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Recommended Short and Long Term Voting Strategies for the Dump Obama Movement

4:39 pm in Uncategorized by metamars

This is basically a cross post of a diary of mine at OpenLeft, called A Proposed Framework for an Expanded Dump Obama Movement I’ve re-titled it, partly because Jeff Roby said that I was describing an organization, not so much a movement. I view Dump Obama, from the point of view of a voting strategy, as strictly short term. But what long term voting strategies should be embraced by Dem-leaning voters who are sympathetic to Dump Obama? Also, please note that Dump Obama has been criticized as alienating to black voters in an OpenLeft diary Dump Obama? Not in my precinct!

(this diary is a comment on a new diary by Jeff Roby (jeffroby) re Dump Obama, called Dump Obama: for a Time of Crisis)

Dump Obama reflects an abandonment of the failed strategy of lesser-evilist voting.

What I’d like to suggest is keeping it as a primary meme (perfect for a bumper sticker), but nevertheless subsuming it under the broader flag of anti-lesser-evilism. Not that you would call it that. You’d be better off still calling it the Dump Obama movement, than calling it the Dump Lesser Evilism Movement. Eventually, you’d have to come up with a new name, especially after Obama is history. For now, though, the Dump Obama meme is a fine proxy for the Dump Lesser Evilism Voting meme.

Please see this link for a long-overdue awareness that voting more strategically (and even just threatening to do so) has paid dividends for the Tea Baggers: Tea Party will gain influence within the GOP
In practical terms, a Dump Obama movement will embrace, right from the get-go, not just the notion of dumping Obama, but also dumping Dems who cross some line or set of lines.

I also suggested (and reiterate that suggestion) that the Dump Obama movement urge progressives to vote Green at the state level

So, to summarize, the 3 pillars of the Dump Obama movement that I’m suggesting are:
1) Dump Obama
2) Dump Bad Dems at the Federal level
3) Dump all Dems (eventually) at the State level, and form a cooperative progressive Dem / progressive Green voting bloc. (Please see my diary on this subject: "Dump Corporate Dems" – Going Green at the State Level, to "make Dems do it" at the Federal level)

This will also help dispel any illusions that anybody might have that you are simply fixated on Obama.

re: 2) Dump Bad Dems at the Federal level
My recommendation for this is something like the Full Court Press at the primary level plus some reasonably agressive punishing type vote in the general election.

But not too punishing. Finding the right level of punishment votes (expressed as a percentage of Dem incumbents) is the job of a competent political game theorist, IMO.

However, if I wanted to take a stab at an optimal figure, I’d say something like 10% of the House Dem incumbents, and 7% of the Senate Dem incumbents. So, e.g., members of the Dump Obama movement identify the worst 4 Democratic incumbent Senators*, and then members who live in their states vote against them. If the race is close, and voting 3rd party might still allow the Dem to win, the Dump Obama movement must prove itself not to be wimpy, like the so-called leaders in the Veal Pen. Make no mistake about it, that means voting for the Republican.

If you want to create a credible threat in future election cycles, you need to be willing to pull the trigger…

For anybody who believes that targetting only 7-10% of incumbent Dems is too timid, well, you may be completely correct. Sooner or later (I hope sooner), vote blocs need to also vote on their strategy. In this case, because the Dems screwed up so badly, the Dump Obama participants may vote to dump 20% (e.g.) of the Dem incumbents during the general election. The key thing is that they need to do it with open eyes, do it publicly, not apologize to anybody for their vote, but also stoically deal with whatever consequences result.

* 7% of 59 = 4.13 ~ 4

“Dump Corporate Dems” – Going Green at the State Level, to “make Dems do it” at the Federal level

8:52 am in Uncategorized by metamars

Please read Dixon’s diary for details of how they intend to make GA go Green.

I assume that his plan is workable. But the question immediatey arises: "Where else is it workable?"

Well, Dixon’s plan takes black incarceration as it’s signature issue. While that may be fine for GA, I can’t see that as being an optimal signature issue for the rest of the country. I’ll leave it to others to figure out what an optimal signature issue should be, for each state. Suffice it to say that progressives in each state should be able to figure this out, for themselves, without too much trouble!

What I suggest is that a similar plan (with localized signature issue) be used in, say, 50% of the most progressive states and 50% of the most progressive districts. (For a Day 1 rollout, you can take this to mean 50% of the most progressive districts within the 50% most progressive states.) Furthermore, I suggest that, at least for the next election cycle, candidates for Federal offices not be put forth. Instead, only candidates for state and local offices.

The main reason for eschewing Federal offices is that many progressive Democrat-leaning voters won’t consider voting for a non-Democrat, due to fears of splitting votes. Those fears are, of course, based in reality. It’s not the purpose of this diary to argue the merits and demerits of either deliberately or accidentally throwing Democrats under the bus, at the Federal level.

Rather, I’m simply pointing out that, by restricting pro-Green political activity to the state level, fears of accidentally throwing a race to Republicans at the Federal level vanish. In the meantime, a loud, explicit message needs to be sent to Dems at the Federal level, viz., "We may not be targetting you during the current election cycle, but we eventually will if you fail to perform." If and when the progressive Dem/Green voting bloc grows large enough, it can then make credible demands of, and threats to, a Congressmen, with a deadline. If the demands aren’t met by the deadline, then the threat can be carried out, at the next election cycle. That threat is to replace the Democrat with a Green.

Obviously, the threat is more credible if the respective state has been taken over by Greens, where previously Democrats held sway.

An additional benefit of going this route is that progressive Dems and Greens will learn to cooperate. There is doubtless a learning curve that needs to be hurdled. But if ever there was a natural voting bloc of allies, progressive Dems and Greens would be it.

