Thursday, February 23, 2006

Democrats: Try being a little less vigil-ant

Ok, so like any good liberal, I'm on the email list. Because I am, I got invited to a series of "Constitutional Vigils" held yesterday in protest of the illegal wiretapping being conducted by the administration. Apparently, MoveOn members "from Charleston, South Carolina to Missoula, Montana" got together to mourn the murder of the Constitution at the hands of the Bush administration.

Are you f***ing kidding me? This, this right here, is why folks like DawgCorleone can't take us seriously. A vigil? Jeeeezus.

Look, I'm as opposed to this wiretapping thing as anybody; we've already had that discussion and everybody knows where I stand. But a vigil? Do you honestly expect that to make one iota of difference in anybody's mind that doesn't already agree with you? Can it do anything but make liberals look silly and clueless?

Do me a favor, MoveOn and other vigil-goers, if you really care about this and other liberal issues: get in the damn game. Get off your ass and get some Ds elected. Raise some money. Elect a D as President next time. This and only this will change any of it.

Now, in fairness to MoveOn, they are doing some of those things too, or at least trying to. But it's enough already with the vigils. They only hurt your other efforts. Seriously. Stop it. I mean it.


Patrick Armstrong said...

Amen, brother liberal.

Jmac said...

Another amen ...

I truly, truly dislike MoveOn, not because I don't see eye-to-eye with their ideologies (we agree on many things), but because their arguments are astonishingly absurd. Everything really isn't a conspiracy, though they'd attempt to convince you otherwise.

And I think that's the problem with lots of the more liberal elements of the party today - particularly with regard to the netroots. I like going to Daily Kos, but man oh man ... I've never come across a more self-absorbed collection of individuals in my life (well, I have ... but oh well, I'm making a point). There are reasonable and coherent counterarguments to make against the Bush administration or other GOP talking points, but it seems folks there never venture into that land.

Plus, a lot of those folks are truly convinced they really are experts. Joe Klein wrote an excellent column on Paul Hackett's now-abandoned Senate campaign a few weeks back in which he pretty much called out the liberal blogosphere on their, well, rather naive approach to politics. It pretty much pointed out that Hackett was very, very conservative whose views didn't match up with the Kossacks and other more liberal activists, but because he offered a few venomous lines against Bush, folks loved him.

It's blatant hypocrisy in my opinion. Many on the liberal blogosphere demand ideological purity (bashing Barack Obama over a variety of things), but have unusual allegiances to Howard Dean and Paul Hackett - two individuals who merely opposed the war, but are actually rather moderate or conservative Democrats.

The Conservative said...

This is why we love you liberal Democrats. More power to the "vigils" and while they're in a circle holding hands please don't let them forget to sing Kum By Ya

Ned said...

To all the liberals out there who feel like there may be some people who don't represent the team well, I have a simple solution to make you feel better.

Simply go to Free Republic and take a look at the fringe on the right.

Jmac said...

I'd venture to say the Freepers aren't so much on 'the fringe of the right' anymore ... that's sorta becoming mainstream conservative thought these days from what I can gather.

And kudos to The Conservative ... completely ignoring the actual content and comments of three self-professed progressive Democrats who have strong disagreements with the actions, statements, plans and arguments made by more liberal Democrats ... all so one doesn't have to think, thus falling back on the patently false, yet tried-and-true 'Democrats=MoveOn=Michael Moore=Bad.'

Patrick Armstrong said...

My name is Patrick Armstrong, and I represent the Party Wing of the Democratic Party.

Let 'the conservative' ignore us at his own peril.

Dawg Corleone said...

I'll surprise you. I want the Dems to do well...

Just not the current crop of Dems.

I want Harry Truman again. I want JFK: fight the commies, lower the taxes, and wiretaps are on the house (and the senate). I want Carl Vinson and Sam Nunn and Scoop Jackson.

Instead, I get Howard Dean and John Murtha and with a gun to my head I can't tell the difference between their speeches and bin Laden's audiotapes.

Yeah, we have our nuts on the right, but at least their hearts are in the right place (Hugo Chavez does, in fact, need killin'). And we don't elect ours.

