"Netroots" 101: First, Scold the Consituents (and that means shut-up, woman!)


23 comments posted
right on

Great post. The has been a lot of debate about whether Alito alone is enough to tip the Roe v. Wade Balance in the Supreme Court, or whether one more right wing Justice would be needed, and whether the Court alone could undo abortion, and whether abortion rights are likely survive in some states, or whether Congress will act to prevent this, etc. etc. and these are are all important questions, but let's not forget how many male Democrats helped us get to this precipice. Some of them betrayed as recently, in the Alito and Roberts confirmations, but male Democrats have been selling us out for decades. How many years were the male Democrats in control of at least one if not both Houses of Congress? How much securing of reproductive rights did they accomplish legislatively? Not much. If they had been more pro-active, the current compition of the Supreme Court would be so critical.

And now we supposed to shut up and support anti-choice Dems, because even though many male Democrats voted to confirm Alito and Roberts they were slightly less enthusiastic than the Republicans. Or something.

Ann Bartow's picture
Posted by Ann Bartow (not verified) on 19 February 2006 - 12:14pm
One issue candidates

The ULTIMATE one-issue stance is "elect a Democrat." How one-issue can it get?

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 19 February 2006 - 4:58pm
MyDD Frat Boys

Is running around naming and shaming folks who won't get into line and bacl Casey. The latest scold warns that yet another SCOTUS nomination will be up for grabs... I guess they can't see that we've all been there before and Reid happily organized Dem Senators to nominate Roberts AND Ailto... to say the least.... that dog don't bite.

postdated's picture
Posted by postdated (not verified) on 19 February 2006 - 9:50pm
I wonder if they just don't get it

More full response here.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 19 February 2006 - 10:41pm
They think we have nowhere to go...

so we'll take whatever crumbs they throw us. They can't win an election without us. I say we let them try.

Support the Women's Autonomy and Sexual Sovereignty Movements

Morgaine Swann's picture
Posted by Morgaine Swann on 20 February 2006 - 1:51am
They do get it.

They would just prefer to win elections without your help. Frankly, the Dem strategists view the far liberal base as more of a threat than the Republicans.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 20 February 2006 - 2:03am
I think that's the smartest comment

you've ever posted.

Sad thing is, I think you agree with them.

NO party wins without its base. Good luck losing ground in '06.

Madman in the Marketplace's picture
Posted by Madman in the M... on 20 February 2006 - 2:30am
so wise, so all-knowing

the dem strategists are so wise, and so all-knowing.

and that's why they lose so much.

bayprairie's picture
Posted by bayprairie on 20 February 2006 - 2:44am
Dem strategists

They are certain that the far liberal base is a group that they can win without if they pull the centrist voters from the Republicans. They are also certain that if they win the next election by relying on the far liberal base, that they will lose control of their party. They would much rather lose, or break even on an election and marginalize the only group that can actually remove them from power. The unspoken strategy appears to be a concerted plan of milking the far liberal base for as much outrage and money as possible and then letting the more vocal elements move to the Green party (and others) and marginalize themselves.

All told, while this may not be the best strategy for winning elections immediately, it will be an extremely effective strategy for maintaing control of the Democratic party. 20 years ago, this strategy would have been guaranteed to work. Today, the internet and Dr. Reynold's 'Army of Davids' makes the outcome of this strategy much less certain. Intraparty struggles are always much more brutal than interparty struggles. There is more at stake.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 20 February 2006 - 3:14am
New Dem meme: Libruls are not Democrats

Did you miss this muck from Georgia 10 on DK:


Contrary to what GOP propagandist Ken Mehlman asserts, the netroots of the left don't want to push our party more left.We don't want the part to be more liberal. Simply put, we want it to act like a national party.


But, touching now on the larger issue, this is just one example of how Democrats don't function as a national party. In sharp contrast to the GOP, the Democratic Party is struggling to act like a unified party instead of a loose affiliation of liberals in Congress. Members of Congress need to understand that being a liberal and being a Democrat are not the same thing.

