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Thought experiment: Pretend you're Dick Gephardt in 2014(20 posts)

Thought experiment: Pretend you're Dick Gephardt in 2014OldEdScott
Jan 20, 2004 6:21 AM
writing your memoirs. How will you spin your way out of the common wisdom that you singlehandedly delivered the final death-blow to a Democratic Party already on the verge of self-destructing?

The history will be damning. Your fratricidal role in forcing Howard Dean -- sitting on those piles of money and all that ego and all that anger -- to abandon the party to mount a third party candidacy that forever split the Democrat wing of the Democratic Party off into what became known as the Progressive Party.

He was beatable through other strategies, Dick. The very French-looking John F. Kerry and young John Edwards showed that. You didn't HAVE to drive a stake through Dean and the progressives' heart as you both fell off the cliff, locked in a death grip.

What was your thinking, Dick?
Do you ask the same questions of Bubba and Hillarity?Live Steam
Jan 20, 2004 7:24 AM
They have been dividing your party and causing it to leave their principles behind, for more than a decade now. Oh that's right, they own the party and can do with it what they want. LOL!!!!!!! Hey I wonder how it's sittin' with Bubba that Teddy's guy got the vote in Iowa? Is there a reft between Bubba and Kennedy, for them to be pickin' different sides?
Jan 20, 2004 7:51 AM
That's hilarious! Whew!

Stick with analyzing the inner workinsgs of your own party, Steam. It's simpler, since everyone thinks exactly the same. LOL!
Blinded by his hatred of the Clintons, Live Steam once again...Cory
Jan 20, 2004 8:55 AM
...raises an issue without relevance or significance. But it's nothing to be ashamed of--I'm the same way about Reagan, and he's been gone for 15 years.
Cory, I truly appreciate your understanding in this matter :O) nLive Steam
Jan 20, 2004 9:01 AM
Dean didn't have to fight back128
Jan 20, 2004 7:39 AM
Do I take your meaning that their negative attacks on each other brought them both down? Granted. But how did that create the Progressive party and has Dean abandoned the D party or is that the past from 2014?

Anyway, Dean whacked himself off, didn't he,and others took the high ground, can you blame Gephardt for that?
Gephardt did Democrats a favorContinental
Jan 20, 2004 7:52 AM
Since it was that easy to knock Dean out of the race (and he is knocked out of the race), it's now obvious to even the densest dolts that he was a terrible candidate with no chance of beating Bush. The Democrats were thowing piles of money and endorsements at a sure loser. Gephardt helped save the party from a humiliating landslide. I wonder if he did it on purpose, knowing that he had no chance and Dean had to be derailed.
There are LOTS of ways to get rid ofOldEdScott
Jan 20, 2004 8:39 AM
a bad candidate short of fratricidal party-splitting. I could name about 16 without working up a sweat. Gephardt's a good fellow usually, but in this case he wasn't driven by some benevolent wish to save the party from itself. He was driven by ego, ambition, and bitter disappointment, compounded by a vast shortsightedness.

The Dean phenomenon will be no trivia question in 20 years. It -- and the way the party mishandled it, in the immediate person of Dick G and more generally in Feb-March 2004 -- will be a watershed in the history of the American political system, and the history of the formerly great Democratic Party.
apocalypse nowmohair_chair
Jan 20, 2004 9:00 AM
I find it hard to accept your apocalyptic vision. A couple of farmers meet in someone's living room and the result is the downfall and complete destruction of the Democratic Party???

If that can really happen, the Democratic Party is pathetic and weak and deserves to die. It's the obvious Darwinian result. Hell, I'm happy to see it go. Take the GOP, too. Kill them all, and let's get some new ones. Some fresh ones. Maybe even more than TWO! Imagine a world where the choice isn't dumb and dumber.

With the exception of Washington and maybe Lincoln, everyone who has run for President has been driven by ego, ambition, and bitter disappointment, and most have compounded that with vast shortsightedness. If you aren't all of these things, your run for President will be mercifully short.
Mistah Kurtz, he dead.OldEdScott
Jan 20, 2004 9:16 AM
Let's posit that the Democratic Party is in trouble.

Let's posit further that the only sign of any energy/new people/new money coming into the party is from the left, and committed to Dean.

Let's speculate that Dean, sitting on $40 million to devote to massive ego, vast ambition, and yet-to-be-plumbed depths of hubris, feels ill-used by the Democrats, who essentially conducted an unprecedented gang-bang on him (which may continue), and decides to mount a third-party campaign.

