5 Things The Democratic Party Must Change To Win Elections Again

denialismI’m not going to mince any words or sugarcoat the message today – the midterm elections sucked. They weren’t bad, disappointing, or sad – they were absolutely horrific, and it’s only going to get worse unless progressives and the Democratic Party do something fast. It wasn’t that the Republicans had a great message, it’s that the left didn’t have a message and people just didn’t show up. It wasn’t a victory for GOP ideas, it was a forfeit by Democrats.


For some reason, the younger generation of voters didn’t turn out to vote, and I think a lot of it had to do with apathy. There certainly were good candidates on the ballot, and while New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley referred to this loss as a “red tide,” he’s wrong. While I’m an independent, I tend to vote for Democrats, sometimes grudgingly, and pretending that this cycle was a fluke win for the GOP is wrong – and dangerous for Democrats.

If the Democratic Party wants to change this pattern of losing and making excuses, they’re going to have to make some drastic changes very quickly. Here are my five suggestions that party officials should implement as quickly as possible.

5. Go back to the “50-state strategy” that was very successful in 2006 and in 2008. All too often, ideological Democrats tend to write off conservative states like Louisiana and don’t bother spending any time or resources on candidates in red districts, especially if they’re centrists or even moderately conservative. At the same time, they’re also going to have to appeal to independent voters in those districts instead of pretending everyone who lives in Alabama or Mississippi are a bunch of racist, redneck Teabaggers.

4. Stop playing the race card: I’m one of the most anti-racist people you’ll ever meet and I’m sick of someone playing the race card every time Republicans criticize President Obama or don’t support something that he does. Are some Republicans racists? Absolutely, but stop blaming every measure of opposition on race. Most Republican politicians and pundits are opposing him because he’s a Democrat. Remember what they did to President Clinton and the lies they made up about him and Hillary that still continue to this very day? Republicans are also more than happy to welcome blacks into their ranks like Dr. Ben Carson, who are fluent in the language of political derp and making Nazi comparisons. Yes, minorities are just as capable of selling out their own people and saying stupid stuff for a buck – so stop with the race card thing. It’s getting really, really old.

3. Enough with the Koch Brothers scare tactics: Like it or not, money in politics has been around since the beginning. This is an unfortunate part of the political process, but to pretend that the only big spenders in politics are Charles and David Koch is disingenuous and hypocritical. Look at this Super PAC list of receipts and expenditures for this election cycle, and you’ll see a lot of the money comes from liberal groups. Also, despite some well-circulated blog stories that even made an appearance on DailyKos, they don’t have a Nazi past. While their influence in politics has certainly been harmful and they’ve poured funds into supporting candidates that don’t have America’s best interests at heart, lies and half-truths don’t help the cause. Deal in facts, not scare mongering or the latest nontroversy involving political celebrities like the Quitta From Wasilla that don’t matter. That’s Fox News territory and we don’t need to stoop to that level.


2. Stop the elitism: As a white male who lives in the South and owns guns, I don’t feel like I belong to that party and haven’t been registered with them in 4 years. More and more it feels like unless you’re a New York or California true blue, ideologically pure liberal, you’re really not welcome. That’s an especially big turn off to white, blue-collar voters who may not like Republican policies, but feel like Democrats look down on them as poor and uneducated rednecks who need to have their guns taken away. Stop talking about how horrible Republicans are all the time and start telling them what you can do to make their lives better instead of just saying that you’re better than the Republicans, and really little else.

1. Turn out the youth vote again: Young voters turned out in 2008 like never before, and gave President Obama a landslide victory. Then in 2010 and afterwards, they didn’t really bother. These are voters that the Democratic Party is going to have to reach once again, or let an ever-shrinking older Republican population keep deciding elections. These younger voters are turned off by a constant bombardment of distractions and the message from people like Russell Brand (and other celebrity figures that have inserted themselves into politics) that voting doesn’t matter or that it’s a waste of time. There’s an effort out there to convince the public to remain apathetic and to tell them that both parties are the same, and if Democrats don’t push back against that hard, they’re not going to get people to turn out.

Of course, I’m just a white guy who owns guns, drives a pickup truck and lives in the South. I’m sure that the party elite may not care what I have to say, but these suggestions would go a long way into expanding the voter base and getting people to care enough to show up on Election Day. Or they can just keep going the way they are now and let Republicans control all but the most liberal districts. It’s up to them.

Do you agree with this list? Stop by my Facebook page and let me know what you think.



Comments

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  • Laurie W-J-N

    I think you missed one valuable point about the democratic strategy – ALL democrats need to stop running away from and apologizing for a very successful president. Just because TV ads make even the mere mention of the President’s name a significant evil to be associated with – that doesn’t make it true. I didn’t hear a single democrat actually use facts and talk about what the President had done right to help get this economy back on track after failed Republican policies. Yes, there is a general feeling of disgust out there about the negative ads and the over reliance of sound bites – but where was the push back from Democrats. Why didn’t democrats show the failed actions and policies of Congress as a counter to the Obama ‘threat’. I think we would all have been blown away by a democrat who said I am proud of our president and proud to be associated with him and here’s why…maybe this actual positive approach could have gotten out the younger vote, who simply turned away from the fear mongering and vicious attacks that were overwhelming the airways. Democrats need to stand and fight, but what most of them did was turn tail and run away, and with a strategy like that – they will never win.

    • thomasbone63

      I totally agree with you. Instead of running away from the President, the Democrats should have embraced him. They did not lose the election, they simply just gave it away.

      • lurch394

        Notice who did embrace him: Gary Peters, the new junior Senator from Michigan.

      • Cheryl Ankney Gippert

        (Michigander here) Notice too that the incumbent Governor still resides as Land Lord. He should have been put out to pasture. And, for the record, yes I voted. I always since I was old enough to vote, vote for Democrats. Speaking of running away from the President, It’s a shame that all those Senate seats and Governor positions were elected or re-elected by Democrats who didn’t vote( majority of which were the younger voters) and who threw the baby out with the bath water. Mr. President, keep that veto pen handy.

      • fbear0143

        I did not vote this time, but for good reason. I am an expat who is required to vote in the last state of residence, which for me was Missouri. Since this year neither the governor nor any senator was up for reelection and my old congressional district and all local offices are Democrat strongholds, my vote would have really meant nothing. But the next time, I will be first to request an absentee ballot, if the MO legislature has not made it more difficult for expats to vote. If I were in the military, no problem, but most expats vote dem because we mostly moved to escape the conservative oppression. Missouri, as a whole, is like that.

      • strayaway

        Notice that of the candidates Obama stumped for, 11 won, 13 lost, Senator Landrieu is expected to lose her runoff, and the Gov. of Colorado is still locked in a tight count. 33% of voters said they voted against Obama and 20% said they voted in part to show support of the President. (CBS numbers)

      • Richard Rabinowitz

        Maybe that was the point. Blow an election, and now you have opponents to blame when things go wrong. If you don’t, then the blame turns on you.

      • Jim Bean

        Anyone not running away from Obama at this point is lost in a time warp.

      • Ellen H.

        Oh yes, the stock market is back up and unemployment is down. People that have never had health insurance before have it now. No one can be turned away because of a “pre-existing” condition. Horrible.

      • Jim Bean

        Stock market is up because Obama, via QE, has been funneling tax dollars (nearly a trillion) to the wealthy class to create the illusion of an improving economy. The middle and lower classes are worse off than ever.

        Unemployment is down because people have stopped trying to find work. Workforce participation is at a 40 year low. Part-time employment is at an all time high.

        The non-Medicaid folks who now have health insurance still can’t afford health care because the deductibles and co-pays are beyond their ability to pay out of pocket.

        Yeah. Its pretty horrible.

      • Ellen H.

        Yeah, you just keep posting those fox talking points.

      • Jim Bean

        You think I should be relying upon the organizations that campaigned for Obama to relentlessly report on his shortcomings? Is that what you do?

      • Ellen H.

        I don’t watch any of the “news” channels.

      • Andy Kinnard

        Obama isn’t behind QE; that’s the Fed, and the POTUS doesn’t control it…we should nationalize that bank IMHO.

        Most of the rest is technically correct although U1-U6 are ALL down; so, unemployment being down is NOT due just to people dropping out of the workforce.

        Copays and deductibles are part of the insurance contract and should be onerous ONLY when the insured chooses the least of the Bronze plans. This is not a function of Obamacare but of a for-profit healthcare system.

        It’s still a pretty miserable economy for most people, but not for the reasons you advance.

      • thomasbone63

        Jim Bean, you are an idiot, no further conversation is necessary.

      • Jim Bean

        There are only a handful of non-idiots left in the nation. You should regard yourself as. . . well . . . . . peculiar, I suppose, to be among them.

    • Ignatz

      Yep. Running away from the President made it seem like they were admitting to failure. Why would you vote for somebody who thinks his party’s ideas are bad ones?

    • Taylor

      I agree with you (and I’m a registered Republican). I haven’t agreed with everything the President has done…but overall I’m quite happy with him…and I voted grudgingly for him in 2008. The fact is his single, most unpopular policy…Obamacare…is becoming quite popular all over the country…and the Dems look foolish to be running from him.

      • PAC

        True. You even got the feeling that these Dems, if re-elected, would roll back their own achievement with the ACA. So stupid. President Obama did not lose this election – the cowardly Dems did.

      • Avatar

        I always hoped to see Republican lean voter to talk like that. It give me the hope for unity.

      • Grand_Old_Partier

        LMAO!!! You are not a Republican but you are delusional if you believe that Obamacare is becoming popular.

      • Wendy Robertson

        Ask ANY American citizen who now can have health care when before they were denied for stupid reasons. Well, stupid if you’re the insurance companies who want to limit their liabilities. I know some who take great offense at anyone who wants the ACA to go away, because they know they would have died without it.

      • Jim Bean

        WHOA! Any American might now be able to have health *insurance.* But just because they can have insurance does not mean they can get health *care.* The deductibles and copays on the ‘affordable’ plans are so high those that have them cannot afford to use them. Ask anyone who has it.

      • fischy

        The real answer is — and has always been — to get rid of third-party health insurance. The problem has always been that insurance is great…for people who can get it easily and don’t really need a lot of care. The goal should be access to health care and not just health insurance, most especially when it’s needed. The biggest problem in a public system is rate-setting, but the private sector isn’t doing a good job of it, so going to a public system can’t be any worse. This is understood in most countries.

      • Andy Kinnard

        The interesting thing is that BOTH Jim and fischy are complaining about lack of access to actual healtcare (not necessarily health insurance). The difference is that only ONE of them has a plan in mind to bridge the gap between where we are and a working healthcare system that covers everyone.

      • Grand_Old_Partier

        Cry me a river, deluded one. My premiums have more than doubled and my deductibles have tripled because people didn’t properly plan for future needs.

        This law is a socialist boondoggle and will be struck down by the SCOTUS soon. Last weeks’ GOP wave spoke loud and clear that people want their neighbors to take personal responsibility instead of relying on Big Government’s confiscatory proclivities to rob from the producers and give to the idiots.

      • strayaway

        The (un)ACA isn’t a socialist boondoggle. It’s a corporatist boondoggle.

      • Charles Vincent

        This aught to make you chuckle.

        https://www DOT youtube DOT com/watch?v=G790p0LcgbI

      • strayaway

        Not laugh so much as agree.

        To anyone who hasn’t opened this, it’s Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber bragging about deceiving the American people, who he thinks are stupid.

      • differenttake

        You are not stupid, so get a better argument. Personal responsibility means no doctor or hospital anywhere would have to treat you unless you could pay cash or prove insurance. I haven’t ever heard of anyone with political aspirations calling for this. Be careful what you wish for.

      • Cherschill

        Do you have a state exchange? You can’t get subsidies if you don’t. So insurance is a lot more expensive.

      • Grand_Old_Partier

        I live in one of the thirty-something states that do not have a state exchange. And my health insurance is group plan through my employer.

      • Andy Kinnard

        If you’re getting employer-based group plan insurance, then the ACA isn’t really impacting your premiums. If these increases are dramatically higher than prior years, then I’d offer that your prior plan was dramatically deficient in some way you’re not offering here. Your experiences simply don’t match those of the aggregate US population (or, likely, that of your own state’s citizens). I always here ACA detractors make these claims, but I’ve yet to see even ONE legitimate costing study that reflected what they claim. Either they are ALL, every single one, dramatic statistical outliers, or they are lying.

      • tach1

        Of the two small business owners that I know personally who provide health insurance to their employees, one said their premiums increased 35% year over year and one said they increased 53% year over year. Both were bitter and brought up the subject unbidden.

      • Andy Kinnard

        Those are very typical year over year increases going back a decade or more. That, base rates for services, is what’s killing us all.

      • tach1

        I agree that the cost of healthc care is the real problem, but I don’t think it’s possible to increase 50 percent every year.

      • Jim Bean

        Only 36% are happy with the current state of our healthcare arrangement. (Rasmussen/Sept). You’ve been hornswoggled.

    • John Mark DiMichele

      You are so correct. The Republicans successfully lied to America on Obama’s record. By distancing themselves from the president Democrats essentially acquiesced to the lies. They should have blanketed the 50 states with plain factual truth. The numbers of uninsured Americans has fallen due to the ACA. The deficit has shrunk by a trillion dollars. And if any Republican president had seen a drop in the unemployment rate even half of which occurred under Obama he would have been lauded as a Reaganite genius. The Democrats owned the message but gave the microphone to the liars on the right and lost because of it.

      • Mary Rutten

        WELL SAID, AND SO SO TRUE!!!!!

      • Sansui

        I don’t doubt it. And now we’ll have another shot in 2 years. Hopefully we learned from this. I do think the GOP rigged parts of the voting process, but the Dems should have been able to win much more than they won. We can’t put it all on the Koch Boys. Good points.

        I can see how the Dems may have felt intimidated by some of the SC rulings on voter ID, etc. We need to fight not only with facts, but also with a level playing field and no more biased voting ID laws. It won’t be easy but the Dems need to do it right the next time. In 2 years, Obama will have more accomplishments to campaign on.

      • Andy Kinnard

        GOP are masters of neurolinguistics and the Demo refuse to use it at all.

      • Jim Bean

        People are living Obama’s record and the Dems couldn’t fabricate a phony one. That’s how they voted and why the Dems lost.

      • Sansui

        One thing is for sure, the GOP have nothing better to offer, just more obstruction.

      • Jim Bean

        We’ll see. Maybe you’re right. One other thing is for sure. The real obstructionist will soon step forward and be revealed.

