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Why Democrats will lose in 2014

DCblogger's picture

I take Susie's point, but she is forgetting a big difference between now and then. While the Versailles Democrats on Capitol Hill were defeatist, the Democratic National Committee, then headed by Howard Dean, was filled with optimism about the 50 state plan. There was a grassroots-DNC coalition that was sure Democrats could win, and they did win. They kept winning as long as Howard Dean was running the show. Then Obama took over, dismantled the 50 state operation, and Democrats promptly began to lose.

And there is another difference, Obama has destroyed the Democratic brand. People really really thought that if Democrats took over it would make a difference. I thought that. I really thought that if Democrats took power there would be war crimes investigations, regulations to protect the environment, and ending the wars. Lots of people believed that. No more.

This disillusionment with the legacy parties is a huge opportunity for emergent parties. If Democrats are not interested in winning (and they aren't) then emergent parties have the opportunity to prove that they can win. But in order to do that they need to organize at the local level. I have some more posts about that coming up shortly.

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Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

Yes, I remember those days. I was still an optimist back then, at least about the nation's chances if the Democrats won. It's hard to imagine anyone else who remembers those days could think putting those same Democrats (Pelosi, Reid, etc.) back in power now would be any different.

At least in other countries, failed parties change their leadership. "Progressives" and "liberals", please don't insult my intelligence by trying to tell me that they'd do things differently this time, especially when they don't even acknowledge that failure.

Chromex's picture
Submitted by Chromex on

If "we" do not know by now that the democrats are not "we' then it IS hopeless.
Clinton was a "democrat" that facilitated cutting welfare, various foreign adventures, NAFTA. Rubin, and a whole host of corporatist misadventures.Many of the "we' who "took back" the house were Dinos, etc, who were running AS democrats but actually were right of "W".
Obama just continued this. What care I if HIlary or whatever nightmare the repus nominate win? The party of Dianne Feinstein has nothing to offer me and it is NOT the lesser of 2 evils it IS the evil of two lessers. Time is much better spent continuing to formulate the third-part platform and continuing to kick the "2-party system" to the curb.
If we let our fears guide us, no one will ever get the message..
The party of Obama and Feinstein should suffer every bit as much as the party of David Agema And Mike Rogers for failing utterly to deliver anything resembling what the voters want.
The two-party mindset is NOT our friend.

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

If "we" do not know by now that the democrats are not "we' then it IS hopeless.

I think that until progressives decide that their relationship with a party must be transactional (as in we get something we need in return for support) that will be true not only of the Democrats, but any other party we support. Politicians have to please the power that will take its support elsewhere. Those who tell themselves they have "No place else to go" will never get what they want, unless someone else who has a clue wants it, too.

Submitted by 3 hands clapping on

Not only is this true, but its been known for a long time.
Karl Popper back in the 1930's said "How do we elect good people is the
wrong question, the right question is how do we keep scared the people
that we do elect".

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

because they have become this and this didn't happen over night.

I really believe they want to lose, so in future when it look bleak they can come roaring back and finish off what ever is left of any hope of us serfs. We now have the repugs want to join 0 in passing TPP. 0 doesn't run the country he is just the brand of the month hired to parrot the puppet masters words.

Submitted by lambert on

.... with a wet noodle.

It took me a long time to fight free of The Two Party Syndrome -- I think one reason is that after tuning out during the Reagan Era -- because the pendulum always swings back; wrong!!!! -- I tuned back in during the Clinton Era, and since the Republicans were such obvious bad guys (they impeached a President over a blowjob!) I assumed the other guys were the good guys, or at least the better guys. Not so, not so, not so.

You can see the difference between what the Dem will do and what they'll promise to do in Obama's pathetic SOTU and all the "progressive" bloviation about the new populism.

Then, in 2017, you know what we'll hear? "She's only been President __ months! Give her a chance." Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...

tom allen's picture
Submitted by tom allen on

In 2006 the Democrats ran on an issue -- ending the Iraq War. That issue persuaded my normally Republican-leaning mother to vote Democratic. In 2008 Obama got the Democratic nomination largely on that same issue.

