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Hudlin's Huddle => Hudlin's Huddle => Topic started by: Reginald Hudlin on October 17, 2010, 07:34:44 pm

Title: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on October 17, 2010, 07:34:44 pm
from my friend DAVID EVANS:

Reggie,

I’m hearing that some black folk are threatening to stay home on election day because the Obama Administration hasn’t delivered on its promises in its two-year existence.   What good purpose will staying home serve, what has the administration done to deserve this abandonment, and what will such inaction mean for African Americans?  Were things so much better during the previous administration that we should return thereto?

This is comparable to civil rights leaders of the 1950s saying that because the 1954 U. S. Supreme Court decision, Brown vs. Board of Education, didn’t end Jim Crow segregation overnight, they should abandon litigation through the courts and acquiesce to the status quo ante.  We must remember that in the 1950s, the status quo was “separate but equal” racial segregation laws established by the Court’s 1896, Plessy vs. Ferguson decision.

These are tough economic times, but little that is worthy and significant happens instantaneously and without struggle.  Before the ideals of Brown vs. Board were significantly realized there was the Emmett Till lynching, Ms. Rosa Parks’ arrest, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Little Rock Crisis, the Greensboro Sit-Ins, James Meredith at Ole Miss, the Birmingham Church Bombing, the murders of Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney, “Bloody Sunday” at the Pettus Bridge in Selma, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., race riots, etc., etc.  This was two decades in which jobs were lost, homes were lost, and lives were lost, but we are a more principled nation because some committed citizens sacrificed and stayed the course.



Best regards,



Dave
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Emperorjones on October 18, 2010, 02:32:16 am
I understand this tired argument, the Civil Rights struggles which my post-Civil Rights generation and the one(s) that have come after don't have a real visceral connection to, are trotted out again and again whenever the Democrats get their ass in a sling. And what's the end result? If anything, little change around the margins, but the structural obstructions/impediments to reform and real change remain unchanged. Those struggles weren't fought to keep the Democrats in office, and they are not as synonmous with the current Democratic party, or hell, even the Democratic party of that period, as conventional wisdom thinks. But the Democrats will keep playing on that emotional appeal again and again because they know, or they think, we don't have another home or can't envision stepping outside their tent for some electoral relief. And so far, they have been right. But it galls me that they spend a lot of time distancing themselves from blacks, seeking the great white independent middle or the Reagan Democrats, but only to realize when that fails again and again or falls short, they run back to us to save them, only to put us back on the shelf once the election is through.

I've debated whether I should sit out myself, as an act of protest. Though the Democrats have done a lot of things, they've lost the message war to the GOP so I can understand why some people might think Congress/President Obama has done absolutely nothing to help them out during these tough times. Also, the Democrats are just as beholden to big business as the GOP, but the GOP has masterfully turned themselves into the party of the little guy, or rather the little white guy, or as the media might say, the 'average' or 'hardworking' or 'working' Americans against Big Government/Big Business/Big Everything. But the Democrats largely have themselves to blame by allowing themselves to be outflanked and for actually being the party of Big Government/Big Business, etc. (The dirty and not-so-secret secret is that the GOP has been the party of Big Government/Big Business too, but since the Democrats have never been able to effectively call it like it was, they get away with tarring the Democrats and have been doing it for 30 something years. It's become almost a truism about the Big Government, tax-and-spend liberals, so much so that liberal is a dirty word, even among many Democratic politicians.)

Also the Democrats have been pretty craven-as usual-when it comes to standing up to the GOP and defining a clear agenda/vision for where they want to take the country. Only now, with the fire on them, do they start to come out but I think its too little and too late for a good number of them. If they are running away from what they've done, turning their back on one another, it doesn't inspire me with much confidence that they can provide the leadership we need. Of course I think the GOP would be worse, but I wonder by how many levels of degree. Under the GOP or Democrats a lot of these problems haven't been solved. Just under Dems they talk to us nicer-sometimes-and throw a few more bones, but we delude ourselves that the possibilities for change are greater, only to wind up disappointed. With the GOP, we know what we are dealing with, so we don't expect much, and sometimes are more willing to fight against their agenda, instead of being lulled to sleep under the Democrats. So, I have to wonder, which is better, being alert or being asleep? We often find ourselves with this greater/less evil debate every election. I'm getting tired of voting for evil period, little, quasi, or otherwise.

That being said, I will probably vote anyway, though if there are Green Party people on the ticket, I'll likely vote for them. Maybe one day progressive blacks will see it as a viable alternative at least in local or state elections.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on October 18, 2010, 03:31:04 am
There's no doubt Obama and the Democrats have not done enough for their core constituents, Black Americans.  Although Obama has done a lot policy-wise that will benefit all poor people, including African Americans, he's delivered a lot more lectures than he has pats on the back.  Doing a good job is not enough.  Ask Adrian Fenty.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Emperorjones on October 18, 2010, 04:02:59 pm
That's true, but can we say its doing a good job if the people you think you've helped, or actually helped, don't even know they've been helped? I mean, communication is part of the job, and the Democrats have failed at this miserably. Yeah, I'm talking about the President on down. I think he must have believed the hype that he was a great communicator and just his presence alone was enough. For some blacks and progressives it is, but for many others it isn't, especially if the policies are unknown, watered down, or their effects won't be felt for years, which is what I think is the case for much of the president's agenda has been for the first two years.

He's been too scared of angering white swing voters, many of whom he will never be able to bridge the 'empathy gap' because he isn't one of them. For blacks, he knows he has them in his pocket so he can talk down to them when he needs to, tell them straight up I'm not going to target anything to you even though your problems are worse on average than other groups, despite the fact you are my most loyal constituency. It's too much business as usual with the Obama administration and that doesn't fire me up at all. So, I'm supposed to be hyped about two more years of the same?

If Obama, with the Dems behind him, had come in with a real change agenda and had been actually willing to risk being a one-term president to effect deep structural change I think he would have more support. He did the inside game, he's tried the soft cell and his opponents still call him the most radical president ever and I think some believe that in part because of his skin color and his name. He was damned if you do, damned if you don't. In that situation, you might as well do. Show them you've got some fire, that you can take a punch but throw one too. When it comes down to it, do I feel that Obama and the Dems have my back? No, so it's got me seriously contemplating why should I keep having theirs?