      • Sansui

        Seriously, I think the voters got screwed. All the gerry mandering and other voter restrictions the GOP have managed to pull off has worked out in their favor. I have all but given up on the voting process and politics in general. Now I’m going to see if I can enjoy the last years of my life without being upset by bought out elections..
        Maybe the Dems were soft, but why shouldn’t they be disheartened when the SCOTUS ruled against democracy over and over again? Who wouldn’t be disheartened? The day the SCOTUS refused to overturn Citizens United, was IMHO, the end of democracy in the USA.

      • Jim Bean

        I see it differently. The Dems were content to regard the AFL-CIO (for example) as ‘people’ and allow them to donate for the members (workers) interests. Why shouldn’t corporations be allowed donate for their manager and stockholder interests? Same thing. Any perceived difference is a departure from reason.

      • Sansui

        You’re comparing apples to oranges.
        How much is the AFL CIO going to donate in comparison to mega billionaires like the Koch Brothers?

        I give you credit for not being rude, and your points are unique but I don’t think they’re factual.

        Big business should not be in politics, and election day needs to be declared a nat’l holiday.

      • Jim Bean

        Its not apples to oranges. More was spent on Obama’s 2012 campaign than was spent on Romney’s. Dems are simply looking for angles to tilt the scales even more in their favor.

        Furthermore, the Democratic Party avails itself to the entire contents of the national treasury during their campaigns because their primary strategy is to buy votes by promising to give some of it to those who vote for them. The Pubs don’t do that.

        If it were up to me, all political donations would go into a pot and some means would be developed to distribute them fairly among bona fide political candidates. The Dems would never agree to that, and you know it.

      • Sansui

        I know it?

        I know you and I are not on the same page about most anything.

      • Andy Kinnard

        Your middle paragraph veers dangerously into “blame the poor” victimology as so frequently preached in far right ideological circles. Liberals will NEVER agree that caring for the poor and creating a better society equates to buying votes. According to that logic, the GOP does the same thing with more money with corporate welfare.

      • Jim Bean

        There is a fine line between caring for the poor and creating a better society and becoming the enabler of low achievement and absence of motivation. The Dems would cross that line and move far beyond it to buy votes. Furthermore, as I’m sure you’ve heard me say before, the Democratic Party has no intention whatsoever of reducing the ranks of economically dissatisfied voters because they are the ones the Dems rely upon to get elected.

      • Andy Kinnard

        I agree with your first sentence (to a degree). All the rest is unsupported opinion that wraps up pretty damning accusations. The good thing is that work requirements and long established welfare reform has drast call reduced societal support of ne’re-do-wells.

      • Andy Kinnard

        Agreed. I’d surrender the former to be rid of the latter.

      • strayaway

        Right. As of March, 195 House bills were shelved by Harry Reid including 31 bills authored by House Democrats. Now that obstructionists are no longer running the Senate, these bills will make it all the way to the President’s desk. No longer can the President complain about an obstructionist Congress.

      • strayaway

        The deficit has been shrunk by a trillion dollars largely because President Obama allowed half of Bush’s tax cuts to expire. Obama enshrined the other half of Bush’s tax cut for the rich into law. You forgot to mention that while the deficit has declined $1T because of tax increases, the debt has risen $7.8T (over $24,000/American) during the same time period. I think you better stick to Manny’s five points because some of us don’t think we got much value for the $24,000 we lent the government.

      • Andy Kinnard

        …because of tax increases AND increased revenue from a rebounding economy (you simply aren’t credible if you omit the second half).

        The $7.8T figure is a distorion that makes Obama responsible for debt incurred under a Bush budget and economic disaster.

      • strayaway

        I did include the tax increases. You simply aren’t credible if you don’t also include a percent or two, here and there, caused by inflation. Officially recognized inflation would alone account for about 9% of any revenue increases since 2009. Everything the government buys tends to go up that much in cost too.

        Spending the Country into another $7.8T of debt stimulated the economy a but our children have been hobbled with Obama’s ball and chain of debt as the trade off.

        Democrats do have a solution: more taxes. When the extra taxes aren’t enough, more taxes are needed. This would extend infinitely except the tax base isn’t infinite. Hayak suggests that when government plans don’t work, planners first blame it on not having a bigger plan. When that too fails, suppression of dissenting opinions becomes necessary to keep people believing.

      • Andy Kinnard

        (By way of a global critique of the above comment, I can only offer that) it’s amazing how far off the rails you can go while maintaining an appearance of cohesive logic: I was NOT calling out your having forgotten the role of taxes in recent increases in Federal government revenues (and you know that). You covered that as if it were the ONLY factor.

        I WAS calling out your absolute refusal to (and furious dancing about to avoid) addressing the role of a recovering economy in increasing those revenues regardless of tax policy. The LARGEST part of that increase comes from increased GDP.

        Similarly, I made ZERO mention of inflation and assumed we (as all rational adults) were discussing tax/revenue/economic activity as scored in inflation-adjusted figures.

        BTW, the REAL elephant in the room is your attempt to reframe your admission that Obama hasn’t increased taxes: He simply allowed ill advised tax cuts for the wealthy to expire (with GOP permission, natch).

        Moreover, what little stimulus Congress allowed through the gate did NOT amount to $7.8T in spending or debt. The $7.8T figure is a deceptive bundling of legitimate estimates of Obama’s debt, as well debt incurred as a result of the Bush policies and the economic disaster that PRECEDED Obama’s term.

        Part of Democrats’ solution IS fair taxation where the tax code and policy has been derailed and is patently unfair. Capital gains should be taxed at a rate more closely approximating that of the average citizen (not half or less). Specialized deductions and loopholes that can only be implemented by the very wealthy should be closed. Tax loopholes that allow US companies to readily offshore profits, horde them there and infinitely defer US tax rates need to be closed. It’s not a “tax everyone and everything” approach that you disingenuously attempt to portray it as.

        All that said, tax code reform is just a TINY part of the Democratic plan.

        I’m just going to totally skip over your reference to authority (fallacy, since you offered nothing but his authority to support your reference to his line of BS) in invoking Hayak. Not only is Austrian economics thoroughly discredited by its near-term catastrophic failure in working to revive several European economies, but traditional economic liberalism is anathema to humanity and our very survival on Earth.

      • strayaway

        I was addressing the so called “recovering economy” I pointed out that 9% of any increased revenue had to do with inflation and would have presumably been swallowed up by increased government costs. I also addressed the fact that all the printed money used to goose the economy has to be paid back. We reaped the temporary reward while our children reap the bills. Isn’t that a form of child abuse?

        The largest part of the temporary benefit of all this printing went to the rich. 2/3 of the jobs created since the recession don’t even pay what the jobs lost during the recession paid. 3/4 of the new jobs went to foreigners and Obama’s Senate passed amnesty bill would double the number of legal indentured servants taking IT jobs from Americans.

        I’m pretty much in agreement with your tax proposals though. We should be cutting off all corporate welfare. I would only add that import taxes should again replace income taxes to the extent possible. It would then make more sense to hire Americans. I really want a labor shortage so US workers can demand rather than beg for higher pay based on a supply -demand model of labor.

        Hayek escaped the corporatism in Germany and wouldn’t have favored its present growth here either I suspect… Gotta go – the baby on my lap is getting fussy

      • Andy Kinnard

        I agree with essentially all that. My only quibble is that we don’t repay prinTed money, but it DOES dilute the value of the dollar.

    • Chirag

      I am from India(Asia) and I am really felling sad for him.Obama is the best President USA has ever got after John F Kennedy.He practically tried to solve the problems of USA and was reasonably successful in many fronts.There are many people in his party(Regan Democrats) who don’t like him.Democrats are having the best President however due to the lack of conviction whole Democratic Party machinery is failing to counter the false racist,pro rich,anti women,anti human Republican propaganda.

    • Pat Goudey OBrien

      Paul Krugman defintely talked about the strengths and successes of Obama. He talked about them HARD. Did you hear that? Did anyone listen? Too many people did exactly what you say, Laurie, they looked at some damned poll and decided to run away and isolate the POTUS. Makes ’em look like weenies, I think. Who wants to vote for weenies?

    • Brian

      Agreed. Stand by your man. It works for the Republicans, since they stick by the same twits, whom in turn keep getting re-elected no matter what they say or act like.

    • Jimmy Jaz

      Not only are you Fat, your also stupid

  • Thomas Mauer

    I looked at the Democratic turnout for the mid-terms and you know what? We didn’t lose: WE DIDN’T VOTE<

    So, then the question is: Why didn’t we vote?The answer I found was two reasons: First, the candidates offered by us Democrats were pretty awful… lame comes to mind. They were weak, to be polite and they totally abandoned our President and his record. So why no base??

    If you ever want the Democratic party back again, then you better look at drafting a Warren-Sanders (at least) type of candidates and platform. Hilary is the same tired suit and is almost indistinguishable from a centrist Republican….

    Democrats/Progressives/Liberals and the “left” DID NOT LOSE this election… we gave the voters nothing to vote FOR.

    • Michael Richardson

      I’m hearing repeatedly the summation that the base was too lazy to go vote this time… which is about the laziest conclusion someone could latch upon. The truth is, today’s issues are increasingly complicated. I think that in a presidential campaign, with national exposure and all the pomp and personality, people of average intelligence feel they have something to go on, whereas in midterms and local races, there is less forthcoming information. Voters stay home because they don’t like to doubt that they know what they are doing. Democrats wasted their brand this time around. You can’t run on won’t say who you voted for if that becomes the thing you are most famous for. So either the whole media system needs to stop operating on soundbites and tweets, or else Democrats do indeed have to promote more celebrity candidates after Obama and lead from the front on their central messaging even in off-years, rather than hedging around approval polls.

    • Scott LookingafterhisKitten Wi

      I agree Thomas we had nothing to vote for, but it most certainly wasn’t because they ran from Obama, they should have called him out for being a complete sellout. We need to 100% behind repealing Obamacare! Why? Because it’s a R wet dream bill, but R’s don’t have to explain the screw you to there constituents, they get to blame the person who was AWALL during the entire writing and passing of the bill, because he’s too much of a sell out to big business to object.

    • Richard Rabinowitz

      Funny, this argument is pretty much like the ones tea party Republicans use against RINOs/ centrist Republicans.

    • Vegas Diceman

      The same can be said about the 2012 Election where a large part of the Republican voters stayed home and would not vote for Romney. So that became a vote for obama. So no you lost the election plane and simple.

  • Mr Mike

    Sorry, Manny, but you are a little off-base with this article. The Democrat’s problem has nothing to do with the race card, elitism, strategy, or the Koch brothers. It has to do with 2 things – Democrats running from progressive policies and values, and Republican voter suppression. Young voters and minorities did not turn out to vote because not one Democrat campaigned on issues that are important to them – things like student loan reform, curbing police abuses of power, protecting civil rights, protecting voting rights, etc. Democrats did not give these groups a reason to vote, and when you combine that with the draconian ID laws in order to vote, many did not see it as worth the hassle to go vote. Why make the effort to vote for a candidate who doesn’t share your concerns? Democrats have to quit trying to be “Republican lite” and go back to the liberal and progressive policies and values that this country needs. Every progressive policy that appeared alone on the ballot, from background checks for gun purchases, legalizing marijuana, and raising the minimum wage was passed, even in red states. Democrats need to run on these policies, because a majority of voters agree with these policies. But almost every Democrat running for office ran away from not only these policies, but their President as well. I don’t know who is giving these people their campaign advise, but they need to fire them all and hire people who are willing to stand behind their beliefs.

    • vjp81955

      Minority votes indeed were suppressed, but playing the PC card and endlessly using references to “African Americans” rather than saying “blacks” turns off many potential supporters. It’s similar to abortion issues and emphasizing eupehemisms such as “choice” — say the damn word (“abortion”).

      • rickk

        That’s so stupid and if that is a reason why someone would vote Republican it says so much. I hope you don’t die when the Republicans take away your health insurance.

      • Ellen H.

        I don’t think she said she voted republican. She was saying the minority votes were suppressed and that we need to stop using euphemisms.

      • kimc

        but the issue is “choice” — whether or not to have an abortion should be my choice, not yours. If you think deciding against it is a more moral choice, you are free to try to convince me of that, but not to force your choice on me. If you try to force your ideas on me, then you admit that your religion has failed in its ability to convince, and you are compensating for that failure through force. That’s unAmerican.

    • Margahm

      Sorry Mike, but as someone who’s lived in 15 states in the last 10 years and currently lives in a rural area, he’s spot on. The elitism problem is HUGE. Like, can’t be overstated, massive, the only reason most people I know vote republican. If you’re not a NY liberal who hates guns, or if you’ve ever thought the republicans had a good idea, most dems screech that you’re an ignorant racist redneck voting against your own interests. As if they know what my interests are! I promise it accounts for many more votes lost than “voter suppression.” You’re right, however, that the dems don’t do enough to appeal to youth.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        If Republican ideas and governance is so great, why are 97 of the poorest counties and 9 of the 10 poorest states run by Republicans? Why would you vote for someone who is never going to have your best interests at heart just out of spite?

      • LeahCBarr

        Never underestimate the power of spite toward someone who ‘thinks they’re better than me,’ or the power of “you can get out of this pickle you’re in if you just rugged-individualism hard enough!”

        Source: born and raised in super-red-state southern Indiana, resisted my liberal awakening really hard, for years, because of a particularly douchey elitist Latin professor who turned me off to voting his way for *years* even though I was already pro gay and identifying as a feminist.

      • Ellen H.

        A lot of people here were “scared” by gay marriage and abortion. They also are afraid the democrats will take their guns. Even when I explain how amending the Constitution works, I still get “Obama is going to take our guns.”

      • macduude

        Come on, that old “Take our guns” lie is so ridiculous. When are the rubes gonna get over that? It was said during Clinton and and the first 6 years of Obama. what guns have you lost? I’ll tell you what has happened, people have bought more guns and what has that gotten you? Has it really improved your life? You been suckers to the gun lobby who just wants you to keep buying more. Funny how the minute the cold war ended, suddenly our own government became suspect. Just another big money ploy you fell for.

      • Iris

        Ellen didn’t say she believed this. She’s simply repeating what folks in her locality say. I hear the same. You try to point out that people actually have broader gun rights (with all the carry permits, lack of regulation, states making it legal to wear them out in the open), but it’s never enough. These people are convinced their guns are in jeopardy. They are beyond reason.

      • Ellen H.

        Did you actually read what I wrote? I don’t believe that asinine “take our guns” comment. I was telling you what some people around me believe. In fact I’d like to see background checks and other restrictions. I’m also pretty freaking liberal. I haven’t fallen for anything. However, you might want to check into some reading comprehension courses.

      • macduude

        Actually, when you say “a lot of people here…” You don’t differentiate yourself from them. You do mention the Constitution but aren’t exactly clear about what you tell them. So my comprehension is fine but you could have said it better and made sure the views you expressed were not your own. I don’t want to fight but maybe this shows why we lost. we can’t even be civil with each other.

