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Fri Jan 14, 2022, 08:15 AM

What's getting lost is the unity that Democrats achieved this year

The Democratic Party is not and has not been in literal disarray. It actually reached a remarkable virtual consensus on a broad range of issues of utmost importance to America. Contrary to commentary indicating otherwise, there has been no war between competing wings of the Democratic Party. Moderates and Progressives have not been battling it out, rather they have been working it out with a remarkable degree of success. 97% percent of the Democrats in Congress have stood shoulder to shoulder with President Biden on everything ranging from tax policy, to police reform, to gun safety, to election reform, to expanding the social safety net, to investing in America's future. Democrats representing urban, suburban, and rural constituencies in red, blue, and purple regions of our nation sought and achieved common ground on a way forward for America. That amazing show of unity, to some extent, has been thwarted by a tiny handful of individuals, who you can count on one hand with fingers left to spare.

As much as I want to condemn those exceptions as traitors to our Party, doing so distracts from a perennial political truth. People elected to Congress are distinct individuals as much as they are members of a political party, and it is extremely difficult to hold several hundred individuals together in unanimous agreement on anything, let aloe everything, especially on complex matters of substance. It is extraordinarily difficult to function as a governing majority with essentially no margin of error on any vote. When that is true there can still be wins, but there will also be setbacks. Wafer thin majorities are inherently unstable. In Parliamentary democracies that is when new elections most often must be held.

Now is not the time to doubt the Democratic Party. It by no means lacks vision, unity or resolve. What it lacks is sufficient membership in Congress to govern as decisively as we are capable of were we to gain even a slightly larger mandate. We know what the Democratic Party stands for, it is Prescient Biden's agenda. 2022 can and should be framed as a contrast between the clear path forward for America embraced by Democrats, and a clearly obstructionist Republican Party that is selling out both the legacy and the future of our nation.

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Reply What's getting lost is the unity that Democrats achieved this year (Original post)
Tom Rinaldo Friday OP
bucolic_frolic Friday #1
leighbythesea2 Friday #3
bucolic_frolic Friday #4
leighbythesea2 Friday #5
Claire Oh Nette Friday #7
leighbythesea2 Friday #8
leighbythesea2 Friday #9
Claire Oh Nette Friday #11
leighbythesea2 Friday #12
True Blue American Saturday #18
leighbythesea2 Friday #13
Claire Oh Nette Friday #14
leighbythesea2 Friday #16
leighbythesea2 Friday #17
LENNY0229 Saturday #19
betsuni Saturday #20
Hortensis Friday #2
PortTack Friday #6
Tommymac Friday #10
kansasobama Friday #15
Bettie Saturday #22
Bettie Saturday #21

Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 08:26 AM

1. For some reason

we underperform at the ballot box. Or at least at winning elections in the Senate. I don't follow all the races of course, but it seems to me that at time we have had token candidates. We do run a 50 state strategy for Senate races, but I wonder if our recruitment lags. There have been some forgettable candidates over the years. We should have strong recruitment and not settle for patronage just to say 'we can't win, but we had a good candidate'. These are sometimes business leaders or long-time state politicians. And I wonder if the party - the DNC - has ever studied, deeply studied, races we won and overperformed vs. races we sputtered. Surely there are strategies other than leaving it to the candidate to run the race. Jaime Harrison raised money for sure, but he's not Senator.

Carrying on about this because the damage is cumulative. Winning 2 more races over the last 4-6 years would give us what we need now.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 09:59 AM

3. I'm really not

Politically savvy, but i am interested which is why DU is such a good place.
I find your questions/observation intriguing. Some deep analysis would be great.
Lately, I've been thinking along another line. And it has to do with Gen X.
First, we are small, as everyone knows.
Second, and this is anedoctal, i was having a conversation with people about--my generation could choose a couple of paths growing up.
1 looked a lot like their parents, manufacturing work that lead to supporting a family & buying a house. Except, some of that actually collapsed.
The other was a very "college is the answer" messaging, and those who did, i think, also embraced (or had to) technology. Some percent (i dont know this part) is just as savvy as millennials. They just had to learn it along the way. "Keeping up" with millennials technologically doesn't necessarily make one progressive. But it does broaden your awareness, bc we are sharing workspace with them. And working methods & collaborative thinking.

I know both Gen X. I know progressive minded Gen X, and conservatives-- when i look at politics, even local levels, less progressive minded seem to run.

I research the judges and municipal level people before voting, more are R, in my age range. I supported a "more women running for office" (regardless of party) org, back in 2019. Looking at local candidates, it seemed 50/50.
Im sure there are stats around %, overall, on how dems are represented in races. The local level seems critical-- but where are my peoples?
Do dems at this level, wait or think they can't run because
"They aren't experts, respect knowledge" while the other side harbors no such misgivings about themselves?

