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11 November 2006

Comments

Jim

You know, if Harold Ford leads the Democratic Party, the DLC coup begun in Carter time will be complete.

Carville says:

“How much more money do you think we could raise? Just think of the difference it could make in one day.”

Yeah, do you know how many people would abandon the party for good and never give it another dime or hour of labor if Republican Ford took over?

Actually, this whole thing might be a good. It might finally give birth to a viable third party.

A. Ronald

1. Ralph Nader and his viable third party sure helped the Democrats win in 2000.

2. The only Democratic presidential victories we've had post-Carter was thanks to the DLC. Gore's '00 almost-win was also from the DLC ... no thanks to Ralph Nader and other defeat-o-crats.

3. What's the use in having Howard Dean running the DNC ... just because he supports gay marriage? NEWS FLASH: Marriage is a state decision and most states do not allow gay marriages. The votes are not there on the state and local levels.

4. Rudy Giuliani is pro-gay and pro-choice. Republicans love him and I wouldn't be surprised he mounted a serious bid for the White House. The RNC might even field a moderate like him to win back the center.

Carl

This is too rich. Dean and Feingold are too far to the left for most Americans and could never win the White House. Meanwhile, progressives hate Hillary, Obama and Ford. I suppose the Democrats will just have to nominate another white man to lead us into the 21st century.

And that's why the GOP was able to coalesce around dumb George W. and get him elected twice. They'd rather win and have half a loaf than none at all.

Erich H

If you want to start a third party it should be grassroots and begin on the local level, like school boards and city councils, not at the national level. You can't have a "viable third party" without a constituency.

I diagree with some points Rod makes but he does have a very good one---if gay marriage is illegal in most states, and the voters have spoken, why are we using that as a litmus test for national candidates?

jared

what has ford done to get the disdain of gays? he says what the majority seem to say and feel, and its the majorty that gets people elected, and thats what a politican wants, get elected. in my state, arizona, which is the only state to not pass one of these silly amendments, its already in the state constitution who can get married, som many fekt what was the need to even put it on the ballot other than to get out the "faithful."

i don't see why this one issue should be the one to decide who can run for any office, the american public is far too backwards to get it, gays don't harm anyone. and i would rather see anyone in office than the right wing GOP any day, so, save the gay marrige until the climate is better. and with the supreme court tilting to the right every day, why give them more leverage with another appointment by bush?there are far more pressing issues IMO than ones stance on gay marriage. because, this country isn't going to elect hillary clinton, no matter how much she seems to think they will, you need someone in the center to get rid of the gop.

ModFab

Sorry, but I've got to disagree with you here, Rod. There's no way that Harold Ford is a better option that Howard Dean...both come with baggage, and only one of them is truly progressive. I like Ford, and wanted him to win, but I am reluctant to have someone as conservative as him running the Democratic party. Not now, after Dean has shown some traction.

You can say that gays should just swallow hard and "grow up", but if we continue to support people who hate us at the EXPENSE of those who don't...well, we don't deserve a place at the table.

Rod McCullom

Does Harold Ford "hate us"? He represents a Southern state in the Bible-belt. He said he was against gay marriage--par for the course in the majority of the country--not that he hated gays.

But Mod Fab, you make some good points, esp. about giving support to those who don't support us. I didn't say Dean should go--but, party leaders usually serve just one or two terms. (Ask Ken Mehlman!) But they have to respond to the dynamic. Does the DNC chief have to be "truly progressive?" They historically have never been "true progressives", usually party insiders or hacks. But the key is they know how to help the party win elections. And this '06 election was not a Howard Dean startegy--it was Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emanuel.

If we learned anything from this election, wasn't it that the GOP strategy of pandering to the extreme right did not work? That's also why the Dems lost in the 80s--appealing to the far left. Why not meet somewhere in the middle?

Cadence

Ford has shown that his stance is whatever's popular, which is probably why he lost Tuesday. His convictions change with the wind, and a party lead by him, would be too similar to what the GOP has had for the past few years. I wouldn't go as far as calling him a Reublican, but if he has to get in bed with religious zealots in order to make get money, he will.

Cadence

A. Ronald, marriage isn't a state decision, it's a civil rights decision. That's why this whole thing of people voting on the rights of others doesn't make any sense. Do you think if there was a vote asking the majority of Americans if Black people should have the right to vote that it would have passed.

Secondly, I think Clinton was elected without the DNC's help. The democrats seemed to believe that Bush would be elected to another term, and that's why many of the popular candidates, like Sam Fowler, didn't run. The DNC really didn't think Clinton had a chance to win, but he got in by his personality, and by dong things, such as the Arsenio Hall Show and MTV, that other politicians felt were beneath them.