Where does that scenario lead this wounded duck of a party?
Chicks and ducks and geese better scurrymohair_chair
Jan 20, 2004 2:15 PM
Here's a question: what if Dean quit right now? I mean quit quit, drop out of the race completely, no third party run. What happens to the $40 million? I know he doesn't get to keep it, but where does it go? Can he starting buying wacko slam ads against all the other guys? Can he throw it all behind wacko candidates like Al Sharpton? Wouldn't that be something--a scorched earth, slash and burn campaign! Oh what fun that would be. The democrats aren't going to win anyway, so might as well have a little fun along the way! Slam them all, let God sort 'em out!
You didn't see it coming? You go over ever littleNo_sprint
Jan 20, 2004 11:07 AM
bit of completely irrelevant guesses (that you call strategy) and you didn't see it coming? But he's your boy?

Shoot, Steam and myself and others saw he's a bad candidate. That's a really easy one.

Looks like another instance of you blinding yourself if you didn't acknowledge it before. Spin it if you want. I don't care, it don't matter.
I don't know about that, but...Dwayne Barry
Jan 20, 2004 9:02 AM
how do you go from the pollsters predicting a virtual 4-man dead heat going into last night, to getting 0 % of the delegates? What did Gephardt do to effect that result in the last day of his campaigning?
In the caucuses, there'sOldEdScott
Jan 20, 2004 9:08 AM
a 15-percent 'viability' threshold. If you don't make it, your supporters are free to be courted by the other candidates' folks, and then another vote is taken.

Gephardt didn't get to the 15 percent lots of places. His people then switched overwhelingly to Kerry and Edwards -- as might be expected, given the bitterness between Dean and their man.

Gephardt really didn't lose all that much in the last few days -- just enough to ease him under 15 percent many places, and then his support bled away.
dumb question, butgtx
Jan 20, 2004 9:39 AM
how is that Gephardt's fault? Was this anything he had control over? Did he do this on purpose?

And do you really think that Dean will split off and go solo?
Gephardt chose the strategy ofOldEdScott
Jan 20, 2004 9:49 AM
mutual assured destruction. It was insane. Dean never saw the trap -- or saw it and took the cheese regardless. Ego can make you do crazy things. I knew he was in deep shyt when I saw that 'pun-cushion' remark. So he's culpable too.

Kerry was involved in the gangbang as well, but was shrewd enough to let G take the lead. Keeping that California vet Kerry saved in the deep-freeze for the past six months was a masterstroke too. He saved him till he was throwing some sparks, then used him to light the fire. Masterful timing.

Edwards was the real brains of the outfit --he backed off and offered himself as the smiling, sunny alternative with unbloodied hands. Very smart on his part. His sole mission in life is to survive until South Carolina, and he may well have managed that yesterday.

I think there's a 50-50 chance we will see a cash-flush third party Dean candidacy this year.
Maybe it was more sinister :O)Live Steam
Jan 20, 2004 10:38 AM
Maybe, just maybe, Gephardt was the sacrificial lamb. Maybe, just maybe, a third party needed to derail Dean and portray him as the loose cannon he apparently is. You can't tell me the DNC didn't have a hand in this. They aren't that irrelevant, yet that is :O) Hitlery (we'll use your pet name as mine seems to offend some here) has to definitely feel threatened by Dean's presences, money making capability and following. That isn't good for her now or in 08. You can't tell me Terry McAullife didn't sanction the attack on the Dumocrats rising star in order to protect the Witch's chances. It's just too obvious! LOL!
re: Third partyStarliner
Jan 20, 2004 3:32 PM
I'm a perpetual disgruntled voter always on the lookout for somebody with the courage and intelligence to be a real leader instead of a figurehead beholden to the grand party machines and their party lines. I guess I'm looking for a 3D candidate instead of the usual 1D and 2D hacks. In '80 I gave John Anderson a shot. Later, I gave into Ross Perot's simple answers to seemingly not so simple issues. I've toyed with Jerry Brown who never really ever got launched into orbit (contrary to what some people might say about a man known as Gov. Moonbeam). Every time these guys were written off as losers by the media, and they all eventually failed in the end.

