HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Politics & Government » Populist Reform of the Democratic Party (Group) » It's about numbers of vot...

Fri Jul 8, 2016, 11:56 PM

It's about numbers of votes and how to get them.

Wanting to believe something or repeating it endlessly does not make it so.As many times as we may say that people who refuse to vote Democratic in November or in past elections or future elections are all Republicans, it's not true.

Some people, on both the left and the right sides, draw lines strictly by party. Some people draw lines by principles or ideology, but will vote by party anyway, on a "lesser of 'two' evils theory--and that includes leftists who changed their registration from Democrat to no party affiliation because they no longer could identify as Democrats, given the rightward movement of the Democratic Party.

Those who vote by party on the right will, in November, vote for the Party's nominee, even if the nominee is a nut cake like Trump or Carson or Santorum. Others on the right, however, will not vote Republican no matter what. Some will stay home in November if they cannot deal with the prospect of, say, Trump as President, while others will vote for a so-called "third" party candidate or even for Hillary Clinton. That does not mean they were Democrats or Constitution Partiers or Libertarians or whatever all along. It means they are rightists who cannot deal with the prospect of Trump as President.

On the left are counterparts of the rightists described in the paragraph immediately above this sentence. I have no idea what people think they accomplish by denying that. In my experience, recognizing a reality is almost always preferable to denying a reality or pretending it's something else.

The real issue for Democrats is not whether these people were Republicans all along. If they were Republicans, they were; but, if they were Republicans all along, then they have been voting Republican all along. Therefore, their votes will change nothing. The real issue for Democrats is quantification of leftist votes that have been lost relatively recently or that are likely to be lost in November and/or in the future.

A vote for a Democrat is a vote for a Democrat, even if the voter feels he or she must hold his or her nose. So, people who criticize Democrats, but vote Democratic won't change anything. Therefore, the only quantifications that actually make a difference to Democrats going forward are:

1. The number of leftists who refuse to vote for certain Democrats and, as a result, either stay home or who vote for a candidate other than the Democratic candidate or who leave blank one or more slots on their ballot.

2. The number of rightist, "unenrolled" and totally as yet unregistered people who may be persuaded to vote Democratic.

Bashing either of those groups is not going to increase the number of votes for Democrats. Taking the right positions on the right issues will.

That is unlikely to happen as long as candidates are depending on lobbyist/corporate money to fund their campaigns. We HAVE to get corporate money out of politics. If everyone contributes up to a maximum of $2700, that is enough to run a competitive campaign on a level playing field.

I don't know how we get around the Citizens United case to do this, but get around it we must. (I guess the easiest and fastest way to get around the Citizens United case is not to vote for people who take corporate donations.) Then, we have to worry about equal access to voting and a fair count. The other element is media and I don't know what we do about them, given the First Amendment.

16 replies, 2717 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to merrily (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 12:08 AM

1. On the money, as it were

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pangaia (Reply #1)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 12:11 AM

2. .






Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to merrily (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 12:16 AM

3. Bookmarked to digest later, but thank you!

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to silvershadow (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 12:23 AM

4. You're most welcome.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to merrily (Original post)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 12:27 AM

5. " We HAVE to get corporate money out of politics."

Jess Unruh was as leftist as any successful politician today. He was Speaker of the Assembly in California during the Sixties.
He was happy to take the money of corporate lobbyists. If he ever refused to take a contribution from someone, it was probably only because the contributor was a known criminal.

Jess used to say, "If you can't eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women, take their money and then vote against them you've got no business being up here."

The fact that a politician takes contributions from a corporate lobbyist does not mean that the politician has to dance to the lobbyist's tune. Sometimes, the lobbyists contribute with the hope that they might get favorable legislation and sometimes they contribute to avoid being punished for not contributing.

Don't accept excuses for poor votes by a politician.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tal Vez (Reply #5)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 12:37 AM

6. But that's not how it works... We are an oligarchy the way it's going today.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tal Vez (Reply #5)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 12:45 AM

7. Hstory shows that attempts to court big donations have taken the country in the direction

big donors desire.

You cite one example from state government in the Sixties. That doesn't exactly make the case.

