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National Politics: Time and Tide?

In a comment-response on Greg Laden's ScienceBlog post, ponderingfool said the following:

Ralph and his supporters should take a page out of the Religious Right playbook. The Religious Right is a powerful part of the Republican party because they work INSIDE the system. By working outside of the system, Ralph marginalizes himself and his supporters. They will always be a voice outside. If they worked within the party system, then they could have some influence.
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Of course how did they become so powerful in the Republican Party? Because they ran 3rd Party Candidates. (Wallace in '68 for example and before him Thermond in '48). Wallace's run encouraged Nixon to undertake the Southern Strategy to attract what we now know as the Christian Right. Why do you think all those Republican candidates went on down to give speeches at Bob Jones University? This of course moved the Republican Party to the right socially. The Democrats also slowly began to move to fill the void left by the GOP as they moved to the right. Hence the DLC was born. This nation has moved to the right because of it.

The progressive/socialist runs of the first half of the 20th century opened debates that would not have happened otherwise, moving the US to the left. The work within a party only works when you have an "other" to play against. Neither Obama nor Clinton is a progressive. They are centrists (I would say slightly right of center). Do Republicans blame Libertarians when they lose? How many registered Democrats voted for Bush? Democrats need to stop whining and show some leadership. This nation needs more than a token opposition party.


What of it smarties? Does anyone out there have a counterpoint? Is this an accurate analysis of the rightward swing of national politics? Why is it so hard for extreme progressives to move the Democrats, which of course is the question of the decade anyways?

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Comments

( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
ubet_cha
Feb. 28th, 2008 06:29 pm (UTC)
From the whacky Libertarian side.
I think Socialism is a corrupt joke that only works when human nature is taken out of the equation, BUT I do vote Democrat on occasion because they have the best track record ( IMHO) on civil liberties, flawed as that may be.

Having qualified that, I’m afraid that I do think Nader is a spoiler candidate. While I do respect the man for many of his efforts I can’t think of any logical reason to support him in this election**.

Now I am curious about what is considered a ‘right’ shift in National Politics. Outside of welfare reform in the mid-90’s and a huge military Intervention mindset. What else is considered a shift to the right? There are more government employees, and domestic programs then there were 30 years ago. The religious right while still a bunch of vocal asshole has less influence then it did in the 80’s. Are we talking about Corporate infringement on its workers rights? Or something else?

** - Unless Clinton is on the Democratic ticket because I can’t vote for McCain or any Republican for that matter, either.
snidegrrl
Feb. 28th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
Re: From the whacky Libertarian side.
I think Socialism is a corrupt joke that only works when human nature is taken out of the equation

To each their own. :) You're clearly not alone in that!

While I do respect the man for many of his efforts I can’t think of any logical reason to support him in this election**.

I understand why some do, but I do not. I would have supported (where support = cast a vote for) Kucinich in the primaries until he a) dropped out and b) made himself look like a freaking hypocrite in my eyes.

I'll have to get back to you about the 'right' shift, that one will take research and specifics.
Re: From the whacky Libertarian side. - ubet_cha - Feb. 28th, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: From the whacky Libertarian side. - snidegrrl - Feb. 28th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: From the whacky Libertarian side. - professorbooty - Feb. 29th, 2008 02:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: From the whacky Libertarian side. - snidegrrl - Feb. 29th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: From the whacky Libertarian side. - ubet_cha - Feb. 29th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
mistervimes
Feb. 28th, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
You can't really come at this from more of an opposite POV than me. I'm an agnostic republican and I want to jettison the religious right. Without them we would more than make up their numbers with conservative gays and women.


Also, did your package arrive?
snidegrrl
Feb. 28th, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC)
No package yet!

I mostly posted this because I thought maybe some of the historyphiles on my friends list would be able to confirm or deny the impact of what the guy said.
(no subject) - mistervimes - Feb. 28th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Feb. 28th, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mistervimes - Feb. 29th, 2008 12:22 am (UTC) - Expand
cheetahmaster
Feb. 28th, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC)
I don't have time to post a big response, but I will say: anything that simplifies the complex modern political situation to one single cause, like third party candidates, is at best naive. In my opinion.

Right off the bat, both parties have learned that polarization has failed, and they cannot win a modern election without that crucial independent vote.
snidegrrl
Feb. 28th, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC)
Uh, I think you missed the point. I'm not trying to simplify shit, I just want to talk about trends in parties.

Edited at 2008-02-28 06:54 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - cheetahmaster - Feb. 28th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Feb. 28th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
freepatriot
Feb. 28th, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
My two cents:

Any discussion about why the GOP has moved towards the Religious Right, being held by non-GOP, non-Religious people, is purely speculative and probably not very useful.