I know no other way to frame this, congress is so old. I don't feel represented. I know we have millennials in there, and they are coming up. But the Boomer-millenial (made up) divisive rhetoric (media) just seems to represent the lessened impact of progressive Gen X. And in that vacuum Mitchell McConnell lives on and on and on.

Potentially I LIVE in a vacuum? I work in fashion, all young people, progressive, and diverse, then i come to DU for good analysis of the unbelievable shit that happens. And dems are here, caring about humanity, but frustrated we cannot be more effective at times.

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Response to leighbythesea2 (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 10:07 AM

4. Thanks for the ideas

As an old person, I trust old people. But understand ... i the 1700s, being 25 or 30 or 35 involved a lot of thought if you were in public life. You read books, you were probably religious. So you brought something upstairs. I suggest humbly that today's 35 year old do not measure up. Wisdom comes with age. I cannot convince myself that I can convince you. But you might feel it when you're 60. Personally I don't think there should be judges at 30 or 35 years old. No SCOTUS at even 50. People need the evidence, to feel and live the decades to understand the way life rebounds, events echo, ideologies go underground and return, the balance of the judgment of time. That's just my take of course.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 10:50 AM

5. I get what you are saying

A business colleague of mine discuss this somewhat. He's 55. We think we bring a lot to business because of experience of course. Same attributes as you mentioned!. Critical thinking skills are pretty sharp after 25+ in an industry.
A 30 year old maybe be lacking some experience, and overall, the broader team, has a mix of talent to be harnessed. What they do bring, often is an inclusive mindset. Some boundaries around work life balance. The majority i know are very hard working.

These lower level judges are my age, later 40s thru 60s. The municipal positions, a fair amount in their 40s. Just not enough Dems. So i hope this large demographic below me, jumps in. Displaces a % of conservatives. And yes, when i get impassioned, family will say run for township clerk, or something. Lol. I work a ton of hours, would be best to help more Dems run, get elected.

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Response to leighbythesea2 (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 11:21 AM

7. Four Turnings

Another DUer mentioned this in passing in another thread, and your post echoes some of the points the authors make here.

[https://www.lifecourse.com/about/method/the-four-turnings.html

The two charts show various Crisis events in English/American history and how they fit into cycles.

As a fellow GenXer, I know we've always been outnumbered by the Boomers, and by their offspring. GenX forged powerful cultural changes--who doesn't still wear Vans even though their skateboarding days are over--but We've not been powerful in the halls of power.

I'd like to think we can kind of claim Obama (61), and Harris is one of us (64), as the cultural touchstones for Boomers includes the JFK (and MLK RFK MalcomX) assassinations, and I doubt either of them remembers where they were then.

If we are truly in another changing of the guard, ethos, and zeitgeist, then let our best and brightest, those in their 40s and 50s who have gained wisdom and life experience stand up, speak up, and act up.

As a generation, we are free range, latch key problem solvers who learned to figure things out on our own and entertain ourselves. YMMV

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Response to Claire Oh Nette (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 01:26 PM

8. Thank you!

That article was good.

In the forth turning (chaos) it says "social order availability is low, but demand is high". Yes.

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Response to Claire Oh Nette (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 01:32 PM

9. Yes

Would like to take credit for Obama and Harris!

And maybe we were so free range, and cynical that we didn't engage enough. That article says we are nomadic.
I know i felt i wasn't an expert, outside my field--and that politics took a law or political degree. Did.
I don't think so now. It takes common sense, some integrity, and commitment to betterment of society.

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Response to leighbythesea2 (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 02:43 PM

11. Nomadic Cynics...

My dad worked for Firestone from the time he left Henry and Richard Bloch's CPA firm in KC inthe 1950s until he over saw the closing of the Los Angeles Tire Manufacturing Plant and the eventual sale to Bridgestone. We moved every two years until I was 8 because my dad was promoted. Even after he retired from Firestone with fully vested pension and gold watch, he worked for Firestone Affiliates in San Diego, until he retired for good.

Our generation did much the same thing: you either were promoted and got a raise, or you sought another job elsewhere to gain your own promotion and raise. A lifetime with one company wasn't really achievable the way it was for my dad's generation (b. 1931)

Even after I started teaching, there were openings at other schools which paid more, so people left.

Change was in motion for us as kids--civil right and voting rights happened when we were small, so did Nixon and Watergate. Coming of age in the Reagan years, and the great undoing of Government (the problem, rather than a solution generator) appealed to the boomers, who did have free college and an expansion of ideas. IT wasn't until I was much older did I see just how conservative things were, even in the early 80s while punk was breaking out all over.

