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A Valid Question

chicago dyke's picture

No, Really. I think this is worth more discussion:

Play dirty against the BlueDogs how? In what way?
By bringiton on Wed, 01/28/2009 - 2:21pm

Seriously, I'm asking.

Through what mechanism? By what means? What is it you would have the Dem Leadership do, keeping in mind that Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, elected by the Caucus, is a BlueDog through and through?

Without the BlueDog-Republican stranglehold on Congress, this stimulus package would look very different. Without that alliance, many Progressive initiatives including UHC and equitable taxation and dismantling of the push for Empire and a swift replacement of fossil fuels with renewables would all be doable.

How do you propose to break that alliance, to bring the BlueDogs to heel?

I have my ideas; I'll reserve them for now. What do you think? I ask because I'm told by staffers and friends of staffers: they really don't have a strategy.

Dismiss me for a vain and ineffectual nobody, which is true. It's still also true: ideas are in shorter supply on the Hill than you may know. Really. There's still something to be said for that whole "freedom, fact based critique, make noise" thingee that the Intertubes were supposed by some to be all about. This is only the smallest and merest of your chances to take advantage of such. Have at it, Far Lefties. Strategize. There's no cost.

More people than you may think are actually reading. Jus sayin.

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Submitted by lambert on

here, which was:

Why is it that the Democratic leadership never plays dirty against the Blue Dogs?

Hey, and speaking of which, do any of the Blue Dogs attend fundie churches? Just asking...

Which was just that, a question. And an (unhoned) one-liner throwaway, at that.

That said, it seems obvious to me that the Obama forces ran a dirty campaign -- all the way from false charges of racism through the TX caucuses to the RFK smear, and with a constant drumbeat of misogyny. And then there was the online stuff, which wasn't so nice.

And it did work; after all, Obama's primary win was legitimate enough. But, at least until you get impervious, it gets kind of tiresome getting kicked in the teeth. But that only happens if you're on the left, and not even to all "progressives." It never happens to the Blue Dogs. Wny is that?

So, to answer the huffing and puffing, what I'd have the Democratic leadership do is stop kicking progressives in the stones, and start kicking Blue Dogs in the stones. It shouldn't be hard, and no doubt there are plenty of experts on the topic in the Village. I mean, if they can go after Rangel for relatively trivial stuff, they could at least go after a Blue Dog, just to keep the ledgers balanced. And aren't the numbers almost a wash?

Now, if the question had been what do we do, I'd still have to say I'm not sure. It seems to me that the level of effort involved would be much the same as taking down the Bush administration, which took about three years (and started out, at least for me, when economic times were bad). And I would imagine that the baseline would be more or less the same: Seize control of the discourse. After all, the Blue Dogs are right wing authoritarians in thoroughly corrupt local oligarchies, based mostly in the South. Not all that different from Bush, no? That's why I asked if there were Blue Dogs that attended fundie churches, since that's where a lot of sexual abuse takes place....

But I think the real answer isn't Berkely 1964 redux, but more to do (sigh) with building, and self-funding, our own infrastructure. Blegging will probably not get us through...

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Because the BlueDogs are largely collaborative, cover each other's butts, get along really well, stay focused on their goals without letting small differences divide and distract them, and are generally intransigent.

Progressives, largely, have none of those attributes except the intransigence. IMHO, and not pointing fingers individually but speaking generally, the problem is lack of coherency. BlueDogs, like Republicans, have a few simple catch-phrases they endlessly repeat and so garner the support of a public too lazy and ill-informed to think for themselves. Progressives have issues lists, endless issues lists, (all true and worthy, no argument, but unintegrated) and each faction demands that their particular issue is the mostest importanist evah and must be attended to first or they will raise hell and create a scene and generally be difficult to deal with in an uncivil way.

If you were an accomodationist, who would you rather deal with? By our own behavior, our own disorganization, we destroy ourselves.

Progressives need better focus. We need over-arching, concise and easily-understood themes that encompass broad sets of needs instead of a long to-do list. We need better slogans. And since we have the numbers but not the cash, we need to, ahem, go with our strength and get out into the street and force the powers in charge to pay attention.

We cannot force others to change. We can only change ourselves. Once we begin to change....

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Long term, we need to open up elections to the best and brightest who don't serve because of the nature of the current electoral system: media invading every nook and cranny of a person's life and having campaigns so reliant on money. The latter is much more than a distraction. When state assembly races start requiring several million to win something is wrong.

But to change things NOW NOW NOW something else has to be done. I honestly believe that if proggers stopped automatically loving Obama and all he does we'd have a chance to get influence. As it now stands Obama can do no wrong to many on the so-called left and even prominent folks at Corrente confuse criticism of Obama policies with Obama hate. That's a huge problem if we hope to build momentum for liberal policies: If criticizing Obama (or any other politician for that matter) for not being liberal is off the table what chance do we have? None. Especially when the supposed bastions of liberalism--universities--are perhaps the most stricken by the need to unduly praise Obama.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

last summer's national day of action pointed us in the right direction. Bush Dog Democrats (I LOVE Stoller's expression) and Republicans are just fronts for corporate interests. We should carry the battle straight to them. Yesterday's posts about Home Depot are an example of what I am talking about.

Believe me, we may see no sign of it, but behind closed doors there are many nervous corporate bosses looking at the fall out to all that. Carry the battle to the corporate bosses and the Bush Dogs, Republicans, et al will fall in line.

It is not that corporations will see the light, it is just that they will too rattled to fight with their customary shamelessness.

connecticut man1's picture
Submitted by connecticut man1 on

I wrote my comment before reading yours. :)

connecticut man1's picture
Submitted by connecticut man1 on

Start digging on blue dog finances and try to expose any corruption they may be involved in. And I mean dig with the same zeal that we do against the other far right wingers. Try and make it so uncomfortable for them that they can not function with all of their oxygen being used to defend themselves.

We might even get lucky and tear some of them down and, given their typical associations, we might even grab some corporate types as well as republicans.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

The only way to bring the Shulers and Elworths to heel is with primary opposition. By opposing the Obama economic recovery plan, these congresscritters provided an opening for more progressive democrats to challenge them on the basis or the blue dogs being "more of the same Democrats" instead of "Change Democrats".

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

He has no authority with that side of his party. If he were a strong president with coalitions of his own, he could single them out. He could heap the blame for an inadequate stimulus package on them. He could have kept the family planning stuff in the bill and forced them to duke it out on the floor of the House. It might have gotten some attention. The media would have covered it as "Dems fighting Dems". It's a narrative they love. And maybe, the publicity would have gotten those blue dogs some negative attention. That's the last thing they want. No, they much prefer that they do things quietly, with no struggle at all. And that's what they got. Obama caved to their demands. No struggle. No noise. They're pleased as punch.
So, the trick is to call attention to them in some way. After all, you can't blame the Republicans now for a bad bill. They weren't needed to pass it in the first place. The entire blame for this falls on Pelosi and Hoyer.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

clarify: i don't think the stimulus bill was wholly "bad." some good stuff was in it, and i thank and applaud the dems for allowing us rubes that much. the educational funding in particular may, like, actually help me, n shit.

agreeing: with Paul. so much of what we do in the blogosphere is masturbatory. primary challenges and raising funds for true progressives: worthy effort.