April 09, 2006
"Not as lame as you think"

Just in case you haven't read Amy Sullivan's piece on how underrated the Democratic leadership and caucus cohesiveness is, I'm going to throw the link here to recommend that you do. One reason why you may not know about some of their successes:

When reporters do write about Democratic victories, they often omit the protagonists from the story completely, leaving readers to wonder why Republicans would change course out of the blue. A Washington Post article about the Ethics Committee rule change simply noted that "House Republicans overwhelmingly agreed to rescind rule changes," in the face, apparently, of phantom opposition. Or journalists give credit to maverick Republicans rather than acknowledge the success of a unified Democratic effort: The Associated Press covered Bush's reversal on Davis-Bacon by writing, "The White House promised to restore the 74-year-old Davis-Bacon prevailing wage protection on Nov. 8, following a meeting between chief of staff Andrew Card and a caucus of pro-labor Republicans." Or Bush is blamed for his own defeats, without any mention of an opposition effort, as with Social Security privatization.

Nor are reporters paying attention to Democratic policy proposals, as the party tries to develop a national agenda to run on. Congressional press secretaries say that reporters won't write about their efforts unless or until Democratic legislation comes up for serious consideration. "A lot of reporters tell me, 'Yeah, I'll write about that when it's on the floor,'" complained the Democratic communications director for a Senate committee. "So then some columnist writes that Democrats have no ideas and everybody in America says, 'You're right - I haven't read about any.'"

As a result, it's easy for talking heads to paint Democrats as a bunch of complainers who attack Republicans while putting forward no ideas of their own. MSNBC's Chris Matthews calls them "kids in the back seat," whining and asking, "are we there yet?" And in a column last winter, the U.S. News & World Report columnist Gloria Borger criticized Democrats for being, yes, "reflexively critical," and scolded that it wouldn't kill them to show a little "gratitude" once in a while.

We sure do love that liberal media, don't we? TAPPED has some good additional thoughts, as does Neil. Check 'em out.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 09, 2006 to Show Business for Ugly People | TrackBack

I'm not convinced the Democrats' problem is entirely due to the media, mostly because of a natural skepticism towards anything that resembles a conspiracy theory. No doubt some of the situation is due to media distortion, but that doesn't explain strategic decisions like running centrist John Kerry in an attempt to attract crossover Republican votes, as opposed to running someone more extreme like Dean who might have energized the party's base. Ms. Sullivan's piece presents one important aspect of the story, but I suspect there are others as well.

Posted by: Jeff Cours on April 9, 2006 4:16 PM

Kerry is over a year-and-a-half ago. People who still think that Kerry is all that the National Democrats are offering are as short-sighted as Texans who think Chris Bell is all Texas Democrats have to offer.

When you're completely out of power, yeah, it's tough to get good press. But there's no way any Democratic bill could come to a vote. Ever. Not with this leadershi. And the good ideas that Democrats have are completely ignored by the press.

Consider this - here in Texas, everyone celebrates the moderate Republicans for killing Perry, Craddick & Co.'s horrendous education/tax plans during the special. Well, if there weren't 63 House Democrats leading the way - not only in opposition, but with a better plan (Hochberg plan), then those R's wouldn't have had anything to fall back on.

There's tons more examples of that here in Texas. I think the piece is right on point.

Posted by: Phillip Martin on April 9, 2006 10:57 PM

Another idea to win because we have to win now so that Thelma Bush and the Louise GOP don't take us all down with them with Global Warming (we have passed a tipping point and are now at 425 ppm of CO2 and Methane) is independent polling to double check numbers, and to demand new elections when numbers diverge.

And, John Kerry like Al Gore would work on Global Warming. This upcoming Hurricane season is so scary with Bush's greater-extinction-level job performance.

Sometimes I think that some Republicans really do want Democrats to win, just to stop Republicans from creating ever greater extinction events.

But, we have to win elelctions.


Paperless Voting to be Declared Unconstitutional

by Tomtech
Mon Apr 10, 2006 at 05:03:12 AM PDT

Texas has a suffrage amendment in it's constitution.