Our caucus is full of liberals. Let's take our good friend Joe Lieberman. There can be no argument I think that his record generally is a liberal one. Maybe not Kucinich liberal, but liberal nonetheless. He has a 100% rating from NARAL. A 0% rating from the fundy Christian Coalition. A 100% rating from the American Public Health Association, in large part because he supports national health care for children and poor adults. His positions on other issues are more moderate, as is the case with many members of Congress. Yet the party's base feels betrayed by him because, while he make vote liberal, he doesn't act like a Democrat.

Our party doesn't need ideological purity. We don't need more "liberals" in our party, we don't necessarily need to move it more to the left; we need more Democrats. We need our representatives to realize that there is a national entity called the Democratic Party which requires their allegiance and support. That allegiance and support doesn't stop when a vote is taken and shouldn't manifest itself only in the chambers of Congress. Being a Democrat means you represent the party 24/7. When you're on Sunday talk shows, when you're at the President's state of the union, any time your mug is smiling at the American people, you are an ambassador of the Democratic Party and should act as such. What does that mean?

Acting nationally to protect national interests. That's what being a national party is all about.

Only when liberals in Congress begin acting as Democrats will voters realize that the Democratic Party is one which is coordinated and courageous enough to stand up for their interests. When voters know that if they vote for a candidate with a "D" by their name, that candidate will have the strength of the entire Democratic caucus behind her, only then will we gain enough public confidence to once again see majority status within our grasp.

Geez... did they all take classes at DLC Nightschool to learn how to embed centrists talking points into progressive speak...

centrism vs. national party (none / 1)

first, our party is liberal. nothing to run away from there.

second, i'm not advocating centrism, nor any moderation in our stances. What I am saying is I don't feel like liberals in Congess act like members of a national party.

Maybe i should have made that clearer.

tracking the domestic spying scandal here.

by georgia10 on Sat Feb 18, 2006 at 01:43:08 PM PDT

misunderstood (4.00 / 2)

ain't nothing wrong with being a liberal

but I just wish our liberals would act like democrats. Saying you're against domestic spying to preseve the constitution? Liberal. Actually doing something about it, in conjuction with other party members? Being a democrat.

tracking the domestic spying scandal here.

by georgia10 on Sat Feb 18, 2006 at 01:45:03 PM PDT

Notice how she equates liberalism with LIEBERMAN's shenangigans not pro-choice, or war etc... New meme Libruls are not Democrats.

Them there is Miss Su Hu on Boo blaming the bad liberals in Washington state:


The longtime state attorney general was a shoo-in for the nomination in 2004 but alot of "progressive" Democrats wanted to run others, so they did. Their candidates lost badly to Gregoire in the primary, butthey saw all kinds of problems with Gregoire, and were pissed off at the state party for not promoting their preferences. They stood out her campaign. She was also supposed to be a shoo-in to win the governorship. This is a Democratic state. But the GOP ran an attractive candidate for the first time in a long time.

And the "progressive" Dems were still so pissed, they didn't lift a finger for Gregoire. (If you ask them, they'll tell you that Gregoire's people ran a bad campaign. That's the stock answer to all questions about Gregoire's difficulties in winning.)

Funny I am not even from Washington but I sent in 250 bucks... I guess I am not "progressive" enough for little Miss Su Hu on Boo.

Luckily there were saner heads around to correct Little Miss Su Hu's Boo Boo

Were you at the same election I was? Three people ran and the best one, Talmage, dropped out for health reasons before there was an opportunity to vote for him in the primary. Thus voters had the choice between Sims and Gregoire, two DLC Democrats, both shitty candidates. Gregoire ran an exceptionally bad campaign and the reason she almost lost was because she was tied in the voter's minds with Gary Locke's administration and Locke (likewise a DLC Democrat) was a terrible governor, particularly in his last term.

Your understanding of the latest WA governor's race reminds me of the explaination of why Grey Davis lost in CA (his loss was likewise blamed on 'liberals' despite the fact that the exit polls demonstrated that self described liberals voted for him in greater numbers than any other group. May I suggest that any analysis that lays primary responsibility on the activists and voters rather than candidates and strategists isn't particularly constructive and that this is particularly true in a State where party affiliation is, at best, weak?

