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Old 12-19-2019, 09:44 AM
Dinsdale is offline
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Why do the Democrats seem so ineffective?


In the impeachment thread, folk have been questioning just about every step the Dems have taken. And this is not an unusual incident. It does not seem uncommon that the Dems take stances with little clear idea of how to attain effective results. Whereas the Repubs seem more effective in achieving practical results.

So why are Dems generally so ineffective? Ho have they NOT been able to score more apparent results against someone as incompetent and offensive as Trump? Many of the Dem Congresscritters are quite intelligent, and I assume they are more knowledgeable and experienced that the likes of us Dopers in the ways of Congress and how to achieve results.

But HOW could Hillary have lost to Trump?! And HOW could Kerry have lost to W? Why did Obama not achieve more?

I acknowledge that there have been positive trends over the past 50 years - from the Civil Rights legislation in the 60s, through recent action on gay rights, legal pot, disability rights, and ACA.
-Am I being myopic WRT specific issues, and not giving enough weight to the consistent positive trend? Because the Trump's judicial appointments are going to be HUGE for decades to come. Womens' rights and minority voting rights are under constant attack. The idea that he could well have 4 more years to push his agenda on the national and international stage will GREATLY affect our nation's course well into the future - as well as changing the idea of what is acceptable political behavior.
-Are Dems constrained by some factors Repubs aren't?
-Why do Dems seem to squander every opportunity they are given?
Is the truth that both Dems and Repubs are beholden to the same monied interests?
-Are Dems just too diverse and disorganized compared to Repubs?

At the outset, I admit that I am quite liberal on most issues. And I personally think most liberal trends reflect an enlightened, inclusive, and humanistic approach. It also seems as though at least some aspects of most liberal positions have a majority support among Americans.
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2019, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
In the impeachment thread, folk have been questioning just about every step the Dems have taken. And this is not an unusual incident. It does not seem uncommon that the Dems take stances with little clear idea of how to attain effective results. Whereas the Repubs seem more effective in achieving practical results.

So why are Dems generally so ineffective? Ho have they NOT been able to score more apparent results against someone as incompetent and offensive as Trump? Many of the Dem Congresscritters are quite intelligent, and I assume they are more knowledgeable and experienced that the likes of us Dopers in the ways of Congress and how to achieve results.

But HOW could Hillary have lost to Trump?! And HOW could Kerry have lost to W? Why did Obama not achieve more?

I acknowledge that there have been positive trends over the past 50 years - from the Civil Rights legislation in the 60s, through recent action on gay rights, legal pot, disability rights, and ACA.
-Am I being myopic WRT specific issues, and not giving enough weight to the consistent positive trend? Because the Trump's judicial appointments are going to be HUGE for decades to come. Womens' rights and minority voting rights are under constant attack. The idea that he could well have 4 more years to push his agenda on the national and international stage will GREATLY affect our nation's course well into the future - as well as changing the idea of what is acceptable political behavior.
-Are Dems constrained by some factors Repubs aren't?
-Why do Dems seem to squander every opportunity they are given?
Is the truth that both Dems and Repubs are beholden to the same monied interests?
-Are Dems just too diverse and disorganized compared to Repubs?

At the outset, I admit that I am quite liberal on most issues. And I personally think most liberal trends reflect an enlightened, inclusive, and humanistic approach. It also seems as though at least some aspects of most liberal positions have a majority support among Americans.
Flippant answer is: Dems are playing chess with a pigeon. Republicans enable Trump & Co., then strut around, shitting on the board, knocking over the pieces and declaring victory. MAGAcult eats it up.

Serious answer: Dems are limited by the higher ground they have staked out for themselves. It's tricky to stand for higher principled ideals while behaving like an unconscionable jackass and continue to get away with it for very long if you're a Dem. Not that some haven't tried.
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  #3  
Old 12-19-2019, 10:25 AM
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I think it's a combination of two things.

1. It's difficult to play hard-ball when you're busy trying to be nice. The Democratic party is the party of niceness, for good or ill, and that hinders them in being as hard-nosed as they probably need to be.

2. They're more scattered in terms of actions than the GOP. The GOP has very firm party discipline, and tends to goosestep in unison to whatever the party has decided they should be doing. Democrats are more free to do what they want, which is good in a sense, but also means that even when you have a vote like yesterday's impeachment vote, you STILL have two clowns who voted no, while not a single Republican representative voted "yes", even though I'd have thought normal conscience and awareness of what's right would have won through on a few of them.

3. They're more ideologically disparate- some are progressives, some are center-left, some are a blend, and some are even further to the edges of the party. And there's no party push to really present a clear, coherent and unified message; you have Elizabeth Warren saying one thing, Biden another, and Buttigieg a third, and they're all apparently kosher as far as the party is concerned. So the debates and the public in general are centered around WHAT direction the party may be going, and not (like the Republicans) about how they're going to implement the party platform. I mean, IS single payer healthcare a plank in the national platform? What is the plank? And if there is one, why aren't they all talking about how they'll implement it, instead of pushing their own personal solutions?