      • Ellen H.

        Since I said “a lot of people here” and didn’t add including myself, I felt that was easy enough to understand. Tanyakay got it. I honestly don’t know how much clearer I could have made “I explain how amending the Constitution works.” To me that’s pretty plain. You, however, jumped right on me for supposedly falling for a ploy, by saying “you been suckers”, and insinuating we are all rubes. I still think had you read what I wrote more carefully, there wouldn’t have been a misunderstanding. You focused in on the quote of “Obama is going to take our guns” and didn’t look any further.

      • Andy Kinnard

        It was ambiguous. One person understanding it doesn’t make it less so.

      • Ellen H.

        So I guess people aren’t expected to be able to infer any more? I’ve read some of your comments. You don’t have a lot of room to be talking about clarity.

      • Andy Kinnard

        It’s possible I’ve been less than clear in some comments, butt hat has no bearing on dude’s comment or its ability to express his point. For Chrissake, he keeps using “duce” like it has common use.

      • Guest

        You were telling me I wasn’t clear. Who the heck is this “dude” you are speaking of and why does that even pertain to the subject at hand?

      • Andy Kinnard

        I don’t know. His comments are all gone now, but he was using “duce” as a derogatory adjective (as best I could tell).

      • Ellen H.

        I was commenting on you telling me my point was ambiguous. It wasn’t unless you can’t infer. I said nothing about macdude except to let him know he didn’t read my original post closely. It sounded as if you were coming to his defense.

      • Andy Kinnard

        Once can infer at least two possible meanings. THAT was the problem, not the inability to infer.

      • Andy Kinnard

        Oh, and the problem with inference is that it’s horribly error prone and subject to projection of one’s own biases.

      • Vegas Diceman

        Because ignorant people like you who has never looked up information on your own and only listen to the Far Left Wing nut Progressives talking points would know that most of the counties you talk about are run by the Democrats. And just like they did to Detroit they do the same thing in those counties. Run them into the ground.

      • rickk

        maybe if you’d stop watching Fox News, you would not think that Democrats think you are being dissed by Democrats. You bought that narrative hook, line and sinker. Can you provide one example of a leader in the Democratic party or a Democratic candidate who has exhibited elitism? (and I’m not talking about someone who can actually use logic or construct a grammatically correct sentence – I mean actually putting down people because they are stupid)

      • churl

        Well, yeah. Go to Esquire’s blog, for instance, say you’re from the South and disagree with the most strident voice you can find. Enjoy. Oh and “They’re bitter, clinging to religion and guns.” That good?

      • Vegas Diceman

        Harry Reid case closed. Would the next contestant on who is an ignorant Liberal please step forward.

    • Ellen H.

      There is something to be said for the elitism. I live in Kansas and have always been liberal. However, I am frequently dismissed as ignorant and backward just because of where I live. That has to stop. However, a lot of what you said is spot on.

      • rickk

        who is dismissing you? Seriously folks, you’re all making these blanket statements about being dissed by Democrats, but who exactly is doing this? Did the Democratic candidates in your state personally insult you? Look at the issues and forget the Facebook comments when you vote, please! For the rest of our sake.

      • truckermom

        Your right it’s not the Democrat candidates that are dissing people, but it is the Democrat that diss people, that needs to stop, the Democrat party should be working yo gain support not chase them away and if you can’t control your party and make them understand the damage they are doing to their own party then it will be a long time before they win another election, education is the key to success not talking crap to people and expect to get their vote.

      • Andy Kinnard

        DemocratIC

      • Ellen H.

        I can’t tell you how many comments I’ve read on this and other sites that bemoan the “fact” that anyone who lives in a red state is dumb or a rube. Even when I remind those posters that they are making a hasty generalization, I still get the “you elected those people, so it’s your fault”. Not everyone who lives in a red state votes republican. In Kansas Brownback only got 50% of the vote. Unfortunately Davis got 46% and the libertarian got 4%. It’s frequently like that in a lot of the elections.

  • Richard Canada

    In your opening paragraph, you say Democrats had no message. I disagree! Democrats had a very good message, but most of the candidates ran from it instead of running on it. Had they all embraced the successes of the last 6 years and promoted the Democratic Party record and progressive policies, we would have done much better. Because the media has nationalized all of the elections, any candidate running from the Party policies affects other races in all states. Democrats need to be proud Liberals, not apologetic liberal leaning.

    • Chris Bledsoe

      Richard – I believe they had the foundation for forming a message, but failed to do so.

  • Steve L Wilson

    Talk of Gun Control turned a lot more Purple states dark Red! Gun control is a number one Poison issue in rural America among poor white men. It cost Al Gore his election and it cost Democrats this one. Democrats need to take a pledge against gun control.

    • Charles Vincent

      A novel Idea but it will never happen.

    • Andy Kinnard

      The same could be said of gay marriage, abortion and any of a host of social issues: Would you have Democrats surrender the moral highost ground on these just to get elected? Not only would that turn off the base and probably lose votes overall, it concedes the point on issues where we’re unequivocally right and (in most cases) popularly supported (even if opposed strongly in some districts).

  • Ignatz

    Right on point. I do think some of the stuff aimed at the President is racial, (not criticism of his policies, or even calling him “Hitler,” but “The Kenyan,” questioning if he’s a citizen, and freaking out when he just does what a President does, like use Air Force One) but certainly not all of it.

    But as a Democrat who lives in Manhattan, I HATE the attitude aimed at people in the midwest, south and coal country. It’s elitist and trashy, and it comes across as looking down on people because they’re poor, exactly the OPPOSITE of what Democrats are supposed to stand for.

    And the 50-state strategy is necessary. For one thing, you show respect for people in those states just by the fact that you care enough to try. On a pragmatic level, if the Republicans have to spend money in Mississippi, they have less to spend in swing states. Howard Dean had incredible success with the 50-state strategy, but he was pushed out of his position for yelling at a rally.

    The problem with the Koch brothers tactic is that it’s what the conservatives do – “OOooh! George Soros!” – and it’s stupid. Opposition to the corrupting influence of money is a winning strategy. Personalizing it isn’t.

    • Andy Kinnard

      Firing Dean was the worst mistake the Democratic Party has made in 30 years. His energy and enthusiasm should have been embraced rather than ridiculed and rejected.

  • Lunar Breeze

    That list seems about correct.

    The idea is not to generalize like crazy, because that would make us no better than those who we are accusing of doing the same thing.

    It not that simple though, we’ve been stuck in this system for such a long time that few people even know of a different means to go about solving the problem. Until we change what’s essentially the source or root of this problem (money in politics is one of them, but I don’t think it’s the only thing), then we will continue to have this apathetic base to work who thinks that one person can’t make a difference.

    That does annoy me that people just accept things as it is and refuses to do anything because of the ‘impossible’. By that way of thinking, we wouldn’t even be where we are today if we didn’t strive for the unreachable or the highest of insurmountable odds. We have to find a way to convince those apathetic about this to know you can change the system. One may not be enough, but thousands upon millions of individuals can achieve the impossible.

  • Michael Siever

    Another thing we need to stop doing if we want to win again: Stop playing the ageist card. Not all old white men are racist, misogynist, homophobes. Some of them fought for minorities in the Civil Rights Movement, not against them. Some of them fought for a woman’s right to choose, as opposed to just telling them to just stay barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen, and away from the voting booth. Some of these old white men are homosexuals themselves.

    The world is not going to just magically become a better place once all the old white men (the ones who actually are racist, misogynist, homophobes) die, because there are plenty of younger people just like them ready to take their places after they die. I worked a political campaign, canvassing (going door to door, telling people about my candidate, and asking if they would vote for him/give money to his campaign). I’ll never forget one incident where the person who answered the door was so quick to interrupt me during my pitches of my candidates stances on education (“He wants to make Pre-K available to everybody?! Oh, cool, I guess that means my taxes will go up under this guy!”), and healthcare (“Oh, I’m already paying for the Medicaid expansion even though I’m not even receiving it? Then why am I paying for it, then?”). Then, he finished by saying “The liberal Democrats have ruined this country! You want to make a real change? Ditch them and get on board the conservative Republican platform!” This guy has the Fox News playbook down to a T, and he was only 22 years old.

    My mother had a similar guy on her canvas with a guy telling her that “the country has gone to hell in a hand-basket since the Democrats started running things, and we need to put the Republicans back in power because they knew how to run things, and I honestly can’t understand why so many people still vote for Democrats this day and age.” My mother told him that many women vote Democratic because they don’t like being told what to do with their bodies, to which he replied “Well, I can see where you’re coming from with that, but women just need to let their husbands make their decisions for them.” He was in his early thirties.

    Bottom line, our problems with Republicans will not just go away simply by sitting out and playing the waiting game, waiting for the old white men to die off, so we need to actually get out and do something besides blaming them for our woes.

  • PAC

    I agree to an extent with this list, although not completely.

    #4 Racism exists. It can be a problem. I see it in my own family and I can’t get around it for any intelligent discussion. Whether it is this president or illegal immigration, GOP strategists know how to manipulate these feelings. While they may not feel that way themselves, they cynically use it to their advantage.

    Definitely agree #2 is a major problem – FDR was from the elite privilege class yet he cared about others; he understood like no other democrat since how to reach the heart of rural America. Even when his programs didn’t work right away or well enough, people stood with FDR. Maybe because he took their problems seriously and they believed he truly cared.

    #1 – I think the youth vote didn’t turn out because no one was talking to them, talking about their concerns, giving them a reason to get out the vote. Students are drowning in college debt, facing an unsettling future in this changing work world. They absolutely have a dog in this fight. Blaming celebrities for young people not voting is akin to saying young people don’t have intelligence. Give them a reason to get involved.

  • EricPoole

    This list (especially stopping the elitism) is a good start. And yes, it’s time to quit dismissing the right’s hatred for this president as racism. Race does play a part, but it’s more complicated than that. Conservatism’s definition of America – that only white heterosexual Christian men are entitled to the full standard of citizenship, and everyone else is merely provisional – is under existential threat. Anyone who is on board with that, even if they’re, in conservative eyes, only provisional citizens, can be in the club. And anyone who is against that, even combat veterans or former colleagues, must be derided.

    But it would also help to tie Democrats to policies that, according to polls, are hugely popular among the American people – minimum wage increases, marijuana legalization, universal background checks for weapons purchases, holding Wall Street accountable, environmental regulations, etc.

    The wind will be at the Democrats’ back in 2016 for the same reasons – the Senate field will be fat with Republicans elected in the 2010 Tea Party surge and turnout is expected to be high for a presidential election – they had a tough row to hoe this year. Also, the Republicans, drunk on their 2014 success, are likely to run an off-the-rails loony for president next time around. With a little tweaking, the Dems could even take the House.

    Then, the Democrats should take a page out of the Republican playbook for 2018 and 2020. In 2004, the GOP got anti-same-sex-marriage referendums placed on the ballot in swing states. Conservative Christians came out in droves to vote for keeping the gays from getting hitched and stayed to re-elect George W. Bush.

    Democrats should try something like that – maybe with marijuana legalization referendums, or whatever popular liberal cause is relevant – in 2018 and 2020 to get progressive voters to the polls. The 2020 elections will be vitally important, particularly at the state level in places like Pennsylvania, because the winners that year will get to oversee redistricting. A democratic surge could mean an end to gerrymandering.

  • TheBuffalogirl

    I disagree. Theses points are real issues that have been discussed but not beaten to a pulp. One problem may be in the construction of a clear platform. More community (grass roots – 50 state approach) involvement with current dems and electorate. Rolling around the stupid ideas of the radicalized republican party and forecasting their results on real lives brings the issues home to roost. Most Americans are convinced they are only temporary poor, one day their ship will come in if they vote for the Captains of Corporate American (republicans). They don’t see themselves as the pawns they really are. Oh yeah, when the democrats decided to distance themselves from a healthy track record didn’t help. Hardly none of the candidates wanted to appear to be pro-Obama. Obama was elected TWICE for a reason; there was a truth about his policies that resonated with Americans.

    • ogam5

      …..as to Obama’s re-election: living in MA and having suffered his self-fulfilling prophecy/INSUFFERABLE diffidence, I wholly LOATHE the SNAKE Romney as much as anyone on the PLANET – but, let’s be CLEAR now: JUST as this week’s outcome at the federal level would STRONGLY suggest in reverse, FIVE percentage points does NOT tacitly constitute a wholesale ENDORSEMENT of prevailing policy but rather, a REJECTION of the loser and his…..

  • boomergran

    As a “white guy who owns guns, drives a pickup truck and lives in the South,” you need to speak out louder and more often if you don’t want to be lumped together with the rednecks and racists. I’m a daughter of the South – going back to the early 19th century – and I’ve known my share of men like you, but I’ve known more who were racists to the core. And I’m related to men and women of both stripes. In the same way Muslims need to speak out against extremists, and Christians need to stand up to those who would pull the safety net from the poor, so do progressive men and women of the South need to be in the faces of those who give us a bad name.

    I left the South 20 years ago for the Pacific NW, and I’ll never go back. I miss some aspects of it – good manners, the slow way of life – but I don’t miss the self-righteous, uptight, corseted snobbery that exists in almost every strata of southern society. I was born into it, steeped in it, spoon-fed it, and I reject it at every opportunity. We have gun-owning, truck-driving white guys out here, too. My late husband was one of them; he was also a proud liberal who never let anyone else define him. Don’t tell us the South isn’t like that; show us!

    • Margahm

      So let’s get this straight; people who agree with the left, but are surrounded by conservatives, need to alienate themselves from their friends and neighbors in order to help minimize the hate from the coastal elites? Seems a lot easier to just stop making assumptions about everyone outside your wealthy suburb.

      Btw, I lived in Seattle for 2 years after moving from Mississippi, and now live east of the Cascades, and the snobbery of Seattle and Portland against everyone who isn’t a superleftist rivals anything I ever saw in the south.

      • boomergran

        LOL – Talk about making assumptions! I hardly live in a “wealthy suburb” – just a modest ranch house one block off of a business district and surrounded by apartments and duplexes. You need to take your own advice.

        No, you don’t have to alienate yourself from your friends and neighbors. You can conceal your feelings and stand by quietly while the lies and distortions are being espoused. Of course, some people might think you’re hypocritical and some people might wonder just how real those friendships are if you have to hide your feelings. But, really, it’s much better to just remain silent and let the lies stand. If you choose to do that, though, don’t write a post whining that the party doesn’t care what you have to say, because you obviously aren’t saying it where it could make a difference. And, really, don’t you think posting in a public forum means that some of those friends and neighbors are going to read it?

      • Andy Kinnard

        …and a blue Southerner doesn’t have to change his or her lifestyle to support liberal ideals.

