American Navel Gazing - Democratic Style

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by wotan, Nov 3, 2004.

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  1. This is a question more for the American cousins here, but anyone should feel free to reply.

    No matter what one thinks of the results of the Presidential election, it would seem that despite strong efforts and all sorts of celebrity endorsements, that the American people have rejected the Democratic Party. I can only assume that this is a result of their basic policies and not just a momentary electoral spasm. So, what does or should the Democratic Party do now? Should they revisit their commitment to Political Correctness and accommodating special interest groups? Should they attempt to "moderate" themselves from their more-leftwing tendencies? Or should they retrench and move farther to the left, thereby providing a clearly alternative to the Republicans?

    Or are the loss of the Presidency, the House Of Representatives and the Senate simply part of Hillary's "vast right-wing conspiracy" and they don't need to change a thing but have her run?
  2. The democratic party has been self destructing for years now. The most pivotal event in the last 10 years was 1994 when the Republicans regained control of the House. 4 years later they took control of the Senate, and have held both ever since.

    The country has been trending conservative since 1980 [reason why the Reps held the presidency for 12 years]. Clinton saw this and that is why he ran to the center and moderated his liberal underpinnings on the campaign trail. The reason he won the first time was the Bush gaff "read my lips no new taxes", only to raise taxes.. This resulted in many Republicans not voting in that election. The second term was again the result of Dole not being able to motivate the Republican base. When Republicans can turn out their base they win, this is not true for the dems, as we saw in this election.

    So what do the dems need to do? Wait for the Republicans to run a canidate that does not inspire the base 8O Short of that they would need to move to the right, but seeing that their base is so far left that would surely be its demise.
  3. :D I agree with what ctauch said except, I think that if the Democrat Party is to survive, it has to change the entire far-left ideology they have been espousing for several years and, most especially, this just finished campaign. Being a liberal is one thing; being a socialist (or worse) is another entirely. If the Dems do not move sharply toward the center, the party will continue to be an also-ran for the forseeable future. A good start would be to begin screening possible candidates for 2008 now. Don't tell me Hillary, because she will NEVER be elected. The mood of the United States is now center to right of center and core values reign supreme. You know, TRUE love of country, truthfulness in all dealings, and a more thorough grasp of what is and is not ethical. You cannot partially deliver a baby and then vacumn his/her brains out. You also cannot be so forgiving of treason and other high crimes.
  4. If you think that a party that gathers over 40% of the popular vote is "rejected by the public" (I seem to remember that the electoral college sat at 254 v. 252 with Iowa, New Mexico, and Ohio still to declare)..... then you want to look around the world a bit. Those governments around the world who do not have a two-party system would find that level of support enough to guarantee power for a long time.

    Similarly, I recall that the current President received less votes than his opponent in the 2000 election.

    Errr.... those would be your core values, not necessarily everyone else's.

    And here's a problem for the USA in the eyes of others. If the US truly believes that it holds the highest possible ethical standards, how does it cope with criticism? Ignore it, attack it, or listen to it?

    After all, many conservative Americans hold that it's absolutely wrong to terminate a pregnancy, but absolutely right to execute a prisoner. That the constitution stands for those who believe in liberty and justice for all, and yet it's alright to detain people without trial for years at a time (so long as they aren't American).

    I would prefer to avoid a rehash of each of these arguments, I'm just pointing out that to many outside the US, there are inconsistencies that do not match your personal statement of principles.

    If you seriously think that the Democrats espouse a "far left ideology", then you really need to learn a bit more about politics.

    Granted, US politics is somewhat to the right of other countries, but it's not as if the Democrats are suggesting State ownership of the means of production......
  5. No but health care is on their radar, not to mention creating a "social saftey net" [under the Johnson (D) admin policy to erradicate poverty] that compeled 2 generations worth of people not to work.