It would be like guitar players trying to figure out why saxophone players have started preferring foam pads instead of cork.

But I think it's cool that you're trying to figure us out.
snidegrrl
Feb. 28th, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to figure out the whole picture, really. I had not previously had a historical viewpoint on it, or if I had it was long ago and I had forgotten. :)
(no subject) - freepatriot - Feb. 28th, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Feb. 28th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peregrin8 - Feb. 29th, 2008 01:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - freepatriot - Feb. 29th, 2008 12:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
... - professorbooty - Feb. 29th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ... - cheetahmaster - Feb. 29th, 2008 02:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ... - professorbooty - Feb. 29th, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ... - freepatriot - Feb. 29th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ... - freepatriot - Feb. 29th, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ... - professorbooty - Mar. 1st, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ... - professorbooty - Mar. 1st, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ... - freepatriot - Mar. 3rd, 2008 01:17 am (UTC) - Expand
cheetahmaster
Feb. 28th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
Some light reading: remembering the man behind modern conservatism.
professorbooty
Feb. 29th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
...
Dennis Perrin had a great post about Buckley here.  The Buckley/Chomsky debate videos at the end are not to be missed.
peregrin8
Feb. 29th, 2008 12:30 am (UTC)
We're going to need a bigger tent!
I don't know a lot about the Wallace etc. history, but it does always impress me that, e.g., promiscuous pro-abortion stoner Schwarzenegger and the Religious Right folks all manage to put aside their differences (I mean, you KNOW those guys must HATE each other, but they do not air their laundry in public) while the Left is busy sub-sub-subdividing. I REEEEEALLY hope that the Obama and Clinton camps will get forcefully united once one of them wins the nomination.
snidegrrl
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:02 am (UTC)
Re: We're going to need a bigger tent!
"Compromise" often seems like more of a dirty word to the left than it is to the right. Like of course I myself have things I won't compromise! Like the death penalty thing. But every year the whole machine moves further right my ideals are being... compromised. So what did those guys do to pressure the right? Why isn't radical pressure moving the left further left? I am intrigued by his description of the Dems filling in the middle.

Man this is just more evidence that college is wasted on the young; I wish I could go back and tell myself that MAYBE that poli sci class was actually interesting.
College IS wasted on the young! - peregrin8 - Feb. 29th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: College IS wasted on the young! - professorbooty - Feb. 29th, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
professorbooty
Feb. 29th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
...
Former Democratic operative and current MSNBC political analyst Lawrence O’Donnell said:
If you want to pull the party—the major party that is closest to the way you’re thinking—to what you’re thinking, YOU MUST, YOU MUST show them that you’re capable of not voting for them.  If you don’t show them you’re capable of not voting for them, they don’t…have…to listen to you.  I promise you that.  I worked within the Democratic Party.  I didn’t listen, or have to listen, to anything on the left while I was working in the Democratic Party, because the left had nowhere to go.
rubinpdf
Mar. 1st, 2008 01:48 pm (UTC)
First, Seriously?

A rightward trend in the democrat party? Obama and Clinton as centrists? The dem candidates this year were and are all further left than in any year since McGovern. Defacto-socialism is not a centrists candidates policy platform. The fact is that McCain is the closest candidate you've got to a centrists Democrat in this years election. As much as the aura of Obama is supposedly like that of JFK, it is the positions of McCain that more closely match that of the assassinated former president (Dirty secret - JFK cut the the marginal tax rates of "the rich" and resisted increased government spending more than did Ronald Reagan).


As for the talk on how George Wallace shifted the Republican party right. I know revisionist history is practically a party platform for the extreme left, but Wallace was a Democrat, not a republican. It's hard to take the rest of the post contentions seriously when simple facts are ignored. I know the Christian "religious right" has become somewhat of a straw dog for the far left, but it was Christians and Christian principles that were the foundation of both the abolitionist and civil rights movements Also So to contend that an independent run by a former Democrat pushed the Republican party further right stretches the bounds of incredulity. (Dirty secret 2 - Republican Representatives and Senators voted for the 1965 civil rights (voting) act in a higher percentage than their Democrat colleagues (~82% of republicans voted for the act while only ~71% of democrats) If, as popular leftist lore states, the republicans provided a united front against the Act, it would have never have past the Senate).

freepatriot
Mar. 1st, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)
>> Dirty secret - JFK cut the the marginal tax rates
>> of "the rich" and resisted increased government
>> spending more than did Ronald Reagan


Schnikes!!! I've got to go find a cite for this. It's blogger gold.

(no subject) - rubinpdf - Mar. 1st, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
professorbooty
Mar. 1st, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
...
Why is it so hard for extreme progressives to move the Democrats, which of course is the question of the decade anyways?

Because we can't outspend the corporations.
( 41 comments — Leave a comment )

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