Perhaps blacks need to revolt against the Dems, to punish them to get some results. I've been thinking along these lines since 2000 when I thought it would've been a great opportunity to make the Green Party a national party if perhaps enough progressives had voted for Nader. We need alternative voices. I know some might shout me down and say it would give the election to the Republicans, but I believe short term loss is necessary for long term gain. In 1964, the general political consensus was that the hard right were kooks and Goldwater's presidential campaign was a disaster. They regrouped and 20 years later, you got Reagan and a major shift rightward in the political consensus. When Obama was elected, there was just the mere chance of another shift, but I felt it was overblown media speculation because Reagan's rise came on the back of a more cohesive ideology. There had been a lot of policy ideas and think tanks, etc. that had sprouted up between Goldwater and Reagan, and you had movements like the Moral Majority, etc. that laid the groundwork.

Even though Bill Clinton didn't turn back the rightward tilt, he accomodated it and tried to find a "Third Way" and at least there was a policy framework for the New Democrat stuff, and it was even replicated across the seas, with Tony Blair and other leaders. But with the 2006 and 2008 Democrats, there was nothing. No real policy framework, no policy ideas, it was a disparate mess of often conflicting ideologies and agendas with the Democratic name as a band-aid. They rode in on a wave of voter anger and they didn't do enough to seize or control the moment, they didn't have any real strong policy ideas in my opinion, any vision that could perhaps turn back the rightward direction of the country, even though Bush had discredited it in large part. And there was even talk that the GOP was on the way to extinction. But yet, they found a way to turn that voter anger in their favor, and because the Democrats didn't make good on their promises in a bold fashion, nor did they seem particularly willing to defend what they had accomplished, it made them look weak and incompetent.

So the potential was there for a resurgence of liberalism (call it new liberalism, like Blair's "New Labour") but the liberals were too afraid to seize it. And they allowed the GOP and Tea Party to define them. I think there is a lot we can learn from the Tea Party. They've taken the GOP by the balls mainly by risking going outside the party and supporting candidates who speak to their concerns. Now the GOP is sort of forced to follow their lead because all the energy is with the Tea Party people this election cycle and probably in 2012. This is what I had hoped blacks or progressives could use the Green Party for, but too many of us remain wedded to the Democrats to ever truly wield our voting power.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Hypestyle on October 20, 2010, 11:36:50 am
philosophically I may consider myself a progressive independent, but pragmatically I tend to vote for Democrats.. I think if the game of financing weren't such an impediment for alternative-parties, there could be more 'serious' discussion on progressive platform topics.. that said, I feel that sitting out this election-- any election-- is not a good look, it give the opposition the nod by default.. I wanted the legislation passed during Obama's tenure so far to be even sharper than it was, but I know that the neo-cons getting control of at least one Congressional body means "even less" can get done until 2012..
PS-- ban exit polls during elections..
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Battle on October 20, 2010, 11:40:18 am
>>>Hypestyle





Agreed.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on October 20, 2010, 03:37:45 pm
Decisions are made by those who show up.
If we can't be bothered to show up, we deserve what we get.
(IOW, what Hypestyle said.)
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: voodoochild on October 23, 2010, 10:48:47 am
That's true, but can we say its doing a good job if the people you think you've helped, or actually helped, don't even know they've been helped? I mean, communication is part of the job, and the Democrats have failed at this miserably. Yeah, I'm talking about the President on down. I think he must have believed the hype that he was a great communicator and just his presence alone was enough. For some blacks and progressives it is, but for many others it isn't, especially if the policies are unknown, watered down, or their effects won't be felt for years, which is what I think is the case for much of the president's agenda has been for the first two years.

Positive change takes time.  You and I can take a pair of sledgehammers and destroy a house in a matter of hours.  It takes months to rebuild what we destroyed.  Bush and co. did a lot of damage to this country and it's going to take years to repair that damage.
Obama's message is clear, it's just that this country's collective IQ has been lowered by the steady stream of easily digestible, emotionally manipulative soundbites.

He's been too scared of angering white swing voters, many of whom he will never be able to bridge the 'empathy gap' because he isn't one of them. For blacks, he knows he has them in his pocket so he can talk down to them when he needs to, tell them straight up I'm not going to target anything to you even though your problems are worse on average than other groups, despite the fact you are my most loyal constituency. It's too much business as usual with the Obama administration and that doesn't fire me up at all. So, I'm supposed to be hyped about two more years of the same?

There's a political reality the first Black president has to deal with.  No, he can't anger white swing voters because at the end of the day, he's still a Black man.  He's gotta play it safe down the middle if he wants another term where, hopefully, he can make even greater policy changes.
I don't understand this whole "talk down" thing.  What does that mean?  When has Obama ever talked down to Black folks?  The thing a lot of Black folks seem to not understand is that Obama is the the president of the entire  U.S., not just Black America.  He's working on fixing problems created by the last administration.  If you're not hyped about two more years of the same, what's the alternative?  Palin? Romney? Gingrich?  That really what you want?

If Obama, with the Dems behind him, had come in with a real change agenda and had been actually willing to risk being a one-term president to effect deep structural change I think he would have more support. He did the inside game, he's tried the soft cell and his opponents still call him the most radical president ever and I think some believe that in part because of his skin color and his name. He was damned if you do, damned if you don't. In that situation, you might as well do. Show them you've got some fire, that you can take a punch but throw one too. When it comes down to it, do I feel that Obama and the Dems have my back? No, so it's got me seriously contemplating why should I keep having theirs?

What one term president in modern times was able to make deep structural change in four years?  Particularly coming into the two wars, high deficit/unemployment, housing bubble, etc.

Perhaps blacks need to revolt against the Dems, to punish them to get some results. I've been thinking along these lines since 2000 when I thought it would've been a great opportunity to make the Green Party a national party if perhaps enough progressives had voted for Nader. We need alternative voices. I know some might shout me down and say it would give the election to the Republicans, but I believe short term loss is necessary for long term gain. In 1964, the general political consensus was that the hard right were kooks and Goldwater's presidential campaign was a disaster. They regrouped and 20 years later, you got Reagan and a major shift rightward in the political consensus. When Obama was elected, there was just the mere chance of another shift, but I felt it was overblown media speculation because Reagan's rise came on the back of a more cohesive ideology. There had been a lot of policy ideas and think tanks, etc. that had sprouted up between Goldwater and Reagan, and you had movements like the Moral Majority, etc. that laid the groundwork.

Again, what's the alternative?  You ready to repeat the Reagan/Bush 1 & 2 years just to "make a point"?  Ask yourself who's really gonna lose in that scenario?  Here's my issue with Nader.  All he ever seems to do is come around every four years to make a run at the big seat and ends up bleeding off valuable votes from the Dems.  What does he do in the interim?  Are the Greens trying to build their party's strength during the "off season"?  Maybe get some senators or a few governors elected instead of shooting for the main prize?  The Dems may not be great, but they're sure as hell better than the GOP.

