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Imperial Bush
A closer look at the Bush record -- from the war in Iraq to the war on the environment

2004 Campaign
Will Americans take the exit ramp off the Bush presidency in November?

Behind Colin Powell's Legend
Colin Powell's sterling reputation in Washington hides his life-long role as water-carrier for conservative ideologues.

The 2000 Campaign
Recounting the controversial presidential campaign

Media Crisis
Is the national media a danger to democracy?

The Clinton Scandals
The story behind President Clinton's impeachment

Nazi Echo
Pinochet & Other Characters

The Dark Side of Rev. Moon
Rev. Sun Myung Moon and American politics

Contra Crack
Contra drug stories uncovered

Lost History
How the American historical record has been tainted by lies and cover-ups

The October Surprise "X-Files"
The 1980 October Surprise scandal exposed

From free trade to the Kosovo crisis

Other Investigative Stories


Readers React to 'Why Dems Lose'

June 9, 2006

Editor's Note: The story Ė "Why Democrats Lose" Ė has prompted a number of interesting comments and criticisms from readers. A sample is below:

 Vote Theft

One thing is certain, Consoritumnews certainly didn't bother to consider the
possiblity that one more election was stolen.  Consortium news didn'r make a sound about this possiblity with regard to the 2000, 2002 or 2004 elections
either; why start now, eh!  It's hopeless. The theft of all these elections, including those in the future, not only overwhelmingly favors the
republicans, but the democrats must listen to all these condemnations for
having "lost."


jp, Actually, we have addressed the voting issue repeatedly over the years. Indeed, when the Washington Post first trashed crazy Internet "conspiracy theorists" who questioned the vote counts after Election 2004, the Post fingered . If you look back at that coverage, we did a lot on the subject in real time. The same is true for Election 2000. You can check it out. But our point in this article is that Republican vote manipulation is not the only reason Democrats lose. Democrats also haven't built an effective media infrastructure; they then turn to consultants to shape the message; the Democratic candidates end up not standing for much of anything; the Republican base gets charged up near the end, while the Democratic base often is demoralized. For Democrats to think their only problem is that they get robbed at the ballot box is a huge mistake.

Bob Parry


Talk Radio

I think Dems should focus on talk radio. And it won't do didley to
complain to Limbaugh's gatekeepers. The local talk radio sponsors and
managers and owners need to see protestors in front of their stations.

None of the other media forms have done as much damage. It is really
the only medium that allows the repetition to a captive audience and I
don't think it's a coincidence that 30% of Americans say they get their
news from talk radio and Bush's base won't drop much below 30%. So many areas of the country, especially the red states, there are no
alternatives to Limbaugh and Hannity if you're looking for current
events, etc. and you're driving around, working , etc. and are tired of
country western or top forty rock.

Its stayed largely, still, under the radar, because it is so
distasteful for anyone with a brain. Most  media analysts probably
never listen long enough to realize how effective it is for catapulting
the propaganda. Fox TV et al would be laughed off without the carpet of
certitude laid down first by talk radio repetition. Few of the Bush
disasters would have been possible without TR.

The GOP talking points get repeated millions of times all over the
country on TR long before they ever get repeated on Fox or the Sunday
shows or by the David Brooks or Martha Raddatzes.

When Dems wanted to debate Iraq authorization the mantra was tell your
senator to "stand up and be counted" and the vote was forced. Talk
radio pressure was why Durbin backtracked on his "nazi" torture

The current immigration 'issue' started on talk radio months before it
showed up on TV and in congress. With talk radio they can turn an issue
that attracts a hundred protesters into a senate vote while millions of
anti war protesters hardly get a write up.

A few mentions by Limbaugh  and those few GOP reps that cross Bush once in a while will find at their next fundraiser that the backslaps and
money envelopes have turned to backstabs and blackmail letters.

TR will be instrumental in stealing the next elections and allowing all
those talking heads say with certainty that it was a sudden surge of
millions of evangelicals that turned the elections around at the last
minute and all those brown voters were turned away because they're
illegals. They're already laying down the carpet of certitude on that.




I have been pondering the conundrum of how the right-wing media can cause public opinion to turn on a dime.... I was just describing it to a friend as being like a flock of starlings or a school of fish whose members all turn at the same time as if receiving some subliminal instantly-timed message.
But your analysis makes it clear how they have systematically bought media outlets from the local to national levels.
So it is not merely that Democrats don't "frame" issues as well as Republicans.... we simply don't have the mechanisms to get a message out.
That is, of course, assuming the Dems would allow a clear, coherent protest message to be released, which is my biggest frustration.
Your sentence to the effect that they are less concerned with protesting than with not offending is the heart of the matter.
Howard Dean was the clearest example of someone who almost toppled the hand-wringing don't-rock-the-boat Dem establishment... only to eventually be brought down by them.
They are our own worst enemies.  Maybe there will be enough outrage to get past them this year, a la Testor and Angelides.
Thank you.
Carol Craiglow


Why Busby Lost

In reading your article regarding Busby's loss, It is apparent that you and
other democratic organizations do not YET understand WHY Bilbray and other republicans win in republican districts, despite having had a crook in
office for a dozen years. REAL Republican's do not care if their
representatives are crooks, they just do not want them to get caught.