    You can't just look at the vote for president you also have to look at other indicators such as; Ban on Gay Marriage defeated in every state it was on the ballot, Dems lose 4 Senate seats, Dems lose 5 House seats with 3 races yet to be called. The country is clearly more conservative then analysts have judged it so far. There was a huge effort to portray the current president as a failure, calling him a liar, stupid and incompetent and yet he carried the majority...guess in your eye that makes the majority of Americans stupid :roll:
  6. The analysts had it too close to call. The result was fairly close. The votes were pretty equal. The serious analysts that I've been listening to have been making a big deal about the evangelical right and its near-total support for Bush (it's ironic that a secular state like the US is so publically religious)

    How is that "clearly more conservative than judged"? I mean, some polls I've seen suggest that roughly half of all Americans believe in Creationism rather than Evolutionary theory.......

    Ahh, now you're putting words in my mouth. Please don't. I like the USA, warts and all. Been there several times, liked it, liked the people. It's just (and please don't take this the wrong way) I'd rather live here than there.

    From here, it seems that the "huge effort to portray the president as a failure" was matched only by the huge effort to portray his opponent as a liar.

    As an outsider, I find it fascinating how strongly divided this last election was, and how much anger it generated on both sides; each side seems to regard the other as hugely dangerous and utterly evil. I don't even remember the Thatcher years in the UK as generating that level of anger across the whole country.
  7. The exit polls showed a Kerry lead, the "too close to call" was due in large part to the media/exit polls getting it wrong in a number of states during the 2000 election, calling Florida for Gore 1 hour before the polls closed in the state. They also called a number of states for Gore that later went to Bush including Georgia and Alabama which both over whelmingly went for Bush this time around. The popular vote gave Bush a 53% majority and is more then Clinton ever got. Bush also got more popular votes then Reagan and Reagan won an electorial college landslide his second term.

    The US is seperate church and state constitutionally, that is there is no state sponsored religion...harkens back to the founders not wanting a King and Church of England set up [simplified explanation]

    Seperation of church and state does not mean no religious beliefs and values. Secular in the sense that there is no State sanctioned religion not NO Religion.

    Conservative does not mean devote Christian. Conservative means smaller government, personal responsibilty, among other things. DO NOT CONSTRUE CONSERVATIVE WITH RELIGIOUS ZEALOT, they are not the same.

    Not putting words in your mouth that was a comment made based on what I have read not only by US media, but foreign and here on Arrse.

    Bush has been portrayed as a stuid and incompetent liar, and Americans have been labled as stupid for re-electing him.

    The effort was not to portray Kerry as a liar but a man that does not have any convictions, a man that will take both sides of an issue and with defend them with vigor depending on how they poll. That borne itself out and Kerry was the best source for proving the assertions correct.

    No but I remember Reagan in his first term and even today being refered to as a cowboy and stupid oof and a mind numb puppet.
  8. Interesting points from all, but a tad off topic.

    Gravelbelly, when I say that the American people have rejected the Democrats, I am not speaking solely about the Presidential race. Senator Kerry certainly came close, but he did not carry the day. But, I am also looking at the fact that the Republicans not only maintained their majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate, but actually expanded them in significant numbers. As well, they managed to see Senator Daschle, the Senate Minority Leader defeated. From a certain perspective you could say that the Democratic party has been beheaded. So, from that perspective, the American people have most certainly rejected the Democratic party as a whole, although they still have significant support. But, who leads them now? To whom does the Party turn for philosophical and practical leadership? Ted Kennedy? Doubtful at best. Hillary? Possible, this could be her moment. Jesse Jackson? The Reverend Al Sharpton? Ben Affleck?

    But this is what I am trying to get at, and, being an outsider of the American system, I'm just trying to get a sense of the thing. I would assume that if the Party turns to Hillary, I would assume that she would lead it on a more leftist course. One point here - it would be extremely interesting, should she run and succeed at obtaining the Presidency if she would put forward that nonsense about a "co-Presidency".

    And if not Hillary, who? Who will give guidance and substance, who will be the "face" of the Democratic party? Is there some "unknown" political animal out there who will now step up and seize the moment? And, if so, what are your thoughts on where they will lead the Democratic Party?
  9. What is important to understand is the DNC is still firmly under the control of the Clintons. Terry McAwful, current DNC Chairman, was a Clinton fund raiser and installed by Clinton. Gore after winning nomination for Dem Presidential canidate in 2000 did not replace or appoint his own chairman.