In 2010 the Democrats ran on "not as bad as the Republicans" and lost badly. Looks like they're planning to repeat that this year, since it's all they have.

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

since it's all they have.

They could have more to say but they have sold out a long time ago to elite puppet masters. They will try for a repeat on what you have said then blame true progressives that voted 3rd party but Glen Ford has it right in calling 0 the more effective evil and along with brethren called demodogs will set the stage for more theater so the little people argue among themselves who right or wrong while the 1% puppets take away more of the peoples security blanket. Sad but that demodogs do ask why we the people don't like it were at lest repugs stab you in the heart and just smile. Just another reason to vote for a third party that is closer to your own beliefs.

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

I found Jon Stewart's interview of Nancy Pelosi very sad. If you're into true sadness, watch all the parts. Stewart was playing his usual reasonable-everyman-not-caught-up-in-partisan-extremes shtick that I'm not very fond of. But even here, Pelosi convinced me that she's just clueless. Just utterly, completely clueless. I tend to fall rather easily into the assumption that these people are calculating in their portrayals of helplessness, but I swear Pelosi seemed really to think that Democrats have done a wonderful job and believe wonderful things and to wonder sincerely why everybody else doesn't understand that. And especially to think that it's so obvious and important that Democrats are lots lots lots better than Republicans. She kept moaning that "We haven't done a good job of communicating." Actually getting things done for the people seemed to be off her radar.

The "we're fantastically good compared to Republicans" seemed the mantra of a true believer. Time to stick a fork in the Democratic Party.

tom allen's picture
Submitted by tom allen on

Multi-millionaire Jon Stewart interviews multi-millionaire Nancy Pelosi, and both think the problem with Democrats is not that their corporate-friendly policies are immiserating millions of workers, but that Democrats just haven't found the magic words to convince voters they're fantastic. I suppose if everyone lived in uber-wealthy bubbles in DC, New York and San Francisco, we all might see things their way too.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Don't know a great deal about Pelosi's background, but heard an interview with the author of "Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi's Life, Times, and Rise to Power," Mark Sandalow, about a year ago on Sirius XM radio.

(BTW, I know nothing about this author. So, this book may be an accurate portrayal, or a hit piece--I truly don't know.)

At any rate, he describes her favorably in many instances. But also warns that "looks may be deceiving."

He went on to say that "in spite of her odd verbal inflections, well-sprinkled with incomprehensible word salad" (my characterization of her), Pelosi can be a calculated backroom "wheeler dealer," much like her late Father, Baltimore Mayor Tommy D'Alesandro, Jr.

(Sandalow went on to say that D'Alesandro was sort of a "legend" in Baltimore, and definitely had his share of fans in that Community.)

My understanding is that she is so well-connected (and wealthy), that she is one of the Dem Party's most prolific fund-raisers.

For what it's worth. ;-)

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

She came from this congressional power house were she worked as an aid. She’s into back room deals as her training suggest but the deals of today are not like Phillip put together back in his time. She is just another mean spirited corp. hack who happens to be a card carrying millionaire in congress. The Burton machine is still around but has turned on the people to become corp. owned.

This only happened because Phillip lost the race of chairmanship of congress to the honorable jimmy wright;) It happened because those didn’t vote him in but owned favors big time just let him do whatever he want for this system and for that I’m thankful

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

I was wary by 2006 having seen some of the innards of the Montana Democratic Party at the 2004 National Convention and then at our state convention in 2005. But I stuck around because of the 50 state strategy of Dean through 2006. Remember it took a hell of a battle to get him elected as DNC chair. There was much yelling at each other in the Montana Dem Party but the state committee had several Dean supporters and hung in there despite threats and anger. I worked my ass off for Jon Tester and he betrayed us almost immediately. Told me his was a New Deal Democrat and wasn't like Baucus. Ha, ha, ha, ha. Pro bank votes, anti Dream Act, and pro pipeline and putting roads in Wilderness areas bills, he's beyond DINO.
Yes, put a fork in this party. Howard Zinn said it's not important who is IN office, but who is sitting IN at offices. Sit ins, protests are the only way. Nothing will come of using our energy in elections.