Also, do yu have any idea why the Bradley and Olin Foundations would be funding the DLC? It's a particularly important question for WA state where we have the most regressive tax structure in the country.

by the other colleen (colleen at blarg.net) on Sun Feb 19th, 2006 at 12:30:46 PM EST

Looks like the boyos are going to use the GOP tactic and throw bombs from behind the skirts of their womenfolk. I guess that is the reasoning behind "We dont need no stinking wimmin" filled his frontpage with obedient womenfolk who will do his bidding for him.

And they are already setting to ground for what can only be descibed as a missed opportunity on a grand scale ... Democrats failing to retake the House and/or the Senate in 2006 because ONCE AGAIN the total ineptitude of the Democratic leadership...

Blaming the Librul Choir is warming up their fingers...

postdated's picture
Posted by postdated (not verified) on 20 February 2006 - 6:10am
I note all the uses of GOP talking points

"Ideological purity" is just one example.

Most people vote their identity or their interests. The Democrats do their damnedest to offer neither. And that's what they've been doing for 20 years, at least.

And yet it's the "liberals" who are to blame?

These people need to go back to school and take some logic courses. They're lost in Rush Limbaugh loopiness.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 20 February 2006 - 7:45am
Orwell the Amateur...

Southern Jackass wrote:

"...The unspoken strategy appears to be a concerted plan of milking the far liberal base for as much outrage and money as possible and then letting the more vocal elements move to the Green party (and others) and marginalize themselves..."

Nice bit of double-speak there. The Democratic Party is busy trying to pass laws that will destroy any and all attempts for 3rd Party candidates to gain ballot access in any state for any office. It's not marginalization that they expect to see if the Greens are given a fair shake, not by a long shot. They fear the exact opposite: A 3rd Party bolstered with the sort of money and organizational skills now lavished on sorry outfits like MoveOn or NARAL would be a true threat to them in every state of the union;Not marginal at all...

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 21 February 2006 - 3:48pm
joy of reasonable discourse

You are mistaken. The Greens will never be given a fair shake and they are marginalized. While moving far liberal voters out of the Democratic party, they are simultaneously making it harder for a 3rd party to effectively compete. The Greens don't have the money and won't have the money. Dem strategists do not fear the Greens. They view them as the happy dumping grounds of all the discontented who could threaten their control of the Dem party.

Now be a good sheepy and let the Dem strategists win by taking all of your toys and going home to a party that can't win. They will like that. Winning the next cycle of elections is much less important to them than maintaining control of their party. They may not have much of a plan on what the party should stand for, but they are very clear on who they want to run it. The far liberal base is being uninvited to the party.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 21 February 2006 - 6:11pm
Play Holier-Than-Thou...

...until the cows come home, S&M. Your masters would not be passing laws to annihilate 3rd-Party efforts in their infancy if they were not terrified at the prospect of discontented Democrats, swing-voters and non-voters actually having somewhere else to go. And you wouldn't be wagging your patronizing finger at me if you, too, were not afraid. If you really believed that women's time, energy, and above all, our $$$ were not needed by the Big Boys, you would not be here as their ambassador. Or do you really expect me to believe that you are just here out of benign concern for the poor confused womenfolk ? Well, forget it. I didn't believe that in 2000 and it seems like more and more women are arriving at that same conclusion.

You don't get to have your cake and eat it, too. If you want loyalty from feminists, your DP boys must demonstrate loyalty themselves. As they don't demonstrate it, they have lost any right they once had to receive it. They bully and patronize --using you as a vessel in this case-- because it is all they have left to offer. Only chumps repeatedly give away their futures for a wink and a promise that is never fulfilled. You think that's a winning strategy, because it's always worked before;Though your team rarely wins, its machine hums along nicely, delivering spoils for a few insiders and flacks who know nothing about their supposed costituents and don't care to. Which is what you really want most of all, isn't it ? Actual victory is less important than keeping the franchise going. The wall that keeps out all challengers must be bolstered and maintained.

