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Response to Armstead (Reply #40)

Sun May 8, 2016, 01:05 PM

60. I am trying to debate about the big picture here

which to me and Obama comes down to playing a role in government by having a seats in elected office or being relegated to shouting in frustation from the outside to get any attention.

Lets remove policy from the debate and just look at strategy. Is a pragmatic candidate more often going to win vs. one running from a more ideologial perspective? Absolutely. In other words for an ideologial stance to have the advantage requires some unusal imbalance in the country to be able to capture the majority. That imbalance will happen (must happen) but hopefully only infrequently and hopefully the severity will be limited. If you disagree with that hopefully part then that is where we differ.

To review what I think are the facts:
The Democratic party lost the debate over economic policy in 1980. The GOP took advantage of that rather masterfully. They funded think tanks, lobbyists, and media and affected public opinion and votes. And they poured it on year after year, distorting the facts and muddying up the debate and distracting people from the real issues. They used wedge issues to divide the country. Maybe this list can be added to?

As a result the Democratic party determined through our normal process what strategy to use to win elections. To win votes. Prior to 1992 we had lost 5 of the last 6 Presidential elections. Since then we have had the advantage winning 4 of the last 6. And we could further look at the two houses of congress which I am sure would paint a similar picture.

How to describe that new strategy in the fewest words? I think it can be described as less ideological and more pragmatic. It simply looked at public opinion and crafted a winning strategy. It was heavy in positive messaging and not angry rhetoric.

We now see what it took for the laissez-faire believers and champions to be truly stymied. It took a lot more than words. It took more than predictions by experts. It took more than principled candidates from the left like Kucinich, and many others. It basically took a financial collapse and 8 years of solid leadership to turn enough public opinion around on trickle down to remove that as strong position to take in an election for the pukes. Polls show the Democratic Party is more liberal now than 8 years ago. I am thrilled that we can finally take more liberal positions and have a high probability to win elections as I am sure that vast majority of Democrats are.

Our primary this year pitted the pragmatic view vs. a more ideological view. In actual policy positions, not a huuuuuge divide. More divide on strategy and rhetoric. With the greatest dislocation of the financial crisis behind us it appears the Democrats are going again with the pragmatist.

Ok enough facts
What were the consequences other than winning elections? We often hear or see arguments that it resulted in a poorer chance to turn back public opinion and to make real change. But in order to make real change you must win elections. This is a chicken or the egg argument, it is really just a waste of time.

The other lesson I think is that in our rather stable system of government it takes time and major imbalance for people to forget what they think they know about complex things like the economy. This predicts that if we move forward with some measure of carefulness this could be the beginning of a long period of more and more liberal policy.

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Arrow 61 replies Author Time Post
msanthrope May 2016 OP
Blue_Adept May 2016 #1
Adrahil May 2016 #41
Blue_Adept May 2016 #59
Name removed May 2016 #2
msanthrope May 2016 #5
betsuni May 2016 #3
Trust Buster May 2016 #4
Name removed May 2016 #6
Trust Buster May 2016 #7
Name removed May 2016 #8
DrDan May 2016 #15
Chan790 May 2016 #9
msanthrope May 2016 #10
rjsquirrel May 2016 #14
Armstead May 2016 #38
Buns_of_Fire May 2016 #57
rjsquirrel May 2016 #58
Schema Thing May 2016 #18
msanthrope May 2016 #22
Schema Thing May 2016 #25
NewImproved Deal May 2016 #30
msanthrope May 2016 #43
Schema Thing May 2016 #53
Adrahil May 2016 #42
Lucinda May 2016 #11
Bluenorthwest May 2016 #12
Doctor_J May 2016 #17
99Forever May 2016 #13
lumberjack_jeff May 2016 #16
msanthrope May 2016 #21
lumberjack_jeff May 2016 #23
msanthrope May 2016 #44
lumberjack_jeff May 2016 #48
baldguy May 2016 #19
msanthrope May 2016 #20
lumberjack_jeff May 2016 #24
brush May 2016 #35
bettyellen May 2016 #55
Mnpaul May 2016 #52
aikoaiko May 2016 #26
baldguy May 2016 #28
Skwmom May 2016 #31
aikoaiko May 2016 #36
Armstead May 2016 #27
Kittycat May 2016 #34
BootinUp May 2016 #37
Armstead May 2016 #40
Nay May 2016 #50
LineLineLineLineNew Reply I am trying to debate about the big picture here
BootinUp May 2016 #60
Skwmom May 2016 #29
whatchamacallit May 2016 #32
Tierra_y_Libertad May 2016 #33
baldguy May 2016 #47
Tierra_y_Libertad May 2016 #49
baldguy May 2016 #51
Tierra_y_Libertad May 2016 #56
mmonk May 2016 #39
beedle May 2016 #45
TimPlo May 2016 #46
islandmkl May 2016 #54
Dems to Win May 2016 #61
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