Even though Bill Clinton didn't turn back the rightward tilt, he accomodated it and tried to find a "Third Way" and at least there was a policy framework for the New Democrat stuff, and it was even replicated across the seas, with Tony Blair and other leaders. But with the 2006 and 2008 Democrats, there was nothing. No real policy framework, no policy ideas, it was a disparate mess of often conflicting ideologies and agendas with the Democratic name as a band-aid. They rode in on a wave of voter anger and they didn't do enough to seize or control the moment, they didn't have any real strong policy ideas in my opinion, any vision that could perhaps turn back the rightward direction of the country, even though Bush had discredited it in large part. And there was even talk that the GOP was on the way to extinction. But yet, they found a way to turn that voter anger in their favor, and because the Democrats didn't make good on their promises in a bold fashion, nor did they seem particularly willing to defend what they had accomplished, it made them look weak and incompetent.

I'm not so sure about your analysis of 06 and 08 because you don't factor in the corporate controlled media's overwhelming influence.  The Dems come off weak imo partially because the other side is so loud and omnipresent.  Look, they've got juggernauts like Limbaugh, Oreilly, Hannity, Beck, etc ruling the corporate controlled airwaves.  Add the collective psychological damage caused by 9-11 and the Right's willing to misuse that event for their own needs to that equation and you get weak looking Dems.

So the potential was there for a resurgence of liberalism (call it new liberalism, like Blair's "New Labour") but the liberals were too afraid to seize it. And they allowed the GOP and Tea Party to define them. I think there is a lot we can learn from the Tea Party. They've taken the GOP by the balls mainly by risking going outside the party and supporting candidates who speak to their concerns. Now the GOP is sort of forced to follow their lead because all the energy is with the Tea Party people this election cycle and probably in 2012. This is what I had hoped blacks or progressives could use the Green Party for, but too many of us remain wedded to the Democrats to ever truly wield our voting power.
The tea party is going to be the final nail in the GOP's casket.  They are gutting that party so that even the more reasonable Republicans have to kowtow to the nuts they've given voice to.  They seem strong because they make great news and help fill the 24 hour news cycle, but the reality is that the majority of the tea baggers are far too extreme for mainstream America.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Emperorjones on October 23, 2010, 06:08:12 pm
^
1. I'm far more skeptical than you about positive change and our nation's ability to enact the structural reforms that I feel are necessary to really create an egalitarian society. This is larger than Bush. Blaming everything on Bush is one of the fictions of the Democrats. Some of these issues go back decades.

2. Of course I understand that President Obama walks a tightrope, but that indicates to me that he will spend all of his time balancing on that rope and not be willing to risk falling off it if necessary sometimes. When have any of these 'teachable moments' about race during his first two years taught anyone anything? I think Obama has talked down to black people when he talks to black audiences one way and white audiences, non-black audiences another. When he demands of black audiences to be responsible, stop watching TV, etc, what that does is play into this stereotype of general irresponsibility from black people that the media has been pushing for decades now. It also plays into the idea that Obama is 'exceptional', that he 'isn't like the rest of them'. I'm so sick of hearing this Obama is the president of all America crap. Aren't African Americans American? If the President can have a 'special relationship' with blacks which gives him the license to scold them and tell them to do better then it should work both ways and African Americans, his most loyal voting bloc, should be able to demand something of him, beyond the standard paen to the Civil Rights Movement. However, we get that rising tide lifts all boats crap, another dodge because he doesn't want to target anything to blacks out of fear, which I think is legitimate to some extent, that it will anger whites. But even if he does nothing, some whites will feel he is putting blacks over them anyway, so why sit on his hands? I mean, if you've got two kids, one with the cold and one with pneumonia, you don't give them both the same Robotussin. You apply different medicines based on the different affliction.  

3. I said be willing to risk a second term to enact a stronger change agenda. I wanted the President to be willing to put more on the line, and if he had been a bit more fearless perhaps it would arouse more excitement from his base, dampen the general anger out there, some of which is now animating the Tea Party, and make a second term a stronger possibility. Conversely, with Clinton and Bush II, you saw both men largely squander their second terms, and even with Reagan his nearly got devoured by Iran-Contra. I can't say there's been major structural change in many one or two-term presidencies, particularly in the modern times. You've got Truman and LBJ, but both of them had over four years, though technically they were one-term presidents.

4. Yeah, I want to make point. Here is an area where I think the Tea Party is doing the right thing. They don't like what they are getting out of Washington and they are organizing and challenging the status quo. I know that its not a grassroots movement, I know that there is a lot of big corporate dollars going into it, and that they pretty much have one network firmly in their pocket and others who give them a lot of coverage, free advertising, but for some of the average Tea Party supporters, its a movement they feel that is speaking to them and for them. How many of us can say that about the Democrats? When you've had some prominent blacks say for years that the Democratic party takes us for granted, yet some turn right back around and say support these guys, because they are unwilling to challenge the Democrats, it is dispiriting and I can understand why a lot of people don't vote. I'm tired of black folks being used as pinata. Perhaps it would be a short term loss, for a longer term gain. As it stands now, the Democrats don't respect us and as long as we continue to cave in they won't respect us. Of course I don't think having the GOP in control would be great, as I've already said. However, I don't think we've been having a high time with the Democrats in control either. So far, we've been screwed either way. So, I argue that we make a new way, something we've been forced to do throughout our time in this country. It wouldn't be easy, but at least we wouldn't be beholden to the Democrats, and they wouldn't take us for granted so easily and all the time because they would have to really work for our vote instead of trotting out musty old stories about Selma. Granted, I agree that the Green Party could or should be doing a better job of seriously becoming a viable alternative.  If not them, something else, a New Progressive Party or something. We've to rock the boat. The strategy of working within the Democratic party has not worked for the black masses. It's helped some blacks, to be sure, but I think some of the black party officials have come to put the success of the party over that of the community or tied them together, and chose the party's interest when the community and the goal's of the party conflict.

5. I'm not discounting any of the things you described, but what do any of those things have to do with creating a consistent, competing vision to conservatism? You can easily define a modern U.S. style conservative: low taxes, strong national defense, family values, etc. What exactly is a liberal? The point I was trying to make is that the Democrats failed to create a strong, unifying vision of what their party represented and where they wanted to take the nation. They benefited from being anti-Bush more than for their ideas. Reagan benefited from being anti-Carter, but also because his ideas had won the day and really shifted how this country viewed itself politically. The Tea Party/GOP is similiar situation today, where it is so anti-Obama that they don't have strong ideas that can keep them united if/when they regain control of Congress. Things that can smooth over a lot of their regional differences, etc., however I think the GOP has been doing this much better than the Democrats for a long time. To be fair, having strong ideas/vision isn't a panacea. I think Gingrich's ego, GOP overreaching, and brilliant Clinton tactics derailed the '1994 revolution'. However, Clinton still had to operate in a much more conservative environment and tamp down his already moderate agenda. He even declared that the era of Big Government is over and enacted welfare reform. Something similar might happen with Obama where he can outmanuever a cocky GOP Congress, which will be great for him politically, but still leave the Democrats too fractured and frayed.

