Sunday, November 07, 2004

What's on your mind?

What have you been reading? Thinking? Writing?

Share your thoughts on the election by posting a comment.


  • The real question is: how do we move forward? I'd like to share a few ideas that I think have gotten pushed under the table a bit.

    1. We need to build the next generation of progressive leaders by investing in promising aspiring intellectuals at the college level. Thankfully, this is getting off the ground now with the Center for American Progress' Campus Progress Network, which I encourage everyone to visit at The movement and the Democratic party desperately need NEW leadership, and today's progressive college students are those leaders. The publication I edit, Princeton Progressive Review, has just received a major grant from these kind folks to develop progressivism at the collegiate level ( We intend to use that money precisely to develop writing and intellectual talent among the next generation of progressive leaders.

    2. The DLC needs to be dissolved. Centrism is "the God that failed." Trying to run to the right of Republicans doesn't work. It was outrageous to see John Kerry embrace the awful Republican value of militarism by dressing up in fatigues and hunting geese. That's not who we are. I know, I know: you're thinking, "well, the DLC was able to elect Clinton." Yes, but it failed to elect Gore (because progressives split over Nader, who ran because the Democrats, to put it mildly, lacked balls in that campaign against Dubya), it's lost ground in just about every Senate and Congressional race, and it's elected fewer governors. I want to remind people that you CAN be a progressive and win elections- Paul Wellstone did it successfully, Barack Obama (the future of our party) just did it. For more on this, go here:

    3. The Dems need to take back religion. Why have they surrendered it to Republicans?! Many people forget that conservative Christians who supposedly take the Bible literally tend to have a very, very strong sense of social justice. If we are able to use the rhetoric of religiously-inspired social justice, we can win votes. Dems have been too scared to do this, however, and have effectively surrendered religion to the Right.

    By Blogger Asheesh Kapur Siddique, at 8:41 AM  

  • I too am proud of what the progressive community accomplished this election cycle. I am extremely dismayed by the outcome, not because of how the votes were cast, rather how they were tabulated. I am certain that the election was stolen, as have the last two elections (2000 and 2002).

    The final polling and exit polling, not to mention the incredible turnout, indicated that this was going to be a victory for democratic principles. Instead it became a lesson in power politics - - this election was decided by electronic voting machines, which left no trail yet spat out results completely at odds with what exit polls were indicating (remember Max Cleland's surprise defeat in 2002?).

    When the president of Diebold comes out and announces he will do anything he can to deliver the swing state of Ohio to Bush, and some of his company's internal memos surface in which employees discuss the major holes in the software which allow long-distance manipulation of results and leave no trace of the tampering, and voting experts and even Vegas gambling machine experts testify that these machines are insecure - - well, you get a piece of the picture.

    No matter how well democrats turn out, if we don't control how the votes are tallied it doesn't matter how many votes we cast.

    These problems are well documented. No black helicopters were used in the writing of this missive.

    San Jose

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:05 PM  

  • Obviously, the young vote was not a factor in this election. Most of the issues addressed in this campaign were directed at the older vote. As Democrats, we have been allowing the Republicans to force us to play at
    their game.

    Liberal is not a dirty word. We have to stop denying that the Democratic party is liberal. We even played into their game by arguing about just how liberal John Kerry is. Being a liberal is a good thing and until we believe that, we can't expect the young voters to become motivated. Remember, it is the liberal vote that elected JFK and it is the liberal vote that has the most passion behind it.

    By going over the analysis of the exit poles, the most striking revelation should be the number of Democrats who didn't vote, or voted outside of the party. The question to ask is why?

    We don't care what the republicans view of God is. In our opinion, their view is wrong. To us God is just, not judgemental, God is compassionate, not vengeful. If the Republicans want to play the God card, let them but
    don't bow to them. Republican morals are based on hate.

    Our young voters are begging for someone to lead them. Lead them and stop going after votes from people who have long ago decided not to think and who have decided that having an open mind is a sign of weakness.

    In my opinion, this is where we lost the votes. Most of the families with students heading to college don't even understand what has been happening to educational funding, the rise in tuition costs and the decline of low interest loans. Most young families have only begun the search for housing and don't understand why they aren't able to afford a decent home. By investing in the stock market instead of the existing Social Security system, they have no idea how vulnerable their future is.

    The war in Iraq has taken it's toll on low and middle income families not because of their desire to serve in the military but because the military was their only
    option to afford a college education and to them it wasn't a gamble but a necessity.

    So I beg of you, reignite the "LIBERALS". Let us take back this country
    and move it forward once again.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:00 PM  

  • I agree that there are unresolved issues with the election and voting machines, particularly in Ohio and Florida. Black Box is working on them. Send them a few bucks if you can.

    The DLC and Party leadership took Dean out, for their own reasons. There is no way to know if he would have done better, or worse, than Kerry, but we need to replace the Party leadership in my opinion. As a party, we need to stand for something, or win elections, or preferably do both. What is not acceptable is to do neither.

    By the way, it can be done. We pretty much swept Oregon, which was a borderline state in 2000. We've had a Republican State Senate as long as I can remember. Not any more. We took two State House seats, giving a very contestable minority, and won all the statewide races.

    One thing people in "Red States" or red counties of blue states don't get much or is contact with real Democrats. We should start a "Sister City" or "sister county" effort to boost Democratic organizations in the "red" areas. We have relatives & friends in Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri and could go help out during elections. You gotta have the right local flavor, but people tell my wife she sounds like a Southerner. These people need to talk to real Democrats and find out that we're mostly like them.

    By Blogger Al Peck, at 12:22 AM  

  • It was stolen.

    Too many inconsistencies. Polling leading up, Bush with under 50% approval, undecideds, youth and high turnout alone make a compelling case. One other thing talking with people after the election is how many republicans voted against Bush this time (granted I'm in California). Even fervent pro-military types were fed up with Bush's lies and the ballooning deficit.

    To add fuel to the fire, democrats tried to pass legislation requiring receipts to be produced by e-voting machines but republicans stopped it. In retrospect they should have made a big stink about this and warned americans of the dangers, instead of allowing it to happen as they did.

    This wasn't a referendum on "values" as the media is trying to portray it. Talk of african-americans and hispanics going for Bush in larger numbers, and the evangelicals/homophobes turning out in record numbers due to the anti-gay marriage propositions is smoke and mirrors to keep us from seeing the obvious. Bush and his ilk done stole the election.

    Our only hope is open, verfiable and auditable voting. All e-voting machines should have their source code open for public inspection. And companies that make these machines should not be privately held - - they should be publicly held and non-profit, like utility companies.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:21 AM  

  • The progressive community's made great strides in developing and leveraging new resources to work within the traditional election system in the U.S. We came close to electing John Kerry (and, some might say, did, in fact, accomplish that, but for the political chicanery of the Bush minority vote-suppression thugs and other less than ethical, if not illegal tactics).

    While we should continue to move forward with mobilization of our people through traditional election channels, isn't it about time we begin also consider leveraging our extensive resources and networks outside of the traditional political power structure.

    For instance, one way would be to try to diminish the power of the right by holding targeted economic boycotts of the largest contributors to Bush & gang? (If there's one thing that Bush's supporters care about it's making money and if there's any indication that their continuing support for Bush politically will affect their ability to make money or that of their stockholders, they will be more likely to hedge their bets). Perhaps we need to show these folks that if they want to put their shareholders' economic futures in the corner of just one political party, then we will play that game, too. We could rotate among the top five contributors.

    How about announcing these political boycotts
    on inauguration day, Jan. 20, 2005, and simultaneously holding anti-Bush protests throughout the U.S.?

    We will also need to improve on the preliminary success of our internet activism, by helping to ensure our energies are even more focused and effective going forward.

    While we need to work from outside the political system to try to effect change, that doesn't mean we throw the baby out with the bathwater. While finding ways to affect the political dynamics of this country from outside the system, we'll need to continue to enhance our ability to play within the system, as well.

    Following are some preliminary thoughts about strengthening our ability to work within the system:

    1) Solidify our position in the "blue states." This will give future Democratic candidates a solid base on which to build. (By, for instance, proposing legislation in these states to protect the voting rights and civil rights of its citizenry (including referenda)).

    2) Begin making inroads in select red states, with populist economic programs and messages. (Focusing our attending on economic issues such as poverty, joblessness and lack of health insurance).

    3) Begin to soften the Republicans' seeming stranglehold on the "religious right." (By exploiting Bush administration policies which vary with the right, and emphasizing the moral implications of issues such as poverty, homelessness, joblesssness and lack of health insurance).

    4) Develop some tactics to help us to achieve the above: Some initial thoughts:
    a) An Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. (Making it a crime to pay women (and others) less for the same work as men get.
    b) Workers Bill of Rights. (Including an increase in the minimum wage and overtime pay rules, workplace safety, etc.)
    c) Corporate Welfare Reform. We need to make Corporate Welfare reform a to issue going forward. (Slogan: "End It; Don't Mend It." This is an area which we failed to exploit and a major area of vulnerability by the Bush administration)>


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:25 AM  

  • Hey, just wanted to tell you guys that

    1. We accomplished at lot in 2 years. That's right. 2 years.

    Do you remember what a mess our side was just 2 years ago?

