Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Multi Medium Manifesto

As a timesaver, I have decided to try to consolidate all of my pet ideas into a single handy post. So unless you like photography or bizarre videos, there's really not much reason to come back here ever again. I am a Marketing Genius!

1. Accountability is the hallmark of democracy; impunity is the hallmark of dictatorship. The two principal mechanisms of accountability are media and elections, and the Republicans have co-opted both.

1.1. The media's primary objective is to advance and defend the Republican narrative up to the limit of credibility. Maximizing profits is a secondary goal, as the media's parent companies stand to gain more from Republican government than they could through mere ratings. One need look no further than their lackluster coverage of a male prostitute (complete with website of lurid pictures and testimonials) for proof of this.

1.2. The Democrats should push loudly for election reform, stressing the democracy ("Everyone should have the right to vote") and legitimacy aspects ("Americans need to know that their votes count, and that our leaders are fairly elected"). Force the Republicans to defend the indefensible.

2. The Democratic establishment's pandering to an illusory center is a grave error.

2.1. When polling is broken down by party affiliation, Independents look a lot like Democrats on Bush approval rating, as well as most of the issues. Democrats are playing to the right, and they are actually alienating the "center."

2.2. Democrats must consistently oppose Republican policies and nominees, even when they can't win. When campaign season rolls around, they need to tie the Republicans' votes around their necks, and this is considerably more difficult when half or more of the Democratic caucus voted with them.

2.3. Republicans understand the significance of turnout; Democrats do not. A motivated base's passion and conviction drives them out to vote; the center is not as passionate, and will not turn out en masse. For every "swing" vote gained by tacking right, more than one "base" vote is lost. It is a self-defeating strategy.

2.4. Voters respect conviction, passion, and heart. Candidates like Hackett with firm convictions, who tell it like it is without pulling punches, who say things like "I said it, I meant it, I stand behind it" will gain the voters respect, even from voters who don't agree with all their positions.

2.5. The Democrats must start calling the Republicans on their strategy of using smears, fear, and hate every single election. They must make voters realize just how stupid, cowardly, bigoted, and easily distracted the Republicans think they are. When the American people finally reject these tactics, the Republicans will have nothing left - it's not like they can run on their record or their policy positions.

3. Progressives must reclaim the Democratic Party from within.

3.1. Politicians and their parties listen to and obey whoever can get them elected, or un-elected. Until the progressive netroots can demonstrate to the Democratic Party that they must have them on their side to win, they will have no leverage, and will remain marginalized.

3.1.1. A Ned Lamont primary victory, followed by a Ned Lamont general election victory, would mean far more than a truly Democratic seat in the Senate. It would announce to the Democratic Party that the progressive netroots are capable of toppling a corporate- and establishment-backed incumbent.

3.1.2. Ned Lamont notwithstanding, the House of Representatives affords the best opportunity for a progressive takeover. All the seats are in play every two years, the campaigns are smaller and therefore easier to impact, and the seats are safer thanks to the magic of gerrymandering.

3.2. Bill Clinton inadvertently ruined the Democratic party by using his immense charisma and political talent to legitimize the DLC's corporate-friendly "triangulation" strategy. The Democratic Party never figured out that he won because he was Bill Clinton, not because he was a centrist.

4. The judicial confirmation process needs the opposite of the nuclear option. Instead of eliminating the filibuster, the Senate should make 60 votes the official standard for confirming judges, and retire the notion that selecting judges is solely the President's prerogative. A judiciary that is confirmed by a simple majority becomes effectively another branch of the legislature, as decisions are determined by party affiliation rather than honest interpretation of law. A 60-vote requirement would force presidents of both parties to nominate highly-qualified moderates who would be acceptable to both parties, and who would make their decisions based on law.


This is what I could think of off the top of my head, so far. I will probably continue adding to it and tinkering with it, and try to figure out a place to link it on the main page. Oh, and if someone could tell me how to indent (Blogger eats leading spaces and tabs), I would be very grateful...

UPDATE: I've added a few more, and hyperlinked to any posts that elaborate on the particular topic.

10 comments:

Elmo said...

Aww man...but it's so much fun to filibuster judges!

four legs good said...

To indent use blockquotes.

Like so < blockquote > < / blockquote >


Hey, you got a link from Jane! coolio!

Zap Rowsdower said...

I didnt know you were big enough to have your own Manifesto.

But, as for this:

Democrats are playing to the right, and they are actually alienating the "center."

Very true here in the North Star State. But the IP is still pretty formidable. They were able to tap into the apathetic and the knuckle-headed when Ventura was elected. Yet, the DFL (like the GOP) ignores their presence.

This year, if anyone, is the year that Dem's have to pounce...and hard.

Desi said...

Hey, Eli, sorry ot, but I read that the Atriots got together and sent a gift to NTodd and Pa. I don't know who arranged, but if you do would you ask them to please, please contact me in the future as I'd be more than glad to pitch in for such things. Or, if you know who I should contact, let me know?
Thanks.

Desi: culpaenator@gmail.com

Eli said...

Elmo: Much as I hate to be the Anti-Fun Blogger, it's important to change the frame we currently have around the judicial nomination/confirmation process, which is that choosing judges is a (Republican) presidential prerogative not to be interfered with, and the filibuster is a cheap procedural trick that the (Democratic) minority uses to thwart the (Republican) president's will.

We need to institutionalize the idea that judges should be consensus picks rather than partisan ones.


4lg: Woohoo, indeed! Blockquotes don't really meet my need, though. I just want to indent the *left* side, and without any confusing dividing lines.


Zap: I think the Dems will pick up seats just by being not-the-Republicans. But I don't think they'll pick up enough to re-take either house without campaigning and positioning themselves aggressively.

Eli said...

Sorry, Desi, I think I was out of circulation when that was happening, so I'm not sure who arranged it. The only collection I knew about was the one for his mom's charity, which GWPDA set up.

karmic_jay said...

Eli, I love your manifesto. Sheesh they should hire ya man.

BTW I did go to a moveon rally (campaign for an oil free congress) in Wilmington. Post and pictures at my blog. Man maybe I should so blogwhore this on Eshcaton.

I wish I too had known about the collection for NTodd.

Eli said...

Thanks, jay! I'm sure we'd get on each others' last nerve in five minutes flat. Especially if I was working for Casey...

Dude, you should definitely blogwhore it. I'm not sure they even know you *have* a blog...

four legs good said...

I wish I too had known about the collection for NTodd.

Nobody told me either, manimals always get left out.

oldwhitelady said...

Eli, you are a Marketing Genius!