6. It is true in a sense that the Tea Party might destroy the GOP. I think right now the Republicans are riding the tiger for all its worth, but if these guys get into office and go overboard, its going to dim their chances of retaking the White House in 2012. If anything, for Obama personally it might be a good thing. For one, the GOP can't say its all Obama and the Democrats fault, they would also take responsibility for governing and that means the blame too when stuff doesn't go right. If Obama works with them, but not caves into them, he will come across as a strong, bipartisan president for the middle, while also shoring up his base (who will likey understand he's working in a hostile environment and tamp down their demands-definitely blacks will do this). Of course, all this results in very little change and pretty much the status quo. But by 2016, we can at least say we got eight years of pretty pictures, but very little substantial change.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Emperorjones on October 24, 2010, 05:32:57 am
Furthermore,

I didn't expect massive change during Obama's first term. That's very hard to do with our political system, however I was hoping he would be a change agent. Obama came into office at one of those rare times where I think transformative change-the kind he talked about wanting to enact on the campaign trail-was possible. Global capitalism was under assault, the GOP was in disarray, Bush had largely discredited the Goldwater-Reagan brand of conservatism, and Obama had changed the electoral map. If he hadn't played an inside game, if he had gone a more populist course, Obama might have been able to forge a new political consensus, and maybe swung the pendulum away from conservatism. However, he played not to lose, he didn't play to win. 

To be fair, he has accomplished some of them of his campaign promises, but some of those were done in such a way that it leeched the excitement out of it by being compromised of half-hearted. Plus, the administration did a poor job selling what they had done. For the most part he's been a typical Democrat.

I'm disappointed not just with the President, but with black folks too. We've got to demand more. The idea that we shouldn't say anything or criticize the President is absurd. Other groups are doing it all the time, and guess what, he's responding to them. With blacks he's been somewhat dismissive-except now, when they need our votes-and he's able to do that because we don't put pressure on him. We don't vocalize our concerns. Instead, we are afraid of being accused of being haters, crabs in a barrel, or adding to his burdens. The President can't solve all the economic problems, there's a lot of things the President can't do, but at the same time, there are things that he can do, and the very idea that he is reluctant to even talk about targeted stuff for urban communities is a failure on our part to demand this from him. The money targeted to HBCU's didn't create much of a firestorm that I saw, so maybe Obama is being a bit more skittish than he should be. 

Gays got him talking about Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Latinos got him talking about immigration, even the Tea Party folks got him talking about deficit spending. He never told any of them that he wasn't the President of Gay America, Latino America, or Tea Party America. He addressed them with the proper respect as voters. Now, I'm not saying he's done much on any of those fronts but at least he responded to them because they put it out there and forced a response. We've seen too little of this from our community. We got some grumbles last year from the Congressional Black Caucus and their are some intellectuals like Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson, but the black masses seem to be bottling their disappointment. I think that will just manifest itself in more voter apathy.   
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: TripleX on October 24, 2010, 12:28:18 pm
We as a group can't afford voter apathy. You're forgetting that Black people are used to being treated unfairly and being held to a higher standard. Many of us see the assault on Obama as racist, therefore you have to understand our reluctance to contribute. That's why he's getting a pass from the Black community, he has to get shelter from the storm somewhere.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Emperorjones on October 24, 2010, 01:45:51 pm
I agree that we can't afford voter apathy, but at the same time I don't think Democrats or Republicans have done much to actually inspire us to vote. It's a truism that the Democrats take us for granted. Malcolm X's brilliant political analysis of the black/Democratic Party relationship in "The Ballot or the Bullet" speech still holds true today, some 40 years after he gave the speech. If we are still at the same place, relatively speaking, in how the Democrats take us for granted, even after a spate of black politicians, public officials and two 'black' presidents-Clinton and Obama-I can understand why some people don't vote. I remember reading Robert Smith's "We Have No Leaders" years ago and he broke it down, that these black politicians put the interests of party over the interests of their communities. They play the inside game and go for incremental change, if any change at all, and that's not a platform that can move people out of their lethargy.

I also don't think that the political establishment of either party wants a lot of people voting anyway. A lot of their calculations are based on 'likely' voters, of people that have voted before and if they keep those numbers and voters roughly the same they can basically slice and dice and manipulate that electorate. Even with the new voters that Obama bought into the 2008 election, the Democrats didn't know what to do with them, perhaps because they didn't expect them or anticipate them. Certainly Hillary's campaign wasn't designed to get a lot more people to the polls, but I am shocked that Obama's team didn't know what to do with these new voters. However, even with that increased number, I'm not sure if we had a bigger number overall of the actual number of voting age people who voted. I know that's been going down for decades as people become more disconnected from their government.

Another thing to look at is the amount of money in politics. It's not just the vote, its about the money clogging both parties, buying access that average folks don't have. And you have to damn near be a millionaire to run for office. How many people you know have that kind of money or can buy that kind of access? Also, back to the Green Party's difficulties for example, I think the two major parties have made it difficult for third parties to challenge them, so its limited the amount of voices out there.

One more thing to consider is that most of the major social change in this country was ignited by movements, ideas outside the government. Government was often behind the curve and a lot of these programs/amendments we got were in reaction, not because the politicians were proactive. To be honest, why should we expect things to be different under Obama? So, I think the whole issue is twofold, Obama for not enacting real structural change, but its also on us, for not demanding real structural change, not holding the administration accountable, and not acting perhaps in concert, but maybe sometimes, against the administration, to enact a change agenda. What we have is too many of our recognized leaders being either straight up Democratic politicians, party functionaries, or in the administration's pocket, like Al Sharpton. Some of the others, like Tavis Smiley, Dyson, or West come off as haters or blowhards. So, who is speaking for the average black person? I say no one on the national scene, and that's why people might not come out in the numbers Obama needs. I mean the Democrats can try to scare the crap out of them and the Tea Party is helping them out in that regard, but I don't think ultimately its going to make much of a difference, especially for poor blacks whose dire circumstances haven't changed much under Democrats or Republicans.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on October 26, 2010, 09:23:02 am
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Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on October 27, 2010, 07:03:29 am
(http://c0389161.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/dyn/str_strip/340379.full.gif)
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: BlackRodimus on October 27, 2010, 09:03:06 am
This whole thing is silly and short-sighted, IMO. Whatever beef you have with Obama, real or imagined, putting REPUBLICANS back in power is not the answer. They haven't even promised anything for if they get back in office, and don't forget those tax breaks for the wealthiest 1% they want to keep from expiring. They do not have lower to middle class people's best interest at heart, and they damn sure don't have black people's interest at heart, no matter how many black republicans they may tout to try and prove the contrary.