Number one is, the republicans in that district made their mind up long ago.
True Republican's will vote for a crook, a thief, a terrorist, if it is a
Republican. In the April election, the real republican lost by a very small
margin to Bilbray. Many REAL Republican's were not scared until after the
election. They thought the real republican would win hands down. I never
said they were smart. They did not believe for one instant that a democrat
could win in their district.

The real republican decided he would not run in this race, but would run in
November. I know his name, I can't remember it right now.

Second, Francine Busby got the vote of moderate women and seniors, I mean
real seniors. They did come out to vote. Unfortunately, this is as far as
she can go. Bilbray will lose, to the stronger Republican, because the
republican's know they have to go to the poles in November.

Third, only 32% of the people in that district, voted yesterday.

Now, You can bet your bottom dollar that the republican's will run(they
already do have), a true right winged republican that will run against
Bilbray in November. Every one of the republicans voting in this election
held their nose when they had to vote for Bilbray. He is a moderate like,
Dianne Feinstein - D CA).  Bilbray could care less about immigration, only
cares if he wins,  and will say anything to win. The republican party ran
ads that were filled with lies and he spent twice as much money as Busby.

Bilbray did not begin using immigration as an issue until Cheney and his
wife, plus, two other republican's came to San Diego on behalf of Bilbray.

He WILL lose in November.

In red districts like Carlsbad/Encinitas, republicans win. Our best bet is
to go all out in the divided districts across the nation.

Busby gave it a real go. She would win in any other district in San Diego. I
hope she moves to another district because she would be a good
Representative for Dems.

Pls excuse my erratic upper and lower case email.

Francene Blanchard


No Message

This article is good, so far as it goes, but not only do Democrats not get
their message out -- they simply have no message.  They offer no substantive
ideas for fixing what's wrong [which is everything], they have no coherent
plan for accomplishing what's necessary, and I can't think of a single one I
would trust not to cave in to industry pressure on any important issue.
People like me, and there are many, have little interest in promoting
Democrats as the lesser of two monstrous evils, and that is all the
Democratic party represents right now -- no passion, no integrity, no
promise of change, no fire, just donkey shit instead of elephant turds.

The other reason for public apathy is more basic: the election process
itself is so blatantly corrupt, we have no confidence our votes count, so
why bother?

Carol Van Strum


Immigration Issue

I took seriously your piece about the Democratsí lack of focus. Bilbray over Busby isnít so bad as many think. In a practical way, it reflects the importance which immigration will play going forward, and we already knew that.

On a broader screen I ponder a couple of conditions which prevail in delineating Democrats and Republicans. When it comes to presentation, Democrats are apparently not tuned into how information is processed, namely one-third verbally and the other two-thirds in ways which should put all word warriors on alert. Itís more than "a picture and 1k words." Itís the stance of a speaker, for example. Bush and all the little Bushies look like they are at Rotary luncheon, waiting to be crowned mayor of Babbittville. Personally, Mark Warner turns me off. I know he is smart and I believe he wants to do things for people, but his style reminds me of the middle managers at the computer companies Iíve associated with in the past. Salesmanship comes in various forms, but "cinch the sale" wears thin, as Bush is finding out. He has no new words to say. In the tech world, they search for employees with "people skills." I campaigned by keyboard for Kerry and all the while I saw a tall man on a raised platform with his arm above his head, extending his forefinger to the sky. And then he would say "I have a plan." How I hated that phrase!  I agree with you. The Democrats need some new declamation coaches.

And while theyíre at it, here is the second observation. If campaigning is a debate, the Republicans are on the negative and Democrats, affirmative. Which automatically makes it easier for Republicans to evoke with repetitive phrases the feelings needed to remain addicted to the past. When they step out of their role, it seems counterproductive, sometimes eliciting pathos. Bush kissing a shiny-faced well-dressed little African American girl in the midst of Mississippi mud was not a poll raiser for him. A fact-finding trip before making a take-charge speech in the oval office would have sufficed.

The first affirmative debater always has a big charge. Short time to show how changes are needed. Major presentation of the most important fixes, with a liberal "human-interest" flavor, is essential. I always marvel at how Kennedy grabbed the citizenry after a fractured campaignĖask not, etc. His political capital was in the eye of the beholder. I donít know what new initiatives he had in mind but it was for sure that if he didnít hit the ground running, those miserable Republicans would have a field day with his narrow victory, hinging on Chicago politics. Nothing like a bare head in the bluster of winter to speak more than words. The newspapers and TV might have been a bit more impartial in the 60s than in 06, but not much. News is just telling what has been. If a candidate wants to shake the country up, itís best to let a person know that only he/she and the listening she/he knows how to do it.

If the earnest bloggers would only think up some slogans which the Democratic candidates could steal. Itís time for some joy in the world. Itís time for voters to realize that "weíre in this together" without being lectured to. Iím too old to enjoy all the Armageddon palaver, from whichever side of the aisle.

Margaret Bassett

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