    Gore has also exited stage left after his loss in 2000, and there are rumors that he has fallen out of favor with the Clintons over the fact that he ran away from and snubbed them in 2000.

    If you look at the Kerry campaign you will have notice that in the last months leading up to this election Kerry's staff changed significantly from Ted Kennedy's surrogates to Clinton's; the likes of Lockhardt, Begala, etc started taking over the Kerry campaign...this was no accident. It is also note worthy that Hillary was absent and low key in supporting Kerry, this can be attributted to 2 things 1) her own ambitions to run in 2008 and 2) the fact that Kerry did not give her a platform to speak on at the convention, instead she was relegated to introducing her husband Bill.

    So to answer the question who runs the party; Bill and Hillary do, they have since Bill first came into office and they refuse to give up that power.

    As for the Dem Party and it's future. Their real problem is that they have no clear and united base, instead they are a grouping of extreme left-wing radical organizations with no common interrests outside of there own little agenda. There is significant in fighting amongst these groups to get their agenda pushed to the top of the list and there is little room to find compromise amongst these groups since the interrests are to varied.

    Clinton was able to quell this while the Dems were in power, by appearing to be centrist yet still pushing through left-wing legislation when he could. This started to collapse in 1994 and further in 1998 when the House and Senate control switched from Dems to Reps. Since then the DNC has been trying to regain power and the special interrests are getting shriller as their agenda sits idle.

    The party does not have a clear leader that is setting the agenda. Not to mention an agenda that is inline with most american values. The party is being largely defined by single issue voters, be it enviroment, animal rights, pro-abortion, anti-gun, etc... In my opinion; the swing by Kerry late in the campaign to an anti-war position was seen as a way to unify the party since this one issue was common among all the left-wing interrests. It was a good effort but as the election results show was not enough to change the balance of power.

    The pary has a tough road ahead of it, and the first thing they need is a true leader that can reign in the groups and decide on an agenda that is inline with maw and paw six-pack. And I don't see a leader that can do that.
  10. If the Democrats were smart, they would appoint Zell Miller head of the DNC.

    Ctauch is correct, the Clintons still run the Democratic party. In 2004, their candidate will be either Edwards or Billary. It will be interesting to see who the republicans run, because I don't see Cheney running for Pres.

    I have to give high marks to Kerry for calling it quits when he did. He saw the handwriting on the wall and ended the election, instead of dragging it into the courts and creating a huge mess.
  11. The Democrats made a big mistake in thinking that Bush would only get votes from the Rich, the Rubes and the Rednecks...he tapped in to the social conservative element well beyond his established constituency.. even in states where his policies have led to industrial stagnation or jobloss..The US is a lot more ' conservative ' than was generally acknowledged...

    Kerry was defeated because he misread the people, quite simply.. he tried to be all things to all groups and satisfied none of them that he truly believed what he said.. He even tried to play the ' faith in God ' card..that Dubya used and it backfired...

    Still.. he has a chance to retain the top slot and run again in 2008..more likely the party will seek Edwards as the man , with, possibly the new young hip, black guy.. Obama[?] as a running mate.. now that would be a ticket.. Don't think Hillary has enough to carry the party... She has the smarts and the ' oomph '..but, sadly.. where in a man that would be seen as powerful and gutsy and her [ or any woman ] that attitude comes across as bitchin' ball bustin' boss lady and closet lesbo [ definitely not a Bible Belt vote getter ]...

    The jockeying for choice has aleady begun.. let's see McCain...Guiliani.. Bayh...hell, Swartzeneggar [ though not in '08 - got to get the Constitution amended first ] and a bunch more wiho will now be moving to increase their profile in the media... just watch...
  12. Hmmm...interesting stuff, Rocketeer. You may well have a point regarding Hillary, but I think she will see this as her time to take a shot at the brass ring. After all, if not now, when? 2012? 2016? God, how old would she be then?

