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Okay, Dems, What Went Wrong? And How Can We Fix It?

 
 
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 09:18 am
Alright, it's all over but the shouting. We took a hell of a beating. We need to figure out what went wrong, fix it, then go back and retake the place, state by state, House seat by House seat. We've got 4 years, let's get started.

So, where did we go wrong? We had the money, we had a candidate who, if lackluster, was certainly head and shoulders above Shrub in the credentials and integrity department. And we had a sitting President whose record was a litany of disaster, mistake and misstep. Wha' happened?

You Repubs can go sit down somewhere else and gloat for now. There are other threads for your nonsense. I'm looking only for the comments of Democrats and those interested in maintaining a viable two party system.
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Bella Dea
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 09:26 am
I am a democrat and I think that our candidate this year was just not a stand up guy. He was not perceived as trust worthy. A lot of people (including myself) just did not trust him. He used "that's not what I meant" too many times. I don't like Bush but I didn't trust Kerry. What we need is a candidate who is both politically sound AND trust worthy. Just one opinion though....
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dyslexia
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 09:31 am
If any party puts up a candidate that is both honest and trusworthy, said party would be commiting political suicide. American voters prefer adept liars every time. The only interesting note about this past election is that the voters picked the least adept liar.
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kickycan
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 09:32 am
As proof of that, look how many votes Nader got.
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Letty
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 09:37 am
You know, dys. My Irish friend once told me that he would rather have a smart crook than an honest dummy in office.

and then there are those who are neither--nor.
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blacksmithn
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 09:42 am
Okay, so what's the thrust here? That we lost merely based on personalities? I find that hard to believe. Maybe I don't want to believe that folks can really be that dim, I don't know. And how does that explain the gains of Repubs in Senate and House races? Or does it?
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revel
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 09:45 am
Where I think we went wrong is underestimating the religious factor.

Where I think we have an uphill battle is pointing out that the religious factor is not really religion at all but a con game that certain political people play to get their agendas across.

We also need to keep pointing just how dangerous it is to slide down into a nation that governs itself by religion. We need to say that by doing that we just become the other side of the coin of other religious nations. We also need to point out how enforcing your religious beliefs takes away from other who do not hold those beliefs and that is not the American way.

Even if it is not a winning thing; it is the right thing to do, in my opinion.
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Larry434
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 09:46 am
blacksmithn wrote:
Okay, so what's the thrust here? That we lost merely based on personalities? I find that hard to believe. Maybe I don't want to believe that folks can really be that dim, I don't know. And how does that explain the gains of Repubs in Senate and House races? Or does it?


The Dems lost because of their insisistance on staying with the same failed strategy. It was the message, not the personalities of Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, and Kerry that led to the serial defeats at every national and most statehouse elections in this decade, IMO.

Different messengers, same message, same result.
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revel
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 09:49 am
pooh
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blacksmithn
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 09:50 am
Well said, revel!
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sozobe
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 09:51 am
Yep, I agree with revel. I think religion was huge and will continue to be.

However, I think we need to be more inclusive when it comes to religion, rather than exclusive. Great discussion on this on the Newshour last night, one comment is that separation of church and state, fine, separation of church and society, not so much. Rev. Jim (?) Wallis, who was quoted in Ron Suskind's article and seems to be an especially interesting voice on this subject, pointed out that religious issues are often Democratic issues as well. I don't think he said this part, but the clear implication was that Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot by not allowing this part of religion/ churches to be part of the Democratic agenda. For example, he pointed out that the "culture of life" doesn't only refer to abortion, but the Iraq war. He pointed out that Bush defied he Pope in going to war with Iraq. Also, helping the poor is a huge part of many ministries. Bush has not been strong on that, at all.

I referred earlier to the very progressive religious tradition in Minnesota, where I grew up, and while I am not religious myself, I can see how embracing that tradition could help the Democrats a lot.
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revel
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 10:03 am
I disagree, sozobe that we need to widen the religious impact on government. I explained as best as I coud (I am not that articulate) the reason why the other thread of weeping and gnashing of teeth. (like that title, it is biblical in and of itself)
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dyslexia
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 10:06 am
I can also see how embracing the KKK (under a different name of course) would gain support in the old south but doesn't make it a good idea.
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Larry434
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 10:08 am
dyslexia wrote:
I can also see how embracing the KKK (under a different name of course) would gain support in the old south but doesn't make it a good idea.


If you lived in the South all your life and observed the changes in how we view blacks, you would not make such a patently unsupportable remark.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 10:10 am
Hmm, not talking about widening religious impact on the government at all. I don't think that all religious people are bad, though, and think that the perception thereof is damaging to Democrats/ Liberals.
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dyslexia
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 10:11 am
Yeah Larry I am a really silly goose, I haven't been in the old south for several months now and I'm sure things have changed.
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jespah
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 10:13 am
There was a big religious theme in this election. Truly, it can't be ignored.

Also, I think, ito take the message into more areas. Settling for just the coasts and urban areas isn't good enough - there are big population gains going on in the South and Midwest. By taking nearly all of the same states are before, the Republican side automatically has an advantage, as those states are increasing in population. One of the reasons this is happening is because people are moving to go to the jobs - not necessarily better-paying jobs, but jobs nonetheless.

Plus - Missouri - I think it was conceded far too quickly and completely - why not work harder in Harry Truman's state? It would not have been enough to change the outcome of the race, but if New Mexico and Iowa had gone Democratic (they are probably going to end up being called Republican once everything is done, I think later this week?), then there's a different guy in the White House.

Another thing - a good, strong candidate, preferably from the heartland or the South, would be a big help. People went for Kerry, at least initially, as the ABB candidate. That's enough to win primaries but not enough to win a presidency. A more directly appealing candidate was needed. There are few people on the scene who are like this. John McCain is one (oops, he's not a Democrat), another might be Barack Obama, although he should get some more experience. But where are the directly appealing candidates? Dick Gephardt? Sorry, but no - he just looks like the perennial insider. Bill Clinton, love him or hate him, was good at electrifying people (no, not electrocuting :-D). There needs to be someone like that - not with his policies or views, but with his charisma and broad appeal. I don't honestly see Hillary Clinton as being it; she arouses far too many strong negative feelings which cancel out her positives. I'm honestly at a loss as to who would be good. Fortunately, this doesn't have to be decided tomorrow.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 10:18 am
I've been seeing some great stuff on Newshour, it's weird though because I'm used to being able to find whatever I read online and excerpt it, not happening with this. I'll have to start taking notes or something. :-) Did anyone else happen to watch yesterday? There was some really good comment about what a candidate would have to do/ be to get 80% of the vote, but I just can't remember what it was. I do remember thinking Obama fit the bill.

I agree that Hillary is too polarizing.
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Larry434
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 10:21 am
dyslexia wrote:
Yeah Larry I am a really silly goose, I haven't been in the old south for several months now and I'm sure things have changed.


Did you see any KKK's or evidence of any racial discrimation in public areas?
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jespah
 
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Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 10:22 am
Just for you: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/july-dec04/divided_11-03.html

Go about halfway down the page, to the section called, "Deciding the direction of the nation's culture".
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