Your guy (Dean) gets a crowd of wingnuts who are genuinely shocked that they couldn't blog him all the way to the White House, and the next thing you know, he heads the party.

Publius said...

Maybe later, a point-by-point response to that madness, but for now I'm just curious if the "commies" are a problem again. Did I miss a memo, or skim past something in the latest edition of Pravda?

Dawg Corleone said...

Point being: JFK was a commie fighter; less than 10 years later, the Dems had been McGovernized to the point where, to this day, they won't fight anybody (except Republicans).

Gotta go now: The Carl Jordan Show is on!

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

And that, that right there, is why we can't take you seriously, Dawg. (The next person who compares John Murtha to Osama gets my boot in their ass, Toby Keith style).

Fishplate said...

As a practising Libertarian, I may be marginalized to the point of insignificance, but I don't have to claim any of the pumpkinheads that seem to abound through both of the major parties. No one speaks for me, I can do it myself.

Heaven knows we've got our own nutjobs, but who has ever heard of 'em?

Jmac said...

Yeah, you can disagree with Murtha all you want, but any man who actually goes out and earns a couple of medals of honor the old-fashioned way gets to speak his mind. So any comparison with him - or any Democrat - to bin Ladin is quite irresponsible.

No one here is comparing Republicans to Hitler, though if you stack up some of the language you could possibly draw some loose similarities. You don't do that because it's inappropriate and false.

When you have little ability to actually refute your opposition and instead compare them to your actual enemies, your side has already lost the moral high ground.

Point being: JFK was a commie fighter; less than 10 years later, the Dems had been McGovernized to the point where, to this day, they won't fight anybody (except Republicans).

You mean, except al-Qaida, ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Serbia, Haitian warlords, Somalian warlords, etc. ... right?

And when did 'McGovern' become a bad word? Granted, he was a tad more liberal than me, but he opposed a war in which the vast majority of the country now recognizes was a colossal mistake. So how, exactly, is that wrong?

Jmac said...

And we don't elect ours.

Except Tom DeLay and Bill Frist ... right?

Patrick Armstrong said...

And Santorum, and Brownback, and Cornyn....

(Let's especially not forget Cornyn, who tried to justify violence against the Judicial Branch of government the same way the 'left justifies terrorism.')

Come to think of it, I miss the good ol' days when we had really real Republicans like Bob Dole, Nancy Kassebaum, Clint Eastwood, Tom Osborne, & don't forget Alex P. Keaton. Man, those were some good times.

Then, just ten-twenty years later, the Republican party has Wolfowitzed its way into wanting to fight everyone else anywhere anytime (except England).

Even with the current state of the left and despite all the silly vigils and hand wringing and Michael Moores and the awful "John Kerry Oompa Loompa tan" (patent pending), the other team beat ours by the voting equivalent of a last second field goal, 51-48.

If the Dems and the left had our varsity squad playing, we'd be discussing how President Nunn just sold control of all China's ports to the UAE, and how the finders fee would bump up the budget surplus another coupla billion dollars.

Ann Coulter would be writing a crappy relationship advice column in a two bit Connecticut monthly.

We'll get there. But you're right, DoubleDawg, there's plenty of lefties who are gonna have to get off the lawn and into the meeting halls. (A quick viewing of PCU would be suggested along the way).

Anonymous said...

Well, I agree with the whole moveon as lame at times thing.

I know, standing around w/a candle in a dixie cup looks goofy, over wire tapping as opposed to someone dead somewhere. Doesn't seem in the least bit relevant to either wire tapping or political action, does it?

What moveon isn't telling is that they have paid staffers who want them to hold monthly events to build their own base. They don't really think it's going to produce change right this minute, they're growing the left wing of the party into a functioning hopefully winning wing, they think.

I agree though. They should spend more energy on actually building their network into functioning regions, instead of managing everyone so remotely.

They should spend the moola they raise on either door to door straight canvasses, direct candidate support, or on lobbying activities. They don't do nearly enough to get their folks off their behinds and out visibly doing anything.

