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Sunday, January 20, 2019

What follow are the scariest words I’ve read since I first saw President Donald Trump.

“Unless the Democratic Party becomes stronger and more effective, a radicalized Republican-conservative juggernaut is likely to take over for decades,” Theda Skocpol, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University, wrote in Vox.

Skocpol is co-author of The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, one of the definitive books on the movement that to many Trump opponents exemplifies the widespread reach and sustained opposition necessary for the left to match — if it is to contain and then reverse the new president’s agenda. She’s rightly seen as a guiding light for insights into effective mobilization from the bottom-up, which she regards as the most significant aspect of the Tea Party story.

Of course, top-down support from Koch-brothers backed groups and Fox News should not be understated, but Skocpol’s research shows that whatever its leaders and funders did, the Tea Party movement sparked a genuine explosion of activism among the party’s base.

“These grassroots activists, pretty much on their own, ended up organizing 900 regularly meeting local Tea Parties spread all over the United States,” she told Democracy Journal‘s Michael Tomasky. “And a lot of the impact they had filtered up from local Republican Party committees, from pressure on elected representatives and candidates, and the effect they had on galvanizing people to vote and participate in Republican primaries.”

And most of these groups were brand new to politics, not rebranded versions of existing groups as many — including your pal @LOLGOP — assumed.

So how can Democrats match the right’s exponential expansion of its activist base?

She believes that while outside efforts like the Indivisible Groups are “right on,” they won’t be enough.

“But here’s the problem in just imitating—even if you get it straight that it wasn’t the Koch brothers and it wasn’t all a bunch of marches, which were the least of it in some ways—it’s hard for the left now, for the center-left now, to imitate what the Tea Party grassroots people did,” she told Tomasky. “Because they were spread out across the country.”

With Skocpol’s help, it’s easy to identify the left’s biggest immediate problems: (1) its geographical density in a Constitutional republic designed to empower well-distributed minorities; and (2) the understandable urge to burn it all down. (Effective messaging, including the lack of a clear contrast to the GOP’s “GOVERNMENT BAD” rallying cry, is the third biggest problem, but this requires a much more concerted long-term effort to match conservatives’ decades-long framing advantage.)

“Anti-institutional tendencies in today’s culture make the idea of dismantling the existing order attractive to many people,” she wrote in her post, “A guide to rebuilding the Democratic Party, from the ground up.” “But social science research has long shown that majorities need strong organizations to prevail against wealthy conservative interests in democracies.”

Skocpol argues that the Democratic National Committee is our best — and possibly only — hope to combat the “strong possibility of a long-term authoritarian right turn in US politics.”

This is a terrifying thought for several reasons.

You have to start wetting yourself when you consider the reality that America has likely been in a “feedback loop of growing inequality and Republican rule” for decades, with conservatives using their victories and the billions of dollars in gains they’ve secured from those victories to firmly establish their political dominance by shrinking the tax base, hammering organized labor, and making voting more difficult while buying elections, especially local elections, only gets easier.

Almost equally underwear-spoiling is the prospect of having to depend on the DNC, which has seen its reputation shredded both due to its pro-Hillary Clinton leanings and concerted attacks on the institution from foreign interests.

The contest to lead the Democratic Party’s central organ now seems to be verging on repeating the trauma of the 2016 presidential primary between frontrunners Rep. Keith Ellison, the choice of most Bernie Sanders supporters, and former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, the choice of most Obama-and-Clinton-leaning factions of the party.

Especially when compared to the ruthless, increasingly autocratic opposition Democrats face, the differences between Ellison and Perez are subtle, stylistic, and somewhat hard to find. Yet these differences are still easy to magnify.

Skocpol believes Democrats need to “embrace a year-round, face-to-face organizational style.”

Both Ellison and Perez are capable of pulling off such an organizational and functional transformation. Both candidates represent groups targeted by Trump’s overreach. And both can appeal to the sort of genuine populism that the president effectively faked during his campaign.

Yet despite these affinities it’s easy to imagine the Bernie-wing taking a second straight rebuke as proof that it is not welcome in the party. This would be a disaster for the United States and the world.

There is simply no other organization on the left that can match the “well-entrenched networks” of the right including “the cross-state federated networks of the NRA, the Christian right, and the centerpiece Koch organization, Americans for Prosperity.”

With 2017 and 2018 elections rapidly approaching and likely to establish the momentum for 2020, Democrats need to quickly move on to effectively combatting the GOP and its concerted efforts to prevent non-conservatives from voting by “checking and adding voter registrations.”

And the DNC has to be the beating heart of this effort, regardless of who wins the chairmanship. Or any hope of defeating Trump may be DOA.

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85 responses to “How To Save The Democratic Party So It Can Save The World”

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  2. Dominick Vila says:

    The results of the popular vote in 2016 indicate the Democratic party is alive and well in affluent, densely populated, urban areas. Unfortunately, its message no longer resonates in states where low wages prevail, where education is below the national average, states where Federal government contributions exceed the amount their citizens pay in taxes, and states with a large presence of evangelical pseudo Christians.
    A return to the days when our narrative resonated in the heartland depends more on Republicans over reaching, and our ability to move to the center, than us trying to convince the evangelicals, and those who are convinced that all their ills are caused by evil foreigners or by intellectuals, that the policies they are currently supporting are against their best interests, and inconsistent with the spiritual teachings of the man they purportedly venerate.