In short (since I'm sure no one likes walls of texts, I sure don't), everyone admits Obama, instead of working magic overnight, is going at a snail's pace? Okay, would you rather have that, or a screeching halt and then full speed in REVERSE?

Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Emperorjones on October 27, 2010, 06:32:24 pm
^
To each its own, but its not silly nor shortsighted to expect the representatives you elect to live up to their promises or at least to fight for them. I think black people find themselves in the same position with the Democrats year after year, election after election and this occurred long before Obama. So, I can understand why there is an enthusiasm gap because people are tired of seeing their interests ignored or pushed to the backburner once the Democrats get in power. I've said that the GOP would be worse, but once again, the lesser of two evils is still evil. I don't think the Democrats give a damn about black people or lower class/working class people either. Both parties are chasing those corporate dollars. The GOP won't run the floor with the elections and even if they win one House or even both, they are still going to have to work with the Democrats, which means that if the Dems toughen up they can impede much of the GOP's agenda like the Republicans have done to them. I think the nightmare scenario stuff that the Dems always bring out at election time to scare black folks, to cow them into voting for them again, needs to stop. How about a real discussion about how to go forward, how the people will actually get something from their vote? What's the plan, what's the programs? What's the vision? What's the country supposed to look like at the end of the Obama presidency, presumably in 2016? Not the fear talk.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on October 28, 2010, 07:32:46 am
from DAVID EVANS:

Reggie,
 
Thought I would share these thoughts with you and hope you share them with “persons willing to reflect.” :-)
 
 
Best regards,



Dave
________________________
 
Former Supporters Who Are Hesitating
 
Not voting because of disagreement with the first two years of the Obama Administration is a case of “cutting off your nose to spite your face.”  Without a nose you might not be able to smell the bailed-out auto industry and the sweet fragrance of hundreds of thousands of jobs the bail-out protected.  Of course, the comforting smell of Wall Street banks saved along with the world economy so closely tied to those banks, would probably elude your olfactory senses too.   The cut-off nose and spited face might assuage anger and offer momentary satisfaction, but the pleasing whiffs that drift up from streets kept safe by thousands of police officers and from classrooms with lessons taught by an equal number of teachers­-WHO WEREN’T LAID OFF-­might go undetected too.
 
 Even with the most rudimentary sense of smell, however, one should be able to detect the strong and disturbing aroma of certain radical elements who offer simplistic solutions to powerfully complex problems.   More often than not, unfortunately, they offer little or nothing that is pragmatic.  Not voting invites them to positions of leadership­WOW!
Title: A Boot to the Head ...from Michael Moore
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on October 28, 2010, 09:03:49 pm
from MICHAEL MOORE:

A Boot to the Head ...from Michael Moore

Tuesday, October 28th, 2010

Friends,

There she was, thrown to the pavement by a Republican in a checkered shirt. Another Republican thrusts his foot in between her legs and presses down with all his weight to pin her to the curb. Then a Republican leader comes over and viciously stomps on her head with his foot. You hear her glasses crunch under the pressure. Holding her head down with his foot, he applies more force so she can't move. Her skull and brain are now suffering a concussion.

The young woman's name is Lauren Valle, but she is really all of us. For come this Tuesday, the right wing -- and the wealthy who back them -- plan to take their collective boot and bring it down hard on not just the head of Barack Obama but on the heads of everyone they simply don't like.

Teachers union? The boot!

Muslim-looking people? The boot!

Thinking of retiring soon? The boot!

Living in a house you can no longer afford? The boot!

Doing a bit better with your minimum wage? The boot!

Stem cell research, the bullet train, reversing global warming? Ha! The boot for all of you!

What? You like your kids being covered by your health plan 'til they're 26? The boot for them and the boot for you!

In love with someone of your own gender? A double boot up the ass for every single one of you sick SOBs!

Hoping there's a few jobs left here in the U.S. when you graduate? How 'bout just a nice boot to your head instead?

And most importantly, the last boot is saved for the black man who probably wasn't born here, definitely isn't a Christian and possibly might be the Antichrist sent here to oversee the destruction of our very way of life. A boot to your head, Obama-devil!

Yes, one big boot is poised to stomp out whatever hopey-changey thing we might have had two years ago and secure this country in the hands of the oligarchs and the culture police.

And if they win on Tuesday, they plan to show no mercy. They will not speak of bipartisanship or olive branches or tolerate any filibuster threats. They will come in and do the job with a mandate they'll perceive the electorate will have given them. They will not fart around for two years like the Democrats did. They will not "search for compromise" or "find middle ground." They will not meet you halfway on the playing field. They know that touchdowns aren't scored at the 50-yard line. Unlike our guys, they're not stupid or spineless.

Make no mistake about it, my friends. A perfect storm has gathered of racists, homophobes, corporatists and born agains and they are on fire. Two years of a black man who secretly holds socialist beliefs being the boss of them is more than they can stomach. They've been sick to death since the night of 11/04/08 and they are ready to purge. They won't need a rope and tree this time to effect the change they seek (why bother when a nice shoe on another's skull will do just fine, thank you).

They simply need to get their base to the polls (done), convince enough people Obama is responsible for the fact they don't have a job or a secure home (done), and then hope enough of us Obama-voters are so frustrated, disappointed and downright mad at the Dems (done) that we'll either stay home Tuesday or, if we vote, we won't be carpooling with 10 others to the polls.

Done? Or not?

These Republicans mean business. Their boots are all shined and ready. But they've got one huge problem:

The majority of Americans don't agree with them.

The majority want the troops home. The majority want true universal health coverage. The majority want the thievery on Wall Street to be stopped. The majority believe that global warming is happening, that social security shouldn't be privatized and that unions are a good thing.

Too bad the majority party has done precious little to bring about the change for which the majority voted. Yes, change takes time. But try telling that to someone who hasn't worked in two years. Or who hears the knock of the foreclosure sheriff at the door. The booted-up minority knows how to make hay in a situation like this. All they need is us, the disappointed, dismayed, disgusted us.