YMMV

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Response to Claire Oh Nette (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 03:38 PM

12. Your dads trajectory

Mirrors the conversation my sister and i have about our mom, somwhat. Im at the older end of gen X she is near the younger end--12 year diff.
Your dad getting to retirement with one organization. What an cool career. My mom taught for 32 years, & retired at 53, with a full pension. (I taught at the beginning of my career, but really did long to be in business, so i left it FT.)
Caveat, she had gotten polio as a child, a due to it affecting part of her body, she always said physically she could teach, so she did. & was great at it. Her generation was tough, you know?
I read gen X would change jobs 7 times, when i was young. stayed in 1 industry, but moved 7 times/states for promotion.
Sooooo, no career at one employer, no pension, harder paying off a house, if you can, and retirement? My sis is completely perplexed at how she will. I have a rough plan.

Reagan era felt conservative as a teen, i just don't think i understood how pervasive the covert tactics were to maintain that, & how it would stretch it's influence this long, the dark money, the propaganda calling itself news, etc.
Yeah, if one was into counter culture (punk, etc as you mentioned) it may have seemed we had a movement!


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Response to leighbythesea2 (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 15, 2022, 06:41 AM

18. Your family story projects

What has happened over the years since Reagan. Nixon at least tried to do some good things for the Country. I think he learned from Eisenhower.. But Reagan and Bush were the true beginnings. I include Bush because he pulled some really dirty things to get Reagan elected.

Clinton made the bad mistake of signing the Bush plan, so Democrats have been blamed ever since for the hollowing out of our manufacturing base. We have seen a steady erosion of ethics in the Republican Party, culminating in the absolute corruption of the whole party today.

If we can not uproot all that I do not think Democracy will survive. But then I look at our young, so smart and savvy, I still have hope. They lean toward Democracy.

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Response to leighbythesea2 (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 04:05 PM

14. THey're funny because there's some truth....

Love it. Made my day!!

Happy weekend, Xer....

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Response to Claire Oh Nette (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 04:48 PM

16. Happy

Weekend to you!

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Response to Claire Oh Nette (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 04:57 PM

17. Happy

Weekend to you!

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 15, 2022, 06:43 AM

19. Too many just don't vote especially in non-presidential years. They need to VOTE. Period.

VOTE VOTE VOTE. No excuses.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 15, 2022, 07:05 AM

20. What are "token candidates"?

Republicans don't win because they have terrific wonderful candidates.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 09:31 AM

2. +1000. True, fright is growing and people are worried. But!

We started out overwhelmingly unified, and those are unifying factors. Reacting to fear with anger and blame is not exactly the same as becoming a Republican convert.

It also seems probable that some who consider themselves anti-Democratic progressives will fight the overthrow of progressive government by allying with Democrats. Common interests also a unifying force.

The strongest unifying forces of course arise from principles and conviction that most of us have, and would gladly share if we only could. (Hey, isn't that why we all come to political forums? )

But when we can't inspire them in others, at least, though demoralized people tend to vote in fewer numbers, frightened people vote to protect themselves and their own in larger.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 10:59 AM

6. Thx ...great post!

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 02:39 PM

10. Great Words but if the QOP Cheats and we let them then Democracy is gone with no recourse

And they ARE Cheating and trying to string it out until they can control one or both Houses of Congress.

The system cannot work if it is bypassed by Authoritarian rule. And that is exactly what is happening, individuals or not. Two Democratic Senators and the rethuglican minority led by Moscow Mitch are destroying any chance we have to be proactive in solving this matter.

Instead it is going to be political warfare next fall, and we know who has the 1% $$$$$$$$$$$, The media, and rigged polls on their side.

I'm tired of turning the other cheek.

And that is the frustrating part - that is what has be so disheartening. Over the 60 some years of my life it has happened time after time after time.

Money and Hate ALWAYS seems to win.

I am not quitting. I know what my recommended solution is but I cannot state it here as it violates site policy.

Besides I'm all out of ripe rotten tomatoes.

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Response to Tommymac (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 04:36 PM

15. Totally agree with you

You can add to this the following: Despite all this, some of our Democratic voters "are not enthused" in off-year elections. On the other hand, GOP votes with vengeance in all elections. REsult is many state legislatures are Republicans, most Supreme Court judges are GOP appointed. This only hastens end of democracy. I am telling you-this time it is real. Democrats better fight as if it is the end.

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Response to kansasobama (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 15, 2022, 09:20 AM

22. Authoritarian followers do as they are told

Democrats are many things, but authoritarian followers is not one of them.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Sat Jan 15, 2022, 09:19 AM

21. You are right. The one thing we lack

is the media outlets willing to speak of our accomplishments.

The right wing owns the media. Pretty much all of it. Yes, there are a few voices for our side, but the coverage has been relentlessly negative.

Biden could announce a cure for cancer and the story would be that there isn't a cure for some other disease. Oh, and the many cancer patients who would choose to die rather than take a cure.

It is beyond frustrating.

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