    • Bosda, The Raccoon Philosopher says:

      ‘Democratic voters, are clustered in urban areas…and on the coasts, and so as a consequence you’ve got a situation where there are not only entire states but also big chunks of states where, if we’re not showing up, if we’re not in there making an argument, then we’re going to lose.
      And we can lose badly, and that’s what happened in this election.

      There are clearly failures on our part to give people in rural areas or in exurban areas a sense day-to-day that we’re fighting for them or connected to them.
      Part of the reason it’s important to show up…is because it then builds trust and it gives you a better sense of how should you talk about issues in a way that feel salient and feel meaningful to people.’
      ~~Barack Obama


    • itsfun says:

      1000 state and federal government seats lost in the last 8 years, doesn’t sound alive and well. Only California with the over 4 million more votes for Hillary caused President Trump to lose the popular vote.

      • Independent1 says:

        If you eliminate the millions of fraudulent votes switched from Hillary to Trump via vote machine hacking in states the GOP has significant presence in and Hillary would have won the Electoral and Popular votes by a landslide.

        The loss of all those seats you’re talking about has nothing to do with ideological problems by the Dems or the lack of qualified candidates – it’s all about 24/7 MSM brainwashing of American voters into believing outright lies and fake conspiracy theories, gerrymandering, voter suppression and outright cheating during elections by Republicans AND YOU KNOW IT!!!!!!

        All these articles about working to ‘fix the Democrat Party’, are a total wasted effort – because the problem has nothing to do with failures in the Dem message, it has to do with the outright corruption and willingness of the GOP and most right wingers into acting like nothing more than Mafia gangsters!! Willing to steal and kill and every other form of corruption JUST SO THEY CAN GET THEIR WAY!!!!!

      • Independent1 says:

        Here’s an article you and your ignorant ilk need to read from Michael Hayden, the previous head of the NSA and CIA.

        Trump idiots!! immigration BS is putting American intelligence efforts around the world in danger of no longer working as well as it could because trump’s immigration ban is destroying the trust in America that has been built up between our intelligence agents and their information sources over decades!! The ban is damaging America’s credibility around the world and greatly increasing the probability of another 9/11 type attack.

        Former CIA chief: Trump’s travel ban hurts American spies — and America
        Summary to the article:

        These effects will not pass quickly. These are not short-term, transactional societies. Insults rarely just fade away. Honor patiently waits to be satisfied. In the meantime, we will be left with the weak and the merely avaricious, agents who will cut a deal justfor the money, the worst kind of sources.

        To all the tough-guy ideological thinkers who created this, professional CIA case officers will do what they can to deal with the unnecessary burden you have given them.

        But in the future you might want to consult them — before you rush proclamations out the door.–and-america/2017/02/05/a5acce36-ebd9-11e6-9973-c5efb7ccfb0d_story.html?utm_term=.9d1230329fd4&wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

        • Eleanore Whitaker says:

          Itsy is a paid troll. He/she is paid to go after anyone who dares bash the GOP even when we know the GOP is as guilty as Trump of rigging an election.

          The election outcome WAS rigged. Here is how. In August 2016, Crowdstrike was the first intel agency to uncover the hacking by Russians in DNC voting data. They provided that information to the FBI and CIA. But, Comey decided that to disclose the hacking in October was “too close to the election and might influence the outcome.”

          Funny thing. Comey had NO problem influencing the elections 11 days before the final votes when he released those emails between Hillary and Huma Abedin, the wife of disgraced Anthony Weiner. All of which came to one big fat nothing according to Comey himself. But Itsy is a liar who loves to distort all of this.

          What a Trump supporter knows is that all they have to do is live in their Alternate FACTS and Reality world and sit back and deny, deny, deny…until someone gets fed up enough with their denials and they end up in court.

          Hopefully not in front of the So CALLED Judge Mary Ann Trump, a federal circuit court of “appeals” judge and sister of the Hump.

          • Independent1 says:

            Yes, but on top of all that, I’m convinced that in states with significant Republican presence, the voting machines themselves have been rigged such that GOP operatives can actually manipulate which candidate a vote is recorded to. Even back in 2004, there was evidence that the GOP had purchased voting machines from a right-wing leaning company that rigged the machines to allowed the GOP to record votes for Bush that had been cast for Kerry. This is how the GOP stole the 2004 election by rigging the results in Ohio. Remember they rigged the 2000 election by actually manipulating how the ballots were counted in Florida.

            With the right voting machines, it costs next to nothing to rig the votes and can be done very easily by GOP operatives (Which is one reason the GOP has gone about in virtually all GOP-run states to greatly reduce the voting places – not only to make it harder for minorities to vote, but also, to make it easier for them to rig the vote counting).

            Hacking voting machines: Easier than ever imagined.

            In one example, it wouldn’t take much more than ten dollars’ worth of parts from any RadioShack store to steal and manipulate votes. It’s called a man-in-the-middle attack and the computer program that logs theresults on electronic voting machines isn’t even compromised.


