are bound and determined to follow that path are doing it, not because it is the best for everyone in this country, but because of the ethnicity of the family now living in the White House. I’ve been around a very long time and have enough experience and common sense to call it what it is. Bigotry. Period.

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nellie
Member

From disappointed dems and progressives? I don’t think so. There may be a few people who expect this president to be more of a lackey because of his ethnicity, or expect him to be a radical because of his ethnicity… But I think what Cher is talking about is caused by something else.

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boomer1949
Member

PS — I’ve yet to see a POOPER SCOOPER big enough to clean up the mess. To quote our former President…

“…it’s his problem now…” What a joke and it only goes to prove he really didn’t know what he was doing…not a clue! That really made my blood pressure go off the charts, yet the doc wouldn’t change my meds.

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Pepe Lepew
Member

Is that Peter Finch in the photo?
Good post, Cher. I get so annoyed with the “I’ll never vote Democrat again” and “Obama sold us out” and “Obama is no better than Bush” Progressives. Of course, Obama is not Bush.

I think half of these folks are “concern trolls” and the other half strike me as being immature — at least politically immature.

Am I disappointed health care reform is nowhere near as strong as I wanted it be? Yes! I wanted single-payer. Am I worried that he’s making a big mistake in Afghanistan? Yes!

Did I believe that Obama could possibly fulfill all the promises of his campaign? No, that would have been impossible. He’s already done a lot of great things (SCHIP, gay rights, stem cell research, some form of health care reform, etc., etc.). If he can fulfill at least half of his campaign promises, he’ll go down as the greatest president ever. 😀

There is a HUGE gulf of difference between Obama and Republicans. Either people don’t get that, or they’re just purposely trying to sow discontent.

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boomer1949
Member

The negativity makes me want to TU all over the place. Drives me crazy.

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nellie
Member

Pepe, I wish I could say they’re all pretenders, but I have a good friend who is so upset right now because Obama isn’t following her EXACT agenda, she’s debating whether to campaign for him next time. And there are people like David Sarota and Glen Greenwald, genuine progressives, who are spouting this same meme.

To me, it’s unbelievable. I mean, not even a year out, a long to do list, a DIFFICULT to do list, mess everywhere to clean up, and this administration STILL manages to get things done.

I really don’t know what people expect.

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boomer1949
Member

nellie, this is a generation of “instant gratification.” They all want it yesterday, yet they conveniently forget how we got here and conveniently overlook the wrongs that were done.

If I had a say, all those guys would be dragged to the public square like Anne Boleyn. Of course Henry was slightly off his rocker, but I’ll take Jonathan Rhys Meyers any day.

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nellie
Member

I’d settle for a real investigation into 911. Where was NORAD? The GOP spent $50 million on investigating Whitewater over a period of 6 years. What did we spend on investigating 911? $12 mil for what, five minutes?

If there’s anything that I wish this administration would do that I KNOW they won’t, it’s investigate the past administration. Thank you, Gerald Ford, for setting that lousy precedent.

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boomer1949
Member

Nah, sometimes I think (God help me) it was all staged. Sorry. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but having done “spook work” in another life, I wouldn’t be surprised.

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Pepe Lepew
Member

Like I said, politically immature. I didn’t agree with everything Clinton did. Some of his deregulation decisions turned out to be disasters. But, he was still better than any Republican.

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KarateKid
Member

Pep, I wonder how many of those whiners are Republicans posing as frustrated Indies?

People like to play games with socks and create different personalities, I’ve seen this on both sides of the aisle. Some were people I trusted, and now they mock that they’ve been able to fool people. So, I take these things with a grain of salt. If someone wants to sit out 2010, let them. It’s not our job to convert anyone, to stop someone from doing what they’re going to do.

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Pepe Lepew
Member

Agreed.
Although I think some progressive are genuinely frustrated. I just want to pull my hair out and scream, “When was the last time you got EVERTHING you damanded from ANY politician?”

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boomer1949
Member

When Mom & Dad gave them a car for graduation?

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KevenSeven
Member

Cher,

I specifically enjoined you for exceeding the quality of your previous post, and here you have gone and screwed me.

Why would I bother to author anything here if this is the stratospheric level that the planet is achieving?

Yes, I am sick to death of people crying about not getting the pony they were not promised. I want to remind people of just what little the Clintons actually delivered. DADT, DOMA, HillaryCare.

Sure, peace and prosperity are all well and good. But the Clintons triangulated right into being Republican lite. I don’t think Obama is going to be WORSE.

I would like to see the president be a bit more combative, but I am not in the room, so I need to trust them.

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boomer1949
Member

KS–you’re much better than my pitiful post about Perpetuum Jazzile. On the other hand…take a listen. They are quite extraordinary.

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bito
Member

K7, Clinton was what he was. He didn’t become Repub. lite he was DLC from the campaigns very beginning.

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KevenSeven
Member

DLC = Repug Lite.

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escribacat
Member

Another excellent post, Cher. I was on the “Disappointed Dem” thread last night about the new senate health care bill. The article clearly said that Jay Rockefeller was happy with it and that there were no details yet — but 85% of the posts were along the lines you mention: “We are suckers! They have betrayed us! Never vote for another dem! No more contributions! They are liars! Obama is a phony!” Ad nauseum.

I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve made over there, trying to argue that we can’t expect to have exactly everything we want, that much of the sluggishness of reform is because of the nature of the beast and because of the still-considerable power of the rightwing in this country. I had one progressive poster mock me in very crude terms, asking if I was “still afraid of Republicans.” Well, the answer is YES! Look at 2000 – 2008! I never thought a numbskull like Bush could get elected but he did. And he left a lot of damage behind.

I feel a bit less generous towards those people than you do at this point. I am tired of their whining. It’s obvious that the majority of them are only paying half-assed attention to the process, and they are being manipulated by HP’s slanted and incendiary headlines. One poster yesterday was complaining that he was sick of the CBO checks. Gawd.

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boomer1949
Member

ECAt,

I’m 60 and have been on this planet (literally) for a very long time.

I’ve raised 2 kids and have 3 grand kids. I beat myself up for years because I thought I’d failed my girls. Yet, I see character, love of life, ethics, compassion, and the ability to speak up like their loud-mouthed mom that makes me proud. They see unfairness and inequity; they’ve never been “its all about me.” Not saying they were or are perfect, but at least they throw their trash away at Mickey D’s and rehang the clothes they’ve tried on at Macy’s.

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