How about something more recent, like the effect of the health insurance lobby on the ACA? Or the effect of Debbie Wasserman Shultz's donors on her initial position on payday loans? She's changed it and my guess she did changed her position only because of a strong challenge from her left. Perhaps the most dramatic example of this to Democrats is the NRA influence on sensible gun control legislation. I could go on and on.

Conversely, what potential evil do you see as a result of limiting ALL donations to $2700 from individuals? Isn't a level playing field the point?

Which reminds me: "Corporate" is something of a misnomer. It's any huge donor who wants something, but it an individual, like Koch or Adelman or an association, like the NRA, or a limited partnership or a trust, etc. "Corporate" is just a catch all.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tal Vez (Reply #5)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:04 AM

8. P.S. Unruh used his power over state pension funds to get Wall Street donations.

I'd heard Unruh's name before your post, but I did not know much about him. I just read his wiki:

When he campaigned for State Treasurer during 1974, the post was considered insignificant.[2] Unruh's radio advertisements assured voters, "Make no mistake about it, I really want this job". Once elected, Unruh politicized the office. The Wall Street Journal noted he became "the most politically powerful public finance officer outside the U.S. Treasury".[2] California pension funds were a major source of revenue for Wall Street underwriting companies, and Unruh secured campaign contributions in exchange for doing business with them. The New York Times said he had gained control of "an obscure post whose duties had long emphasized bookkeeping. In characteristic fashion, he soon transformed the job into a source of financial and political power that reached from California to Wall Street."[3]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_M._Unruh

Is that how a state treasurer should finance a campaign? Doesn't it create the temptation to invest pension funds with the treasurer's biggest donors? Perhaps Unruh did not do that, but we can't overlook the existence of the temptation. I don't think tempting politicians is good social policy. And what if a politician doesn't have pension funds to trade for donations? What if a politician has only votes and access to offer donors?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to merrily (Reply #8)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:38 AM

9. Pension funds have to be invested.

Believe it or not, the State of California does not own a seat on the NYSE. In order to efficiently participate in the stock market, an investor (like a state pension fund) has to buy and sell stock through the use of Wall Street firms that do have a seat on the exchange. Similarly, firms must be hired to issue bonds and other financial instruments.

It was suggested that Unruh remained aware of which firms had contributed to his party when choosing which firms the pension fund would use in buying and selling stocks. If you were the State Treasurer, how would you go about selecting firms? Would you select firms that were more closely associated with Republican politicians?

I suppose you might say that the State Treasurer should choose ignorance and should not be aware of which party was receiving the contributions of various firms. But, that's like saying you want a State Treasurer who is extremely ignorant. I am going to suggest that Unruh may not have been the first State Treasurer who knew the politics of various Wall Street firms. I am going to suggest that each and every one of them knew. But, it became more fascinating when Big Daddy Unruh became Treasurer.

Unruh's point was that receiving a campaign contribution is not an excuse for voting against the interests of the people.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tal Vez (Reply #9)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 01:47 AM

10. Yes, they have to be invested, but they don't have to be traded for campaign donations.

Let me quote the language from his wiki again:

When he campaigned for State Treasurer during 1974, the post was considered insignificant. Unruh's radio advertisements assured voters, "Make no mistake about it, I really want this job". Once elected, Unruh politicized the office. The Wall Street Journal noted he became "the most politically powerful public finance officer outside the U.S. Treasury". California pension funds were a major source of revenue for Wall Street underwriting companies, and Unruh secured campaign contributions in exchange for doing business with them. The New York Times said he had gained control of "an obscure post whose duties had long emphasized bookkeeping. In characteristic fashion, he soon transformed the job into a source of financial and political power that reached from California to Wall Street."

Also, you did not address anything in my reply 7 to you, only the P.S. reply (#8) about Unruh.

Forgive me, but making money in politics today about about one long California state politician who was in elective offices from September 1961 to January 1987 just is not persuasive or even particularly relevant. The DLC was not even incorporated until 1987 and that changed the Democratic Party and US politics dramatically, including on money issues.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to merrily (Reply #10)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 02:04 AM

11. I assume that you agree with me that it will be nice if someday campaigns will be publicly financed.

But, they are not being publicly financed - even if you and I want them to be. And there is no indication that they soon will be publicly financed. Until they are publicly financed, I want the candidates who support my positions to raise as much money as possible.