A. Ronald

Cadence, for most years marriage was never considered a civil right. That is a new argument. But you answered your own question: A majority of the states and a majority of the Congress are not supporting the right of gays to get married. So how can we find a president to go against those supermajorities? It won't happen now, just like Eisenhower and Kennedy wouldn't go out on a limb for civil rights, only Johnson many years later.

Rod has a good point. Marriage has to be fought state by state and in the long run. But you're right about Clinton and the DNC. Rod also referred to the DLC ... the Democratic Leadership Council a group of centrist governors and congressman ... which was chaired by Bill Clinton.

Jim

I would love to know how the Democrats lost anything in the ’80s by appealing to the “far left.” Who or what on earth are you talking about?

The Democrats, ever since Clinton et al started the DLC, have tried to win elections by proving to the world that they are as devoid of values as the Republicans. The only Democratic president we have had since 1980 passed three major pieces of legislation: the welfare reform bill, the new criminal code, and NAFTA. Every one of these bills hurt middles class and poor people, and people of color disproportionately.

In the meantime, through their lack of values and spine, the Democrats gladly let the Republicans define the limits of debate, so now we have right wing extremists representing the “conservative” position on TV, and snakes like James Carville representing the Democratic alternative. It was not always like this.

If MLK were alive today, he would be doubled over with nausea. And he would have either forced the Democrats to change, or abandoned them entirely.

Rod McCullom

Jim, MLK would probably "double over in nausea" at ...

The disproprtionate statistics on black on black crime, homicides, HIV infection (and lack of action by black clergyman and politicians), poverty, welfare, single family households, teen pregnancy, domestic violence, high school drop out rates, and low voter turn out within the black community. Judging from your Hawaii IP address, I'm not sure if these are phenomenon you have actually seen, experienced or had to live with. They do affect "people of color disproportionately" but are not major problems on your island. Something tells me the good Rev. Dr. King would be more concerned about those issues and less concerned with political infighting.

Jim

Rod,

Having lived for many years in New Orleans (including the fabled Lower Ninth Ward) and inner Atlanta and inner DC, yes, I think I have some familiarity with these phenomena.

And, JFYI, the west side of O‘ahu, the island where I live, has literally thousands of homeless people living on the beach, and nearly all of them are people of color. Every one of the problems you mentioned is rife here, if you know where to look. Perhaps these are not phenomena the average tourist is familiar with from the balcony of his Waikiki hotel room.

Mad Professah

Sorry, Rod, but I have to disagree with your implication that Harold Ford, Jr. would do a better job of running the DNC than Howard Dean. I also challenge the meme that Rahm Emmanuel and Chuck Schumer deserve the lion's share of credit for the Democratic take over of Congress.

The 50-state strategy IS the right strategy to win in 2008 and BEYOND.

James Carville is an ass.

Howard Dean WILL be DNC chair for the next two years.

*snark*I wonder if the next RNC chair will be gay, too? *snark*

Rod McCullom

Touché.
It was the Waikiki Beach Marriott and the service was horrible. Except for the Raphael, one of the bellboys ... Never mind.

The party chairman is not one of my priorities. Historically, it's never been a high-profile position with the Democrats and usually was a fixer and/or fundraiser, like Bob Strauss, Charles Manatt, Paul Kirk, or, most recently, Ron Brown. But since Howard Dean's ascension has invigorated the netroots and many gays, it may be worth keeping him at the top than risk a alienating his constituency and encouraging apathy and a revolt. That would be yet another sad example of our party self-destructing and handing a victory to the other side.

On the same token, as Mad suggested, it's important to go forward with the 50 State strategy and make major inroads in the South and West. But we need some new leadership and faces from the red states to do help us get there. Southerners and westerners are not comfortable with people perceived as outsiders. How do we resolve this?

I'm perfectly willing to compromise on strategy, tactics and personalities. That's what politics is ... the art of compromise. But hopefully we all share the same goal: A Democratic victory in '08.

(BTW, sources say Florida's new governor, Charlie Crist, is meeting with Karl Rove to develop a short list of candidates to chair the RNC. Between the two of the two of those guys, no skeletons in their closets!!!)

Queer Texan

Don't start singing the praises of the DLC just yet. The only thing they managed to do was get Clinton re-elected. Their brilliant ideas such as cloning Republican economic policies (such as signing the NAFTA bill that sold US manufacturing jobs to Mexico and China) did a wonderful job of telling the American middle class that the people's party doesn't stand for them anymore.

Within two years of that nonsense, we completely lost Congress. The twelve-year loss of Congress after controlling it since the Great Depression? Thank William Jefferson Clinton and the DLC.

Please, oh please give me another reason to vote third party! Keep moving this party to the right, and I'll join the friggin' green party or whatever. My Democratic votes in 2002, 2004, and 2006 weren't because I felt the Dems represented me -- it was because I absolutely hate George Bush.

I have a personal policy of never voting Republican. That's why I voted for Nader. No apologies.

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