    I'm not sure that Kerry has the stuff to be given a second go-round. Personally, I think, from the Democratic perspective, that this election was about getting Bush out of office as opposed to getting Kerry into the Oval office.

    Edwards could be interesting, he is certainly telegenic. But beyond that, what does he stand for? I don't mean that in a snide way, I just know nothing about the man other than he was Kerry's running mate.

    Barack Obama (sp?) could certainly have a shot at VEEP. As you say, young, energetic, black and hip. I'm not sure what he stands for either, but his youth and ethnicity could certainly play in the favour of any ticket with him in the #2 slot. Could a Hillary/Obama ticket be viable or would it be considered too radical a departure from the old-white-guys format?

    The Republican nominations for 2008 could be interesting as well, but they seem to have some heavy hitters with true "name recognition". Giuliani, McCain, etc. And either Giuliani or McCain would make an outstanding President, but probably the edge would be with McCain.

    But again, to whence from here for the Democratic Party? Left? Right? Still attempt to be all things to all people?

    Time will provide the answer, but in the nonce, this discussion at least provokes some thought on the topic and helps to give me a better understanding of the American system and mindset.
  13. And this is where the US differs politically. Universal health care, free at the point of use, is good enough for the UK (including the Conservative party, hardly bleeding-heart liberals); it's good enough for the US military; so how is it "extreme left wing"?

    As for "social safety nets", why such a bad thing? While there are those who will abuse any such system, there are plenty of worthy people who are just unlucky and would get f***ed over without that safety net. Difficult to stop one without stuffing the other, whatever the Daily Mail may claim.

    I've talked to those who remember the predecessor to Britain's welfare state; rural workers whose conditions approached wage slavery was the thing that stuck in my mind.

    That "safety net" is neither extreme left wing, nor "compelling people not to work". (Of note was watching a Conservative politician in the 1980s try and put his money where his mouth was, and live on state benefits for a week while being filmed. He came out a somewhat humbler man.)
  14. Eevryone receives medical care in the US...even if you can't pay! There is a program inplace to care for those that need it and can't afford it EVERYONE IS COVERED, the city, county, state and federal governments pitch in money to cover the costs, there are also private organizations that help...THERE IS NO NEED FOR ANY FURTHER GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION!

    The problem with health care is not lack of insurance but the cost and a growing lack of access due to Dr's folding up shop. The cost of health care is so high because of out of control lawsuits. Dr's are paying in excess of $100,000 to $250,000 a year in malpractice insurance. What needs regulating are trial lawyers, we don't need federal health care.

    All for giving someone down a leg up, what I am against is a bureaucracy riddled with fraud and abuse. A system that compels people not to work more then is does helping them to find and keep work. A system that cost billions upon billions of dollars, for which funding was increased year after year and reardless of unemployment rates saw more and more families entering the program. A system the encouraged people to continue to have children to receive an increase in benefits.

    The government does not solve these problems instead it creates a bureaucratic mess that costs more and more each year and funds it on the backs of hard working people. The government has a far higher operating cost then private charities, and is far less effective and administering the programs.
  15. You're right. Cheney even said in his debate that he has no designs on the White House...other then as needed.

    Do you really want the bottom line of the dem v. rep thing? In my opinion, it all boils down to religion.

    The average hard-working American...although not necessarily devote, still considers himselve a Christian. His Bible sit on his coffee table gathering dust, but remove a 10 Commandments memorial from a courthouse and you'd better duck before he wings it at you. I know, because that is an accurate description of me (except I'm a female) and everyone I know. I know my Bible, I believe it, but am not a religious zealot. I don't push my God onto others. I respect their right to practice as they wish.

    Over the years I watched as little by little the liberals have hacked at my religion. Not the jewish faith, not the muslim faith, but the Christian faith and I'm pizzed off about it. I don't have a problem removing the 10 commandments from a public building, but when I have to hear muslim prayers broadcast throughout the neighborhood three times a day??? (okay, not really...I'm taking two seperate events occurences and comparing them).