          • Independent1 says:

            Here’s an article on a federal judge dismissing the law suit filed by someone who contended that there was a ‘backdoor patch’ that allowed Republicans in Ohio to steal the 2004 election by hacking the computers:

            Judge dismisses Ohio voting machine ‘backdoor’ hack lawsuit

            Federal judge Gregory Frost has rejected Ohio Green Party congressional candidate and longtime election activist Bob Fitrakis’s lawsuit against Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.
            Fitrakis alleged that Nebraska-based Election Systems & Software Inc.’s software contains a backdoor patch inserted by Ohio officials that could allow vote tampering.

            In 2004 he (Fitrakis), Harvey Wasserman and Steven Rosenfeld alleged widespread electoral fraud in the presidential election. In 2006, the trio published “What Happened In Ohio?: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election,” in which they explored the various types of alleged electoral fraud.

            In court today Fitrakis demanded that “the illegal patches implanted in critical electronic vote count software be immediately removed.”

            Husted (Ohio’s Secretary of State) for his part has garnered a reputation as a vote suppressor in the lead-up to the 2012 elections, limiting early voting and making provisional ballots more difficult with more paperwork. “He is the Secretary of Suppression,” State Senator Nina Turner said on MSNBC Monday, “He tried to suppress every single vote in this state.”


            The judge most likely dismissed the case, because this kind of hacking is very hard to prove and therefore although it most likely happened, those pushing the lawsuit couldn’t prove it, because with electronic voting there’s no permanent record kept of the votes actually cast for use in proving that there actually was hacking (even though the voting machines were set up to allow for hacking).

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            Thank you for this. My mistrust of some of these Federal Judges is that Trump’s sister is a “So Called” Federal Circuit Court of Appeals judge. As such, she had access to nearly every judge in the country during this election.

            You will notice not once has Trump ever mentioned his sister’s judicial position. That he hasn’t positioned her for the SC is nothing short of a memory lapse for him.

      • Independent1 says:

        And what makes matters worse, is that when Republicans ‘get their way’, America suffers in virtually every aspect that affects the lives of American citizens that are not in the upper 10-20% of income earners.

        – Average wages decrease: People living in blue states earn 18-23% more than people living in red states.

        – Economic growth of the country suffers: Since 1900, the American economy has grown 1.8%/yr better under Dem presidents that Repub presidents (and that’s an enormous difference).

        – Job growth suffers: Almost twice as many jobs are created under Dem administrations as under Repub administrations.

        – The stock market suffers: Since 1930, the stock market has returned well over a 300% gain during Dem administrations while actually has negative returns under Republicans.

        – Society suffers: Republicans consistently insist on enacting laws that take away Americans rights to vote, to make choices about their own bodies, to have the freedom to love the people they want to love, to even have free access to contraception – something that should clearly be no one elses business!!

        – Healthcare and retirement suffers under Republicans: Republicans constantly insist on attacking peoples’ rights to healthcare and retirement benefits – even those that people have contributed to all their working lives. Constantly doing everything they can to undermine the confidence of people in having a secure future.

        And I could go on and on pointing out just how terrible Republican governance is!!!

        Only truly sick and evil people would look at the above and not agree that Republicans are a menace to the lives of every American that is not already wealthy!!!!!

        • Eleanore Whitaker says:

          Actually, the Senate lost quite a few seats. And since the Russians were used to hack into the 2017 election, there will now always be a shadow over whether the Republican states are rigging elections in their favor by dumping ballots, redistricting voting maps constantly and gerrymandering which DEM states seem not to need to do.

          • Independent1 says:

            Eleanor, it wasn’t just Russians doing the hacking – GOP operatives did the most of it.

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            Until a totally independent, non-partisan investigation committee does the work to uncover irrefutable proof, the liars of the right will just continue to deny it all. Once upon a time in WaterGate, Nixon did the same thing Trump did. Fire the then AG, Archibald Cox whose job it was to get the damning tapes that proved Nixon was very much aware of the breakin at DNC Headquarters at the WaterGate Hotel. Nixon then tried to fire the AG replacement. That’s when the country had enough and for 18 months all Nixon saw outside the White House was protestors demanding his impeachment.

            But, as we all know, Republican men are your basic low life cowards. So Nixon, to avoid being officially impeached aiding and abetting the “Plumbers” who were direct advisors on his staff, he resigned. A fact that, to this day, has been a thorn in the Republican Party’s side.

            I so agree with you. We can no longer trust any election in any Republican states. This should be Strike Three and the GOP should be OUT.

          • Independent1 says:

            I couldn’t agree more with your last paragraph!! Republican politicians have turned into such vile people that there’s no way to trust anything those sleazebags do!!!

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            Once you see how important it was for the Republican Party to ensure they had Senate and House Majority, you see why they now have a lockhold on all branches of government and use that as a weapon to lock out Dems.

            Watch how the GOP operates in Congressional House and Senate Sessions. They have all but trashed Parliamentary Procedure with their bully tactics. Don’t wonder why they are pissing off all the WRONG Americans and the rest of the world.

          • idamag says:

            The only way I would trust an independent investigation committee is if they were selected by the U.N.

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            I know what you mean. I’ve been following the sham House Investigation. Of course, it is chaired by the same moron who chaired the Planned Parenthood Investigation, Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). It is obvious he would prefer Satan to be his co chair than Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD).