But I think you are overly optimistic to expect this approach to keep your franchise going for another twenty years. Go read up on the fate of the Whigs sometime.

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 21 February 2006 - 7:17pm

I'm not a Democrat. Actually, I think they are probably making an ideological mistake. However, attacking me isn't going to help your cause. I can guarantee that all of my political strategist friends are laughing their asses off over your reaction. You are being entirely predictable and playing into their hands. They don't fear the Green party or any other 3rd party from the far left. None of those parties have ever had much success organizing, raising money or getting anyone elected. In addition, the areas where the Green party is strongest are also Democratic strongholds and the institutional advantage the current Dems have is almost impossible to overcome.

You can talk tough all you want, but if you aren't tough enough to influence the Dems in your strongholds, then you definitely aren't tough enough to overcome their institutional advantages. Especially after they further unlevel the playing field by making it harder for 3rd parties. They aren't terrfified of 3rd parties. They are just being thorough and exploiting their advantages.

I once asked on this blog how a group of people that couldn't influence the Dems could overcome them and I haven't received a satisfactory response. Most of the responses on this topic seem to point out that the Dems shouldn't expect your support if they don't support your policies. This is true. The problem is the Dems don't care if you support them or not because you can't stop them. They are certain that you will eventually vote with them against the Republicans and if you don't, oh well. Until you can come up with a concrete plan to overcome them, you are merely a sheep being led out to pasture. Lots of baaaing, but no actual control of your destiny.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 22 February 2006 - 12:03am
re: Whigs

The Whigs failed for two reasons. Firstly, they were split on slavery. We don't have much of a slavery issue in the US and ignore it in the rest of the world. Secondly, they generally only existed as an umbrella organization for everyone that Jackson's high handed ways pissed off (sound familiar). They didn't have a cohesive ideology or policy platform.

Political strategist have recognized the amazing parallels between the Whigs and the current Democrats. The issue is that the Dem strategists have drawn different conclusions than you have on what they should do. They realize that they have been abysmal at establishing a solid party ideology and platform. Therefore, they are trying to simplify the party and move to the center by muzzling the far left. Although they are not certain what their final ideology will be, which is stupid and shortsighted, they are certain that they will never be able to establish one that captures the median voter if they do not break the power of the far liberal base. Hence, their focus on DLC and making it harder for 3rd parties to fight them.

The current major fight in American politics is not between the Dems and the Republicans over the future of the US. It is within the Dem party over the future of the Dems. The Dem strategists realize that they are in the semifinals and not the finals. That is why they act the way they do. They aren't entirely stupid.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 22 February 2006 - 12:39am
no slavery issue?

you say:

We don't have much of a slavery issue in the US

you're really quite clueless, outside of your precious polls, aren't you?

bayprairie's picture
Posted by bayprairie on 22 February 2006 - 3:04am

There isn't a slavery issue that geographically defines the nation and makes a national party impractical. We also don't have slavery in the US. I know, I've been in many places where people have been offered to me for sale. Nothing in the US comes close to comparing to that. Although many compare the abortion rights fight to slavery (and I'm in favor of abortion rights), it is not and indicates a truly dangerous misunderstanding of the horrors of true slavery. Once you've seen the real thing up close, the hyperbole of Americans claiming they are enslaved is laughable and degrading.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 22 February 2006 - 3:33am
Forced pregnancy is slavery

Not hyperbole, simply true.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 22 February 2006 - 8:31am
Oh, The DP is Plenty Stupid...

...and evil, too. Which must be expected. Its elite is brimming with money and power, and behaves accordingly. Abortion ? The daughters of the wealthy will obtain it safely whether it is legal or not. The wealthy make the law in this country, and they flout it at will, too. What are the bodies of the poor and an ever-dwindling middle class to them ? The same goes for healthcare and every other issue of importance on the modern scene. The DLC is all about floating in its little plastic bubbles of privilege, and crushing anyone who so much as appears to be disturbing their happy minuet with their brothers across the aisle.

