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Discussion in 'Elections' started by MikeLastort2, Nov 5, 2004.
Bush, God and the Democrats
A few paragraphs
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Yes, very true. Enjoy. The future is religious irrationality, and become whatever you need to become to win...Rove teaches that. Then after you've become whatever to win, and have won, then you can...well, figure it out then.
Yes, and that combination has taken blacks as far as it can, and no further. Black people are free, and full of rights, yes, no question; yet today, they have, as a group, nothing. Nothing except that powerful past, which is why we harken to it all the time, why everything is still seen through the lens of Martin and Malcolm (as if is ever was just that, even then)...
Get Christian, is the message; not Christ, nor the prophetic dogmatic aspects thereof, but rather the Constantinian, institutional notion of Christian religion. IOW, for Americans in the heartland, Democrats need to at alest consistently look the part; whether or not they actually live Christ's teachings doesn't matter. Look at BushCorp policy as it rains down on Iraqi women and children. Looks like Christ, don't it?
Michael Lerner and Tikkun feel similarly, although I think both articles underestimate the specificity of the argument. "Spirituality" will not win over these folks, nor will just being Christian. There's a specific type of Christianity they see in Bush and that they are looking for, and its a Crusading type, reflective of the other reason Bush won...fear.
Any efforts at a "Spiritual" renewal in the Democratic Party, or some sort of gay-accepting-Anglican-type of inclusive Christianity will be met by this electorate with a damning derision.
This group, religion-wise, wants that ol' time stuff, with no chaser.
The Dems can't be that if they tried. Any namby-pambying in the middle will be eviscerated by the Republicans as flipfloppy wishiwashiness.
The Dem party is not the solution to the uberBush phenom; getting into the streets Mario Savio style is. If you think that you get to stay home with reality tv AND take back the nation, you've already lost. They are counting on you to stay in front of that tv, and this effort to say "well, just a little spirituality would've gotten us just enough votes to just squeak out the victory" is why Dems, right now, mean nothing, stand for nothing but "not BushCorp."
If, in fact, one finds that the reality of those that supported Kerry this time, lukewarm or no, are constituted of all kinds of people, with all kinds of relationships to the Uncaused Cause, then REFLECT THAT, strongly, without fear. Damn the focus groups, and be, fully, what you are, instead of getting bogged down in trying to become the vicotrious talking point of the moment, day, or week. You don't control the airwaves anyway, so why not suffer the inevitalbe spin from a position of strength rather than a position of fakeness?
In the wake of losing so disgracefully to the worst President in galactic history, it seems that Dems are willing to become whatever to win, in the end losing whatever possibility they had to articulate an entirely differnt way of being in the world to play the game, see the world, the way Republicans see it; when you do that, you'll always be trying to catch up.
The Democratic party is so full of lapdogs, that you can expect Hillary to grab a bible in 2008, just like she donned a Yankees cap in 2000. People will recognize it is a prop and she will lose, just like Kerry did, because they really should not be the imitation party.
True, the Democrats were foolish not to recognize that majority of the country believes in God and an afterlife. Some of the positions Democrats took went in opposition to that reality. Hence, they lost that vote in overwhelming numbers.
Even now, many of the liberal BS posters are unwilling to accept the truth even though the numbers are very clear. To wit; how can the "worst president in galactic history" trump the best the Democrats have to offer if the Democrat message truly had validity.
Are they suggesting that ALL the Democrat strategists were so stupid they just couldn't get the point across? Remember, the Democrats not only had the original Kerry team in place, they also had the best of the Clinton people on scene as well and they still couldn't get the message across. All this talk of demeaning victories in Congress and state houses across the country only serves the same purpose as taking an aspirin for a toothache. Until you repair the tooth, you will never solve the problem.
Yes, Kerry did get the second highest vote total ever, but Bush got the HIGHEST total ever. The reason was that more people than ever felt this election was very important. And the majority came out to defeat Kerry, not give him some kind of moral victory. If Bush had not had a good message, presented in a highly effective manner, there would not have been anything like the number of people come out to vote. If the Iraq war had truly been that unpopular, Bush, like Johnson in '68, wouldn't have stood a chance. The fact is, there were far more concerns than just Iraq and the Democrats missed them.
Time to realize the MESSAGE was wrong, not the messenger!!!
I think it was more along the lines of "Nobody knew what the message was".