            Chaffetz even tried to skew the words of the Intel panel they deposed for questioning about the Hacking. At one point, Chaffetz brazenly claimed it wasn’t Russians hacking but the Chinese. What a liar! When the FBI and CIA both stated plainly that they had classified and unclassified documents proving not only did the Russians hack into the DNC voter data banks but that they also are still using that information to overturn anything the Dem voters say and do.

            The slam dunk came when an outstanding member of the investigation committee, Jamie Raskin, (D-MD) articulated facts Chaffetz tried to interrupt several times to the point where Raskin had to remind Chaffetz that Raskin’s allowable time was interrupted and he therefore was entitled to the full allotment of time to ask questions.

            The final blow to Chaffetz came as Rep. Breand Lawrence (D-MI) caught the answer from the Intel panel member about documents held by the FBI and CIA being “unclassified.” She then asked if she would be allowed to see them.

            I thought Chaffetz was going to explode like Mount Vesuvious when the head of the Intel Department said he would provide them.

            This is what I meant by the Republicans doing themselves in on this Cover Up.

          • FireBaron says:

            Indy, what’s the difference between them?

          • Independent1 says:

            Well, I think the Russian thing is primarily a Trump love fest because he owes the Russians billions of dollars. I’m not too sure many GOP politicians buy into Trump’s love fest.

            See this article on one GOP senator’s attempt to completely separate himself from Trump on the Russian/Putin issue:

            GOP Sen. Sasse Doesn’t ‘Understand’ Trump’s Statements on Putin or on ‘So-Called Judges’


            So I think the majority of hacking the Russians did was to support conspiracy theories and other lies that could be used for brainwashing the minds of American voters; whereas, GOP operatives actually went about hacking voting machines to count votes for Trump that were actually cast for Hillary. CNN’s exit polls have never been so far outside a reasonable margin of accuracy, as they were in 2016 in up to 20 red states – and even further outside any rational level of probabilities in 13 states which could only have come about by GOP operatives hacking the voting.

          • Ann Waldrum says:

            What is/are your source(s) on the GOP hacking, please. I am quite interested in pursuing.

          • Independent1 says:

            Of course I have no positive evidence only common sense/circumstantial evidence

            1) A candidate whose favorability rating never topped the low 40 perctentile while his unfavorability was 65-70% or higher won an election – a red flag in and of itself.

            2) The following article from Alternet showing that CNN’s exit polls had a distinct red bias in 20 states and exceeded the probabilities of error in 13 states which in reality could only have been due to hacking (a polling error is not going to occur in 13 states):

            Can We Count on the Election Results? Exit Poll Discrepancies and Voter Suppression Are Serious Issues

            All along the way, there have been dismal failures in our supposed democratic process. That continues today, as election integrity activists point out that the national media’s election day exit polls found that Hillary Clinton was ahead in four key states — North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida — but lost the computerized vote count. That’s not the first time a “red shift” occurred between live exit poll results posted on CNN and the later vote count results

            That suggests the exit polls were either deeply flawed, or the vote count was compromised or stolen.

            “According to the exit polls conducted by Edison Research, Clinton won four key battleground states (NC, PA, WI, and FL) in the 2016 presidential election that she went on to lose in the computerized vote counts. With these states Clinton wins the Electoral College with a count of 302 versus 205 for Trump. Clinton also won the national exit poll by 3.2% and holds a narrow lead in the national vote count still in progress.

            “Exit polls were conducted in 28 states. In 23 states the discrepancies between the exit polls and the vote count favored Trump. In 13 of these states the discrepancies favoring Trump exceeded the margin of error of the state.”


            3) This article which documents that ‘backdoor hacking” has been done before back in 2004 in Ohiio:

            Judge dismisses Ohio voting machine ‘backdoor’ hack lawsuit


            The judge most likely dismissed the case due to lack of evidence not that he may not have believed the hacking actually didn’t occur.

            4), This article which makes it clear that voting computer hacking is very easy and cheap to do and almost impossible to prove:

            Hacking voting machines: Easier than ever imagined

            Millions of Americans are already waiting for hours outside of polling places to vote for the next president of the United States. All of that might not matter though, as some security pros say the entire election can be rigged all too easily.

            In one example, it wouldn’t take much more than ten dollars’ worth of parts from any RadioShack store to steal and manipulate votes. It’s called a man-in-the-middle attack and the computer program that logs the results on electronic voting machines isn’t even compromised.

            “It’s a classic attack on security devices,” Roger Johnston tells Popular Science. “You implant a microprocessor or some other electronic device into the voting machine, and that lets you control the voting and turn cheating on and off. We’re basically interfering with transmitting the voter’s intent.”


            5) The fact that Hillary won the popular vote easily as she was expected to do by CNN exit polls – so why then was CNN only off in red/purple staets?

            6) Trump kept insisting that that election was being rigged. His handlers kept insisting that despite the polls he would win because he had all these phantom supporters hiding in the bushes – supporters who were really computer hackers hiding in the bushes outside polling places.

            7) The GOP’s voter suppression efforts which included drastically cutting voting places not only to make voting harder for some voters but making less places the voting computers had to be hacked.

            8) The demonstrable tendency of the GOP to blatantly cheat even to the extent of when the GOP governor of North Carolina lost to a Dem, the GOP legislators got together and blatantly thwarted democracy by trying to pass legislation that would restrict the Dem governors powers when he assumed office.

