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Couldn'ta said it better myself

By Michael J. Smith on Wednesday June 14, 2006 08:26 PM

Commenting on JSP's recent billmonomachia, toobigforbritches makes a point that deserves a post of its own:
...By and large, the left has the power to sink and destroy any democratic campaign. Ie, there's enough voters with views to the left of the democratic candidates on issues from "lets go to war" to the environment and probably a bunch more I could list ... there's enough of these voters that if they decide to abandon the democratic candidates and instead support their own candidate, then the Dems are just dead.

In fact really, in a lot of cases if people voted for who they really liked in a three-way race, the centrist dems would probably finish 3rd. But either way, the left can deliberately kill any democratic campaign by not voting for it. Their margins of victory over Republicans just aren't big enough to sustain the loss of support from the left.

Considering this, their position is just amazing to me. Instead of trying to form a real coalition between the dems and the left that could win and govern, instead they seem to hate and attack the left with much more evidence and virulence than I usually see directed towards the right.

In me at least, there's a growing feeling that wants to say I'll never vote Democrat again. And if that became widespread, the Dems would go the way of the Whigs as a political party.

Someday we gotta do it. We gotta cut lose from the Dems, because frankly they suck. There's a combined good benefit between building a party on the left that really would fight for ordinary americans, and also the benefit of flushing the Dems down the toilet of history.

Come on people. Don't be fooled by a Dem party that's as much built on fear (if you don't vote for us, the Republicans will win) as the Republicans are....

Comments (8)


I couldn't have said it better myself. There is one little point that I'd like to make that isn't quite as idealistic.

The Democratic Party doesn't pander to the left simply because of its confidence in the two party system. Those of use on the left that vote regularly are more likely to be motivated to vote by attempting to prevent another Republican success rather than vote for the chosen Democrat nominee. Those of us political aware are forced to vote for the lesser of two evils and the Dem leadership knows this.

Think of the "anyone but Bush" mantra from the last election. It wasn't about how great of a candidate for progressive/leftist values John Kerry was but focused more on how almost everyone/anyone was farther to the left than Bush/Cheney.

In this way we are slaves to the Democrats the same way the religious right are slaves to the Republicans. The only way the Republicans lose their base is from apathy.

Although the idea of supporting a third party is a great idea [one I personally champion] the reality is that as long as there is such a necessity for a Republican loss us progressive will go to the polls and loyally pull the Democratic lever.

Ask yourself, if Bush/Cheney could run again in 2008 and you had the option of voting for a third party and destroying any hope for a Democratic majority would you do it? Would you really allow 4 more years of this to teach the Democrats a lesson?

That's a very high price to pay...

I am an old man and a yellow dog democrat.

I am not voting democrat again. Done deal.

This Peretz and From crap has taken over the party. There is no difference.

In fact, they are now worse. Imagine Hillary the war goddess for a minute.


Robber baron -- It's a "high price to pay" only if you assume that a McCain/whoever administration would really be significantly worse than a Hillary/whoever administration. This assumption seems poorly founded to me.

Moreover, I think there's a "price to pay" in the other direction too. That is, if with our coerced "lesser evil" votes we encourage the Democrats to persist in their present course, they'll come back next time with an even less-lesser evil than they did this time.

It's not a static system, it's a system in motion, and lesser-evil votes are one of the things that keep it in motion. There's a price to pay for lesser-evillism, and it's like a balloon mortgage -- it comes due a few years down the road.



Well I think before abandoning the Democratic Party completely and voting third party the left needs to work on pressure and influence who wins the nomination. Of those who decided to run in 2004 there were drastically better options for a progressive agenda than John Kerry and I think we progressives need to fight to promote those potential candidates from within similar to how the religious right fights for socially conservative leanings from candidates in the Republican Party.

Why do democrats and their shills try to scare people into voting for their noxious republican-lite candidates by comparing them to real republicans? How does this make them any better than their so-called opposition?

When confronted with the choice of having real cheese or Velveeta, most people choose the real thing even if the imitation is slightly better for you.

The average Dem loyalist seems hugely invested in being "slightly better for you." It's all about compulsory niceness, which means that there can never be a mass departure from the party. Not even long enough to scuttle a single major campaign. Toobig is right. Such an act shouldn't be impossible, but because of the average Dem's mindset, it is.

Of course, they have folks like us to beat up on when they're feeling mean. Any genuine attack on their leaders is simply Not Done, after all. We're their therapy. I'm proud. :p

Tim D:

robber.baron wrote:

[I]n 2004 there were drastically better options for a progressive agenda than John Kerry and I think we progressives need to fight to promote those potential candidates...

This seems to be the perennial argument of progressive trying to work within the Democratic Party, but unfortunately it's a tactic that we have seen is doomed to fail. For instance, take Howard Dean. The man was hardly as progressive as he wanted people to think, yet he made some very populist, if not progressive, statements and even stirred things up by participating in the non-binding DC primary in order to draw attention to the District's lack of representation in the Congress.

All those antics really raised the ire of the Democratic Party bosses and they undertook to torpedo his campaign in the most underhanded manner, which Josh Frank described in great detail in his book Left Out.

A more recent example was of course Paul Hackett. You remember him donchya? If not you can read about that here .

The Democratic Party makes sure that all candidates that plan to appear on the ballot with a (D) after their name stay within certain parameters. If you transcend those parameters, you're history. Single-payer, national health insurance? Forget it. Living Wage? God, no! Out of Iraq/end U.S. imperialism? No, a thousand times, no!

Scan the platforms. None of those long needed reforms are in the cards. Any person of conscience must realize that if they vote for candidates who support the status quo, they are complicit in the violence being committed against not only Iraqis, Palestinians, Afghans, women and children in the Global South, etc. but America's very own people (read here: working class). Poverty, low wages, no access to health care, malnourishment/malnutrition, poisoned environments - these are all forms of violence and they desperately need to be stopped.


Bravo on the Dem skewering! I'll probably never vote for one again in any national level election, but I may indulge in support to a challenger in a primary...

will someone please run against Joe-Bama here in Illinois to help deflate the next great saviour bubble?

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