Printer-friendly copy Email this topic to a friend
Lobby Okay Activist Archives topic #28531

Subject: "Democrats' Grass Roots Shift the Power" This topic is locked.
Previous topic | Next topic
les_fleurs
Member since Aug 23rd 2003
11774 posts
Sun Feb-20-05 03:20 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy listClick to send message via AOL IMClick to send message via ICQ
"Democrats' Grass Roots Shift the Power"


          

Activists Energized Fundraising, but Some Worry They Could Push Party to Left
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A38436-2005Feb19.html

any thoughts? article is below

-----

The bloggers have been busy on the Democratic National Committee Web site since Howard Dean was elected party chairman a week ago.

"Paul in OC" and "Steviemo in MN" wrote that they had made their first-ever contributions to the national committee. Someone identified as "J" pleaded with Dean to come to Florida, "home of Baby Bush," to "heal the irritating red and help us become a cool blue state again." "Donna in Evanston" wrote, "It's sad, but it is up to the grassroots to set the example for our representatives in Washington. Howard gets it. Maybe some day the beltway bunch will get it too."

Those sentiments square neatly with Dean's call for "bottom-up reform" of the Democratic Party and the further empowerment of grass-roots activists who flexed their political muscle in his unsuccessful presidential campaign. They later became the backbone of organizing and fundraising efforts by John F. Kerry's campaign and the DNC's election-year efforts.

But the rising of this grass-roots force also signals a shift in the balance of power within the party, one that raises questions about its ultimate impact on a Democratic Party searching for direction and identity after losses in 2002 and 2004.

At a minimum, say party strategists, the shift will mean a more confrontational Democratic Party in battles with President Bush and the Republicans. But some strategists worry that the influence of grass-roots activists could push the party even further to the left, particularly on national security, reinforcing a weakness that Bush exploited in his reelection campaign.

It was Dean during the presidential primaries who argued that it was time for the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" to reassert itself, an implicit criticism of strategies that guided President Bill Clinton in his battles with Republicans in the 1990s. Clinton recently warned Democrats not to assume that the policies he pursued are incompatible with a vibrant, progressive wing of the party.

As Dean takes the helm as party chairman, Democrats now face a competition between what might be called the Dean model and the Clinton model, between confrontation and triangulation. This amounts to a contest between a bold reassertion of the party's traditional philosophy that fits the polarized environment of the Bush presidency vs. a less provocative effort to balance core values with centrist ideas that proved successful in the 1990s but has since produced a backlash within the party.

Dean recognizes the difficult job ahead as he tries to welcome a cadre of political outsiders, many of them turned off by the party's recent leadership, into the institutional party he now heads. His first steps have sought to bridge the ideological divisions with a call for a party that is fiscally responsible and socially progressive.

Tom Ochs, a top Dean adviser, said the challenge is less about ideology than the political culture of the audiences to whom Dean is speaking. "It's clearly an insider-outsider thing that I think crosses ideological terrain, where there are people who haven't been involved who want to be involved and see in Governor Dean someone who wasn't part of an existing enterprise," he said. "I'm very optimistic about our ability to do what a lot of people think will be hard to do, which is to get a lot of people involved, regardless of their ideology, to get Democrats elected."

But other Democrats, a number of whom declined to be quoted by name because they wanted to be more candid about the problems they see, said there are ideological overtones to the growing significance of the grass roots. They said the belief by some of those activists that Democrats can solve their problems by playing more directly to their core constituents ignores several realities, particularly the question of whether voters see Democrats as strong enough to win the war on terrorism. One strategist called that the "one scab" where differences may be difficult to resolve.

Another Democrat, firmly in the party's centrist camp, said, "It's striking to me how reluctant the party is to come to terms with the fact that we have a painfully obvious national security threshold that we're going to have to cross if we're going to rule this country again."

It is no surprise that Democratic leaders are paying much closer attention to grass-roots activists. In 2003 and 2004, those activists became prodigious contributors to the Democratic Party, to Kerry and to Dean, who first tapped into their potential through the Internet during his campaign for the Democratic nomination.

Figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics show that in 2003 and 2004, the DNC raised $171 million in contributions of less than $250. That represented 42 percent of the $404.5 million raised from all sources by the committee. Four years ago, before large soft-money contributions were banned by the new campaign finance reform law, the DNC raised a total of $260 million from all sources. Kerry's campaign raised an additional $84 million in contributions under $250.

In the 1980s, Democrats courted corporate interests for political contributions, and that marriage helped influence party policy on economic and tax issues. But it also produced complaints by liberal Democrats that the party was selling out its principles for campaign cash. Gauging the ideological complexion of the small donors who opened their wallets in 2004 is much harder, but their participation in the process has diminished the power of business interests within the party and likely will produce some shift in the party's ideology as well.

"If the choice is between the grass roots and the big soft contributors of the prior period, I prefer the grass roots," said Stan Greenberg, a Democratic pollster who did considerable polling for MoveOn.org before shifting to the Kerry campaign last year. "What McCain-Feingold did was produce a shift away from soft money to grass-roots support. The great fear was it wouldn't happen, that Democrats would be left without resources. But starting with Dean and extending to outside groups like MoveOn, but also John Kerry and the DNC, there was a surge of giving and engagement that I can't believe isn't healthy."

Eli Pariser, who runs the MoveOn political action committee, said the rising power of the grass roots will make establishment Democrats uncomfortable and has helped reinvigorate the progressive wing of the party. But he said more than that, it has brought about a rethinking of how Democrats should organize themselves against Republicans

"I think it's pretty clear that the era of triangulation is over," he said. "The reason for that is that if you step halfway between Republicans and Democrats, you get your head cut off by Republicans. There's no compromise and no mercy, so I think it's pretty clear that Democrats need to be an opposition that can explain why we believe the current administration is corrupt and misleading the country. It's not something you can do easily by putting yourself somewhere between the poles."

Many Democrats see the choice between nurturing the base and reaching out to expand the party's coalition as a false choice. "I find the 'base versus swing ' conversation not only to be a false choice but to be a deadly choice," said Mark Mellman, a pollster and adviser to Kerry's campaign. "If somebody is forcing that choice on us, they are forcing us to lose elections."

Clinton recently told Democrats not to succumb to the idea that they must choose between a vibrant progressive wing and the strategies he followed as president. Mark Penn, Clinton's pollster in 1996 and an adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), said he sees a greater desire on the part of Democrats to reach a consensus around that model. But he said Democrats have to view the grass roots more expansively.

"I think remarks represented the view that there is a synthesis here for Democrats that is not left or right, but the right kind of grass-roots movement will take that into account," he said. "I think the Republicans organized a wide diversity of people . It wasn't just religious people but a wide diversity of people they coaxed to the polls."

Simon Rosenberg, founder of the centrist New Democrat Network and a challenger to Dean in the race for DNC chairmanship, said he did not know the ideological implications of an energized grass roots but urged centrists not to fear such a development. "Who can be scared at having millions of people giving money and fighting?" he said. "But it's not enough for us to win."

The spike in activity on the DNC Web site in the past week shows that Dean's election has excited grass-roots activists, but keeping them happy may not be as easy as he thinks.

http://twitter.com/tortueturquoise

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top


Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
One major issue with the Dems/libs/progressives is that
Feb 20th 2005
1
has the leadership really changed though?
Feb 21st 2005
2
The Democrats have no real solutions.
Feb 21st 2005
3
LOL
Feb 21st 2005
4
for once, he makes sense
Feb 21st 2005
5
      the "left" has been oozing policy proposals since nov. 3
Feb 21st 2005
6
           RE: the "left" has been oozing policy proposals since nov. 3
Feb 21st 2005
7
           The Party doesn't just exist in Washington.
Feb 21st 2005
8
           simply not having the proposals is not enough ...
Feb 21st 2005
9
                point taken
Feb 21st 2005
10
I think a agree
Feb 22nd 2005
11

FireBrand
Charter member
145739 posts
Sun Feb-20-05 10:01 PM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
1. "One major issue with the Dems/libs/progressives is that"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

They have yet to have a real rallying cry other than "Get bush outta office!". That's just not enough.

If they lose moderates that aren't down for the cause? So be it.

Better THAT than remain weak with no real agenda. All that anti-war BS? not enough.

America was looking for a reason not to re-elect Bush and the Dems failed to give them a real reason while getting caught up in that touchy feely shit.