It doesn't bother me a bit that FDR talked wealthy people out of contributions.

It wouldn't bother me a bit to learn that Senator Warren receives contributions from sources who do not agree with me about some issues. I have confidence in Senator Warren. I want her to raise as much money as she can so long as the contributions are legal and won't damage her politically.

I vote for people based upon what they do and I want the ones that I like to raise as much money as possible. I know that contributors often give money even though they know that the recipient will oppose their interests. They make the contributions with the hope that the candidate will not punish them.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tal Vez (Reply #11)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 08:54 AM

12. Please see Reply 7.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to merrily (Reply #12)

Sat Jul 9, 2016, 04:38 PM

13. I understand what you are saying, but we disagree.

So long as elections are paid for with private donations, I want my candidates (the candidates who agree with me) to raise as much money as possible so long as the contributions are not illegal or damaging politically.

I am not trying to speak for you. We do understand each other. We just disagree. And, that's okay.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tal Vez (Reply #13)

Sun Jul 10, 2016, 09:45 AM

14. Please see Reply 7.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to merrily (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:39 PM

15. nice post merrily, well said.

 

I have a feeling as we see the genuine Leftist of the party migrate over to the Green Party, the party membership in terms of numbers will be decreased, but the question will by how much and how many more Conservatives migrate over to the Democratic party in this election augmenting those losses. I've seen GP pr spinning increases by "1000 % points in a day". but what does that actually mean in terms of numbers? I haven't done that research and it's too fluid at this point, and changing by the day.

As for me, I'm not quite there.

I only mention this because I have been interested in understanding just how "left" is (or was) the party in terms of registered voters political identity or inclinations. it's always been impossible for me to determine by virtue of "elected" officials of the party. Too few (if any) are actual Leftists.

The only measure which might remotely come close to accounting for that quantifier are by the numbers of reps who comprise the Progressive Caucus. As we've seen that's not necessarily a true account either, when some of those members vote for Neoliberal legislation time and time again.

The dynamics of this election and the sharp delineations have the potential of being clarified, perhaps. But I believe the Fear Factor card may once again throw fog on that analysis yet again, as it alway has in the past. Right now I'm seeing left journals time after time bring up the political dynamics in Germany pre WWII. The FEAR FACTOR is in full operation. So it's likely we will continue to pursue the answer to this question for another generation or two.

Random thoughts... hope you find this relevant.







Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 2banon (Reply #15)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 11:38 PM

16. Thank you! Your post is more than relevant. It's very thoughtful.

I think the number of primary votes Bernie Sanders received is an indication of how many Democrats lean left--and very probably on the low side. I say on the low side because many Democrats still believe that nominating a liberal is tantamount to electing a Republican, still going by 1972 and McGovern.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12778825 ("This ain't 1972" (Please read the replies, as well as the OP.)

Democratic politicians have invested a lot in propagating that theme/meme; and certainly Republicans have as well.

I think Hillary also did get a lot of votes that she may not otherwise have received because she is a woman and because she is a Clinton, though the last was probably a blessing and a curse even among Democrats. (Unlike many here, I believe being a woman got her more primary votes than she would otherwise have received. I think Democrats in particular are ready for a woman and even someone like Palin re-vitalized McCain's campaign.)

Another reason I think Sanders votes were on the low side of indicating how many are left--and, indeed, some on all segments of the political continuum-- is that people have become apathetic and cynical about politics in general and elections in particular.

There are reasons as well, but they have been discussed on DU to death already.

Anyway, I think a significant number of people out there are "Ready for Someone/Something Else" in Washington than business as usual. Whether they believe it can happen or not is another issue. BUT, will they stay home or go "third" party rather than vote Trump or HIllary? I have no idea. I think Trump is so awful he may bring out voters for Hillary that might otherwise have done something else in November. Will the Greens be a force again? I have no idea. I personally am more into raising issues than making predictions. "We'll soon see" is one of my frequent posts.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread