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True Blue Door

(2,969 posts)
Sun Jul 6, 2014, 03:08 PM Jul 2014

Exhaustive (and exhausting) list of obstacles to Democratic victory in 2014.

In no particular order...

1. Gerrymandering. Republicans have gone about gerrymandering with a strategic focus similar to business investment - using each round of it as a means to expand rather than merely protect what they have. The results have been an increasingly undemocratic partisan proportion that in no way reflects the American electorate, at times - like 2012 - resulting in GOP majorities in legislative bodies when the majority of voters had voted for Democrats.

2. Prison districting. This is a long-standing issue whereby rural, strongly conservative districts choose to locate prisons in their territory. The inmates of these facilities, most of whom cannot vote or wouldn't vote anyway, are then counted as constituents, resulting in quite a few Republican districts that would not otherwise exist or would have to be combined into one. I've read studies claiming that the GOP would not have won a single Congressional majority in the past three decades without this undemocratic phenomenon.

3. Jim Crow 2. Thanks to 5COTU5's ruling striking down key portions of the Voting Rights Act, and the high likelihood they will make further lawless decisions attempting to decide elections in favor of the GOP in advance, it is extremely likely that minority voters will face obstacles to voting unprecedented in generations. This only compounds the demographic tendency of low-income and minority voters to sit out midterm elections. Remember, that Tea Party operative who threw out voter registration forms in 2012 was never prosecuted by the Republican prosecutor in that area, so expect such tactics to be implemented on a massive scale this time around.

4. Perverse Blame. Bizarre as it seems, some people seem to think Congress is currently run by Democrats or even the President, and that they can just wave a magic wand and overcome absolute obstructionism. The Senate, which does have a Democratic majority, still has to deal with filibuster obstructionism, and obviously cannot dictate anything to the House.

5. The media is full of unhinged right-wing propaganda. But what else is new?

6. 5COTU5's lawless decisions turning elections into auctions. Since the rich are largely Republican, and since more of the middle and lower classes sit out midterm elections, the GOP will simply buy their desired result through even more pervasive right-wing propaganda campaigns than normally flood the media. The truth will simply be shouted down and locked out, lies will be believed for lack of any sufficiently-scaled challenge.

7. A distracted / priority-incompetent left. Again, what else is new? Achieving something will always be less important to some people ostensibly on our side than self-satisfaction.

8. 5COTU5 can always pull another Bush v. Gore if all else somehow fails them. They have shown their willingness in the past to simply throw out and arbitrarily decide elections as they see fit, and their level of brazenness these days approaches infinite.

9. Outright election-rigging is likely in some areas. No matter how many advantages right-wingers have in a legitimate election, they will always prefer a guaranteed result. They've tried before, and they've succeeded often enough to reward their efforts. Every election cycle makes their efforts more organized and increases its scale. With a newly energized Tea Party / brownshirts at work on behalf of their millionaire masters to end democracy in America once and for all, and knowing 5COTU5 has their back, expect new depths of brazen authoritarianism to be plumbed.

So...what are you gonna do about it?

33 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Exhaustive (and exhausting) list of obstacles to Democratic victory in 2014. (Original Post) True Blue Door Jul 2014 OP
7. A distracted / priority-incompetent PARTY. Maedhros Jul 2014 #1
Those aren't mutually exclusive. True Blue Door Jul 2014 #5
I, For One, Welcome Our New Insect Overlords Kablooie Jul 2014 #2
Yep Cosmocat Jul 2014 #3
10. Candidates who can't enthuse enough voters to vote for them. Erich Bloodaxe BSN Jul 2014 #4
It's not their job to entertain you. True Blue Door Jul 2014 #6
"if your own party doesn't win, then YOU are the problem" winter is coming Jul 2014 #7
My objection is with the emphasis of the comment. True Blue Door Jul 2014 #10
Again, the only person talking about "American Idol" campaigns is you, and the implication winter is coming Jul 2014 #17
Again, you're talking about how they feel rather than what's real. True Blue Door Jul 2014 #18
People vote based on how they feel, not on "reality". winter is coming Jul 2014 #20
Then get them to think about how they feel differently. True Blue Door Jul 2014 #21
Informing potential voters about how policy affects them isn't "pandering". winter is coming Jul 2014 #31
Exactly. So don't do it. True Blue Door Jul 2014 #32
You fail to show citizens' direct influence on the existence of the OP obstacles. ancianita Jul 2014 #22
Excuses to fail as citizens are not important. True Blue Door Jul 2014 #26
Then you naively play semantics, substituting "excuses" for reality. Of course they're important. ancianita Jul 2014 #29
Wow. Just wow. True Blue Door Jul 2014 #33
Entertain? No. It's their job to get elected. Erich Bloodaxe BSN Jul 2014 #8
And it's our job to elect the better candidate. True Blue Door Jul 2014 #11
You were doing quite well until this post. Scuba Jul 2014 #9
That's not constructive criticism. True Blue Door Jul 2014 #12
Are you not capable of self-reflection? Scuba Jul 2014 #13
I'm capable of both receiving and offering constructive criticism. True Blue Door Jul 2014 #15
#'s 8 and 9 especially problematic. You know those 5 lying liar psychopaths on the SCOTUS won't blkmusclmachine Jul 2014 #14
Indeed. True Blue Door Jul 2014 #16
So you admit that near & distant money does overturn citizen activism, I take it. ancianita Jul 2014 #23
Eh? True Blue Door Jul 2014 #24
My continuation of my points made above (#22).'Eh?' sounds a bit disengenuous, considering your big ancianita Jul 2014 #25
Considering that politics is nothing but people relating to each other True Blue Door Jul 2014 #28
Now you're making silly accusations. I described a realistic context that your 'solutions' ignored ancianita Jul 2014 #30
Posted to for later reading. eom. 1StrongBlackMan Jul 2014 #19
Since when are we arguing about WHAT KIND OF ID, instead of NO id required??? randys1 Jul 2014 #27

True Blue Door

(2,969 posts)
5. Those aren't mutually exclusive.
Sun Jul 6, 2014, 03:29 PM
Jul 2014

And your pretense that they are is kind of an example of what my original item mentions.

Cosmocat

(14,658 posts)
3. Yep
Sun Jul 6, 2014, 03:19 PM
Jul 2014

it isn't good, and it probably is not going to be good in November.

The ONLY hope is somehow finding a way to hold on to the Senate by a hair, with maybe picking up some governorships as a consolation prize.

Erich Bloodaxe BSN

(14,733 posts)
4. 10. Candidates who can't enthuse enough voters to vote for them.
Sun Jul 6, 2014, 03:21 PM
Jul 2014

Recent polling has shown less than a quarter of the youth vote intends to vote in the midterms.

Given that the youth vote is usually sewn up by Dems, you'd think more candidates would be putting a lot more effort into showing that they're worth voting for, and get young adults interested in voting.

True Blue Door

(2,969 posts)
6. It's not their job to entertain you.
Sun Jul 6, 2014, 03:31 PM
Jul 2014

It's our job to pick the best option. Emphasis on option. If you don't like the options, then participate in primaries. If you don't like the primary options, then choose a different party. If you don't like any of the parties, then form your own. And if your own party doesn't win, then YOU are the problem.

winter is coming

(11,785 posts)
7. "if your own party doesn't win, then YOU are the problem"
Sun Jul 6, 2014, 04:06 PM
Jul 2014

Isn't that what Erich was saying? Nowhere in his post did I see an indication that the youth vote needs to be entertained. If we want to get their votes, they need to be represented. We should be addressing issues that matter to them. If we aren't, and they don't like the options, they won't participate.

True Blue Door

(2,969 posts)
10. My objection is with the emphasis of the comment.
Sun Jul 6, 2014, 05:36 PM
Jul 2014

The attitude is that citizens are supposed to behave like passive consumers, and it's the fault of some distant authority if we fail to participate. That is extremely destructive.

As citizens, we choose what happens. Even failing to choose is itself a choice: A choice to delegate decisions to the rich and to highly-motivated radicals. That is what the youth vote needs to learn about reality, not that they should treat elections like American Idol.

Rather than trying to get the youth vote enthusiastic for a leader, get them enthusiastic for their own role in politics - for the fact that whether they like it or not, anything they do has consequences for this country. Get them to understand that they don't need to expect a political leader to convince them to be involved: That they are involved no matter what, and their choice is whether they take responsibility for what follows or just delegate their decisions to lobbyists.

How about instead of waging American Idol campaigns, we provide some damn Civics education?

winter is coming

(11,785 posts)
17. Again, the only person talking about "American Idol" campaigns is you, and the implication
Sun Jul 6, 2014, 06:36 PM
Jul 2014

that young people are shallow and/or lazy is condescending. The younger voters I've talked to are disengaged from the process because they feel the system is so gamed that there's no point in participating: all they hear are vague wishy-washy canned sound bites from candidates who may not even mean what they're saying. There's not much interest in getting involved in something if you feel your efforts aren't making any difference.

True Blue Door

(2,969 posts)
18. Again, you're talking about how they feel rather than what's real.
Sun Jul 6, 2014, 10:19 PM
Jul 2014

I think probably the only way to rigorously deal with this is to have compulsory voting like in a number of other countries. Their experiences have, to my understanding, been largely positive.

winter is coming

(11,785 posts)
20. People vote based on how they feel, not on "reality".
Mon Jul 7, 2014, 01:46 PM
Jul 2014

If we think we're doing a good job of representing younger voters, we need to express that in terms that reach those voters. If we can't articulate it, chances are we're not doing such a good job.

True Blue Door

(2,969 posts)
21. Then get them to think about how they feel differently.
Mon Jul 7, 2014, 04:30 PM
Jul 2014

A progressive party cannot pander to ignorance and remain progressive.

winter is coming

(11,785 posts)
31. Informing potential voters about how policy affects them isn't "pandering".
Mon Jul 7, 2014, 08:20 PM
Jul 2014

It's an integral part of successful campaigning. Approaching potential voters as if they're lazy ignorant schmucks isn't a successful campaign strategy.

ancianita

(36,999 posts)
22. You fail to show citizens' direct influence on the existence of the OP obstacles.
Mon Jul 7, 2014, 06:57 PM
Jul 2014

I said "direct" influence. You know good and well that citizens ARE distant in gerrymandering decisions, prison districting, SCOTUS rulings, media ownership, and election rigging.

You COULD mention, just mention, the undue burden you might possibly be putting on people whose days are spent working, looking for work, raising children, working with local organizations, staying informed from credible non-propaganda media. Not to mention taking hours off from work to go vote. Those are priorities that take up much of a 24-hour day.

You COULD mention, also, that national leaders, even moreso their donors, ignore national opinion polls on everything from legalizing marijuana to foreign policy to corporate personhood.

Your OP could mention that this is a huge country, with disparate income equality in a winner-take-all system rigged to pander to voters rather than deal with them honestly, and ignore those without money. The people who've caused the obstacles you outline above are exactly the people who make high art of misleading voters into thinking they will represent voters' interests.

Since you're fairly new (I think) and take some libertarian stand about how our -- OUR -- choices are totally, directly influential -- if we make them so -- ignores so much beaten down active citizenship -- protests, Occupy, petitioning, phone calling and other hard fought causes already performed by citizens young and old -- that I can't even begin to tell you how your "solutions" here defy feasibility.

The only thing I agree with is your OP use of the word exhausting. Yes, it always will be. At least until WE get money out of American politics.

Read more. Look into the huge fight the 99% are up against with the 1% who, save for court restrictions and other random regulations, can literally buy both federal and state governance in their favor. They're clearly showing the working class of many states that they don't even need the working class, or even voters, thereby, to run this country in their interests. Now, there's a context for rethinking your solutions.

True Blue Door

(2,969 posts)
26. Excuses to fail as citizens are not important.
Mon Jul 7, 2014, 07:37 PM
Jul 2014

As haggard and overworked as the American people are today, how bad do you think it was in the early 20th century for the activists who remade this country from a dystopian steampunk cesspool where employers literally held the power of life and death over their workers into a juggernaut of progressive politics by mid-century?