I think this is a good move.



______________________________



Instores Feb. 8th NothernArc's very own Black Bill Gate's Hosted By John Legend.


Feb. 25th: Groove Theory (Final Fridays) @ Djangos OKP's Nabi and spinning downstairs, Upstairs. Free with RSVP before 1am.





_________________
Inaug'ral Member of the OkaySports Hall of Fame.


"Slaves got options...cowards aint got shit." --PS
"Once upon a time, little need existed for making the distinction between a nigga and a black—at least not in this country, the place where niggas were invented" -- Donnell A

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

naame
Charter member
21008 posts
Mon Feb-21-05 07:34 AM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
2. "has the leadership really changed though?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

an old white dude from up north is at the helm of a party which has more than enough tokens to play their part. jesse has his role, sharpton has his role, clinton has his role, pelosi has her role, and none of there ideas are creating a major shift in ideas and policy locally, statewide, or nationally.



Nowadays silence is looked on as odd and most of my race has forgotten the beauty of meaning much by saying little."

-- From Toni Morrison's new book, "Love"

--------------------------
in the West, when you see a chick who is prostituting you start thinking of all the things she could have done rather than hookin': UPS is hiring, McDonalds is hiring, they're hiring at the mall. you think she's either fucked in the head, cracked out, a freak or addicted to "easy" money

in most parts of Africa, ain't NOWHERE hiring. i mean people with degrees go for years without being able to get a job at some fast food joint. everybody's just hustling with whatever they have to make something out of nothing
-afkap

http://profiles.myspace.com/users/3900079

silver spoon in mouth having , light skinned mutherfucker, fuck a proper upbringing

America has imported more warlord theocracy from Afghanistan than it has exported democracy.

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

Expertise
Charter member
37848 posts
Mon Feb-21-05 08:46 AM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
3. "The Democrats have no real solutions."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

It's as simple as that.

They could raise five times the money the Republicans get, but as long as the Republicans stand strong with a conservative message the Democrats will always lose.

The Democrats gambled on the South by going left, and they lost it. They won't win another election or regain power in either house of Congress until they realize what side of their bread is buttered. They'll stay the minority party.
__________________________
Read the rantings of a .

_________________________
http://expertise.blogdrive.com
http://twitter.com/KMBReferee
http://www.ask.fm/KMBReferee

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

    
tha8thjewel
Charter member
10004 posts
Mon Feb-21-05 09:42 AM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy listClick to send message via AOL IM
4. "LOL"
In response to Reply # 3


  

          

<-- Slicka than ya average.

"It's a war in the streets tonight
And nobody's really feelin alright
I got a blunt for my chronic
A juice for my tonic
I know now
That I'm feelin right if it goes down"
-- Nas, "War"

"perky breasts go with anything....its like the black shoe."
-- my nigga my bruh, OKP thashadow


"Alphas are that good high...stick witcha, you can't shake that shit...like heroin. You'll always be addicted."
--OKP novembersgift

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

        
RawLA
Member since Sep 13th 2002
26784 posts
Mon Feb-21-05 09:59 AM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy listClick to send message via AOL IM
5. "for once, he makes sense"
In response to Reply # 4


  

          

the left side can pout and cry all they want about getting Bush outta office, but, if there isn't a set, clear agenda after that, then we're as bad then as we are now with Bush in office.

a lose-lose situation for the next few years, really.


<--- our GM is a drunken fuck....

go'head, read my

and look at my and while you're at it....


______


twitter.com/rawla
myspace.com/rawla

http://djrawla.wordpress.com
WEEKLY BREW SERIES VOL.7 IS UP!

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

            
tha8thjewel
Charter member
10004 posts
Mon Feb-21-05 10:18 AM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy listClick to send message via AOL IM
6. "the "left" has been oozing policy proposals since nov. 3"
In response to Reply # 5


  

          

even a cursory reading of the american prospect, the nation, alternet, tom paine, hell, even the new republic, has coherent proposals on jobs, the economy, national security, foreign policy, and fresh narratives to describe what the democratic party stands for. organizations like the center for american progress, moveon, the union movement, and others are collaborating on doing fresh things and new groups are sprouting weekly, are being spouted. now, what the party in washington is promoting is another beast, but to say the left is bereft of ideas is laughable and, thus, i laughed.