            9) There’s absolutely no level of depravity Republicans will not stoop to to get their way!!!

        • idamag says:

          Maybe shart will take away his farm subsidies.

      • Ann Waldrum says:

        That is all certainly true, BUT (you knew it was coming) in Texas in 2016 we had the biggest leap in growth on the Democratic side of any state in the nation. Our growth was 16.9% whereas the Republicans grew by less than 3%. Read that last sentence again.

        There is hope!

    • owmarly says:

      The Democratic party is alive and well in Vermont which is rural and not a wealthy state.

      • dbtheonly says:

        Tell that to your Republican Governor.

        • owmarly says:

          What you don’t understand is that our republicans are what you would call democrats. He also disagrees with Trump.

          • dbtheonly says:

            I know nothing of your State and its politics, but as said about Congress, the most important vote is the first one. If your Congressman votes for Ryan as Speaker, the rest follows.

            Maybe it’s cutting back on renewable energy. Maybe it’s tax incentives to polluters. Maybe it’s weakening consumer protections. I don’t know. But the Republicans are happy with him as Governor. That’s enough for me.

          • owmarly says:

            They’re just happy because he’s a member of the Republican party, but he’s prochoice, pro gay- rights, pro affordable health care, etc. If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have been elected. And he has worked hand in hand with the democrats in this state for years and we all trust him. It’s a democratic legislature and a democratic or progressive lieutenant governor.

        • Eleanore Whitaker says:

          DB …NJ also has a Republican Governor as you know. However, his record as governor is terrible and NJ taxpayers are as fed up with his lies and distortions and big spending on his campaign cronies as we are with Trump.

          • dbtheonly says:

            NJ and too many other States have Republican Governors. The specifics might change, the general assumptions don’t.

            owmarly was saying the Vermonters are happy with their Gov.

            I’m suspicious that there’s something gonna jump out and grab those VT voters. I simply don’t trust Republicans.

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            In NJ’s case, we all knew Governor Fat Mouth was the better of two bad choices. Like most other states, NJ’s Party Bosses choose the candidates to run from their parties. Then, voters choose from among the ones who agree to run for their party when the party bosses accept them.

            So it isn’t always a straight line from candidate to voter. That’s how we ended up with Trump. A payoff to RNC Reince Priebus and Trump was allowed to run even though if the public had first dibs on whether he should be allowed to or not was never part of the bargain.

          • idamag says:

            Idaho’s Republican governor, Butch Otter, said this state would accept refugees if they were Christian. This is a governor, when he was Lt. Governor, was pulled over for drunken driving. He tried the “Do you know who I am?” thing and that didn’t work. The police asked him to get out of his car and walk a straight line on the lane marker. He wobbled all over the place and told the police he could not walk a straight line because he had a rock in his cowboy boot. They made him take his boots off and then he said he couldn’t walk a straight line barefoot.

          • dbtheonly says:

            Well that proves what our trolls here have established. Republicans have an answer for everything.

            I do wonder if Gov. Otter recognizes the radical theological differences between Syrian Coptic Christianity and his views.

          • Dominick Vila says:

            I doubt he, Trump, and the rest of the gang do.

          • dbtheonly says:

            They campaign on buzz words and fuzz words, why not live with them too?

            My experience goes back to the early 80s with the Lebanese Christians. The “Full Gospel Church of God” was eager to support them until the theological differences were pointed out. The incident was instrumental in teaching me the RW predilection for reacting to buzz words, viz. Christian, and ignoring complexities.

          • Dominick Vila says:

            In spite of my agnosticism, I respect those who practice the teachings of the prophets. My problem is with those who engage in discourse and actions, in the name of Christ, that are the exact opposite to what Jesus taught and the example of his life experiences.

          • dbtheonly says:

            My point was that these persons assumed their definition of Christian was the only one. They were shocked, even horrified, by the wide practices encompassed by the term “Christian”.

            The RW attack on education goes back a long way.

          • Independent1 says:

            And that’s because being Right Wing is the exact opposite of being a Christian. The term Conservative Christian is an oxymoron.

            Being Conservative means, thinking of yourself before others. Making choices based on what the outcome will mean to you, more than what it will mean in the way of helping other people. That can be seen day in and day out in the legislation that Republicans in Congress pass.

            Jesus was a Liberal. He judged no one – always leaving that to His Father. Even when clear sinners were brought to him, he never judged them. What RW would ever say “Love your enemies?” Or, as he said to a rich conservative “Sell all you have. Give to the poor. And come follow me.” Something this rich man simply cannot do. Which prompted Jesus to say “I tell you the truth, it is harder for the rich to enter Heaven than for a camel to jump through the eye of a needle.” (Not the exact words.)

          • dbtheonly says:

            The other problem is trying to put Jesus into our boxes labeled liberal or conservative.

            One of my earliest insights, was reading the notes to the Acts of the Apostles. The verse said the Apostles lived together and held all things in common. The notes firmly stated that the Apostles certainly weren’t communists because Christianity is opposed to everything Communism stands for. Even at 10, I could see that the writers of those notes were trying to fit the Apostles into a box of the writer’s design.