    Then that hurrican Dean came along (& like him or fear him, he did wake us up I feel) & we all realized we had some work to do & alot of partners to work with!

    And in 2 years -- just 2 years! we got to the point where we almost took apart the most destructive, extreme government & corporate interests we've seen in my lifetime.

    Just 2 years people! TWO YEARS!

    2. So I'm PUMPED about the next 2 years (that's right, we take it to them 2006).

    If we can get that much done in 2 years, I'm not being naive in thinking that we're going to rock in 2 more (plus 4 years for 2008).

    Thanks to everyone who made a guy in Houston, Texas feel a lot less RED this year.

    We'll be fine....let's put our thinking caps on (more pragmatic thinking maybe, less idealism w/o abandoning our ideals, etc...) & let's get a win.....

    By Blogger krazypuppy, at 11:53 AM  

  • I agree wholeheartedly with the person who stated that we need an electoral system where the votes are open, verifiable and auditable. One of the major tasks of the Democratic party is to see that this is accomplished in every state.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:58 AM  

  • In 2000, I thought a good citizen was some who voted most of the time and only knew 2 or so names on the entire ballot. I was and am now a Voter Deputy Registrar, Precinct Chair, Early Elections Clerk, and Polling Judge. The federal election results were disappointing and pissed me off. The local Dallas county elections results here in Texas were good and gives us hope to go on. (Dallas county elected its first democrat judges and sheriff in over 30 years. ...3 judges and a sheriff... We had 100% republican judges and sheriff. Not any more...) I'm now going to run for office/board.

    Basically,... If you can't change the government, become the government that you want to change.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:31 PM  

  • David,
    I want to thank you for your energy, intelligence,
    heart, and guidance!!!

    One thing became very clear to me at the end of this
    election. I did not understand much of the strategies
    employed by different progressive organizations as
    they decided how to most effectively utilize limited
    resources. I did not hear clearly from these same
    organizations what their strategies were. In part, my
    lack of understanding is a reflection of not
    understanding the structure and function/dysfunction
    of our political system. In the future, I will ask for
    clarity in this area.

    With energy and without depression,

    By Blogger Kristofer Young, DC, at 5:36 PM  

  • The "mainstream" corporate self interested bottom line media is trying its best to promulgate Bush misinformation on the election. The kids did vote. I knew when they claimed they didn't something was wrong. I have a college kid and asked him and his friends if the knew anyone who did not vote and they couldn't think of a single person their age who did not vote. UT prof friend asked all his classes got the same response. I worked the polls in my precinct and saw kids coming all day. It was the older church going crowd who didn't show at the polls because they all vote early contrary to yet another Bush lie. Let me suggest a couple of things going forward:

    1. Tell the heads of any orgs you belong to that we are ready for mass civil disobediance along the lines of a nation wide general strike. Think how much just one union like the longshoremen could cost them during the holiday shipping season. That would get their attention for our demands for a recount and election reform. If not if we let the spineless DNC leadership lay down on this many many more will die needlessly over the next 4 years. We owe it to the world to prove to them we did not do this. Otherwise they will think we ratified fascism and empire and we become targets.

    2. We need to purge the Democratic leadership. I hear Dean wants the DNC chairman's job. Good. Let's support him as he has proved he has a spine. We must takeover the Democratic Party precinct by precinct committee by committe.

    3. Instead of whining about Fox we must out compete them. We need the major orgs with the contacts to get the big boys the George Soros, Peter Lewis, Ted Turner types to fund a cable news network to go head to head with them. Let's put the Amy Goodmans and the Molly Ivins and Jim Hightowers on the air big time to tell the truth. Think of the Guardian model of an independent multi media outlet funded by a trust and committed to honest journalism to counter the appalling misinformation Bush people believe.

    4. They want moral issues and religion? Let's give it to them. Let's start with exposing the Christian Heretics and their Domion Theology/Christian Reconstructionist for what they are - fascists. How many know of the close link of Bush to the Moonies and the Lehay nutcases of this movement? Shine a light on it and the fact that it is radical heretical theology out of the Christian mainstream. Make wealth/income dispartiy a moral issue. As the book What's the Matter With Kansas shows they have succeeded in convincing red state folks that they don't get to vote on money issues or how we split the pie only on moral values issues. They did this while picking their (and our) pockets for 20% of everything they owned prior to 1980. That's the level of income "redistribution" from poor and middle class to wealthy that has gone down. Make it a moral issue. Make universal healthcare a moral issue. And for sure make election reform/campaign finance reform/publicly funded elections (Arizona seems to like them and they are Republican) a moral issue.

    5. Read George Lakoff on how they use linguistics and NLP to sell their message. It is powerful cognitive technology derived from super salesmen who can sell anything to anyone and it works.

