A closer look at the Bush record -- from
the war in Iraq to the war on the environment
take the exit ramp off the Bush presidency in November?
Colin Powell's Legend
Colin Powell's sterling reputation in Washington hides his life-long role
as water-carrier for conservative ideologues.
Recounting the controversial presidential campaign
Is the national media a danger to democracy?
The Clinton Scandals
The story behind President Clinton's impeachment
Pinochet & Other Characters
The Dark Side of Rev. Moon
Rev. Sun Myung Moon and American politics
Contra drug stories uncovered
How the American historical record has been tainted by lies and cover-ups
The October Surprise
The 1980 October Surprise scandal exposed
From free trade to the Kosovo crisis
Other Investigative Stories
Readers React to 'Why Dems
June 9, 2006
The story Ė "Why Democrats Lose" Ė has prompted a
number of interesting comments and criticisms from readers. A sample is below:
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
either; why start now, eh! It's hopeless. The theft of all these
elections, including those in the future, not only overwhelmingly
republicans, but the democrats must listen to all these condemnations
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 Consortiumnews.com . 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
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
Your sentence to the effect that they are less
concerned with protesting than with not offending is the heart of the
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
Why Busby Lost
In reading your article regarding Busby's loss, It is apparent that you
other democratic organizations do not YET understand WHY Bilbray and
other republicans win in republican districts, despite having had a
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
True Republican's will vote for a crook, a thief, a terrorist, if it is
Republican. In the April election, the real republican lost by a very
margin to Bilbray. Many REAL Republican's were not scared until after
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
could win in their district.
The real republican decided he would not run in this race, but would run
November. I know his name, I can't remember it right now.
Second, Francine Busby got the vote of moderate women and seniors, I
real seniors. They did come out to vote. Unfortunately, this is as far
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
held their nose when they had to vote for Bilbray. He is a moderate
Dianne Feinstein - D CA). Bilbray could care less about immigration,
cares if he wins, and will say anything to win. The republican party
ads that were filled with lies and he spent twice as much money as
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
He WILL lose in November.
In red districts like Carlsbad/Encinitas, republicans win. Our best bet
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
hope she moves to another district because she would be a good
Representative for Dems.
Pls excuse my erratic upper and lower case email.
This article is good, so far as it goes, but not only do Democrats not
their message out -- they simply have no message. They offer no
ideas for fixing what's wrong [which is everything], they have no
plan for accomplishing what's necessary, and I can't think of a single
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,
Carol Van Strum
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
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.
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