Last night I listened to Mike Malloy on Air America (I like to keep tabs on the "enemy"). Nobody who called while I was listening addressed the fact that the message got lost. Malloy went on and on about how he was convinced the election was stolen, that somehow the computer voting machines were hacked, and that Bush would be impeached. Doesn't anyone remember how the Republicans did with the politics of "We Hate This Guy"? Backlash, backlash, backlash.
Until the leadership of the Democratic party figures out that they need a firm plan to get their message across to the people of the South and the Midwest and they continue to focus on what they perceive to be the evils of the Republican party then half of the Republicans' job is done for them.
I challenge you to find one person on these boards who said Kerry was the best the Democrats had to offer.
I wouldn't call Bush's message good. A better desciption would be that his message was tailored to, and presented in a way, that grabbed the attention of those who voted for him. In the end that's the essence of politics, but that doesn't mean his message was good.
Too true, Coach. We made this a referendum on Bush and lost. Looking back with hindsight, I would have done the same thing all over again. I feel like a stupid man lied to me and deceived us as a nation, and yet the nation chose Bush: no weapons of mass destruction, no capability to start a program really, no link to Al Qaeda, horrendous abuses at Abu Ghraib, etc, etc, etc. You know our complaints. Johnson and Nixon were driven out for less. And yet, we lost. We do have to do better on the message. I'm not sure anyone's listening, yet.
If this is true, it's neither the message nor the messenger; it's the recipient.
As for me: Lang may yer lum reek!
I posted this article about James Carville in the "For Dems Only" thread.
Carville gets it too.
The message gets lost because it's too frickin complicated.
The problem is that most republicans believed the lies or half truths fed to them by someone who they'd want to "have a beer with". There were no WMD's, yet reps still believe there were. They thought John Kerry was completely secular, when in fact he is a devout Catholic. They also believe he was for gay marriage. And he wasn't.
the dems did not defend themselves. They LET Bush tell lies about them and get away with it. if you hear something enough, you'll start to believe it. and the dems didn't say anything.
the best offense is a good defense, and we did not defend ourselves.
most people i know who voted for Bush believe all of the above. and when i tell them differently, all they can say is. oh. i didn't know that. it's ignorance. and we did not do our part to educate.
It is not up to the recipient to try to figure out what the message is. That is the senders job.
Respectfully, this is yet another example of the SINGLE BIGGEST FLAW in the Democrat message this time around: if you don't hear us yelling at you, (believe us) you are stupid.
That is a loser position from the get go.
Another example of why Democrats lost. To wit:
all you stupid people out there believed all these lies you were told.
Not a good way to win an election.
Please quit confusing Republican propaganda with reality.
Find me one prominent Democrat that actually supports gay marriage or banning the bible or removing the pledge from schools or taking off "In God we trust" frm our money, or any other things of that nature.
That there are some liberals who do support such measures does not mean that most Democrats do.
To borrow a quote from a group I don't like, "Don't believe the hype".
Let's see, I was up to speed on WMD's, I knew Kerry was Catholic, and I knew he basically felt the same as Bush as far as Civil Unions being OK but "no" to gay marriage.
I knew all that and still voted for Bush. Where does that put me? In the "ignorant" pile? Or do you think I'm just "stupid"?
Or could it be that some people who voted for Bush were well versed on the issues, educated, and not homophobic, yet still chose to vote for the man they thought could best lead the country during what are very dangerous times?
Lerner has been saying this for a while. For decades, Democrats assumed that promising economic goodies would carry the day, and that liberals missed the appeal to meaning. That article is going back to what he started saying in the mid 90s. He got sidetracked with his "emancipatory spirituality" and his "Tikkun Community," but given what happened in this election, his "Politics of Meaning" is a timely reminder.
At the same time, I'm not sure if Lerner has the ultimate prescription. In "Politics of Meaning" he wrote about how Clinton should have presented his argument for allowing gays to serve in the military, and it came across as something like "Yes, I know that you are all insecure in your sexuality, but..."
Nevertheless, he has hit onto something and actually hit onto it some time ago, so props to him.
The problem is, I don't think it's the Democrats that can tap into it. It has to be the communties of faith and spirituality themselves. No matter how much Kerry talks about being an alter boy, when Arch-Bishops are all but saying that voting for Kerry is a mortal sin, you are going to lose that battle.
I remember a story about the late Cardinal O'Connor. When people think about his politics they mainly think about his stance on abortion. But he also took very strong stands on other issues, such as pro-Labor (when one administrator of a hospital connected with the Catholic Church suggested using replacement labor, he went berzerk).