          • Independent1 says:

            Not really. True Communism is what the original believers practiced where everyone shared what they owned with others even to the extent of selling their positions so that could share them. It’s not that Communism is against what Christians believe, it’s that what’s been practiced on earth and called Communism is not true Communism.

            It’s been countries like Russia, North Korea, China, Cuba and others that call themselves communistic – but are essentially dictatorships where a small minority of the population live in luxury while depriving the masses from owning land or property or ‘private businesses’ while forcing them to share whatever they produce with the upper crust minority. These governments are not true Communism.

          • dbtheonly says:

            I’m sorry I1, I wasn’t clear. My insight was that the writers of those Bible Notes were eager, maybe desperate, to show that 1st. Century Christians were not following a 19th. Century political philosophy. The note writers needed to fit the Apostles into the “anti-communist” box, even though the 10 year old me could see that was an absurdity. The enlightenment was that persons would bend Jesus and the Apostles to fit in their boxes.

          • Independent1 says:

            I agree. Conservatives work tirelessly at trying to convince everyone that their distorted version of Christianity, and that includes their distorted notions of ‘Family Values’, conforms to what is in the Bible when nothing could be further from the truth.

            And one good example of that, is when Newt Gingrich at a presidential debate in North Carolina made the statement similar to ‘You know what we do with our enemies; We kill them!!’ And the NC conservative crowd jumped up and cheered.

          • Independent1 says:

            And people who think that conservatives can be true Christians are not thinking logically.

            Jesus said that all the commandments could be summarized into Loving your neighbor ; thinking more highly of others than you do of yourself.

            That is contradictory to the definition of being a conservative; which is to think first about what something will cost you before you consider what doing something will do for others.

            When would you ever hear a conservative say something like “Lend and expect nothing in return” which is one of the things Jesus said we should be willing to do. To lend to others and not demand or expect them to repay us.

            Or he said words to the affect of ‘If someone takes your cloak, give him your coat too. Clearly something that a true conservative would not agree to.

            And all these things can clearly be seen in what Republicans consistently do in trying to run our country. Even when a disaster strikes like Hurricane Sandy that destroyed the property and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people in the Northeast. The Republicans in Congress refused to provide help for all these people because they were more concerned about who was going to pay for this help than giving the help. (More concerned that maybe their taxes would be raised or something.)

            I can think of no situation in which the conservative mind melds it self with true Christian thinking. Conservatives who believe they are true Christians are only kidding themselves.

            And even if they don’t do some of the things I just described, they actively support the politicians who do; and you are what you allow or support. So if you vote for politicians who you know are going about voting for legislation that punishes the poor at the expense of the wealthy, which is what GOP politicians are all about – you are clearly not a true Christian.

          • dbtheonly says:

            You might also check the Old Testament for how to treat strangers/immigrants/refugees who wind up in your land. Hint. It ain’t building walls to keep them out.

          • Independent1 says:

            Absolutely, and that was even made clear by the writer of Hebrews in Chapter 13 vs 2:

            Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

          • Dominick Vila says:

            The Governor of Florida was the founder and CEO of a company called Columbia HCA. It got the largest fine in history for defrauding MEDICARE. Its founder, Rick Scott, was elected Governor by a comfortable margin. Sometimes I can’t help wonder if some people see being a mobster as a plus…

          • Independent1 says:

            Sounds like the typical Republican to me – always an excuse why it’s someone elses or some other things fault for why they fail at everything. I fail to be able to find one example of anything that Republicans have ever succeeded at aside from stealing money from the less fortunate taxpayers.

      • Dominick Vila says:

        I wish I could say the same for Florida, where I live. With the exception of South Florida and the city of Orlando, the rest of the state has turned so red it bleeds.

  3. yabbed says:

    All decent people who revere our Constitution and our democracy must resist Trump’s move toward authoritarianism. We do not subscribe to his dictatorial mindset. We do not wish to become Nazi America. We must continue to protest in the streets and at the ballot box to safeguard our democratic foundation.

  4. plc97477 says:

    The only power the DNC has is the power of the vote. If those people on the far left want to pull the party more to the left they need to show that the party can rely on their votes. If they vote each and every time, even if the candidate is not perfect for them, then they can help move the party further to the left but they can’t do it by holding elections hostage to their demands.

    • Independent1 says:

      Great point!!

    • Eleanore Whitaker says:

      It’s too late for that. Trump is a cunning, sly Putin ally who knows that right now the thing he needs to fill up the lockhold on government is the Supreme Court. He already rules the Executive branch and the Legislative Branch.

      I watch the CNN Congressional hearings. The gaming of the Parliamentary Procedure by the Republicans is a disgusting display of tyranny the Founding Fathers would cringe at.

      For me? The scariest thing I’ve heard out of Trump’s mouth was his interview with Bill O’Reilly. IN typical O’Reilly right wing brazenness, he asked Trump if he “realized that PUtin is a murderer.” Mr. CEO BALLS and NO BRAINS replied and I quote, “There are lots of murderers.” If that isn’t condoning Putin’s murdering of 34 journalists and dissenters, I can’t imagine what more anyone needs to lob a charge of treason on Trump.

      But, wait. It got worse. When O’Reilly asked Trump about Russian invasion of the Ukraine, Trump said and I quote, “The US isn’t innocent either.”