      • Matt Mendenhall

        Two things. First, the snobbery of Seattle and Portland doesn’t have slavery as its historical root. So to suggest it is comparable to the social structure fostered in the South, given its historical root, is illogical – even if the Pacific Northwest brand of snobbery is annoying and rude.

        Second, consider that perhaps “people who agree with the left, but are surrounded by conservatives,
        need to alienate themselves from their friends and neighbors in order to” do the right thing; the “coastal elites” should not even be considered. Confront oppressive bullshit – tradition or not – that fosters the very perception of the South you object to. This can take courage and indeed risk of alienation. Ask any gay person.

        I am a liberal in a wasteland of thoughtless knee-jerk conservatism, Arizona, and I call it out whenever and however I can. I don’t give a damn about alienation from my “friends” and neighbors. I’m already alienated from many of them.

      • Charles Vincent

        And yet there are plenty of “knee jerk” progressivism on the left… hypocrisy rolled up in irony….

      • kimc

        Yeah, humans are like that.

  • vjp81955

    This progressive doubts many of my Democratic buddies are comfortablle with a candidate unless he or she has a degree (preferably in law) from an elite (read Ivy or Stanford) college. I can’t think of any other reason for the constant denigrading of Joe Biden, who has more heart and soul in his little finger than Hillary Clinton has in her entire body. If the Democratic Party wants to limit itself to coastal technocrats beholden to Wall Street, go ahead — but you’ll be winning battles and losing wars. In other words, no Hillary coronation in 2016, please; let’s not play the identity politics card again, this time substituting a woman for a black man. Yes, I’d love to see a woman run the White House, but I can think of many better ones than Hillary.

    • FuzzyBunnyFeet

      Joe “pretend you like me” Biden isn’t denigrated because of his education, he is denigrated for the awkward and tone-deaf things he says:

      http:// content. time. com /time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1895156,00.html

      http:// politicalhumor. about. com /od/joebiden/a/bidenisms.htm

      http:// www. washingtonpost. com /blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/10/06/why-this-joe-biden-gaffe-matters-more/

      • eyelashviper

        Joe Biden has served his country for many decades, and has been a strong and responsible Senator, as well as VP…I would rather have someone like him, who says things off the cuff, and indeed has a heart and soul, than the lying sycophants who make up much of our Congress today.

      • FuzzyBunnyFeet

        I agree. I was responding to the implication that Biden is denigrated because his university degrees don’t have the correct pedigree.

  • Rick Covert

    OK, granted there was elitism and so on but I would like to object to one point. Would it have been too much to ask for background checks before purchasing a gun so that the mentally ill or those with a criminal record could not buy them? After all it was supported by over 91% of the American public, high 80s among registered Republicans and even a majority, I believe also in the 85% range of NRA members.

    • Margahm

      The problem is that people like Bloomberg go on tv and say “there’s no reason anyone needs a gun” and pledge to spend more money than my entire town is worth to impose their values on a place they’ve never seen and is completely different than any life they’ve ever known. This jacks up the paranoia to where the right won’t support anything for fear of a slippery slope. Recognize these fears and I think policies can be implemented that help. But it would require believable pledges to not take steps that would enable confiscation (like registries) and that would likely require muzzling the far left on this issue. It all comes down to listening to peoples concerns instead of saying “this is best for everyone, because I said so!”

      • boomergran

        “…this is best for everyone, because I said so!” Oh, you mean like the republicans say about women’s bodies?

        You people and your fear of losing your guns is just your own paranoia. I’m a gun-owner and have to problem with registration because I’m mentally secure and don’t see the boogey man behind every door. Fox “News” keeps the right stirred up with fear-mongering and lies, and it obviously works.

      • William Drapou

        And yet, when Wayne La Pierre claims for SIX YEARS that “Obama” is coming to get your guns. And every time he does Gun sales and Ammo Sales skyrocket, and 30 THOUSAND people get shot every year, MOST OF THEM accidentally or by relatives or people they know. You have no complaints about that? And you think Bloomberg is the problem?? (BTW, Registration does NOT lead to confiscation. That is propaganda. What happens in most cases is, if and when guns are outlawed, registration rolls are used to ENFORCE THE LAW.

  • felipe63

    I’m not gonna disagree with this list but you missed the major thing that the Dems need to change: Quit running centralist – republican-lite DINOS and support some real liberals for change and run an honest to goodness LIBERAL platform and not this wishy-washy going for the center, corporatist bullshit. There is more to being liberal than gay rights and abortion.

    Let’s be real Obama is a center right republican-lite, just like Bill C before him and just like Hillary C.

    Truth is the Dems need their own version of the tea party to force the DNC leadership to grow some spine and go back to the left. I ain’t gonna hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

    • EXACTLY! All this other stuff is blather. Don’t be smart or elitist. Pander to the money. The moderate right was booted from their party and switched to Dems so they could continue to run. They need to either move left or go. Look how well minimum wage faired in this cycle. That is a progressive stance…and it wins in red states. IF the dems WANT to win. These are the issues to not only run on…but do something about it. Youth didn’t come out to vote because Obama talked a fresh game of hope and change and once he got into office filled his cabinet with NOT CHANGE. Same old politics and that is why the youth vote quit voting. We need real progressives — those not bought and paid for by big money. Or we could keep up making bs excuses to pardon what is wrong with this party and keep losing. The left should take notes on the Tea Party and start fighting and primary, primary, primary.

    • ogam5

      …..absolutely NOT liberal (vernacular connotation: ‘ANYTHING goes’, however true in reality that is or not) but rather, ‘Progressive’ – contrary to uninformed popular belief on BOTH sides of the political divide, there is a PRONOUNCED difference in philosophies…..

  • Sandy Greer

    Good Luck with your list, Manny.

    I can’t stomach the Elitism, and I live in California. Charges of Racism are just Ugly, and serve to shut down convos. Very effective, too – until we have an election. Where people vote their disenchantment with Dems.

    Money in Politics is huge. Most just don’t want to look at money on the Left. Their money (Koch Bros, etc) is bad – and our money is good.

    I’d add Demonization of Opponents. It preaches to the choir – doesn’t win any converts. Akin to Elitism – it’s a turnoff.

    You’re a Prophet Crying in the Wilderness here at FP. But I was glad to see your column, and wish you much success in attempts to elevate discussion.

    • FTC

      If you live in California, why didn’t you notice that people here did not “vote their disenchantment with Dems,” but the exact opposite?

      I suspect you are a Republican. There is no other explanation for why you think this is good advice or why you demonize Democrats while telling them to stop demonizing Republicans.

      Lastly, if you are tired of hearing about racism, imagine how tired people who have to live with its effects are. And why do you couple charges of racism with elitism? That makes no sense whatsoever.

      • Sandy Greer

        So California went blue – like always. What does that prove? Didn’t override the rest of the country. Should it?

        I suspect FTC wants no criticism of Dems allowed. Especially by Dems. “No other explanation”. Certainly not one that would hold Dems to high standards.

        Good advice delineates reasons people are driven away. Manny said he left Dems:

        >More and more it feels like unless you’re a New York or California true blue, ideologically pure liberal, you’re really not welcome.

        I’m in California – and even I don’t feel ‘welcome’. I can’t argue Dems present the ‘best’ of themselves without being accused of being Republican. Your post proves that. And you’re not the first. No criticism allowed.

        GOP is purging Moderates and RINOs. Now with Dems – We’re exiling ourselves voluntarily. More’s the pity.

        I didn’t ‘couple’ Elitism and Racism. Put them in the same paragraph. You ASSumed ‘coupling’ – same as you did my party affiliation.

      • FTC

        California didn’t go blue. It is solidly blue and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Just as a majority of the states voting this week are solidly red. There is no mystery as to why they voted red or why California voted blue. The Republicans on the ballot in California barely even bothered to campaign because they knew they were going to lose. In 2016 the electoral map will favor Democrats, so they will gain seats. Most of the House seats are gerrymandered to ensure the re-election of incumbents or their party. There is no surprise in these victories. I live in a safe Democratic district and my representative won a lopsided victory without even campaigning.

        You suspect wrongly. I criticize Democrats all the time. I don’t believe in criticizing them over false memes and straw men. Anyone who believes condemning racism is strictly a Democratic thing is not being honest. Anyone who believes the Democratic candidates lost because they didn’t appeal to right-wing voters is not very familiar with 21st century politics in the US. Those voters will not vote for Democrats no matter what. Democrats only win by raising turnout, and appealing to the Republican base will not raise turnout. If a Republican is going to win no matter what, there’s no sense in bothering to go vote. It’s not about being ideologically pure. It’s about being significantly different enough from a Republican opponent to make people care enough to vote for you.

        A winning strategy this time around for Republicans was keeping their lunatic fringe at bay. You’ll notice there was a lot less talk this time around from Republican candidates about rape and other issues that only make them sound unbalanced.

        When you put two sentences next to each other in the same paragraph it is assumed by everybody who knows English that they directly relate to each other. If they are unrelated, it is customary to begin a new paragraph. That’s how it works in writing.

      • Sandy Greer

        >You suspect wrongly.

        Yeah? And so did you. You even failed to notice I parroted your (Republican) insult to me LOL I even used your exact words (I suspect – no other explanation) just so you’d get it. Lemme guess – too subtle?

        But. When all else fails – FTC can always fall back on the Grammar Police. ‘Cause “everybody who knows English” knows that.

        But I guess so long as those Dems who don’t fall into line are purged – It’s all good.

      • FTC

        This is a rather childish post and unworthy of a detailed response.

      • Sandy Greer

        Works for me, FTC

      • FTC

        I gathered that. That’s your problem, not mine.

      • Pipercat

        Actually, the proper response would be, [T]hat was a rather childish post and… Well, you get the picture.

      • FTC

        There is no significant difference between your wording and mine. This assumes greater proximity – this right here, as opposed to that over there.

      • Pipercat

        Actually, the tense matters. Your tense was incorrect because her post was made in the past. “This is” is present tense and points the comment towards you. I do, however, think your response would make a fabulous Monty Python-esque tag line!

      • Sandy Greer

        Oh, God, you’re funny. I love you. Don’t tell the spousal unit. 😀

      • Pipercat

        What do you think won her over?

      • FTC

        I was reading her post in the present tense. The proximity is to me, not her. What you are doing is what we refer to in my profession as hypercorrection.

      • Pipercat

        No what I “was” doing “was” highlighting an ass. So, I suppose you can be considered a professional ass, yes? Far be it for me not to spread some giggles; so, try this on for size:

        The BBC would like to apologize because – This is a rather childish post and unworthy of a detailed response.

        I could just hear John Cleese saying that!

      • FTC

        ^ This is a rather childish post and unworthy of comment. I hope you find better things to do with your time than mistakenly correct things that are not wrong to begin with.

      • Pipercat

        Right or wrong is irrelevant; fallacies, on the other hand, are very relevant.

        I love the pointer “^” that was missing on the first rake you stepped on. Your schtick is the use of ad hominem fallacies to prove your points. Sandy is very capable (as you can see) of taking care of herself. Having said that, I hate the use of ad hominem fallacies when people attempt to argue. Here are some examples in your first reply: “why didn’t you, I suspect you, why you think, if you are tired, And why do you and my fab fav, why you demonize.” Then you package them up in a lazy straw man in a bad attempt to make irrelevant counter.

        I suppose it’s difficult to see big picture argument when the blinders are on too tight.

      • FTC

        You clearly don’t know what an ad hominem is. If you did, you would see that Sandy is the one using ad hominems. Regarding those blinders: if you didn’t agree with Sandy, you would have seen that much more clearly.

      • Pipercat

        More ad lapidem nonsense. I never said whether I agreed with Sandy or not.

      • Andy Kinnard

        It’s not ad lapidum when he supports the assertion.

      • Pipercat

        Actually, I beg to differ. He’s had so many stones in front of him, it became hard to tell which one he was arguing with at any given time!

      • Andy Kinnard

        So, you’re acusing him of invoking an ad lapidum argument but cannot specify the argument you critique? Hmmm.

      • Pipercat

        Oh, that’s easy. His very first reply to Sandy. He totally missed her premise and went circumstantial, as well as, ad hominem. He didn’t address her argument whatsoever.

      • FTC

        Sandy’s ad hominems that your blinders didn’t allow you to see:

        Grammar Police Elitism is boring.
        Party was better after you left last night.

        Grammar Police complaining of hypercorrection.
        That’s a good one.

        I can’t stomach the Elitism, and I live in California. Charges of Racism are just Ugly, and designed to shut down convos.

        I’d add Demonization of Opponents. It preaches to the choir – doesn’t win any converts. Akin to Elitism – it’s a turnoff.

        At no point, you will notice, does she provide any evidence for her accusations. She merely stereotypes in the broadest way. I provided evidence that the accusations were false, and you think Sally is the one with the winning arguments. You agreed with Sandy before she said anything. No amount of actual evidence will dissuade you. That makes you worthless to talk to.

      • Sandy Greer

        >That makes you worthless to talk to.

        LMFAO at FTC. For here you are – Talking to somebody you think is worthless. What is wrong with this picture.

      • Pipercat

        Ad lapidem nonsense. Why are you, now, arguing your case to me?

      • Sandy Greer

        Because I wasn’t having any of it? 😀

        We needn’t concern ourselves with FTC anymore. Where FTC once posted is only a grey ‘guest’ now. We’ve a new ProfL come to join the party. So all is not lost.

        See my post to Charles, when in need of amusement.

      • Andy Kinnard

        You keep using that word…(you know the rest of the reference)…

      • ProfL

        Ignore them. They’re obviously very immature. A bunch of sound and fury signifying nothing.

      • Charles Vincent

        BWahahahaha not really immature …. more like calling out the trolls of a bleating Twat. Secondly FTC replied to Sandy on her op not vise versa. Now go take your meds and shove off.

      • ProfL

        I rest my case.

      • Charles Vincent

        You didn’t have a case to begin with. And you butted in on a conversation you probably didn’t read all of, and made assumptions that aren’t neccasarily true. I call what happened, giving FTC a taste of his/her own medicine, you aren’t required to like it and I don’t need your permission to do so and neither does anyone else…just saying.

      • ProfL

        I read the entire thread. It is online for all to see and comment if they like. I still don’t know what your issue is with FTC. S/he was rationally stating opinions when you decided to go on the attack. Your comments, including this one to me, are boorish and immature. I flagged you on the previous one that used a misogynist slur. You are a bully. If you have political opinions that you would like to discuss, do so thoughtfully. If you simply want to mindlessly antagonize people from the safety of your anonymity, you’ll have to go play with someone your own emotional age.

      • Charles Vincent

        “S/he was rationally stating opinion”

        Opinions are not facts.

        “I flagged you on the previous one that used a misogynist slur. You are a bully.”

        hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

        I am a nice guy compared to some of the people here good luck with the flagging.