But they're doing a better job of it than the Dems themselves have for years! Since Clinton, I think... And the 527's are here to stay.

I've heard some interesting resentment of them at national conferences recently. They are costing traditional non-profit voter mobilization efforts their volunteers. Low income Democrats would rather register a voter for 7$ than for free, and I heard several local groups complaining that the national 527's are competition rather than help, as they pretend. If Moveon or any of the others sincerely want to do grass roots work, they should be supporting the veterans on the ground, instead of setting up their own shops everywhere.

But there again is what moveon isn't telling, which is that they have a plan. You know, an agenda. An itemized, budgeted, careful list. I think they are running into problems trying to run a grass roots network from the top down. Go figure. That's what always happens when grass roots get too big. Some visionary who talks real nice steps up to the podium and takes charge of all the little folks on the ground, and tada, the integrity of the grass roots work is destroyed.

The whole idea w/grass roots is to grow the power from within the workforce, not from the glitzy ritzy lists of the moneyed and smooth politicos at the "top".. and who's main claim to competence lies in their ability to raise money.

Okay, that's enough of a rant for this morning.


hillary said...

Maybe we could try to agree that Dean was somewhere in between Osama and the center-right of Democratic Party? Personally, I really appreciated a candidate who approached problems logically rather than spouting nonsense about patriotism and god.

I'm not a huge fan of Move-On either. The vigils do feel silly, and they send out way too many emails. I feel badgered into submission.

Dawg Corleone said...

Not to be argumentative--I would never do that--but right there is part of your problem.

A lot of voters don't mind God and patriotism. What they mind is being made to feel less intelligent and less sophisticated because they favor God and patriotism.

Memo to Dems: voters don't like being talked down to.

Re MoveOn: that's y'all's deal, and I don't have a dog in the fight, but they do appear to be one of those groups that confuses activities with accomplishment. No shortage of that, on either side of the aisle.

Jmac said...

I can agree to an extent Corleone, but I don't necessarily think that Democrats have any aversion to God and patriotism. Instead I think the majority of them have a hard time articulating their views and beliefs and respond in a reactionary way, which does unfortunately play bad for voters who rank those things high on their charts. Those that do - Mark Warner and Tim Kaine for example - often succeed.

But it's important to remember that, as Patrick pointed out, 48 percent of the country still voted Democrat in the presidential election last time around ... and did so with, in my opinion, one of the weakest tickets in recent memory. So there is a very large percentage of the population that, apparently, thinks along the lines of Hillary.

To be fair, both Democrats and Republicans all too often act reactionary and oppose, rather than work on crafting a positive message for voters.

I had a lot of problems with Dean and personally felt he tried to prove his stripes as a person of faith, but botched it horribly. The whole favorite book from the Bible thing was more damaging in my view than his ill-fated scream.

He actually has honed his message and surprised me as DNC chair (with regard to raising money, working to recruit good candidates and attempting to be more open to pro-life Democrats like myself), though to many Republicans he'll always be the guy who shrieked. Then again, most Republicans aren't ever going to be all to keen on the DNC chair, whoever it is.

I know Publius has some opinions on Dean, so he may want to speak about that later.

Dawg Corleone said...

I hope Dean is DNC Chair for life.

Anonymous said...

"A lot of voters don't mind God and patriotism"
I don't either. It's what's done in their names that scares the hell out of me.

hillary said...

Fine point, Mr. Brown. I think it's just weird that you _have_ to talk about that stuff as a candidate. I'd never assume that just because you shut up about it that you want to turn the country over to the UN or worship the devil. Personally, I'd think that if someone talks about those two things nonstop that they're talking down to me, that they're just doing it because it's popular. It's one thing if someone says, "all people who love Jesus are stupid," but I'm not sure I've seen anyone actually doing that. Andy?

Anonymous said...

DDDY - right on!

Vigils, marches, silent protests, "singing songs and carrying signs" don't move anybody towards anything more than disgust and antagonism.

I'll ditto your "Seriously. Stop it. I mean it."

and, for the record, I am a proud liberal Democrat.