Lerner says that Kerry should have attacked Bush on grounds like "a spiritual person must care for the poor." I just don't see that changing the votes of those people who came out for Bush.
The change must come from within the community itself, although I suppose politicians, as public figures, can have influence in this regard. But there's a nagging problem with Lerner, and the people conducting post-mortems right now, saying "What do we do to convince THOSE people?" That's the problem, they are a "them," an "other" who have to be convinced. There is a disconnect in these communties in which "we" have no roots, and have to develop such roots.
No, but its sadly true. Republican voters were less informed than their Democrat counterparts.
Unless you're suggesting that the Republicans just don't care about Iraq?
I think that it was ahedging of the bet; its SAFER, within my own local sphere of life and living, to believe the lies, because if they're NOT true, who gets bombed? Who gets protected? If they ARE true, who gets bombed? Who gets protected? All within a 10-40 missionary religious context that says those who are getting bombed are going to a hell they were going to anyway.
I think that fear, IOW, contributes to the buy-in; it doesn't matter, for the locally aware American, if it's true or not and we act; it only matters if it's true and we DON'T act; and that positional ground was staked out by the Democrats alone.
This, to me, is why the Dems are doomed; the work of creating a global awareness among the population such that they internalise the reality of interdependence (that an Asian financial crisis, or China's growth, or whatever elseqwhere, affects us right at home) and thus can engage the fear with knowledge is impossible if you don't control the baseline systems of daily drumbeat knowledge, i.e. the PM news and the AM newspaper/radio. Until the day you DO, you must fight the battle in terms of local defaulting self interest, and the Republicans own that grounnd, and the Dems aren't credible on that narrow turf, particularly when it is sprinkled (covered?) with FEAR.
You know Coach, I'm already getting great ideas for December 13th.........
OK just for the fun of it, I will try to turn something around here.
Democrats have been claiming those who voted for the Republican were stupid. Well, if Kerry wasn't the best the Democrats could offer, THEY were STUPID not to put up the best candidate they had.
My point only was, and I think you get it anyway, Bush WAS a vulnerable incumbent even if he was a war president, and the Democrats couldn't figure out a way to defeat him. They got beat both in message and tactics.
Kind of ironic that we're worried about theocracies in the middle east while we're building one of our own...
I stopped reading at this point.
I do understnd this, but it drives me batty. When I look up and down the bar at the people I actually DO have a beer with, I don't see a single one of them that I would like to see as the president of the United States.
The Republicans have been very effective at creating labels and having them stick. "Liberal" is the most classic example, but in addition being for a women's right to choose now = "pro-abortion"; being against f'ing with the Constitution = pro-gay rights.
The Republicans effectively controlled the "message" and they won. Democrats need to do a better job in the future defining themselves and not letting their opponents do it for them, but what we don't need to do is change fundamental principles simply to win. There is already one republican party, we don't need another one.
There is a fine line, but an effective one, between not SUPPORTING an idea, and not DISTANCING oneself from the idea. In many cases, prominent Democrats did not distance themselves from gay marriage, removing the pledge, etc. Of course my perception here is influenced to a large degree by the fact that many prominent California Democrats (Boxer, Pelosi, Newsom, et al) have supported these things and that perception has spilled over into other areas as well.
Only if all that matters is winning. Fortunately, I'm no longer subject to that thinking. Watching the Dems, if they in fact choose to do this, becoming whateve type of messenger they think they need to become to tailor to the combo of fear and ignorance and a specific take on Christianity that is the truth of the electorate right now, watching them try to learn how to be their version of Rove, will be sad.
Hopefully they choose to ground themselves in the principles that got us the voting rights, civil rights, labour (and child labour) rights, women's rights, and gay/lesbian rights movements and expansion of the Constitutional franchise. That's the only place from which they can challenge the Republican IDEAS, on EVERY FRONT. On every front.
Of course, right now, among the Dem Party generally, and many BS posters that are liberal in particular, this is leftist extremism that will lose the elction in 08 for sure. I disagree, but noone can disagree with this: trying to be "center-out" has lost two elections, top to bottom, in all areas, Executive, legislative and Judicial.
Come on back to principle. At least you could have gone down the way you HAVE gone down the tube with honor and having stood for something.
What did Kerry STAND for? What did "Stronger at home" even mean? Carville told them, but he didn't go far enough. You won't eek it out. It seems closer than it is, giving Dems the illusion that they just need to tweak a few things...
No. The DLC, Republican-lite version of the Dem Party can continue, but it will continue to fail. How many eligible Americans did not vote? Why? Why?