In all elections by the people, the vote shall be by ballot, and the Legislature shall provide for the numbering of tickets and make such other regulations as may be necessary to detect and punish fraud and preserve the purity of the ballot box; and the Legislature shall provide by law for the registration of all voters. (Amended Aug. 11, 1891, and Nov. 8, 1966.)
Paperless voting cannot fill these requirements. Where is the ballot, where is the numbering, where is the ballot box, and how does paperless voting fulfill these requirements?

There is one major problem preventing this declaration, but you can help make it happen.

Come below and I will tell you about the man who will make that declaration.

David Van Os, the Democratic Candidate for Attorney General, stated Tuesday night before a crowd of Democratic activists that he will make the declaration as soon as he takes office in January.

[update]David has a post concerning voting machines at his website from last November. Thanks to trykindness who talked to David and confirmed this. David also stated that he intends to file a lawsuit to challenge paperless voting.

The current Texas Attorney General is a Republican, who doesn't care about the constitution, or the people and we need to help David get him out of office.

David also has vowed to go after the Republican culture of corruption that permeates Texas politics. He also vowed to instigate anti-trust investigations against insurance and oil companies who continue to raise their prices while making record profits.

David is a lifelong progressive who has been active in grassroots politics for over 30 years. David won, Bill Moyers', Backbone Campaign "Spine Award" in 2005.

Backbone Campaign Executive Director Bill Moyer said, "David Van Os is neither weak-kneed nor a bleeding heart. He exhibits strong, principled, and compassionate progressive leadership, leadership with backbone. His impressive grasp of history, and his commitment to the Constitution and the guiding principles of this democracy, make him the perfect progressive Attorney General candidate for these pivotal times."

Moyer continued, "Hell with the the DLC, poll-addicted Democrats who allow their opposition to define them. We need more candidates to follow David's lead into the patriotic and righteous battle to protect and advance our democracy. We look forward to his election for Attorney General of Texas. It'll be a great day for Texas and a great day for our democracy."

On Thursday Mr. Van Os told a gathering in the Square of Paris, Tx. according to the Paris News.

"Our government today in Austin, just like in Washington, is being run through cronyism and corruption and through people who sit in public office for the purpose of taking care of themselves and their cronies,"

David is also prepared to go to court and fight pResident Bu$h's unconstitutional wiretapping of Americans.

[he will] file the lawsuits to protect Texans [and Americans] against lawless federal wiretapping, which individual Texans do not have the means to pursue on their own.

David is prepared to take on the oil companies who are obtaining record profits at the expense of the people. Texas' anti-trust laws were used to stop the Railroad Barons of the last century, and can be used to stop the oil Barons of today.

The United States, and Texas, were created by revolutionaries who had a vision and were not afraid to go against the odds when they arose against the most powerful nation on the planet. They provided a method that allowed the people to peacefully rebel against those who forgot the mandates of the people. David hopes the people of Texas, and the country, begin that rebellion with the 2006 election with enough of a mandate that the paperless voting machines cannot usurp the peoples will.

David is a true grassroots candidate who is operating on a shoestring budget, he is out to prove that the people of Texas, and the country, are ready to participate in a constitutionally acceptable revolution using the method which the revolutionaries who wrote our Constitutions provided for.

Posted by: Support Science to Reverse Global Warming, if still possible on April 10, 2006 1:42 PM

The media is definitely part of the problem. But Amy doesn't make the case that the Democratic Senate and House leadership is responsible for Democratic victories, rather than (say) grassroots pressure. In the case of the DeLay Rule, at least, I'd say it was the latter.

Frankly, the grassroots are way ahead of the leadership on every issue you can imagine. For the most part, our Congressional leadership is still suffering from the worst case of "Battered Woman's Syndrome" I've ever seen - afraid even to support the censure of a President (at 35-38% in the polls) for breaking the law, because they know the GOP and the media will just beat them up again.

Posted by: Mathwiz on April 11, 2006 4:10 PM