ncpuma's picture
Submitted by ncpuma on

When I see someone mention Clinton and NAFTA in the same sentence I figure they are ignorant or a Republican (same thing?). They might want to look up NAFTA on the Wiki. Meanwhile Bush the Jr passed over 20 FTA and not one mention of all those. I am a realist
and I know that my perfect candidate will never run in my lifetime but I also think Hillary Clinton will be as close to my perfect candidate as I will ever be able to cast a vote for President. Spoiler alert on the NAFTA mystery ( Bush the elder ). Check the vote count also. There is a cure for CDS, knowledge.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Please see the ABC video below (sorry, no embed code):

Dec. 17, 1992: Pres. Bush Signs NAFTA (Video)

However, note Peter Jennings' last words:

Governor Clinton has endorsed the free trade agreement, but says he would like better protections for American workers.

Also from Wikipedia:

Presidency of Bill Clinton

. . . Clinton considered himself a "New Democrat" and was a founding member of the Democratic Leadership Council, a centrist group of Democrats, who promoted moderate social positions and neoliberal economic policies. . . .

Clinton promoted another controversial issue during this period: one regarding free trade.

In 1993, Clinton supported the North American Free Trade Agreement for ratification by the U.S. Senate.

Despite being negotiated by his Republican predecessor, Clinton (along with most of his Democratic Leadership Committee allies) strongly supported free trade measures.

Opposition came from both anti-trade Republicans, protectionist Democrats and supporters of Ross Perot.

Ultimately, the treaty was ratified.

Historically speaking, FP Clinton is generally recognized as the President who fully implemented NAFTA.

But corporatists in BOTH legacy parties supported this free trade agreement. I've never seen anyone dispute that fact.

I simply can't imagine how 'acknowledging this' is an indication that one suffers from "CDS,"

Submitted by marym on

Wikipedia refers to Bush as “ceremonially signing” the agreement.

Though more Republicans than Democrats then voted for it, according to the vote count, Republicans in the House and Senate didn’t vote for it in sufficient numbers to pass it without the Democrats (102 of them in the House, 27 in the Senate).

Clinton signed it into law saying

"NAFTA means jobs. American jobs, and good-paying American jobs. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't support this agreement."

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

I agree that if they lose, they will do so because of the reasons advanced here. I also agree that they deserve to lose But so do the Republicans, and so I have to confess I don't know who will lose in this battle of the evil midgets.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

and thanks for making the point that the 1992 signing was "ceremonial," marym.

(I didn't realize that, although I knew that the actual ratification and implementation was carried out by FP Clinton.)

From, History of NAFTA

What Is NAFTA?:

NAFTA is short for the North American Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA covers Canada, the U.S. and Mexico making it the world’s largest free trade area (in terms of GDP). NAFTA was launched 20 years ago to reduce trading costs, increase business investment, and help North America be more competitive in the global marketplace.

All tariffs between the three countries were eliminated in January 2008.

Between 1993-2009, trade tripled from $297 billion to $1.6 trillion. (Source: USTR, NAFTA)

When Was NAFTA Started?:

NAFTA was signed by President George H.W. Bush, Mexican President Salinas, and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1992.

It was ratified by the legislatures of the three countries in 1993.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved it by 234 to 200 on November 17, 1993.

The U.S. Senate approved it by 60 to 38 on November 20, three days later.

NAFTA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on December 8, 1993 and entered force January 1, 1994.

Although it was signed by President Bush, it was a priority of President Clinton's, and its passage is considered one of his first successes.

(Source:, NAFTA Signed into Law, December 8, 1993)

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