What say you? Stay home and punish the weak-kneed, sell-out Democrats? Or spend every free moment you have between now and Tuesday trying to protect what little progress has been made so we can live to fight another day (even if it is with "allies" like a Democratic Party that will more than likely still not get the message of what they need to do -- and has, in fact, spent much of the past two years giving progressives the boot)? Perhaps our job, post-election, is to provide a gentle but swift boot in the bee-hind of the party whose mascot is an ass.

Right now, we've got 112 hours. Seems like enough.

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com

Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Battle on October 29, 2010, 11:31:30 am
It's interesting...


Just observing how many spectators are actually taking up bets on how many seats are gained in the Senate, how many seats are lost, which party gets the majority in th' House of Representatives, etc. ;D


...and how overconfident the opposing political party is...   














...they are obvously not very good poker players!
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: jefferson L.O.B. sergeant on October 29, 2010, 08:02:45 pm
When does the Obama administration get blamed for selling-out their constituients?

President Obama came in with one of the biggest mandates in American political history. What did the President do with said mandate? Capitulate, genuflect and ultimately sell-out all those who supported him/

Lets count the ways.

Health Care- There should have been universal healthcare with a public option MONTHS before the Tea Party rebellions of Summer of 09. Instead, the President took a mandate and watered down reform to the point that, wait for it, NO DAMN REPUBLICANS VOTED FOR IT!

Education- The "Education" President picks a man who has never been an educator to become the Sec. of Education. He backs a corporate model of charter schools and ultimately privatizing education. If that wasn't enough, he sides with the corporate propaganda of demonizing teachers and the teachers union at every opportunity.

This should really engender support among the millions of Union members and their families.

Finance reform- Supposedly, all of the secret money from corporations is a result of the President bringing true reform to corporate America. Nothing could be further from the truth. What these corporations are doing now; is what they've always done, namely, buying power and influence.

The Obama administration truly believed that the most informed, energetic and organized voting block in modern history would be manipulated.

They wouldn't!

President Obama rolled the dice on his supporters being blind loyalists. It is going to come up craps on Tudesday.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Emperorjones on October 30, 2010, 09:40:18 am
^
I don't completely agree with everything you said JS, particularly on health care reform. I'm inclined to believe that Obama shouldn't have took on health care reform, or comprehensive reform before doing more on the economy/job creation. Also, I'm not sure the Republicans would've supported him earlier or not, however, early in his administration, when Obama was riding high and the GOP was in disarray he could've pushed for the public option. But he pretty much declared that DOA before he even began negotiations, conceding a major point, and the GOP went after the bill anyway.

Though for the most part I agree with you. It's funny how the corporate liberals on MSNBC, etc. will join the Obama Administration in taking the 'base' to task for not co-signing an agenda that relegated them to the bench. I see that its far easier for them to scold or get angry with the 'retarded'  or 'professional' left instead of their real enemies. And if they lose big, they are going to have the 'base' as a ready made scapegoat. Well, if they had done more to actually inspire the base the base would come out for them. As it stands now, there isn't a lot of stuff to get hype about. If you give people something to vote for, they'll vote. If you have their backs, they'll have yours. I do agree that the Obama Administration overcalculated that his charisma and general likeability would keep the base in line. Instead they should've put out a program that people could get into, understand, defend, and want to see continue, not this half-hearted, mealy mouthed approach. People voted for actual change, they voted for someone would would be willing to challenge the orthodoxies, and they didn't get that. And that general sense of disappointment and anger that swept the Democrats back into power in 2006 and 2008 has either went rightward or had left many among the base dispirited.

I'm not sure that voting to keep this 'change' agenda going is the best argument to get the people to the polls. Because this change looks an awful lot like the same old same old.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on October 30, 2010, 12:31:30 pm
I'm not sure that voting to keep this 'change' agenda going is the best argument to get the people to the polls. Because this change looks an awful lot like the same old same old.
But not turning out is conceding power to the actual same old same old. I just can't see how that helps anything.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Emperorjones on October 30, 2010, 01:00:40 pm
The Obama Administration is giving us a lot of the same old same old, perhaps not with as hard an edge as the GOP might. So, its not necessarily conceding anything. The game is already lost.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on October 30, 2010, 03:43:53 pm
So, its not necessarily conceding anything. The game is already lost.
No offense, EJ, but that's some lame ass bullsh*t. I understand folks have some disappointment  but to claim there is no difference is just delusional to me. 
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Emperorjones on October 30, 2010, 05:16:49 pm
^
"No offense" and then calling me delusional? Okay. Well, I look at this way. Both parties are beholden to special interests, particularly monied interests so I don't think you'll see major shifts in policy between either. Why I say the game is lost is because even if the Democrats squeak by with a victory they will have a larger GOP contingent to deal with so they'll cave to them to protect the seats they have left. The Right roared in 2010 and the Left whimpered.

If the Democrats couldn't effectively counter the GOP when they had a clear majority what makes you think they will against a larger group of Republicans, plus with the new energy from the Tea Party animating them? Instead of learning that you have to craft some policies to benefit your base the Democrats will take from 2010 that they must continue ignoring their base while seeking out the Great White Buffalo of 'middle', 'centrist' white voters. Thereby further depressing their base.
 
Title: Give Obama a Break
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on October 31, 2010, 06:45:01 am
from THE NEW YORK TIMES:

October 30, 2010
Give Obama a Break
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
In politics as in finance, markets overshoot. Traders and voters swoon over stocks or politicians one week, and then rage at them the next.

That’s why I’m feeling a bit sorry for President Obama as we approach a midterm election in which he is poised to be cast off like an old sock. The infatuation with Mr. Obama was overdone in 2008, and so is the rejection of him today.

So here’s my message: Give him a chance.

The sourness toward Mr. Obama reminds me of the crankiness toward Al Gore in 2000. We in the news media were tough on Mr. Gore, magnifying his weaknesses, and that fed into a general disdain. So some liberals voted for Ralph Nader, and George W. Bush moved into the White House.

Like others, I have my disappointments with Mr. Obama, including his tripling of forces in Afghanistan. Yet the central problem isn’t that Mr. Obama has been a weak communicator as president or squandered his political capital — although both are true — but that we’re mired in the aftermath of the biggest financial crisis since the 1930s.

After all, Gallup polls still show Mr. Obama with public approval a hair ahead of Ronald Reagan’s at a similar point in his presidency (when America was also in recession). And maybe the best comparison is with President George H. W. Bush, a solid president and admirable man who had stratospheric approval ratings in 1991 at the end of the Persian Gulf war and then was fired by the public a year later when he sought re-election — because of a much milder recession than today’s.