Oh, yeah, the "Dump Corporate Dems" name I’ve tentatively assigned to such a political effort or movement is inspired by "Dump Obama". (See also Dump Obama: More Urgent than Ever).Not everybody can handle "Dump Obama", so "Dump Corporate Dems" can be viewed as a gentler path to force the Democratic Party into a more progressive direction.

Also, by making "(Dump) Corporate" part of a signature meme, such a voting bloc can more easily attract independents and even conservatives who don’t appreciate corporate influence in America’s elections. The end of this video, of Lawrence Lessig lecturing at a recent Coffee Party gathering, has video of real, live conservatives who support real election reform (against corporations).:

N.B.: The diary by Rayne, that Dixon refers to, and is a must-read, is The Angry Left: A Starter Map for the Road Ahead

Open Question: What Points should a ‘Dump Obama’ Manifesto make? Me: Call for Leaders with Backbone

6:39 am in Uncategorized by metamars

cross-posted at docudharma and openleft

jeffroby has recently written about a DUMP OBAMA movement (see "It is none too soon to starta a Dump Obama movement"), and I expect he’ll be writing a lot more about it.

In the meantime, I thought it worthwhile to stimulate thoughts by others in this direction.

During my ‘Randi Rhodes forum days’, I used to regularly bash the Democrats, and refer to them as Democowards. I recognized that they didn’t have the electoral muscle to force through much of any oppositional legislation, but their lack of vociferous vocal opposition, their complete failure to rouse the public by any means other than some tepid statements to the media, disturbed me greatly.

As the Democrats gained power, and started showing us, as Randi Rhodes used to say of Republicans "who they are", some of the Democratic bots began to wake up, and genuinely despair. I then switched my rhetorical attacks, not seeing the point of "kicking a man who’s down", and began pointing out that mindlessly abandoning the Democrats wasn’t particularly smart.

Well, the Democratic Party certainly needs a kick, even if some of it’s base is wallowing in disempowering bitterness and despair (and thus needs a very different, gentler sort of kick). The question is "How do we kick that party?".

A DUMP OBAMA movement is one way to kick the Democratic Party, but what sort of broad outlines should such a movement adopt?

My own suggestion is to
a) Issue a call for new leaders to step forth
b) Condemn so-called leaders, who should have held Obama accountable for his lies, and pressed him to keep more of his campaign promises, but didn’t.

Rather than write a fresh essay, I’ll just quote myself to further explain these ideas:

I’m an independent, not a lefty, but even if I was a lefty, I’m pretty sure that I’d still find the Left to be pretty pathetic, too. I’ve really gotten tired of pointing what, to me, is pretty obvious. Not just Obama’s betrayal and corporatism, but also the more or less complete failure of the Left to pressure Obama to keep more of his promises. I understand that most "connected" lefties (inside the beltway types) would lose their jobs if they were completely honest and blunt, but why is there not more organizing outside of the "connected", co-opted, prominent lefties?

I think they could do that relatively easily, by excoriating him when he betrayed them (even if the betrayal, as far as we know, only rose to the level of failure to fight hard) and taking their case to their fellow citizens. I.e., forget about the media – they are part of the system.

When is the last time you saw a demonstration in your neighborhood, for anything? I see maybe 2 demonstrations per year, it seems to me.

Let me give you an example of the motivation for the kind of demonstration that lefties could do, but don’t. At a recent job, my coworkers were talking politics one day, so I asked them if they’d heard of the deal Obama made with Tauzin. Nobody even knew who Tauzin was. Well, guess what, boys and girls: Keith Olbermann is not going to remind the American public that Obama screwed them this way, nor will he demand an apology for this betrayal.

Nor will the unions, which are also pretty pathetic (judging by the nambsy pambsy way I’ve heard them describe the Dems).

Nor will environmental groups – they prefer to be sheep-like as Obama’s passing the ball to BP and covering up for them is sure to result in Americans’ deaths and us paying for BP’s and Congress’ greed and corruption.

Nor will most lefty blogs reach out beyond their bloggerly world and do so. (None, actually, that I know of.)

If lefties want to pressure Obama in the way that I suggest, they will have to generate new leadership for doing so. I just don’t see any such leadership out there, though there are a few bright lights of journalistic integrity, like Chris Hedges.

If lefties did generate leadership and then actions of this sort, it’s reasonable to assume that they could damage the Dems’ electoral chances, in favor of the Republicans, and end up shooting themselves in the foot.

For those who have such concerns, they can just "double up" on their actions and messages, and make sure that they point out the betrayals, lies, and oftentimes looniness of the Republicans.

E.g., while letting all American know about Obama’s back-stabbing deal with Big Pharma/Tauzin, they can also point out that Americans have wanted a national healthcare plan for decades, but the Republicans were just as happy as the Democrats to let our current monstrosity of a healthcare system evolve, whereby we are paying about double what Europeans pay, typically with poorer outcomes.

See? That’s not so hard, is it? (I mean, conceptually.) So, you can damage both the Republicans’ and Democrats’ electoral chances and still get the message out, which (I believe) will put considerable pressure on Obama as his approval ratings go into the toilet.

He can then respond by at least keeping his popular pledges, or he can just keep screwing us. If the latter, well, I hope Mitt Romney beats Gingrich and the vacuous Sarah Palin, because if we’re going to end up with an R for president in 2012, let’s hope for the least damaging one. In the meantime, you can also grow a movement which will look to dump crappy members of both parties.

So, what’s YOUR suggestion for the main points that a DUMP OBAMA movement should espouse or convey?