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Opening Arguments

Stand for something, 'cause we won't fall for just anything

Indiana U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh is the outgoing chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, the group made famous by Bill Clinton for trying to move the party back to the center from the extreme left. That group has been meeting (site also includes video), and there's lots of talk about "finding a message" that the nation desperately wants to hear from Democrats. But they also talk about "appealing to the middle," so I'm not sure they get it yet. The point should not be to find a message, then try to sell it, but to, you know, actually stand for something. "The middle" might be looking for something, but I don't think they want a con job.


Robert Rouse
Wed, 07/27/2005 - 12:31pm

Right now, the problem with the DLC and the Progressive wing of the Democratic party is they can't stop bickering with each other. I know this has been going on for longer than most us can remember. Will Rodgers once said, "I'?m not a member of any organized political party, I'?m a Democrat!" However, being someone who has heard enough from GW Bush, I'm of the opinion that if the Democrats are to wrest control of the White House and Congress back from the GOP, it will take moderate Democrat candidates to get the job done. Most of America is too frightened to go with progressive Demos and contrary to what Bush and Co. believe, most Americans are fed up with him as well.

Wed, 07/27/2005 - 1:01pm

I'm not really sure what a progressive Democrat looks like anymore. The GOP branded Dean lefter than left. So, if that's accurate, then being against the Iraq War, being for the Clinton tax structure, being zealously in favor of a balanced budget, and wanting some kind of healthcare reform is "extreme left."

Maybe Dean was in favor of something really far left or against something really moderate, but I never saw it. And yet, he is apparently what qualifies for "far left fringe".

So, I'm not going for this "appealing to moderates" stuff. I think you should just say what you're in favor of and let the labels fall as they may.

Robert Rouse
Wed, 07/27/2005 - 7:05pm


It's not me or the voters who are at fault. I don't believe in labels either. I always vote according to the issues. That said, it has been the GOP who has force fed this pablum to the country for so long that most of them are frightened to death of progressives. This is why I contend that only a "labeled" moderate has a shot at winning. It's not whether you or I go for it.

Leo Morris
Thu, 07/28/2005 - 5:53am

Before they can appeal to anybody, Democrats have to come up with positions that amount to more than "Bush sucks" and somebody believable to proclaim them. They have the same problem Republicans did when they tried to beat Clinton the second time around. All they had was "Clinton is evil," and Bob Dole didn't say it with much passion. Republicans finally figured it out, and came up with actual proposals and, in Bush, somebody believable to talk about them

Robert Rouse
Fri, 07/29/2005 - 6:01pm


You don't STILL seriously think Bush is "believable" do you? I'm not going to start listing all of his lies (they have web sites devoted to disproving the validity of some of his falsehoods) but a recent one would be his decision to change his vow to fire anyone involved in leaking Valerie Plame's identity. Deciding to downgrade his comments because his "brain" was involved does nothing to sway disbelievers. Many of us are getting deja vu vibes of cover up leading back to the White House.

Leo Morris
Mon, 08/01/2005 - 6:56am

Robert: Aren't you helping me make my point? Until we can find a politician who's never lied, all pointing fingers at the other side does is identify which side in the partisan battle you're taking. I say again, if your only capaign issue is "Bush lied; we won't," good luck.