Bill Clinton, who was as good a president as we’ve had in modern times, captured Mr. Obama’s challenge: “I’d like to see any of you get behind a locomotive going straight downhill at 200 miles an hour and stop it in 10 seconds,” Mr. Clinton told a crowd in Washington State, according to a Washington Post account.

Mr. Clinton also noted that the midterm elections are not a referendum. “Let’s make this a referendum on everything that’s bothering you about life right now,” he paraphrased the Republicans as saying, before adding: “It is not a referendum. It. Is. A. Choice. A choice between two different sets of ideas.”

The criticisms of Mr. Obama from the left often ring true to me, but I also think we elide the political difficulties of getting better legislation past obstructionists in Congress. A “public option” would have improved the health care package in my judgment, but it might also have killed it.

The economic crisis has also distracted from authentic accomplishments. Presidents since Harry Truman have been pushing for health care reform, and it was Mr. Obama who finally achieved it. The economy seemed at risk of another Great Depression when he took office, and that was downgraded to a recession from which we have officially emerged — even though the pain is still biting.

Mr. Obama has also helped engineer a successful auto bailout, a big push for clean energy, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to reduce sex discrimination, tighter tobacco regulations aimed at the 1,000 Americans under age 18 who become smokers each day, and tighter financial regulation including reform of credit card rules.

Above all, Mr. Obama has been stellar in one area crucial to our country’s future: education. Democrats historically have been AWOL on school reform because they are beholden to teacher unions, but Mr. Obama has reframed the debate and made it safe to talk about teaching standards and “bad teachers.” Until Mr. Obama, Democrats barely acknowledged that it was possible for a teacher to be bad.

Mr. Obama used stimulus money to keep teachers from being laid off and to nudge states to reform education so as to benefit children for years to come. His “Race to the Top” focused states on education reform as never before.

He has also revamped and expanded student loans and bolstered support for community colleges, opening a new path to higher education for working-class Americans. Millions more Americans may end up in college.

Presidents in both parties have talked for years about the importance of education, but until now it has been lip service. Improving America’s inner-city schools will be a long slog, but Mr. Obama has done far more than any other president in this area — arguably our single greatest national challenge. In my view, it’s his greatest achievement, and it has been largely ignored.

So, sure, go ahead and hold Mr. Obama’s feet to the fire. He deserves to be held accountable. But let’s not allow economic malaise to cloud our judgment and magnify America’s problems in ways that become self-fulfilling.

Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Vic Vega on October 31, 2010, 08:12:21 am
Liberals have become like the dude that tries to borrow 300 bucks from you and wont take a  dime less. Never mind the fact that you've stated you wont ever come  up off that type of money for anybody no matter what.

Obama, when told he cant have 300 dollars, will take 150. This confuses and upsets Liberals who want to try for the whole thing. Liberals aren't used to being in power so they tend to forget that in the real world all progress is incremental.

If you count Bill Clinton who governed much like a Republican in many ways, we have had 12 years of regressive economic policies. It took over a decade to get in this mess, it may very well take 20 years to get out.

 Folks have forgotten the apocolyptic terms that were being thrown around during the financial crisis. Everything that the Government did during the crisis was to stave off bank run like they had in ''Its A Wonderful Life'' . They managed to stave off doomsday now things only suck as opposed to being horrible. How can what took decades to ruin be fixed in only two years? And THIS time there is no dot.com or housing bubble to ride on. All that's left is long crawl up from the near bottom.

What is weired about all this to me is that somehow when Obama swore up and down that he was a centrist and that the economy was screwed and it would take years to fix; nobody was paying attention. Now that it turned out he meant what he said folks are mad at him.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: jefferson L.O.B. sergeant on October 31, 2010, 09:31:16 am
Liberals have become like the dude that tries to borrow 300 bucks from you and wont take a  dime less. Never mind the fact that you've stated you wont ever come  up off that type of money for anybody no matter what.

Obama, when told he cant have 300 dollars, will take 150. This confuses and upsets Liberals who want to try for the whole thing. Liberals aren't used to being in power so they tend to forget that in the real world all progress is incremental.

If you count Bill Clinton who governed much like a Republican in many ways, we have had 12 years of regressive economic policies. It took over a decade to get in this mess, it may very well take 20 years to get out.

 Folks have forgotten the apocolyptic terms that were being thrown around during the financial crisis. Everything that the Government did during the crisis was to stave off bank run like they had in ''Its A Wonderful Life'' . They managed to stave off doomsday now things only suck as opposed to being horrible. How can what took decades to ruin be fixed in only two years? And THIS time there is no dot.com or housing bubble to ride on. All that's left is long crawl up from the near bottom.

What is weired about all this to me is that somehow when Obama swore up and down that he was a centrist and that the economy was screwed and it would take years to fix; nobody was paying attention. Now that it turned out he meant what he said folks are mad at him.


Respectfully, this isn't accurate at all.

President Obama doesn't have to ask for 300 dollars, he HAS the money.

That "Dude" is trying to influence you because he lacks the power to get the money. The President had the ability to determine the outcome of health care and finance reform. W was able to ram through ALL of the wrong-headed legislation he wanted without failing once. Bush was commited to his vision and did everything in his power to bring to fruition.

President Obama gambled that he could play his supporters long enough to push through his centrist actions. He was wrong.

As far as Obama staving off the apocalypse, facts are stubborn things.

Every economist worth their salt stated that the stimulus was much too small to be effective. What did President Obama do in the face of this advice? he reduced the size of the stimulus. All as a means of being "Bi-partisan". Now we are in jeapordy of slipping right back into a recession.

Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Emperorjones on October 31, 2010, 10:13:29 am
Liberals are not used to being in power? More like liberals don't know how to exercise the power they have. Under Bush, he got his agenda pushed through with less majorities than Obama had, because the conservatives have a swagger that the liberals don't. The liberals are wringing their hands far too much while the conservatives just do the damn thing.

Conservatives go for the whole thing. The Tea Party aren't talking about repealing half the health care bill, they want the whole thing eradicated and I think if they get in office, they will push for it. Now, will they get a full repeal? Perhaps not, but you get people revved up by talking about throwing the long ball and if you then get in there and try to throw it, the base will be at least mollified that you threw the pass, even if you didn't connect. IMO, many liberals are disappointed because the Democrats were too quick to compromise, too quick to concede too much, without fighting for it first. And whining about not having a 'super' majority, and using that as an excuse to water down legislation. Liberals are just supposed to take whatever the Democrats dish out to them and be happy? They are just supposed to be good footsoldiers, go along and get along? The conservatives got tired of that, and the Tea Party sprouted, and they have dominated the political debate. With their 'success' I think its hard for some liberals to accept the argument to just shut up, stop 'whining', support or program because that's the best you're going to get. How responsive or respectful is that of your base? How can you get excited about that state of affairs?