You babble inanely about strategy as if you were in the heart of the proverbial smoke-filled room, Southern Windbag. But you are no closer to the centers of power and no more beloved by these monied sociopaths than I. You're just not smart enough to realize that yet. When you grasp that you are only one stepping stone amongst millions to these people, you will perhaps be on the way to waking up.

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 22 February 2006 - 11:46am
I'm with stupid

Until you get a national party going that starts getting a significant percentage of the vote, I'm going to stick with trying to work with the Democrats. You gripe and moan constantly on here about how corrupt the DLC-owned Democratic Party is, and how we're all really misogynist anti-feminists for supporting it; but you offer no alternative, just scorn and derision. Yes, take your balls and go home, since the Democratic Party doesn't live up to your standards. Never mind that by doing that you might be enabling the true enemies of your rights to continue in office, or even expand their majority, so they can continue taking away your rights. Never mind that you are acting against your own interests and making it even harder for you to reach your goal of full reproductive rights for women, which a majority of the Democratic Party shares with you. Throw that baby out with the bathwater! It's the principle of the thing! We may lose every election, but by gum we're not weak, compromising, incremental-change hypocrites!

Is your theory that if only things became horrid enough for women in this country, they'd rise up in armed revolution against the patriarchy? You work against Democrats, knowing that by ensuring continued Republican majorities you are condemning future generations of women to lives of "slavery of forced pregnancy"; too bad for them, right? You're taking the long view. Destroy the corrupt Democratic Party, and in its place will arise the Glorious Women's Revolutionary Sisterhood Party which will win election after election!

I'm sorry, but I just don't see how this isn't a kind of underpants gnome strategy:

1) Destroy vile, corrupt Democratic Party

2) ????

3) Freedom!

Come on, you have to have a better plan than that! Just staying home isn't a strategy either, it's avoiding the issue.

liberalrob's picture
Posted by liberalrob on 23 February 2006 - 12:21pm
If You Don't Like My Solutions...

...it's not my problem, robo. I work on local issues. I support 3rd Parties and independent candidates. I am lucky to live in a state where there are at least a few non-partisan races each cycle for Council seats. Once in awhile, there is even a worthwhile ballot measure that has a snowball's chance of not getting buried alive by corporate dollars from both in and out of state.

You want us fringe-dwellers to prove ourselves to you. You play Catch 22 games by using our very fringe status to justify keeping your distance, because the fringe is so... icky. I trust that you support the DP's efforts to strangle what there is of genuine alternatives to their game. The starvation, verbal abuse, and darkness they perfected in 2000 and 2004 not being good enough.

Sorry. I'm old enough to know 3-Card monty when I see it. Take your deck and your shells and stuff them.

You don't like *my* game ? Too beneath your notice ? Ask me if I give a shit. Impressing party hacks is way the hell down on my "to-do" list, somewhere between getting Jessica Simpson's autograph and learning new ways to serve Cheez Whiz.

And speaking of things cheesy, I don't understand what part of "the DP is my true enemy" you don't get. Harry Reid is pro-life. Hilary Clinton and Barrack Obama are beating the drums for war on Iran. Joe Biden is wholly owned by Aetna and Joe Lieberman is a subsidiary of various giant Pharmas. The scant handful of folks left in the DP with consciences would do better to walk than to persist in settling for eternal submersion in such unprinicpled ugliness. If they choose to stay, fuck 'em. I haven't got any more time for asinine, unfulfillable promises to "bore from within." I've waited over twenty years for that nonsense to bear fruit. It hasn't, it can't, and it ain't gonna'.

I don't care what fucking color pinney pro-lifers, corporate shills and war mongers wear. If they don't represent me, they are my enemies. It's not rocket science, except to those whose synapses are stuck with nothing but red=bad/blue=good dichotomies to work with.

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 23 February 2006 - 1:01pm
beyond the pale

It's one thing to personally insult me and use ad hominem attacks for all your replies, but it is an entirely different matter to insult the pinnacle of food science technology. I will be forwarding this to the NSA (oh wait, they've already read it) and you will feel their righteous cheesy wrath.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 23 February 2006 - 5:12pm