      • Independent1 says:

        You might be interested to hear that there are even Republicans who take strong issue with Trump’s idiot comments to O’Reilly.

        See these excerpts from an interview of Senator Ben Sasse:

        GOP Sen. Sasse Doesn’t ‘Understand’ Trump’s Statements on Putin or on ‘So-Called Judges’

        Stephanopoulos also asked Sasse about Trump’s comparing the U.S. to Russia under Putin. The president told a Fox News interviewer that he respects Putin. When interviewer Bill O’Reilly said, “Putin is a killer,” Trump responded, “A lot of killers. We got a lot of killers. What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

        Sasse said he’s seen only short clips of the interview that is to air Sunday before the Super Bowl and that “there may be a broader context.”

        But the senator said, “I don’t know what the president is trying to do with statements like he allegedly has on O’Reilly.”

        “Let’s be clear,” Sasse said. “Has the U.S. ever made any mistakes? Of course. Is the U.S. at all like Putin’s regime? Not at all.”

        “There is no moral equivalency between the United States of America, the greatest freedom-loving nation in the history of the world and the
        murderous thugs that are in Putin’s defense of his cronyism,” the
        senator said. “There’s no moral equivalency there.”

        Stephanopoulos pressed, “Are Senate Republicans in the same place as President Trump on the issue of Russia?”

        The senator responded, “I don’t understand what the president’s position is on Russia, but I can tell you what my position is.”

        “Russia is a great danger to a lot of its neighbors and Putin has, as one of his core objectives, fracturing NATO, which is one of the greatest military alliances in the history of the world,” Sasse said. “And so Putin is a mess.”

    • Dominick Vila says:

      That’s exactly what many Bernie supporters did, and we ended up with Trump as a result…

      • I Am Helpy says:

        And Nader supporters before them. Without them, Shrub wouldn’t have been President and hence no 9/11. The entire history of the 21st century has been screwed by entitled white people and it’s not even a fifth of the way done.

  5. The democrats have opportunity to win back the government fro Republicans. They need to capitalize on the current mass protest and general unhappiness. However, at the end of the day it is all economics. Democrats must come up with a definitive economic development agenda that will create good paying jobs for the displaced workers as well as the new market entrants. This should be done community by community and the seeds are already there.

    • Eleanore Whitaker says:

      The Republicans call these protests fake. They call facts “fake.” They call news journalists “fakes.” You know what’s funny? The Republicans are the masters of FAKE.

      Dark money is behind everything they do.

      • dbtheonly says:

        Did you see where Trump is calling his lousy polls fake?

        Imaging Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood turned to the dark side. That’s Trump’s vision.

        “It’s a beautiful day in the city
        If you’re white, rich, or very pretty

        Won’t you be my neighbor”

        • Eleanore Whitaker says:

          Because I worked fairly closely with 4 CEOs, 2 from major corporations, over the years I’ve become acutely aware of their bizarre little quirks. The first and foremost of which Trump regularly relies upon is “Need to know.” The other is “Because I DARE!” (a sign that was on the wall of one of the CEOs I worked with).

          The problem with a billionaire real estate mogul (and that “billionaire” status is not quite accurate), is that he believes you operate government top down like you do your real estate empire. The problem with Trump’s real estate empire as people in NJ know it is that it can be illegal.

          I’ll give you an example. When Steve Wynn, a big time casino billionaire decided to build several casinos in Atlantic City, the jealous little boy Trump, just HAD to get in on it big time. But, the problem was that the only land available in AC was on a marina and in a heavily residential area. Did that stop him? You bet it didn’t. He simply paid off several NJ politicians (who ended up in court at a later date) and had them take homes by eminent domain by claiming that whole boardwalk and beach area was “blighted.”

          So a week ago when he said “taking land by eminent domain is done all the time,” I realized that he will sign off on executive orders that will take land for Keystone and the Dakota Pipelines without so much as a wrinkle of concern for the home and landowners.

          • dbtheonly says:

            He wouldn’t be the first to take the Indian’s Land.

          • idamag says:

            There is also a big push to take our Federal lands (parks, national forests, etc.) out of the hands of the federal government. What will a huge gambling and trump towers look like in Yellowstone Park?

          • Ann Waldrum says:

            Well, it might very well bring on the eruption of the Super Volcano — not good for anybody!

      • idamag says:

        You only have to look at which party was taken over by dark money, which party falls for all that tripe and you know why it was the party infiltrated.

        • Eleanore Whitaker says:

          Ida, If I look deeply into “When” the GOP went wrong, it has its roots in their ideology. Our history books warned in the early 1900s about Robber Barons like Carnegie, Mellon, J.P. Morgan, Vanderbilt and Henry Fricke who sought to “buy the president they wanted” using their wealth. By the time Harding was president, the Republican Party was already too deeply embedded in Big Money and Bigger Big Businesses. It was Albert B. Fall, Harding’s Secy. of the Interior, who went to prison for selling public lands to oil interests for pennies on the dollar and for accepting $100,000 from the Republican Party to seal that deal. It never got much better. Hoover had his Great Depression in his second term, Nixon had his WaterGate, Reagan had his IranGate and and 2nd term recession, Bush’41 had his ContraGate for selling arms to the Contras, Bush ’43 had his lies about WMDs, ignoring 6 memos from the Clinton administration about an al Qaeda attack and his 2nd term recession that ended with the Financial Meltdown in Sept. 2008. Now, there is Trump.