It is true that Obama has often said it would be tough, that change would take time. I'm not mad at the pace of change for the most part, I am disappointed in the character of 'change'. I think he's been far too accomodating and unwilling to fight for the things he said he would fight for. I also think he and the Democrats have done a horrible job of communicating what they have accomplished. Some liberals are disappointed because they feel that Obama has governed too much like a Republican, that he hasn't broken enough with the past, whether it be Clinton or Bush II.

To be honest, a lot this of GOP takeover business is hyperventilating by the media to sell papers and increase ratings. The President's party has often taken hits in the midterms so this isn't that big of a deal, to some extent. Though of course the character of the change, with the Tea Party, is different. I think Obama will weather this storm and it might set him up to be in a good position for 2012.

Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Emperorjones on October 31, 2010, 10:24:26 am
Re: Kristof article,

Full disclosure, I voted for Nader in 2000. I get tired of some corporate liberals, etc., blaming him for Gore's loss. If Gore had won his own home state he would've won period. But he ran a horrible campaign that didn't take advantage of the accomplishments of Clinton's term. Republicans don't sit around and whine about Perot, who won a far larger percentage of votes in both '92 and '96. They attempted to find a way to absorb those voters and appeal to them. Perhaps the Democrats should do the same, instead of treating some liberals like the cause of their electoral doldrums.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on November 01, 2010, 06:19:24 am
^
"No offense" and then calling me delusional? Okay.

I said that the claim there is no difference is delusional to me. I don't think that was your position, right? So really, no offense intended. And I do understand better what you mean after your follow-up post. I think I disagree but I see what you mean.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on November 01, 2010, 07:03:25 am
I get as pissed at the Democrats as anyone.  But to quote Bill Maher, "I don't like my cell phone service either, but I don't respond by brushing my teeth with dogsh*t". 

There's a big difference between criticizing the Democrats (which they roundly deserve) and saying "there is no difference between them and the Republicans". 

When progressives get apathetic, the party doesn't correct itself and pull to the left.  It goes where the active voters are, which is to the right.  Concede and you get more of what you don't like.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on November 01, 2010, 07:06:22 am
(http://c0389161.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/dyn/str_strip/341316.full.gif)
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Battle on November 01, 2010, 10:48:53 am
>>>Curtis Metcalf


That's the best Candorville strip yet...   Especially the first two panels! :-*
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Battle on November 01, 2010, 11:01:30 am
We Are A Nation Of Leaders*
(http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w184/Battle-D/delaware_02.jpg)
We Move Forward, Not Back!


Get out the vote, HEF!














*HEF trivial:  Can you name all of America's leaders onboard in Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze's classic painting, "WASHINGTON CROSSING
THE DELAWARE"?
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Emperorjones on November 01, 2010, 04:13:35 pm
I get as pissed at the Democrats as anyone.  But to quote Bill Maher, "I don't like my cell phone service either, but I don't respond by brushing my teeth with dogsh*t".  

There's a big difference between criticizing the Democrats (which they roundly deserve) and saying "there is no difference between them and the Republicans".  

When progressives get apathetic, the party doesn't correct itself and pull to the left.  It goes where the active voters are, which is to the right.  Concede and you get more of what you don't like.

I don't get the analogy. I guess its supposed to be nonsensical like dissenting liberals/progressives are supposed to nonsensical? Yeah, that's a great way to convince these people to come back under the tent, insult them. I think there is a difference between the Republicans and the Democrats, but I also think that they are two branches on the same tree and its fertilized by corporate dollars. So, yeah, there are differences but there are a lot of similiarities too. And I think both sides demonize the others to gin up votes when they aren't all that different.

I disagree that energized liberals shift the party left. That hasn't happened. When the White House Chief of Staff calls liberals retarded and the Press Secretary takes potshots at the 'professional left' and the President himself pretty much tells disappointed Democrats to suck it up, not in those words of course, this doesn't show a pattern of respect for progressive voters. If anything, progressives are expected to supply votes, energy, and then sit down and shut up while the grown folks run the government. White voters, in the middle, or independent are still more prized and many Democrats have calculated, perhaps since Carter and definitely with Clinton and the Democratic Leadership Council, that the best way to appeal to those voters is to go right. The GOP effectively tarred liberalism, with a relentless assault since the late 1960s and it has never recovered. When liberal politicians feel they have to run away from their own inclinations, policy programs, or ideas, we've got a problem and that's where I feel the Democrats have been for a long time. They are a party at war with itself, propped up by coalitions that its elite, largely white, leadership don't particularly have much respect for or feel a need to adequately represent. Because at the end of the day the goal of a political party is to win and the Democrats have lost an effective way to win nationally on their ideas or vision. Clinton provided a blueprint but Gore couldn't carry the ball forward and the New Democrat/Third Way fizzled.

To be fair, a reenergized progressive/activist/blogger bent helped discredit/reject Clintonism. As did Bill Clinton's foilables in the later stages of his presidency. He seemed to leave a lot of people exhausted and ready to turn the page completely. I think the hope was that Obama would represent a way to win and govern beyond the compromises and triangulation of the Clinton years. That he could create a new political realignment. He hasn't done that, if anything he's sort of operated like Clinton, though with less personal drama but perhaps less empathy, or at least empathy as recognized by the media. So, to some extent, he's in a quandry partly of his making, partly of the chaotic times we live in.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on November 02, 2010, 04:40:17 am
So, EJ, what exactly are you suggesting for this election? Not voting at all? No compute.
Go ahead and complain all you want. In fact, organize and agitate. But on election day, it's participate or abdicate. There are no other choices.

(http://c0389161.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/dyn/str_strip/341233.full.gif)
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Emperorjones on November 02, 2010, 02:01:54 pm
Once again, its not that simple. There are a lot of folk who vote frequently and haven't gotten much change to show for it. I don't think people shouldn't vote. I just voted, however I can understand why some don't vote and scolding them, insulting them, or referencing Selma for the 50-11th time isn't going to move them like some of the black Democrats and their allies are prone to do. There is a deep well of cynicism, well deserved, among some of the electorate regarding voting's ability to do much. Voting is just one tool, not the whole shebang.
Title: Re: SITTING OUT THE ELECTIONS?
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on November 02, 2010, 02:56:11 pm
Voting is just one tool, not the whole shebang.

I couldn't agree more.