Freedom is for those who take it - who are willing to die or go to jail for it. Not for people who consider it an extracurricular activity. Money can't compete with people whose very selves are invested. But it can easily compete with, distract, and intimidate people who just feel dissatisfied and politely ask for their rights as an optional request in between playing videogames and reading celebrity gossip.

ancianita

(36,999 posts)
29. Then you naively play semantics, substituting "excuses" for reality. Of course they're important.
Mon Jul 7, 2014, 07:54 PM
Jul 2014
Rather than trying to get the youth vote enthusiastic for a leader, get them enthusiastic for their own role in politics - for the fact that whether they like it or not, anything they do has consequences for this country. Get them to understand that they don't need to expect a political leader to convince them to be involved: That they are involved no matter what, and their choice is whether they take responsibility for what follows or just delegate their decisions to lobbyists.

How about instead of waging American Idol campaigns, we provide some damn Civics education?


WE? How about you read around some past threads in DU, lurk more and see how concretely DU'ers have tactically linked and discussed your very handy solutions. But then you'd have to have a star membership to get access to archived threads.

You think you're telling people something new here? For the 3.5 years I've spent here, DU'ers have discussed and acted upon your high sounding solutions, not to mention sharing fundraising, petitioning and actual candidacy efforts that have had direct effects on national opinion polls.

Until you yourself outline your activist bona fides, accomplishments, and then lead by example along these lines, I really can't take your proclamations seriously, and neither should others here.

Thanks for your OP. It's good. But your solutions leave a lot out about the "how."



True Blue Door

(2,969 posts)
33. Wow. Just wow.
Mon Jul 7, 2014, 11:04 PM
Jul 2014

I suppose if I said 2 + 2 = 4, you'd wonder darkly if I'm a bona fide mathematics professor or just an amateur with an opinion.

Shall I scrounge up my liberal activist decoder ring and give you our Secret Handshake?

I'm not interested in silly ego-enhancing shibboleths and identity politics, just in giving what it is that I can give.

Do with it what you will. If you find my thoughts useless or unqualified, then you can ignore me and I'll return the favor.

True Blue Door

(2,969 posts)
11. And it's our job to elect the better candidate.
Sun Jul 6, 2014, 05:37 PM
Jul 2014

Not to make excuses for how it's the candidate's fault if we fail as citizens.

 

blkmusclmachine

(16,149 posts)
14. #'s 8 and 9 especially problematic. You know those 5 lying liar psychopaths on the SCOTUS won't
Sun Jul 6, 2014, 05:47 PM
Jul 2014

hesitate 1 nanosecond to overturn election results in favor of the GOP. They are crooked, vile, black rob(b)ed thugs! True ACTIVISTS, ones that have never exercised this level of legal slimeballery since Bush v. Gore.

True Blue Door

(2,969 posts)
16. Indeed.
Sun Jul 6, 2014, 05:51 PM
Jul 2014

I'm actually curious how some of the more submissive voices among us will deal with it when 5COTU5 rules that corporations have the vote, and that their number of votes is based on their money - which is basically inevitable at this point.

ancianita

(36,999 posts)
25. My continuation of my points made above (#22).'Eh?' sounds a bit disengenuous, considering your big
Mon Jul 7, 2014, 07:31 PM
Jul 2014

speech about how WE control so much of what we get in politics.

True Blue Door

(2,969 posts)
28. Considering that politics is nothing but people relating to each other
Mon Jul 7, 2014, 07:40 PM
Jul 2014

saying that we control the outcome is not only obvious, but tautological. That you would take offense at that is beyond bizarre, and makes me wonder what exactly you're trying to accomplish - unless you think convincing people they're helpless is a legitimate progressive goal.

randys1

(16,286 posts)
27. Since when are we arguing about WHAT KIND OF ID, instead of NO id required???
Mon Jul 7, 2014, 07:39 PM
Jul 2014

Voter ID is unconstitutional, yet we are now debating what kind of ID the American Terrorist organization (republican and teaparty) can force people to provide.

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