          Trump who is causing global instability with that smart ass side of the mouth lying, his insistence president of the US is the same as CEO, his staff of hardliner right wing Putin lovers and traitors, his refusal to disclose his taxes presidents for the last 4 decades had no problem doing, his lies about his divesting his assets to his children and now? Worst of all? His insistence he is the ONLY law in the US.

          It all comes down to an ideology the right wing ideologues refuse to admit is all about MONEY. Not people of this country. MONEY. It’s almost a joke that right wingers call themselves “CONservatives.” Accent on the word “CON” because that is precisely their stategy to CONserve wealth…CONNING the rest of us out of our hard earned money to keep their $67 trillion untaxed dollars offshore.

          • idamag says:

            The robber barons had the president and congress in their pockets for a long time. They were trying to become the most powerful entity in the country. Vanderbilt’s railroad was in cahoots with the big cattle ranchers. He gave them special rates and priced the little ranchers out of the game. They had to drive their cattle hundreds to a thousand miles to Chicago. They lost money on the weight of the cattle and lost cattle. They had to pay drovers to drive the cattle to the markets. This is only one example and there are many. Theodore Roosevelt tried to get congress to make regulations to protect the country from this takeover. Congress refused. He had an advantage we do not have today. He had an honest press who helped him defeat the dishonest robber barons.

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            44 presidents have had a foundation for their policies. Trump’s only foundation is Trump. Look at what his son did. Took a business trip that cost taxpayers over $7 million just because Donald Trump Jr. is a member of the Trump cabinet. Now, Melania Trump is suing because as First Lady, she claims she “has this one in a million opportunity to make millions on her fashion line.” Just imagine if Hillary did that as First Lady or Michelle Obama. Republicans would be lopping off their heads like ISIS.

            I don’t have answers on where Trump’s presidency will take this country in the shortest possible time. But, you can make bet on one thing. He has all the Republican bully male support he needs to do just whatever he pleases, up to and including breaking US laws. After all, that is how he got elected.

          • idamag says:

            Eleanor, I want you to know that people, like you, are my sanity in this fascist regime. Did you see where the turtle did not allow Elizabeth Warren to speak? Trump is who the republican party has become. They lowered their standards for him.

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            Yes…And I am shocked that the entire state of Massachusetts, well known for its Revolutionary War history and battles isn’t outraged.

            I know our junior NJ Senator, Cory Booker spent more than 11 hours trying to stop the Sessions nomination. But now that Elmer Gantry Pence is going to be the deciding vote in any tie, you can see where this government is headed: Big Daddies from the south and midwest who want to be plantation owners of the entire country. Sorry…not on my tax dollars.

            If it comes down to it? Watch for the Dem States to secede and leave the Hick States to fend for themselves. We can take back what we paid in SS and Medicare. NJ has state Medicaid as does NY and several other states.

            This entire administration is going to be mired in more lawsuits than at any other time in US history. And now that Trump opened his big mouth and claims he is smarter than So Called Judges, he will need to get rid of the entire SC because now they will not defend such a moron.

          • plc97477 says:

            I thought they were called conservatives because they want to conserve a way of life that consists of the upper classes having everything and the rest having to make do.

        • plc97477 says:

          Easy pickings?

    • idamag says:

      They need to engage with the working class. The Republicans have spent time and millions devaluing the worker until he believes it him/herself. They need to repeat the working class problems back to the working class so that those people know they feel their problems.

      • I Am Helpy says:

        Obama gave them jobs, healthcare, and a thriving economy. Yet, weirdly, the white working class voters remained super racist.

        The Democrats have to give up on white people and concentrate on the minority voters who will outnumber them with a few years.

        • idamag says:

          Yes, you are right. I have a nephew, by marriage, who is a real estate agent. He lost his house during the housing crisis of the bush years. He had very little work. I felt sorry for him. Now, he has a good home, several rentals and business is booming. He goes on facebook and says those awful hateful things that is the Republican Party. When my friend put her house up for sale so she could move into assisted living, I did not recommend my nephew. His parents were both hard working Democrats, but they moved to a small community because they thought it would be healthier for their children to grow up in. It contaminated their brains. I still think the Democrats should talk the blue collar language. Define their problems. Show that they feel with them.

    • itsfun says:

      They won’t make hay on the current rioting by the leftists. Burning, hurting people, destroying business, hurling things at the police are not going to make anyone come to the Party. This behavior turns people off and sends them looking elsewhere. If the Democratic Party doesn’t get back to the working Joe, they can say good bye.

      • I Am Helpy says:

        OK thanks traitor.

      • jmprint says:

        Itsfun, if the republicans impeach Trump and good chances after they get what they wanted (the JUDGE) they just might. You will see your base gun totting rednecks doing more damage so don’t be so don’t label all democrats for a few dumba$$es, you won’t want to be labeled either.

    • plc97477 says:

      If that is the case why does the economy always get better when the democratic party is in power and the economy tanks when the repugs are?

  6. idamag says:

    I don’t have a lot of faith in the Democratic Party.

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