Democrats Believe…

For the longest time I have been trying to reconcile certain notions of what it means to be a Democrat.  I mean, there are the traditional liberal notions of what we are… and then there is the reality.  

    We support collective bargaining.  Except the NJ Senate President tries to legislate it away.  

    We believe in government.   Except the President accepts the Republican framing that Social Security needs reductions and spending is out of control.

     In the same room where I hear State Committee Chair John Wisniewski pledge Democrats support unions, a Democrat tells me that Reagan was great because he fired the Air Traffic Controllers.  She told me the Air Traffic union held a gun to the head of America.  

   No, no – thats the exaggerated Republican Frame.  WW2 was a gun to our heads.  The Mortgage crisis was a gun to our head.  The Air Traffic Controllers merely inconvenienced us.  

I could go on, but, you know what I mean.  A Big tent is one thing… but geesh, many Democrats accept right wing framing on issues that used to represent the core values of our party.  

So, with all due deference to the lovely speech recently given by our State Chair in Burlington County,  what plurality “beliefs” can we ACTUALLY claim as a party?  

Comments (6)

  1. 12mileseastofTrenton

    The biggest problem with the Democratic party, here and in Washington, is it’s lack of ideological cohesion.  Republicans don’t have that problem.  They’re able to enunciate a clear message, however wrongheaded it may be.  That also enables them to move the ideological goal posts further and further in their direction.

    Of course, the great irony with PATCO was that it was the only union to endorse Reagan.

  2. Couch Potato Politics

    … of a failed Democrat buying into the neo-con, DiNO, Reaganism. Read any of Firstamend07s posts on Sweeneys SB2718 and it isn’t anything akin to reading the thoughts of a progressive but more in line with the “Air Traffic Controller firing” Reaganytes of 30 years ago.

    The purity of the ideology of supporting the PEOPLE and the values of a fair and equitable society with social justice, protection from profiteering on human misery and corporate greed have been replaced with this embaressing willingness to compromise, not to the middle, but 5 feet over the middle and 2 feet deeper than the “Right” used to push for 30 years ago.

  3. Alex

    …perhaps it’s too much to expect any party to be cohesive since they aim to divide up the political spectrum between the two. However, the Republicans certainly seem better at staying on message, at least with respect to their ability to stay united in Congress in opposition to legislation even remotely smacking of progress (eg healthcare reform), than the Democrats. I used to think it’s because the GOP was just better at the game than the Democrats until I realized that the Democrats really do consist of what, in many other Western democracies, would be at least two parties: a social democratic wing and a more centrist wing. If anything, it’s the centrist wing that seems to dominate and will often side with the Republicans. That’s why, while I am glad to contribute to true lefty Democratic candidates, I am not a registered Democrat. Too often, on issues that matter to me (war, economic policy, healthcare, taxation) the difference between the national parties is one of degree, with the Democrats too often willing to cede the parameters of the debate to the political right.


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