    6. Lose the high road nonsense. Negative works. Get down in the gutter and fight. If ever there was a candidate more vulnerable than Bush I haven't heard of him. From AWOL with drug bust and aborting his own child to phony sobriety adultery and cocaine use years after he claimed to have been born again we could have nailed this guy and didn't. Instead he took the low road and hurt Kerry big time. All that BS took him off message and the environment hardly even got mentioned when Bush was hugely vulnerable on it.

    7. Contact all the groups you belong to and try to get emergency meetings called to take action now on the election fraud. It ain't official until I think it is Dec 13 when the Electoral College meets. We need mass demonstrations to draw attention and media coverage. We did not lose this election. Ohio with 90,000 more votes than registered voters alone is cause for a recount much less the Florida mess where which company owned the machines was the best indicator of which way a given county voted. They have stolen our birthright and they will take our kids for their war for empire next if we let them. The time to act is now not next time. Next time is what we said last time and we won that too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:39 PM  

  • Going after the accuser: What the Republicans do bestRepublican's are assaulting Ronnie Earl, the Travis County DA who gave up retirement to make sure someone had the backbone to go after Tom Delay.

    They are saying that it's a political vendetta. That was the justification of changing the rule so that Tom Delay could stay the party leader.

    No doubt Democrats lodged the complaint. BUT if there was nothing there, the law would not have indicted 3 of Delay's partners and would not be going after Delay right now.Ronnie Earl's record?

    12 Democrats prosecuted vs 5 Republicans including the powerful Attorney General of Texas at the time Democrat Jim Maddox

    10 of whom were found or pleaded guilty.

    Earl's homepage:

    The best the Republicans have come up with is that Earl did not prosecute Dan Morales a Democrat. The reason why? The Feds were already prosecuting him & instead of going for the publicity of jumping on the band wagon, Earl's let the Feds successfully prosecute Morales.

    Let your local & national media know these facts & TALK these facts, b/c it's important that people do not PERCIEVE or even WONDER if this is political.

    What about sending District 22 constituents a letter stating the facts about Earl?

    By Blogger krazypuppy, at 6:06 PM  

  • My Republican RIPresentative voted in support of DeLay.
    I come from one of those red states. I am lonely sky-blue petunia in a red onion patch. I voted for Kerry. I voted for all Democrats in a state of Bush worshippers.

    There is something very wrong when most of the electoral map is red, but it is not really as red as the GOP and the media would have us believe. Were it ever really so that the map is mostly red, then that is a sign that the streets of our nation will run with blood. I don't like saying this, but it is time we face the facts.

    Look at the American flag, for intance. It is NOT predominately red. The red is surrounded with white stripes. The white stars are surrounded with a field of blue. Blue is the color of peace and freedom. White is the color of purity of intent. When red is used in moderation, it is the color of courage. Our flag is balanced -- that's why it is red, white, and blue. John Kerry made one of the understatements of the century. He said that we should not be just a red nation nor just a blue nation, but a red, white, and blue nation.

    We should love one another as Americans, not hate each other which is caused by the divisiveness that the Republicans and Bush are causing.

    The Bushy GOP's would like our nation to be all red, sans, all bloodshed. No courage, no peace and freedom, no pure intent!

    Bush has NOT won the election. Reports, studies, and all kinds of evidence are coming out daily that his election was at least as badly stolen as four years ago, and THAT was bad enough!

    O.K., Bush and DeLay are in cahoots. They are in the same hip pocket. DeLay has a pesticide business. Did you know that? It was pesiticides that killed people in the gas chambers in Hitler's Third Reich -- a cause that the Bush family supported. DeLay is known as the "exterminator". Governor "Arnold" is known as the terminator. Put these people with Bush and you have a deadly combination!

    A stolen election is ALWAYS -- without fail -- a tainted election. DeLay will do Bush's bidding. And if Bush wants to get rid of us good, liberal, peace and freedom loving, truly compassionate, humanitarian, environmentalist, progressive, earth-respecting, forward-looking, peace without end people, all he has to do is call the Exterminator!

    Both Bush with his administration and DeLay are potentially deadly in their own right. Together, (remember what Bush said in the debate. He said he was "not much concerned" about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden), Bush and DeLay are not only deadly, they're downright lethal to the future of our nation, of the entire world, and of the planet earth!

    The way that DeLay jerrymandered in Texas is illegal as was the re-election of George W. Bush. Guess who would really win the election if it were honest, NOT Bush, but John Kerry.

    If we take this lying down, then it will not be long before we have no future, no say whatsoever in that future, and/or life ends on this earth as we know it. There are the facts and that's the way it really is.

    Get up and fight!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:48 AM  

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