        “If you simply want to mindlessly antagonize people from the safety of your anonymity,”

        How ironic coming from someone who isn’t using his own name and picture.

        “If you have political opinions”
        I deal in facts opinions are irrelevant.

      • ProfL

        You seem bound and determined to prove to me that you are a boorish bully. What do you care if the person wrote his/her opinion or facts? Why do you feel it is your right to run people off the block because they express their opinions? That’s what bullies do. I haven’t read anything you wrote that would qualify as a fact, just intimidation.

      • Charles Vincent

        Opinions are irrelevant. Bullies? Really I suggest you peruse this site and read some of the heinous stuff said to me by posters here and get back to me on how I was so mean to FTC because they were being a condescending ass. I believe you are a sock-puppet and actually FTC cant prove it but that’s the feeling I get when I read posts from the two of you.

      • ProfL

        I have a theory about bullies that you just proved right. I assume you are really very insecure deep down inside. Good luck with your mind reading gig.

      • ProfL

        I didn’t read your post very carefully the first time. Sorry, I wasn’t that interested. I just noticed your claim that opinions are irrelevant. If you really believe that, why are you here opining on an opinion piece?

      • Charles Vincent

        That’s your problem you reply to things you didn’t read thoroughly.
        WRT your query, I reply here because they often try to pass off opinion as fact. Allen Clifton is famous for that.

        WRT your other post, well it seems to me I am secure in my person and posting here under my own name and not some alias like you is proof of that.

      • ProfL

        Right, because you can’t just make up a phony name. It seems to me you are very insecure in your person. Your tone is too defensive and you have anger management problems when people disagree with your OPINIONS. The very fact that you won’t admit your opinions are opinions speaks to your insecurities. It’s okay to admit they are opinions. The only question is can you articulate them and support them with reason. Misogynist epithets and your constant bwahhwahhhwahhs do not portray you as someone who knows what he thinks and why.

      • Charles Vincent

        Keep yammering there are several people who post here that can verify my statement. The bwhahahahaha’s are because I find it funny that you grasp at straws and make baseless assumptions about someone you don’t know.
        And what’s even funnier is you’re conversation with an actual misogynist right here on FP and you don’t even recognize it. Btw he is a self confessed misogynist, and again several posters here can confirm that.

        Anyhow keep frantically grasping it’s quite entertaining to watch.

      • ProfL

        Which statement can they verify? Their opinion of you? You said opinions don’t matter. You say bwahhhhbwahh when you are at a loss for words. Being a misogynist and demonstrating you are a misogynist are two different things. Admit it, you like me, Chuckie!

      • Charles Vincent

        That I use my real name and photo to post here.
        Bwhahahahah signifies me laughing at people not lack of words.
        I don’t know you well enough to like or dislike you.

      • ProfL

        You are cute, Chuckie.

      • Sandy Greer

        Heads up – FTC is gone – a grey ‘guest’ took its place. Now see ProfL – Brand new, 11 posts, just today. I bet FTC sockpuppeted ProfL to bolster a case of trollery. No way in Hell an outsider butts into somebody else’s days old squabble without a vested interest. Too, they’ve this in common:

        1) FTC calls in the Elitist Grammar Police
        2) ProfL goes straight for the Flag Police

        ^^^It’s getting to be a friggin Police State in here.

        FTC ‘instructed’ us on grammar/composition. Like a ‘pro’. Now we’ve ProfL posting where FTC disappeared. Too funny.

        You were right about those meds, Charles. Somebody is having a serious identity crisis. 😀

      • Andy Kinnard

        Referring to a person is not an ad hominem. Criticising the speaker instead of the issue is an ad hominem. So, some of those examples may or may not have been fallacies, but you didn’t post a large enough sample of any of them to reach a conclusion.

      • Pipercat

        In this case, he wasn’t referring to Sandy, he/she/it was trying to make the argument about Sandy; which is ad hominem.

      • Andy Kinnard

        Again, that’s not at all clear from the extracted, partial quotes, and I already covered that exact ground.

      • Pipercat

        I disagree regarding clarity and whether the ground is exact or not. Look again at her very first comment and his first reply. Disregard what I said. FTC/Guest completely the point she was trying to make.

      • Andy Kinnard

        You can disagree, but you’d be wrong. For instance, “…why didn’t you…” does not an ad hominem make (in isolation for certain). If the opponent attacks the validity of an opinion, assertion or point of view, then, it’s a valid. If the opponent attacks the person’s character, appearance, status, etc. to try to discredit a point, that’s an ad hominem. There’s not much grey area there.

        I’m also at a pretty real disadvantage because I cannot find the (first comments) discussion/thread that seemed to generate the debate in this one. This mini-thread is right on top in the comments, but the precipitating thread must be buried deeper in the “Show More Comments” than I’m willing to go.

        Edit: OK, I finally dug far enough. I’m STILL not seeing any ad hominems by Guest. I do see him rejecting Sandy’s framing of what happened in California’s election; that’s it.

      • Pipercat

        Ad hominems come in three basic flavors. Abusive, circumstantial and tu quoque. FTC, his original handle, used a circumstantial ad hominem against Sandy, plus the abusive, you must be a Republican nonsense. Everybody knows about the abusive kind, the circumstantial type follows this logic:

        Person 1 is claiming Y.
        Person 1 has a vested interest in Y being true.
        Therefore, Y is false.

        The middle paragraph was a dead giveaway.

        The straw man container comes from the argument being hijacked from suggesting some self examination and stop using these tactics to, basically, you’re full of shit and you have to be a Republican because there’s no need to reflect.

        I do hope you saw how she responded, btw.

      • Andy Kinnard

        I didn’t interpret his response that way. It seemed like her considered her position so ridiculous as to be laughable and unworthy of response other than his guess that she can only believe in it if she were an ideologue. I saw no attempt to refute her assertion.

        Good explanation of circumstantial ad hominem though. Thanks!

      • Pipercat

        You’re welcome!

      • Charles Vincent

        Does your profession have loud music and a pole accompanied by disco lights?????

      • Pipercat

        No Charles, that would require hyper-extension!

      • Charles Vincent

        Somewhere a corner is empty and a kitten died…..

      • Pipercat

        Eww, that wind direction reference of mine “earlier” comes into play.

      • Charles Vincent

        wanna borrow my MOP suit and gas mask?

      • Pipercat

        Leave them for the “professional!”

      • Charles Vincent

        If the Professional uses it I don’t want it back.

      • Pipercat

        Well, duh!

      • Charles Vincent

        BWahahahahahaha

      • FTC

        Puerile and unoriginal.

      • Charles Vincent

        Sorry you’re not worth the minimal time and effort of originality.

      • FTC

        Sorry that you have no real arguments to use. That’s mostly because you are wrong.

      • Charles Vincent

        Actually I do have an argument but I decided to troll you because you are a cry baby, whose fragile ego cannot take any criticism

      • Andy Kinnard

        Really, Charles?! Bullying seems beneath you.

      • Charles Vincent

        Sometimes the truth comes across as bullying maybe…

      • Andy Kinnard

        No, Charles. You’re better than that. It was straight bullying, brother.

      • Charles Vincent

        also hope your health is still imporving.

      • Andy Kinnard

        Thanks, man! I’m in fair shape now…have to keep with the rehab routines or bust! Daily pain takes a toll, but it’s tolerable now. I hope you are well.

      • Sandy Greer

        Grammar Police complaining of hypercorrection.
        That’s a good one, FTC.

      • Pipercat

        Now kids pay attention, “this” comment, above, decribes an actual example of irony!

      • FTC

        Grammar and composition are two different things. It was your composition that made your paragraph equivocal. You accused me of misreading your post. I merely pointed out that I read it exactly the way it was written, so if you want to avoid further misreadings, divide separate topics into separate paragraphs.

      • Sandy Greer

        Grammar Police Elitism is boring, FTC.
        Party was better after you left last night.

      • FTC

        You are boring.

      • Sandy Greer

        So walk on by. You crashed this party (Replied to my OP) I didn’t open convo with you. Hell, I didn’t even read your OP. Only read you now you Reply under my OP.

        You complain I’m boring. As if I care what you think. Or will ever. LMFAO at FTC.

        Walk on by. And take your Elitist Grammar Police with you. Don’t darken my door with your trollery – You won’t have to complain of boring convos with boring people.

      • Pipercat

        Oh, one more thing. Comment sections are linear and follow a progression. Proximity becomes irrelevant since there is a progression of individual exchanges. That’s one of the reasons it’s also called a thread. Tense is more important than proximity in this setting.

      • FTC

        This comment here ^ is not accurate.

      • Pipercat

        Appeal to authority, even with a caret.

      • Richard Rabinowitz

        Maybe conservative Californians should join the Democrats and liberal Texans should join the Republicans. That might be the only real way to get gerrymandered-out ideologies to have a say in gerrymandered/ ideological states.

      • FTC

        David Dreier, a Republican, directed the carving out of California’s current electoral map. Of course, at the time he was probably stinging from his own party’s refusal to give him a leadership role due to their homophobia.

  • FTC

    I think this is absolutely terrible advice and I hope the Democrats do not follow it. Unfortunately, knowing the Democrats, they probably will.

    5. If you are not an “ideological Democrat” you probably shouldn’t be in the Democratic party. The reason we have political parties is because we have different political ideologies. If the Democrats do not uphold the ideological values of their base, there is literally no reason to vote for them. That has a lot to do with why voters on that side of the aisle chose to stay home on Tuesday. Electing blue dogs to the House and Senate will accomplish nothing but strengthen the Republican ideology. I believe it was Truman who warned us that if we run a Republican against a Republican, the Republican always wins.

    4. Stop buying into Republican spin. Who is really playing the so-called “race card”? You have an out of control police force in many (most?) metropolitan areas taking out their sadistic tendencies on mostly black men. You have Republicans characterizing all blacks as being welfare mooches. You have Republicans telling absolute lies about immigration in order to demonize Latinos. And you think Democrats should “stop playing the race card”? Additionally, in case you haven’t noticed, the blacks welcomed into the Republican tent (Carson, West, etc.) do not tend to be on the healthy side of the sanity bell curve.

    3. Money in politics is exactly what is making our politics so awful. Campaign finance reform is a necessity if we the people are ever to regain our democracy. This is not an issue on which anyone who has an interest in the future of our country (or the planet) should acquiesce.

    2. Again, stop buying into every Republican caricature. The poor mostly vote for the Democrats when they vote. It’s interesting that you advise Democrats to “stop talking about how horrible Republicans are” based on all the horrible things Republicans say about Democrats (and which aren’t even true). So trash talking about the Democrats works for Republicans, but trash talking about the Republicans doesn’t work for Democrats (even when the accusations are true)?

    1. Following your advice is the surest way to make sure young people won’t vote in coming elections. You basically want the Democrats to appeal to an aging, Southern white male demographic. Why would a young, progressive, ethnically diverse population be inspired by that?

    • churl

      Another person projecting.

      • FTC

        ^ Another would-be pop psychologist who doesn’t know what projection is.

  • Daniel English

    Whoever wrote this is part of the problem and reason we lost. I am from Georgia born and raised. Trying to make the Democrats into another watered down version of the Republicans isn’t going to get the young vote or anyone elses.

  • observabletruths

    Can we also add: Not being afraid to take the gloves off and calling out Republicans on very obvious duplicities and contradictions b/t their words and actions. The tea party was all about jobs, but have yet to actually develop a jobs bill. Sure they sent some deregulation legislation to the senate, but that’s shown time and time again that doesn’t add jobs. I can refer to other examples but the point is I’m tired of liberals always having to place nice w/ people who clearly are anything but.

    • persephone

      THIS!

  • Diane Henry

    Living in Iowa, I can tell you what happened here. Braley did not get the base out. This 99 county bs that both parties were doing was much stronger for the pig castrator Ernst than for Braley by far. The millenial vote was almost even thanks to uninformed frat boys. Plus outgoing senator Tom Harkin was nowhere to be found until the last minute because he was campaigning out of state for lost causes. Plus Gov Braindead was on the ballot. Then there was that secret trial lawyers hidden video in which was misinterpreted as Braley dissing farmers and used obnoxiously to put the nail in the coffin in a farming state.
    What Iowa dems needed to do was to focus on their constituencies that overpowered Obama to the caucus win….. The college towns should have been a major focus. Elizabeth Warren came to Des Moines but not to the 3 major universities… That is not an efficient use of her star power. Then there was the Bruce Bailey gaffe by Michelle Obama that the Ernst camp exploited. Tom Harkjn should have stayed in Iowa to mitigate the damage and actually campaign for Braley instead of whats his face in South Dakota.

  • Alyssa Cooper

    Yeah, I’m sorry, but you can shove number three where the doesn’t shine. NEVER stop fighting the Super PACS and NEVER stop attacking the Kochs. They’re one of the biggest green movement blockers on the planet and guess what? Blocking green movements, denying climate change, pushing the fossil fuel industry? Yeah, that is, quite literally, going to doom us. No. You couldn’t be more wrong on number three.

    • DarlaM

      I don’t think he meant to stop fighting. he just says that snide comments like “you are just paid for by Koch. instead of saying Uncontrolled money in the political system changes the way way people view negative adds. Groups like citizen united used dark money and does not have to be transparent. It is not so much as stay away from the subject but more keep on topic and not get into name calling.

      • Alyssa Cooper

        It still pays to go after them directly seeing as how they’re one of the biggest climate threats out there.

  • Andrew Morris

    Just to add to the Koch brothers – there was a recent Rolling Stone article that linked Koch Enterprises to Iran and the former Soviet Union. Nothing seems to link them to the far-right wing; only to areas that can make them the most money quickly.

    Also agree with Laurie – there’s a ton of positives from this Administration that ought to be touted with the message that we’ve come this far – reward us and we can push on further and start addressing median incomes, which is the biggest reason why most Americans don’t think the economy is recovering as quickly as it perhaps should.

    Still, apart from Australia (which didn’t experience a recession despite the fear-mongering from their GOP-equivalent) the US is the best western state to be in as far as economic recovery goes.

  • Bill Chambers

    I would add No. 6: STOP sucking up to the Gays and making Gay rights your only agenda. Seniors vote too, and many of them vote Republican because they feel that the Democrats don’t give a damn about them. I think that many seniors would take the Democrats seriously if the Democrats took them seriously. I know that this senior would. Try letting the elderly know that they are important to you. You just might get a few more votes that way.

    • FTC

      Any senior who believes a Democratic candidate who does not demonize gays (I assume that’s what you meant by “sucking up to the gays and making gay rights your only agenda,” since no Democratic candidate actually did that) is somehow against them isn’t going to vote for the Democrats anyway. It would be a waste of time to pander to their bigotry.