Last election there was Ralph Nader whom I did not support. I own a Corvair and I'll be damned if I'd ever vote for him. So the pickings boiled down to two bad choices - in the dark grey corner, we had a guy who, had he not been born into a family with a legacy of government service and all the years of connections that came as a result, would have probably been selling life insurance somewhere. And in the faded red (now looking rather pinkish) corner, we had a guy who also came from a family with a public service background, but whose own backbone was invisible to the eye. I didn't vote last election.

Well, the guy from the dark side won, or at least he was installed as the President. What he became was more a figurehead than a leader, which if you think about it is kind of like having a wooden dummy doing all the talking with the ventriloquist trying to stay in the background. The scary thing for me is that I don't think the Presidency is a place for a dummy to occupy.

Which gets me back to the beginning. I want somebody with courage and intelligence to be my leader. Not somebody shackled down by special interests, party lines, or political correctness. I was and still am intrigued that Dean could be that sort of guy. But, with the negative support from his own party and the media's constant trivialization of his character (he's an "angry man") are sabotaging his chances for success. That's too damn bad. And it pi$$e$ me off.

It brings me comfort in knowing I am not alone in these views, if Dean's rich war chest built from the grass roots is any indication.

I for one am ready for a viable third party candidate. I've been ready for years.

Let's just not shackle it down with a name that sounds too Left or too Right. Progressive Party sounds a bit left to me. A name that would be friendly and neutral.... the Blue Party .... for those of us with the political blues..... time to make them pay their dues..... kick them out with the toes of our shoes..... they're all gonna become yesterday's news....
Starliner I always like reading your postsLive Steam
Jan 20, 2004 8:54 PM
They are clear in thought and sometimes poetic in tone. You may be surprised to know that I was almost willing to give Anderson a shot too, but the reality of his electability was not there. RR got my vote.

Right now Dean is saying things you want to hear, but I think he would be a big letdown. I don't think he has the backbone or character to row against the tide and follow through. His platform was based on a simple premise - stand for everything that is opposite of what the current administration is doing. It was an easy plan to follow. He is a govenor and all of his serious opponents are senators. They each voted in the Senate to support the war and the Patriot Act - the two most polarizing issues of the day. Beyond that little game planning, he had nothing else left but his anger and his poor errors in judgment haunting him from the past. I fear he will be a has-been soon enough, so don't get your hopes up too high!
Thanks, Starliner, a thoughful post, a rarity here ...OldEdScott
Jan 21, 2004 6:28 AM
I was so dismayed with Jimmy Carter that I drove around in 1980 with an Anderson sticker on my car. Dismayed my lefty comrades, but screw 'em.

I think yours in the voice of an emerging new consensus in this country that neither current party really represents them. I honestly think the next 10-20 years will see a major realignment, and the emergence of a third party that will in short order become the second party, with the Democrats consigned to oblivion, and shortly after that become the majority party, with the Republicans re-consigned to their natural, bitter minority status.

It will be leftish on social issues, with a strong personal-libertarian streak, a strong environmental-protection platform, and it will probably enact national health insurance or something like it. But it will be conservative on fiscal issues, specifically budget-balancing. Unlike the radical Republicans who are in NO way fiscal conservatives these days, the new majority party will NOT brainlessly cut taxes while continuing to spend like drunken sailors. It will propose budgets to fund the America people want to have, and impose the taxes to pay for it. Taxes and spending will have a real-world connection that people can see, and tax cuts or tax increases have visible, felt consequences. It's possible some form of balanced budget amendment will be part of that.

It will be a party that protects 2nd Amendment rights, regulates and restricts abortion reasonably while not outlawing it altogether, and probably makes some accomodation for non-coercive religious observance in schools. It will outlaw affirmative action on the grounds that it's discriminatory, while allowing gay marriage, under the sensible proposition that it's none of the government's damn business to be defining marriage (or love or permissible consensual sex, for that matter). Its Justice Department will neither terroroze citizens with a PATRIOT Act VIII, nor rummage around in Rush Limbaugh's medical records. Forced to choose between workers and bosses, it will side with workers, unlike today's corporate-owned Republicans; but it will recognize that business does indeed create jobs and wealth, and be friendly to business in ways that today's union-beholden Democrats can't stomach.

This simply has to happen. In the current ideological warfare between Dems and Repubs, both parties have dug in behind positions that are simply ludicrous, and both parties are becoming less flexible as time goes on. The real America identifies with neither of them, a pox on both their houses, and that's where the new party will come from.

Dean will probably be a third-party candidate, but he's not the harbinger of that long-term change. Someone WILL emerge though, soon.