<-- Slicka than ya average.

"It's a war in the streets tonight
And nobody's really feelin alright
I got a blunt for my chronic
A juice for my tonic
I know now
That I'm feelin right if it goes down"
-- Nas, "War"

"perky breasts go with anything....its like the black shoe."
-- my nigga my bruh, OKP thashadow


"Alphas are that good high...stick witcha, you can't shake that shit...like heroin. You'll always be addicted."
--OKP novembersgift

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

                
woodsen2
Member since Jan 14th 2003
984 posts
Mon Feb-21-05 10:55 AM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
7. "RE: the "left" has been oozing policy proposals since nov. 3"
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

>even a cursory reading of the american prospect, the nation,
>alternet, tom paine, hell, even the new republic, has
>coherent proposals on jobs, the economy, national security,
>foreign policy, and fresh narratives to describe what the
>democratic party stands for. organizations like the center
>for american progress, moveon, the union movement, and
>others are collaborating on doing fresh things and new
>groups are sprouting weekly, are being spouted. now, what
>the party in washington is promoting is another beast, but
>to say the left is bereft of ideas is laughable and, thus, i
>laughed.

But if the actual elected officials in Washington are not following then nothing will get done and they will continue to just sit around and scream about the war. The democratic citizens and small time officials may have ideas, but if the big leadership in Washington doesn't listen whats the point.

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

                    
tha8thjewel
Charter member
10004 posts
Mon Feb-21-05 02:03 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy listClick to send message via AOL IM
8. "The Party doesn't just exist in Washington."
In response to Reply # 7


  

          

There are thousands of state and local Democratic officials who have control over important resources and policy who are promoting progressive policies on those levels, and who have heavy influence in the direction of the party in the longer term, as well as in the short term, as Dean works to empower the state parties to have more control over how money is spent and what priorities are being focused on.

Besides which -- don't think that the party in Congress is totally unresponsive. Read any of the sites I just mentioned above if you want to learn more.

<-- Slicka than ya average.

"It's a war in the streets tonight
And nobody's really feelin alright
I got a blunt for my chronic
A juice for my tonic
I know now
That I'm feelin right if it goes down"
-- Nas, "War"

"perky breasts go with anything....its like the black shoe."
-- my nigga my bruh, OKP thashadow


"Alphas are that good high...stick witcha, you can't shake that shit...like heroin. You'll always be addicted."
--OKP novembersgift

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

                
Deepster
Charter member
1823 posts
Mon Feb-21-05 06:36 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy listClick to send message via AOL IM
9. "simply not having the proposals is not enough ..."
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

marketing them is also very very critical ... the right has mastered this concept ... they have proposals, etc, and they market them throughout various media outlets, through ethical and non ethical means ... the left hasnt quite mastered this art yet ..

> Sig Starts HEre <

http://www.singleparentconnection.net

OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT 2008!!

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

                    
RawLA
Member since Sep 13th 2002
26784 posts
Mon Feb-21-05 07:25 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy listClick to send message via AOL IM
10. "point taken"
In response to Reply # 9


  

          

For it is in our nature to be creatures whom desire nothing but absolute control, and will not rest until this absolute demand is appeased. For, this is the sole basis of our existence since the beginning of man kind. The exploitation of the powerful over the weak and vulnerable. Bridging, for most, is not an option, sadly, even as a desperate measure, where ultimately, the better off we shall all be because of this communion.

go'head, read my

and look at my and while you're at it....


______


twitter.com/rawla
myspace.com/rawla

http://djrawla.wordpress.com
WEEKLY BREW SERIES VOL.7 IS UP!

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

    
les_fleurs
Member since Aug 23rd 2003
11774 posts
Tue Feb-22-05 05:14 AM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy listClick to send message via AOL IMClick to send message via ICQ
11. "I think a agree"
In response to Reply # 3


          

It's a matter of being realistic here. appart from their opposition to the war, what ppl know about the democrat's program? they should work harder. and like someone else said here they haven't mastered the art of propagating their ideas

http://twitter.com/tortueturquoise

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

Lobby Okay Activist Archives topic #28531 Previous topic | Next topic
Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.25
Copyright © DCScripts.com