      • Bill Chambers

        How do you know they won’t vote for the Democrats? You don’t. What seniors need and want is for politicians to know that they exist and have needs like other groups. If a Democratic candidate is focused on Gays, legalization of marijuana, etc., and a Republican candidate has ideas of how to meet the needs of seniors, you bet your life I’ll vote for the Republican. He has shown me that he has more ideas than the Democrat has.

      • FTC

        You are not paying attention. No Democratic candidate actually ran on a platform of “it’s all about the gays.” I would be surprised if any of them even mentioned gays in their stump speeches in red states especially. So anyone who perceives something that is not empirically true is grasping for reasons not to vote for the Democrats.

        I am an AARP card carrier, and I did not vote for any Republican because, as Paul Krugman noted, they have been absolutely wrong about everything: economics, the environment, health care, social issues like gay rights, women’s issues… I cannot think of an issue on which today’s Republican party has been right.

      • Bill Chambers

        You are also not paying attention. I did not hear one Democratic candidate address senior issues. Oh sure, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren did in their messages, but they were not candidates. I also am an AARP member, but I vote according to what I hear the candidates themselves say. As for the Republicans getting it wrong: I hear that a lot, but no one offers hard numbers. That would be more persuasive with me. And don’t forget; Obama put Social Security and medicare on the table when he was seeking his “grand bargain.” So Democrats aren’t as senior-friendly as I think they should be.

      • FTC

        I just googled “democratic candidate” + “seniors” and, lo and behold, I found thousands of articles about Democratic candidates campaigning on senior issues. One even layed out a “Senior Bill of Rights.” You are perceiving things that are not empirically true, so you are grasping for reasons not to vote for Democrats. That’s also the reason you wrongly believe no one has offered any hard numbers, when the hard numbers are abundant. Krugman is an economist. He’s all about numbers.

        The reason I do not support Obama is because he does too many Republican things, like put Social Security on the chopping block or remove the public option from health care. Not all Democrats do that, though. It would be really stupid to vote for a Republican because Obama wants to privatize Social Security, though. That is a Republican position.

      • Bill Chambers

        In that case, when one’s choice is a Democrat who is a Republican wannabe and an actual Republican, I will always vote for the Republican. To me, it is not ethical to claim to be a member of one party while pushing the agenda of the opposition party. I have never had any use for Obama for that reason. And if any other Democrat would try that stunt, I would definitely vote for his opponent for the same reason.

      • FTC

        You can vote for whomever you want. No one is taking that away from you. What one cannot do is claim that the Democrats were running strictly on gay rights or that no Democratic candidate campaigned on issues of importance to seniors, because that is patently false.

  • DavidHarley

    Racism is embedded in all social relations and policy decisions in the US, which has been built on a lack of social solidarity from the outset. Both liberals and conservatives, both blacks and whites, have the long heritage of racism, and other social divisions, built into how they view the world, to an extent that is startling to many immigrants.

    Surveys and meta-analyses have shown overt Jim Crow racism as having declined in the Deep South to 40-50%. However, symbolic racism of the sort associated with Republican rhetoric remains high, or even increasing, in the 50-60% range. How do such attitudes, all shown to be stronger among Tea Party than among the religious conservatives, affect voting patterns? Given limited resources, how should the national Democratic Party concentrate its efforts?

    The standard polling questions are:–
    (1) Irish, Italians, Jewish, and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same without any special favors (agree);
    (2) Over the past few years blacks have gotten less than they deserve (disagree);
    (3) It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites (agree);
    (4) Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class (disagree).

    A whole range of other issues — affirmative action is discrimination against whites; the Confederate flag; opposition to social programs; abstinence-only education; states’ rights; etc. — can be seen as implicitly linked to symbolic racism. It is not any particular person holding some or all of such views that matters, but the aggregation, which is far larger in the South than the North, and is especially concentrated among the Southern working class.

    Given the importance of the working class vote’s importance to Democrats elsewhere, what electoral tactics should be employed?

    A couple of relevant survey results —
    2009 poll — Nationally, 42% of self-identified Republicans believe Obama was born in the US, as opposed to 77% of the population as a whole. Birther sentiment is concentrated in the South, among both Republicans and “independents”.
    2012 poll — 54% of likely GOP voters in Missouri believe interracial marriage should remain legal.

  • suburbancuurmudgeon

    Manny’s first mistake is assuming the Democrats can ever get
    Republican approval, which ain’t gonna happen for reasons that go back 200+ years.

    Now it’s my turn. Here are things Republicans can do to avoid
    Democratic/liberal contempt.

    Stop referring to anyone with an education, critical thinking
    skills and a modicum of intelligence as “tax-raising, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving,New York times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freaks.” It’swhy we think you are intolerant rubes.

    Stop calling the rich “job creators.” They are job destroyers. They shipped
    manufacturing to Mexico, then India, then China, then Vietnam and killed
    unions, the people who were responsible for our good paying jobs with good
    benefits.

    Stop referring to the 47% as “moochers and takers.” A large number are the elderly and children, or the working poor; they aren’t sitting around waiting for government handouts.

    Stop telling poor people the way to make more money is to “get an education,” because 30 years of Republican tax cuts have made an education prohibitively expensive.

    While you’re at it, stop demonizing taxes as “legalized theft.” Taxes are the rent you pay to live in this country. Taxes built schools, hospitals and the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System when the top personal tax rate was 91% and tax money from business made up 33% of revenue instead of 9% today. Right now the country needs about $4 trillion in infrastructure repair, which would have created 2 million jobs if you hadn’t voted against it.

    I don’t care if you own a gun. I do care if you think carrying an assault rifle into Target or Kroger is a good idea, or you think the “well-regulated” part of the Second Amendment is a bad idea. If you’re afraid you wouldn’t pass a background check, then maybe you SHOULDN’T own a gun.

    If you aren’t a scientist, then you have no business denying scientific evidence like climate change, evolution, the origin of the universe, our heliocentric planetary system and everything Neil Degrasse Tyson said on Cosmos. You make the US the laughing stock of the rest of the civilized world.

    Learn your history. You are not the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. You are the States Rights Party of Strom Thurmond, which left the Democrats in 1948 over civil rights and the American Independent Party of George Wallace. Black folk were not better off as slaves and were not happy working for Massa, no matter how badly you want to believe that.

    Finally, stop electing people like Louie Gohmert, Rick Perry, Ted Barton, Michele Bachmann, Ted Cruz, Rick Scott and Paul Ryan and passing them off as the Second Coming. Especially Gohmert and Barton, who gives stupid people a bad name. Anyone who believes gays in the military will spend all their time giving each other massages (Gohmert) or that wind turbines contribute to global warming by slowing the earth’s rotation (Barton), have no business being without adult supervision, let alone being in Congress.

    • churl

      Thanks for proving the exact point of this post.

      • persephone

        EXACTLY. The irony is unreal.

    • ogam5

      …..well. aren’t YOU the egotocratic, arrogant piece of work YOURSELF, unquestioningly worshiping the god of science…..perish the very THOUGHT we’re able to think, contribute new ideas and viewpoints absent a SLEW of letters and fine parchment, ascertain the value of ANYTHING for ourselves…..take it from an autodidactic Progressive with far, FAR more effective communications skills (while every now and again he does say something relatively eloquent, de Grasse Tyson is a TERRIBLY one-dimensional communicator) and emotional intelligence than TOO many on the Left, who HAS had a deep interest in the natural sciences MOST of his life (BTW, at LEAST an equal contributing factor in climate change is PROFOUND alterations to the heliosphere causing MAJOR stresses on this planet’s physical structure, particularly in the Antarctic) and HASN’T shut down the ol’ right brain: RAGING narcissists like you, coming off like overeducated sociopaths, YOU’RE the reason in NO small part the establishment Democrats got beaten SO badly and ALL those of conscience, are going to suffer the consequences now…..but at what point DOES this elitist CRAP end and we say, ‘ENOUGH!’, vote for people who might actually, oh I don’t know, LISTEN to us? Democrats SURE as hell HAVEN’T with the ACA, legislation fully protecting TOXIC special interests such as Monsanto, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership…..DON’T delude yourself: it’s STILL, ‘business as USUAL’ on BOTH sides of the aisle…..

      • Andy Kinnard

        I don’t understand you objection; suburban didn’t tout his credentials or belittle valid counter points of view. He did speak credibly about specific GOP policies and candidates. So, what, exactly, was elitist about suburban’s comment?

    • persephone

      This is one of THE BEST posts. Precisely!

  • Crybaby Patrol

    Maybe the Democratic party should go back to rigging elections like they did in the last two elections? More dead people voted Dem than ever before.
    The good news is that the bleeding heart dummies lost this election.
    Get used to looking at red maps losers!

  • Charles Vincent

    Thumbs up Manny.

  • Pipercat

    Only one thing needs to be changed, the narrative. Arguing minutia is a waste of time and accomplishes nothing. The issues are ideological and not partisan. Parroting John Stewart and Stephen Colbert segments is nothing more than cheer-leading. Coming up with an ideological argument that one can stand behind is far harder than scarfing down saltines.

    • Charles Vincent

      Sounds a bit like the tablespoon of cinnamon challenge

      • Pipercat

        Tablespoon of ghost pepper sauce.

      • Charles Vincent

        Trinidad scorpion pepper sauce lol

      • Pipercat

        That one is for the intellectually challenged, not ideologically…

      • Charles Vincent

        hahahahahhahahahaha

  • reya88

    1- Change Congressional Leadership- There is no doubt at how affective Pelosi and Reid are but they are too toxic to continue to lead in Congress. Vote for Elizabeth Warren as Senate Minority leader, and someone like Patrick Murphy in the House (he is the only one I can think of as a House Democrat). Get new blood and make the focus on the next generation.
    2- Stand up for the President, challenge the lies that are being spread.
    3- Hold more and regular town meetings, hold Q&As with the people
    4- Welcome more volunteers and give them “better” things to do than make phone calls (which I’m horrible at).
    5- Build on the fact that people are voting for “liberal/ progressive” initiatives in conservative areas- raising the minimum wage, abortion access, legalization of pot
    6- And for the love of God, if nothing else, stop sending 20 plus emails a day. Seriously. Rethink your email communication strategy.

    • Andy Kinnard

      I wish every Democratic candidate and their election staff would read that list. Every single point is gold.

  • Matthew Reece

    Why do so many people assume that refusing to vote is apathetic? People have been voting for a long time and the results have been more war, more debt, and less liberty, regardless of who wins. Those who continue doing what is proven not to work are the apathetic people.

    • ProfL

      A lot of my progressive friends refuse to vote because it always seems to be voting for the lesser of two evils. If the Democratic party were to become a real progressive party, they would get a lot more people to the polls.

      • Matthew Reece

        If that is their view, then I would think they would vote for the Green Party rather than stay home.

      • ProfL

        That is what I do, but often there are no Green candidates on the ballot.

  • LDKRN

    I do agree with you about the scare tactics. One would think the Koch Brothers were responsible for bankrolling ISIS. I also think we need more to run on them “we’re not them” and stop running away from our own accomplishments. Of course, I’ve said that for years now.

  • cwals99

    Actually what happened this election was exactly what needed to happen as 80% of the Democratic Party moves to take back control of the party from Clinton neo-liberals. That is what happened——the base refused to vote for neo-liberals forced on the Democratic voters through what had become a captured primary election process and often an illegal rigging of primaries against labor and justice candidates. We will see lots of changes with labor union leadership and more growth in justice organization leadership away from the Clinton neo-liberals in time for the 2016 elections. The Democratic base of labor and justice need to start building serious networks for Bernie Sanders as the candidate in 2016 and hit these Democratic state and local committees to become the leadership—–especially the young people! Neo-liberalism and global markets are dead and we need to brush off the pols trying desperately to keep it alive! Let’s start with changing the language corporate pols have tried to install——-first, neo-liberalism is the opposite of progressive and liberal—–Clinton and Obama are the opposite of FDR and McGovern. Second, labor and justice is not ‘the left’—–they are 80% of the Democratic Party and the Clinton neo-liberals are the ‘far-right’ of the Democratic Party…..although they are really not even Democrats! THE DEMOCRATIC BASE HAS FINALLY AWAKEN!

  • danbunderhill

    I saw it completely differently. I feel like the Democratic Party has been taking its progressive base for granted and gone out of their way to please right wing republicans who aren’t going to be pleased with anything that says “Democrat” on it regardless of its merrit.

  • Matt Mendenhall

    They used sperm-on-a-dress to go after Clinton. They accused Hillary of lesbianism, heterosexual affairs and murder. They whispered that the Clintons were drug kingpins with ties to South America, etc. But, they said nothing that referred specifically to the Clintons’ genetic identity (although when Hillary was called the biblical end times whore of Babylon, that arguably used her femaleness against her).

    We still live in a country where whiteness (especially where power is involved) is presumed and anything else is “other.” So, while it may be true that the republican strategists and right wing pundits don’t even believe their own racist codespeak, it cannot be denied that, in a general sense, much of the antipathy towards Obama has to do with his race.

    Birth certificates. College records. Childhood Muslim schools. Kenyan home address. “Rope” instead of “hope.” Nooses in yards. Watermelon postcards. Take a look at the filibuster and compare it to the filibusters of the past. Reflect on how Obama has been treated, both personally (Jan Brewer’s finger-in-the-face, “You lie!” or the increased threats and hate groups, including brazen KKK reappearances) and politically. Is it a coincidence that this Congress has been the least governing Congress in US history?

    It is impossible – and history will bear this out – to assess the Obama presidency without citing race as a – perhaps “the” – dominant factor in his 8 years of holding office, assuming he makes it that far. It is not simply the “race card” being pulled; it is a difficult truth. And one that must be confronted.

    I don’t think anyone suggests that “everyone” in the South is a tea bagging barbarian, but like it or not, the South is a source of much unresolved (and extremely unpleasant) conflict in the US.

  • rickk

    You’re talking out of your a-hole and none of this really means much. Rather than talking about the issues that both parties stand for, you are criticizing the Democrats because they make you feel uneducated, of course, never giving an example of any leader or candidate in the Democratic party who has done that. You tell them to stop “pulling the race card”, but again never give an example of when this was done by party leaders or candidates and was not appropriate – racism is real, and it has definitely been directed towards this president, not that anyone has actually really been talking about race (other than white people who feel “victimized”, but even if they had isn’t it better to talk about actual issues that divide us as a country? It’s kind of scary that you somehow feel qualified to be giving your opinion on anything, but if you’re going to criticize the Democrats, maybe you could check your ego, deal with your own insecurities, and actually look at issues rather than making broad generalizations that are probably more related to comments you’ve received on Facebook than on any actual Democratic Party platform.

    • Charles Vincent

      “light skinned” African-American “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”

      Harry Reid.

      • rickk

        and what is your point with that?

      • Charles Vincent

        Ask and ye shall receive;
        You said in your OP “You tell them to stop “pulling the race card”, but again never give an
        example of when this was done by party leaders or candidates and was not
        appropriate”

        My reply listed one but for good measure here are a few more

        “4. “You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking!” – Joe Biden, Vice President”

        5. “I mean you’ve got the first sort of mainstream
        African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and nice-looking
        guy.” – Joe Biden, Vice President.

        Get the point yet?

  • showme2

    I agree mostly but the young vote did turn out again in 2012. They will not turn out for old white guys – Republican or Democrat.

  • Kingminnie

    Something that’s been totally overlooked in every article I’ve seen like this is the freaking bombardment with negative advertising. Pundits wonder about low turnout? Look at the non-stop advertising and fear mongering. I had 2 candidates for the same office calling each other liars in their ads, which were constant. That’s for STATE office! I had ads telling me about something bad this guy said in 2011. I had ads showing the candidate in their marine uniforms, as though that has anything to do with governing. Over and over. Ads talking about how this guy let a rapist off. Ads telling me how awesome this guy is because he’s in a deer blind. Ads telling me how my state is doing so well because my Governor who is running for re-election created so many jobs and ads telling me how my Governor didn’t create jobs. These were mostly for state offices as my dem representative is thankfully pretty much a given that she’ll win. Dark money infiltrated the ads promoting people for the state offices. It’s criminal.

    I voted, I always vote, always. BUT I can certainly see why so many people said fuck it.

  • Sarah Doyle

    All good — but just for the record, I get really tired of gun owners who insist that if I support any restriction at all on private gun ownership, it means I’m a stuck up white progressive who looks down on them, and that I won’t be happy until all their guns are taken away. I get tired of not being met halfway on this. I used to be 100% against gun ownership but now realize that (1) it’s unrealistic to think the tide will turn and (2) there are some very good reasons for people wanting to own them.

    But your points are well taken. I’ll add another: Support those politicians who work their behinds off toward putting progressive values into reality, even if you don’t support every single thing they do.

  • david

    It’s up to the voters to tur. Up, basically we need to make it trendy and fashionable to the young ones out, second groups staying home because they didn’t get all that they wanted when they wanted are complete idiots. Because we know things like immigration are doa and not going to be anything they want now.
    My dad drives a truck worked in a body shop in Ks and he and my mother both vote religiously as a duty and have never been so completely brain dead or a brat to say republicans look more like them than a well educated democratic candidate. Most people want someone better educated than them doing important things like running a country. I’m a centrist but like climate change I know is real I also know handguns and machine guns aren’t used for hunting and countries that have banned them have seen a major drop in violence.

  • churl

    I’ve been preaching this for years. Mostly, I’ve been met with contempt. Maintain.

  • Scott LookingafterhisKitten Wi

    Nope not buying this BS as a GA Progressive proud to wear the label Liberal, it’s vital that D’s realize they lost because of Obama. Having campaigned for the man in a solid Red state, it was painful to have him turn R one day after taking office. From keeping the Bush admin cronies and advisors to refusing to investigate/prosecute the Bush admin, staying in Afghanistan without apologizing to his supporters. These all forgivable, but to allow R’s and the insurance companies to craft and write the most hideous medical bill ever, that gave them the ability to screw every last one of us and then to allow them to pass the bill off as Obamacare and as a socialistic bill, and liberal bill … When it was anything but. And to be totally AWALL durning the crafting and passing of this outrage. To allow R’s to continue to pass bad legislation, and accept it as his own as a bi-partisan gesture and then allow them to blame it on him when it backfires, with no pushback! SPINELESS! It’s the continuing spinelessness of Dems who get into office, the lack of fight for those who fought and gave for them. This is why D’s lost and lost bad and will continue to lose, because those of us who give our all give up and feel we have been taken advantage of and played for fools, and manipulated, and abused, and we say no more, I’m done, note one more dollar, not one more vote, not one more hour of campaigning, volunteering, calling! Wake up Dems learn the most important lesson from R’s. Right or wrong you have to hold to your values and fight for your constituents. When you let the other part F you up the A and turn the other cheek, your supporters will walk away from you for good, and you won’t get them back for anything!

    • Charles Vincent

      “but to allow R’s and the insurance companies to craft and write the most
      hideous medical bill ever, that gave them the ability to screw every
      last one of us and then to allow them to pass the bill off as Obamacare
      and as a socialistic bill, and liberal bill … When it was anything
      but.”

      HMmmm it was introduced by Charley Rangel (D- NY) didnt get 1 republican vote and was written several different committees none of which were controlled by R’s. This is Obama’s baby and has been since his first campaign.

      “To allow R’s to continue to pass bad legislation,”
      not sure where you’ve been but the standing complain is about R’s not passing anything and being obstructionists.

  • jaggedlittlepill

    I certainly hear what you’re saying, and we in the Democratic Party have room for improvement in the way we deal with Republicans. Having said that, I would also say that you’ve made it sound like we are somehow responsible for all the dirty tricks and blatant cheating done by Republicans. They have completely destroyed the safeguards that used to be in place for the voting process, thanks to a Supremely corrupted Court backing their plays. A blind, deaf, retarded chimp can see how they’ve manipulated the system to ensure favorable outcomes for themselves, which in essence guarantees their victory no matter what. I am continually telling people that, if our vote doesn’t matter, why are Republicans trying so desperately to keep us from doing it? However, when you have a Supreme Court that continually bastardizes the meaning of the Constitution and removes laws and inserts their own at any whim, what are we supposed to do about that? They are the final say, the law of the land, and they continually twist and warp it to suit themselves. How can we possibly have Judges who are so blatantly using their power to destroy Democracy? What chance does anyone have with people like this making such critical decisions for us all?

  • Phillip PhillyMoe Nelms

    Forgive if this already has been said, but maybe a kick in the knuts is what was needed to get ppl off their azzes for sitting on their azzes. Now just look and observe the craziness that’s about to be unleashed.

    • Saul_daFly

      The bush depression is fresh in their minds — but yet they still voted GOP. No single press report I saw in the last few weeks covered how much better the economy is now than it was in 2009. The crazies have been with us for a long time now. I live in a district that tossed out its gop incumbent and put in his democratic challenger… even though we had been gerrymandered to make this a safe GOP Congressional Seat. But our candidate did not back off of the achievements of the past but campaigned on moving forward and improving the reforms that have already been passed. Good luck to her I say, but I bet she ain’t gonna find many friendly faces from the GOP when she takes her seat.

      • Charles Vincent

        Bush didn’t cause that congress and the democrats did.

  • Saul_daFly

    I am a white male in the south who owns guns and have no fear of Obama or the Democrats taking them away from. The biggest advocate in the last 20 years was a Reaganite Republican who got shot by hinkley. I am actually pretty cynical about the NRA and its claims — they do this to boost gun sales for their main sources of income – gun manufacturers and dealers. It’s just like asphalt companies lobbying for more road building. It is the way things are done in America. We all know this and still the NRA can cause mass hysteria every time a Democrat wins a race that all our guns are going to be taken and away

  • macduude

    First of all we have to stop running from us. Be DEMOCRATS. stand up for what you believe in and own it. Every Democrat should have been shouting the current economic trends (lowest unemployment, lowest deficit, longest period of growth, highest stock market, lower health care costs, etc.) We need to show people where there’s a clear choice. That’s how you energize your base.

  • William Drapou

    Some notes on strategy.
    You have to motivate voters! The Republicans motivated their base with fear, Beware of ISIL, Ebola and the ever popular Gigantic Gun Grab. (Playing since 2009). How did Democrats energize their base? “Oh well, I’m not as bad as my opponent, i guess.(sigh)”
    Next. You need to find a Media Sugar Daddy!
    The Republican party line sounds a lot like The Fox News lineup. That is literally yearlong free campaigning for any Republican candidate bright enough to not make a stupid rape comment. Do you really think that kind of in depth brainwashing doesn’t have an effect? Two all beef patties…. ( you finished the jingle, admit it.)
    The closest thing Democrats have is MSNBC. Not a single host who could raise a viewers wrath half as well as O’Reilly.
    Finally, some realistic thought and talk would be nice. Don’t endorse stupid propositions/initiatives. (Anything that spends money without addressing funding is stupid, the Country, and all the little countrettes, have gone deep enough into debt, Time to start living within your means, Even if that means increasing your means. Sin taxes are always nice, because they have the bi-partisan support of the far Left, that knows the best place to put a tax burden is on unnecessary luxuries, and the far Right, because, well, it’s a sin tax, so it’s anti-sin, Right? Just a few points to ponder.

  • MrRibbert

    What a load of crap. No one is playing the race card or the elite card. That is media hype. Do you seriously believe that anything is going to change as long as the corporations own the media? I am afraid nothing will happen until there is blood in the streets.

  • Steve Brains

    Just because Republicans LIE TO YOU, doesn’t mean you have to back down on your principles and let them get away with it.

  • James Dunn Jr

    Well i cant agree with some of things he ahs said starting with one Racism DEM didn’t start that you can bury your head in your ass all you want an truly think that race don’ have a big deal in why they hate this man People both DEM and REP seem to have forgot what this many was handed in 08 and with REP focusing on hating not only him woman and middle class with 47 percent. Now i will say this the REP moderate REp are people you can deal with maybe but its the TEA PARTY Hannity Rush Oreily who has blamed this man for everything they tried to say he lied about Benghazi,IRS, so on and so on and more than plenty of times even there own party proved nothing wrong had been done if race was not a factor why was it when Obama won the election Far and square Tea PArty REP was on a mission to make sure Voter restriction was met in key states where DEM had to pick up the same states he won in 2012

  • engineerscotty

    I’m a Portland liberal–but one who grew up in the country and is perfectly fine with folks having guns. (Though I don’t see what the objection to a background check is…) A lot of people confuse the attitudes of celebrities and pundits–many of whom are assholes in one direction or another–with the attitude of a political party.

    Urban people frequently look down on rural people as hicks. Rural people frequently look down on urban people as decadent snobs. This has gone on since people started living in cities. It need not infest our politics.

    Certainly, there are assholes in politics who do denigrate–in public or in private–subcultures other than their own. But amplifying this has become a cottage industry. Sarah Palin makes a remark about “Real America”, and every city dweller in the country is mortally offended. Obama mentions “guns and religion”, and rural voters likewise declare their honor besmirched. Both sides should probably grow some thicker skin, rather than worrying about someone else looking down on them.

    If you vote Republican because you think Democrats think you’re an inbred redneck–OR, if you vote Democrat because you think the GOP considers you to be a hellbound dilletante–perhaps you should re-evaluate your reasons for voting? If this is what drives your potlical calculus, and not questions like “what’s best for the country” or “what’s best for me and my family”, then you are being expertly manipulated into staying on one reservation or the other, and the political hacks and fixers are earning their money.

    Just sayin’.

    • mag00

      That was on point.

  • Guest

    40,000 registration information was lost a week when early voting was started andthousands of minorities who for weeks called the voter office waiting for there registration was sent hours after the electtions

  • mag00

    Democrats don’t call Republicans racist because they say “I don’t like Obama!”

    Democrats call Republicans racist because they *legislate racist policies*

    At least know what you’re talking about before you suggest Democrats stop using a specific strategy.

    When Republicans stop passing racist legislation, Democrats will stop calling Republicans racist.

    • James Dunn Jr

      TY Meg

    • persephone

      Worrrrd.

  • James Dunn Jr

    REP got beat bad in 2012 cause of the racist comments that kept coming out there mouths he not from here i mean i don’t agree with everything but the names that have been said for every single problem even the problems REP cause went to the blame of this President who saved the Banks saved Wall Street from going over the Cliff pass Healthcare that the People who jsut got elected is trying to gut ye again because they want to kill what legacy this man has made but its no racism the problem with racism is its not alked about enough and no matter what color or reason why we have hate for each other we do an i until we talk about honestly as people we as people will never movve this country in the right direction. A president who brought unemployment from 10.percent to 5.2 percent over 10 million Jobs and this with every thing REP could do to block this man from passing bills who have filibustered everything he has tried to pass yet still this man is more hated and has passed a bi budget that has cut deficit close to trillion dollars or more but only DEM give the credit and when this facts are presented Only answer i get is cuss words and i hate tthat N word and i hope he dies now or quoted from FOX News that have been proven not true so please stop saying its not about Racism or tht need to re frame from it

  • James Dunn Jr

    For DEM to win all they have to do is continue to state the facts about what they have done without complete control of Gov yes we had the senate in 08 but we got fl
    filibustered for every bill we tried to pass which pissed folks off so we get 10 when we start getting all this bs tonot do anything the least effective congress in history why cause they simply didn’t want Obama to have no legacy so if DEM going to win 1.( they need to sit back and lets see if moderate REP will stand against the Tea Party and try to get things done but im guessing that wont happen cause TEA PARTY wants extreme changes they know President will veto TEA PArty is not about compromise and people will finally see the Moderate REP may work with President but is there enough of moderates to get things done to get the voted now this is what going to happen and they cant blame Obama on this they have control of house and senate. Want DEm to win in 2015 is to simply put out the facts and allow the people to see who the real problem is and DEm must have a back bone and stand for what they believe even with people tt hate the president they agree enough with the president to get alott of things done in GOV and DEM have to show that

  • Jaycasey

    I completely reject his idea to just accept money in politics. Does he remember McCain Feingold just 10 years ago? Since Citizens United the money game has been taken to a whole new level. One that shames our democracy and causes the rest of the world to disrespect us. And it is a game the party that cares about the powerless can never win. This has got to be our cause until we change it through the Court by changing the Court.

  • Robert Nordgren

    basically not a single democrats wanted to take credit for the greatest economic recover ever. really if GOP had been in office they would keep telling you our president is the best one ever look on that 50+ month of private job sector job growth. only a true master of business like our president could do this so give us further support blah blah blah is what they would have told us

    • persephone

      You are completely correct.

  • Nangagutza

    I agree it was a pitiful race. I don’t watch much TV so all I saw was 2X3 yard signs everywhere with names on them. I donated to a couple of Dems across the country so I got 6-10 emails EVERY day asking for more money because the Koch brothers were pouring so much money into their race. I NEVER saw a single position statement from any of them except Jeff Merkley (OR). Nothing about what I would be voting FOR. Yes, Koch brothers put a lot of money into the races, but upon checking, I found the amounts expended in each race were about equal – just scare tactics. Mostly I saw “Vote for me, I’m not a Republican!” Pitiful.

  • Garry Gentry

    You made some valid points but our Party can not run Blue Dogs and Conservative Dems and win. People will not vote for a Republican Lite over a real Republican and that was actually proven Tuesday. Jeff Merkely, Al Franken, Gary Peters, and a few others around this country embraced the President and core Democratic principles like SS, Medicare, Medicaid, the ACA, and higher wages for workers and they won in spite of massive amounts of right wing money poured out against them. Of the Blue Dogs and New Dems there are now a total of 12 left between the Senate and House and I say if we do not replace Steve Israel and the leadership of the DCCC, DSCC, and DNC with Elizabeth Warren populist who fight for working class people we might as well cede this country to the Oligarchy.

  • V Chip

    “fluent in the language of political derp”

    That is one of my new favorite phrases.

  • Drucifer

    Right On! I am a gun owning white male in the south as well. I think #2 is the biggest problem. As long as the GOP can paint Democrats as being the “intellectual elite” that is out of touch with regular folks while painting the party as interested in helping minorities at the expense of white folks, this will be a huge problem.
    Nixon’s southern strategy is working for the GOP now nearly 50 years later.

  • Prescott

    I am a conservative and a Libertarian who voted for people in all three parties last Tuesday. And whether we are ideologically the same or not, I agree with you whole heartedly.

  • Pat Goudey OBrien

    I get tired of all the ‘party elite’ bullsh*t bashing, too. Vermonters are just as gun-toting as Southerners, and we drive beat-up pick-up trucks. But they’re earthy-crunchy, and not so much red necks up here. We’ve got our wood chucks, I guess. (KIDDING!) So far, it doesn’t matter here whether you have a lot of money or a little, though. People respect you for who you are, mostly. Some of what’s said here makes sense, and some is way too defensive and needs to come from a place of stronger self-confidence and empowerment (did that sound Vermont-y enough for ya?).

  • fbear0143

    I beg to differ with you about the “elitism.” I have been a registered Democrat all my voting life – since 1964 – voting age was 21 – and have never felt a sense of anything but the big umbrella effect. The “elitist” label was put on Democrats by conservatives, and it stuck because of their very effective use of propaganda. They also made “liberal” an ugly word. I am saying this also as an OLD white southerner who has never owned a gun and grew up during the early civil rights movement without a racist bone in my body. I just never KNEW many black people. The conservatives played the race card first and over and over again.
    The priority is to 1) get it together and make the umbrella more effective by creating a bit or order out of the chaos that is the Democrat Party. I don’t mean lockstep fascism, as among the rethugs, but it works well for them. 2) either combat the propaganda machine or be aggressive in creating one of our own. They use the KISS method to train their talking birds. Though many dems are intellectuals and this method is difficult for them to adjust to, there are ways to get them on board, and probably in a more clever manner.

    • Charles Vincent

      I beg to differ. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Furthermore Democrats and politicians in general remind me of the pigs from the book animal farm.

      “The conservatives played the race card first and over and over again”
      And they spoke the truth because the democrats were obstructing the civil rights act which benefited black equality under the law of the land. The democratic party had many ties to groups like the KKK. Further more calling it a “race card” is inaccurate we are all human and therefore calling it racist implies self loathing. Bigotry is the proper term here.

      • fbear0143

        Think what you will. I lived in Missouri for a time and also in Northern Califonia, where the KKK (south of St Louis and in Hayward CA) are heavily republican, not democrat. The most active elements of that group exist now in heavily conservative areas, whee the blacks are most likely to vote democratic.
        Nut in the case of the convinced, like ourself, I simply follow the philosophy that one should “never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes one’s time and annoys the pig.” Good luck

      • Charles Vincent

        “Think what you will. I lived in Missouri for a time and also in Northern Califonia, where the KKK (south of St Louis and in Hayward CA) are heavily republican, not democrat.”
        Non Sequitur and history is what I was talking of.
        Secondly your opinion of that is speculation WRT ” Northern Califonia, where the KKK (south of St Louis and in Hayward CA”

        WRT ” I simply follow the philosophy that one should “never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes one’s time and annoys the pig.” Good luck”
        Perhaps you should stop voting since both democrats and republicans are virtually one and the same.

  • Paul Peterson

    Folks, you seem to not realize that on the 2nd mid-term elections of every 2-term president in the last generation there has been a similar change in congress. This happened to Reagan, Bush, and Clinton.

    Every 6 years, the country decides to punish the party in the presidency, which cannot be done without rewarding the other party, even though these don’t deserve the reward.

  • Derek

    Hi

    I’m an English person in Norwich in the east of the UK. I hope you don’t mind if I offer an outsiders view of US politics.

    First off one of the big problems you have is that history has been re-written and none of you seem to have noticed.

    In all the rest of the world red means left wing and blue is right, as it did int he US until recently. This isn’t just a matter of labels, these things have significance. By switching the colours as you have some long established values have been conveniently lost – as well as much of your history. Remember, this only happened in 2000, it’s a very recent change.

    It isn’t that long ago you guys were fighting the reds in Vietnam… how could you just wipe such associations from your collective minds? This rewriting of history mean you lose perspective on world events, a very 1984 “ministry of truth” concept.

    Secondly to us even Obama is a far right politician. I really don’t understand how you can be so determined to vote yourselves into servitude by being so actively opposed to things that would benefit you.

    Lastly, gun control. It is guns that kill people you know.

    I admire the US in so many ways, but in some you guys scare me.

    • Charles Vincent

      “Lastly, gun control. It is guns that kill people you know.”
      Riddle me this which came first violence in the nature of humans or weapons? You don’t understand that people were killing each other before guns and swords and stone tools. The tool isn’t the problem, people who commit violent acts are.

      But let us talk of Lord Blackstone surely you are aware of his work concerning the natural right of self defense. And I would bet you know of and are probably familiar with John Locke.

      WRT rewriting history that isn’t unique to the US the British have done this the french have done this etcetera. what seems to be the common thread through history is governments and them trying to write of themselves in a positive light. JMHO

    • ProfL

      I’ve been joking about the right suddenly becoming the “reds” for years. You are right. Obama is very conservative, and it is beyond ridiculous that even after Sandy Hook we can’t get real gun control passed in this country.

  • Guest

    OK, but, gerrymandering, targeted repression of voters’, tampering
    of digital voting machines, CitizensUnited/McCutcheon and the outdated process of elections arbitrarily set at every 2 years without regard to real time experiences let alone without public funding — each of these were important contributors that require Constitutional revision that isn’t even “on the table”. These existing structural faults were known to strongly favor the GOP before the vote ever was taken.

    One-sided criticizing of Koch (and associates) without equally holding Steyer (and associates) money is spot on. But, contrary to what Manny Schewitz has said, the race baiting continues from punditry allied with both the GOP and Democrat Party. And it’s not clear to me how someone who helpfully suggests “Deal in facts, not scare mongering” can also include the common gun control lie: “Democrats … (generally think gun owners) need to have their guns taken away”.

    Nonetheless, Obama and his administration certainly screwed up by postponing actions (until after the election) on KXL, immigration reform, infra-structure repair, Eric Holder’s replacement, etc. thereby reinforcing Obama’s already well deserved criticism for placing politics ahead of the best interests of the nation. The Congressional Democratic candidates also erred by not prominently and cooperatively supporting each other in displaying all those issues plus student loan overhaul, overturning CitizensUnited, further improving healthcare, rejecting the Trans-Pacific-Partnership, and universal background checks as goals toward which progress could be made only with a Democrat controlled Senate. On those points, Manny is positively correct.

  • dkantz

    OK, but, gerrymandering, targeted repression of voters’,
    tampering of digital voting machines, CitizensUnited/McCutcheon and the
    outdated process of elections arbitrarily set at every 2 years without regard
    to real time experiences let alone without public funding — each of these were
    important contributors that require Constitutional revision that isn’t even “on
    the table”. These existing structural faults were known to strongly favor
    the GOP before the vote ever was taken.

    One-sided criticizing of Koch (and associates) without equally holding Steyer
    (and associates) money is spot on. But, contrary to what Manny Schewitz has
    said, the race baiting continues from punditry allied with both the GOP and
    Democrat Party. And it’s not clear to me how someone who helpfully suggests
    “Deal in facts, not scare mongering” can also include the common gun control
    lie: “Democrats … (generally think gun owners) need to have their guns taken
    away”.

    Nonetheless, Obama and his administration certainly screwed up by postponing
    actions (until after the election) on KXL, immigration reform, infra-structure
    repair, Eric Holder’s replacement, etc. thereby reinforcing Obama’s already
    well deserved criticism for placing politics ahead of the best interests of the
    nation. The Congressional Democratic candidates also erred by not prominently
    and cooperatively supporting each other in displaying all those issues plus
    student loan overhaul, overturning CitizensUnited, further improving
    healthcare, rejecting the Trans-Pacific-Partnership, and universal background
    checks as goals toward which progress could be made only with a Democrat
    controlled Senate. And the Democrat
    Party should be ashamed for not having long ago exposed the GOP for remaining beholden
    to powerholders who benefit from the Trickle Down Myth. On those points, Manny is positively correct.

  • Vegas Diceman

    Want to know the number one reason the Democrats got their A**es handed to them. THEY PLAY THE BLAME EVERYONE ELSE BUT US GAME FOR 6 YEARS AND THE PEOPLE GOT SICK OF IT. ,

  • bronncohowie

    Uh, it’s hard to “turn out the youth vote” when college students have to go back to their home precincts to vote.

  • RayandFannie Esparza

    I don’t mind the GOP repealing Obamacare, but I wish they would clue us in on what they will replace it with….Think of all the millions who did not have Ins. before, the one millions will get some of the ins. they now have and will get a tax break , the millions of kids who are under 26 and on their parents ins., the millions who are ill and have a ton of health cost now covered with no limits, the millions of seniors who have a break on the do-nut hole , etc., etc., etc.,….I hope the GOP will announce their new Ins. policy before the end of the year…

  • Corinne Rogan

    We need to vote!

  • Michael Bailey

    The Democratic party needs to stop spending so much time pushing a divisive cultural agenda that comes across as too p.c. at best and downright anti-Christian and anti-traditional values at worst. The party should work to be more inclusive of tradition-minded Americans and spend more time focusing on the issues they win on, namely economic populism, stopping the setbacks to the labor movement, cleaning up the environment, fixing our infrastructure, and putting America first. It needs to become the party of the common man. If it does that, the GOP will become seen by many more Americans as just a has-been party of the rich and essentially become extinct.

  • Grand_Old_Partier

    I was looking for comedic relief but boy did I stumble on comedy gold as I scrolled through the comments.

  • Mathematicaster

    I don’t think it even needs to get to those points, although you do I think, argue for a lot of mildly liberal independents. The problem as I see it is that the Dems don’t tell the truth. They play the GOP game and point out the big bad GOP. Now, there IS a big bad GOP and I think that you vastly underestimate it’s power. But I don’t think they need to hit on that. Those of us who see it and believe it don’t need to be told. Those who don’t see it aren’t going to believe it so SFTU.
    They DON’T say what the GOP has voted for. They DON’T say what the GOP has vowed to do. They DON’T point out the realities of the economy. They don’t debunk that BS Chicago “School” of Economics crap. They don’t hammer what the GOP has ignored in voter sentiment (Think gun control issues- ever 83% of NRA members favor some rational issues) but it is never pointed out.
    Preaching to the choir feels good but accomplishes nothing. The ADS of the candidates need to hammer this stuff. They need to play the quotes of the opposition being pro GMO, pro-Rape, pro-Wayne La Pierre, anti fair pay, pro-discrimination.
    Maybe if they did that…

  • 707westy .

    RPUSA all the way.

  • Jim Bean

    People didn’t show up because they knew the Democratic Party would lose if they didn’t show up and the were OK with that.

    • Andy Kinnard

      …because, for the issues that matter to them, they see no difference. That phenomenon is a failure of messaging AND a failure to act on the issues of import (to working people, to young people, to people of color).

      • Jim Bean

        Agree

  • ProfL

    This is a very strange article from many perspectives. It is especially strange that it appears on a site that promises forward thinking for progressive action. The piece departs from the premise that getting more people with (D) after their names to Washington is the end game. The progressives I know are not beholden to the Democratic party. At best, they see the Democrats as the lesser of two evils. What progressives want is real progressive change, not sending more Ds to Washington. One of the things the author suggests – accepting more money in politics – would undermine that effort.

    Two other troubling aspects of this piece are the references to “playing the race card” and “elitism.” The expression “playing the race card” is used to silence all legitimate discussions of racism in the US today. It is not an expression progressives should be using. As soon as an accusation of “playing the race card” is used, what may in fact be an egregious example of racism is delegitimized.

    On the second matter, cultural elitism is in the eye of the beholder and may be based on a person’s own feelings of inferiority. The only elitism that really matters politically is economic elitism, and the incoming Congress (Rs and Ds) is set to enact a lot of pro-corporate legislation that will only bolster that form of elitism. Instead of reinstating the wedge issues that only divide the have-nots from each other, progressives must work to make people realize the system has to change significantly. That won’t happen by rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic every two years.

  • Brandyjack

    Where to begin?! A couple of close ideas, but not articulated. First, drop the stupidity of gun control, semi temperance on alcohol, and other “socially progressive” ideas. These are throw backs to the early Progressive movement, like involuntary sterilization, meant to produce a “better” class of citizen. Stop trying to legislate a “better citizen.” Since, such luminaries as Justice Thomas used the “race card” in a back handed way, it is a difficult knot. Justice Thomas, by the way, sat before the Senate Committee and said he would not play the race card. Then, why did he mention it? The Koch Brothers do have a family history with the John Birch Society. Read some of their early literature, they sure weren’t for a free society, except on their terms. The John Birch Society was racist, anti-government, accusing President Eisenhower of being a fellow traveler with, if not a closet communist. The Democrats and Conservative Progressives need to present a solid core of ideas, for the government, at the States level and nationally.

  • balconesfalk

    The young white voters who showed up for Obama thought he was the peace candidate. Boy were they deceived. All we really want is Peace, Prosperity and Domestic Tranquility. That’s what we hoped for when we voted for him.

  • balconesfalk

    I say we demand a return to paper ballots, the kind I used in this election–Mail-In-Ballots. That’s the way to vote–in the privacy of your own home.

  • Ward Anderson

    5, 4, 3, and 2 will keep 1 from happening.

    And, not for nothing, but you’re wrong. The Democrats need to embrace Liberalism and stop trying to be Republican Lite. Your first 4 points pretty much are the reasons Democrats fail. They too often try to play the “Look, we’re conservative and into Jesus and guns, too” game, when they should be giving young and liberal voters an actual voice..which they are not.

    Look at the ballots: People vote for liberal issues when there is no “D” or “R” next to it. Marijuana legalization, Raised minimum wage, abortion rights. Democrats should appeal to people’s Liberalism, rather than distancing themselves from it.

  • Stiffyone

    lies and half-truths don’t help the cause. Deal in facts

    —————————-
    The left can’t deal with the facts. Because the facts are not on their side.