Combine those three, and it's really hard for the Democrats to have the same sort of overall directed effect that the GOP has.
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Old 12-19-2019, 10:28 AM
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  • Liberals are generally less united than conservatives, due to greater diversity and other infighting factors. "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line."
  • Liberal messaging is often considerably more complex than conservative messaging, which tends to be simple and to the point.
  • To a certain extent, structural disadvantages such as 2-Senators-per-state, the Electoral College, and gerrymandering.
  • Some liberalism goes against human nature (such as the teaching that there are more than 2 genders, which strikes many people as flouting common sense, or calling for leniency in criminal sentencing rather than stiff punishment.)
  • Much of the mainstream media is liberal, which means that conservatives generally have a good idea of what liberals want or stand for, but liberals generally do not understand conservatives as well vice versa, which hampers liberals in winning red-state votes.
  • Liberal views that support LGBT or a minority are, by definition, in the statistical minority. It will be clashing with a statistical majority.
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Old 12-19-2019, 10:30 AM
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I'm not convinced the Republicans ARE any more effective at achieving practical results. They haven't achieved a lot of stuff they've been campaigning on for years (repealing Obamacare, banning abortion, cutting government spending) despite having had unified control of the executive and legislative branches, and the majority of state governments, prior to the 2018 elections. (A reasonable observer might question whether they actually wanted to achieve all of these things, many of which are more popular in theory than their results would be in practice -- but this is probably true of a lot of Democratic policies as well.)

The real problem is that accomplishing stuff is hard, requires a ton of compromise even within one's own party, and is usually unpopular with the public, who tend to be hopelessly split between those who like the status quo just fine, those who like the proposed new policy, and those who want some-other-solution-but-not-this-one. Also that electing a member of any party to the presidency seems to spark an almost immediate backlash, these days, so barring unusual circumstances like 9/11, a party has to make its downballot gains BEFORE recapturing the presidency.
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Old 12-19-2019, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
-Are Dems constrained by some factors Repubs aren't?
-Why do Dems seem to squander every opportunity they are given?
Is the truth that both Dems and Repubs are beholden to the same monied interests?
-Are Dems just too diverse and disorganized compared to Repubs?
Hereís my take on these questions.
1. Are the Dems constrained by some factor that the Republicans arenít? Yes, they are. They are constrained by morality. The Republicans will do whatever it takes to win, whether itís right or not. They will cheat, collude with foreign powers, and anything else they can think of if it will help them win an election. The Republican base is aware of this, they just donít care. To make an analogy from comic books, the Democrats are like Superman and the Republicans are like Lex Luthor. In a fair fight Superman will win, but Lex Luthor doesnít fight fair.

2. Why do Democrats squander every opportunity they are given? I take this to mean Clintonís and Obamaís victories in 1992 and 2008 and the subsequent red waves in 1994 and 2010. I think what happened is that in both cases the Democrats started with a controversial topic in health care reform rather than focusing on more straightforward things where even the Republican base (not the politicians, Gingrich and McConnell were not persuadable) could be persuaded to go along. Infrastructure, for example, would probably have been a better place to start.

3. Are the Democrats and Republicans both beholden to the same moneyed interests? No, they arenít. Democrats are not beholden to interests like the fossil fuel industry and their campaign to not do anything about global warming. Democrats are not beholden to the pharmaceutical industry and their campaign to charge Americans exorbitant prices for medications like insulin, epipens, or colchicine.

4. Are Democrats to diverse compared to Republicans? Yes. Weíve reached a point where the Republicans are defined by one large group and Democrats as everyone else who doesnít belong to that group. This tends to lead to a ďperfect is the enemy of the goodĒ problem. Rural white cis-het evangelicals and Catholics are a large group and mostly monolithic. Democrats have to cobble together minorities of different kinds that donít have things in common other than that they donít check all the boxes in the Republican category. Thereís religious minorities, racial minorities, gender minorities, sexual orientation minorities, and so on. A gay white guy from San Francisco, a black woman from Mobile, a Muslim from Detroit, and a Latino atheist from San Antonio donít have much in common other than that they donít fit into the dominant group.
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Old 12-19-2019, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Fretful Porpentine View Post
I'm not convinced the Republicans ARE any more effective at achieving practical results. They haven't achieved a lot of stuff they've been campaigning on for years (repealing Obamacare, banning abortion, cutting government spending) despite having had unified control of the executive and legislative branches, and the majority of state governments, prior to the 2018 elections. (A reasonable observer might question whether they actually wanted to achieve all of these things, many of which are more popular in theory than their results would be in practice -- but this is probably true of a lot of Democratic policies as well.)

The real problem is that accomplishing stuff is hard, requires a ton of compromise even within one's own party, and is usually unpopular with the public, who tend to be hopelessly split between those who like the status quo just fine, those who like the proposed new policy, and those who want some-other-solution-but-not-this-one. Also that electing a member of any party to the presidency seems to spark an almost immediate backlash, these days, so barring unusual circumstances like 9/11, a party has to make its downballot gains BEFORE recapturing the presidency.
If your objectives are to roll things back to the point in time when things were "great", you arguably have less work to do compared to trying to solve complicated problems to continue to move forward. e.g. To solve rising demands for cheap energy, Republicans just decided to drill more oil, frack more, and dig up more coal; Screw the environmental protection laws - just repeal them!
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Last edited by QuickSilver; 12-19-2019 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 12-19-2019, 10:42 AM
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Democrats have to cobble together minorities of different kinds that donít have things in common other than that they donít check all the boxes in the Republican category. Thereís religious minorities, racial minorities, gender minorities, sexual orientation minorities, and so on. A gay white guy from San Francisco, a black woman from Mobile, a Muslim from Detroit, and a Latino atheist from San Antonio donít have much in common other than that they donít fit into the dominant group.
Not only do such groups often share little in common, they can outright clash. Trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) and trans people, for instance, are usually overwhelmingly liberal/Democratic, but the former is by definition highly hostile to the latter.

Gays and Muslims, too, are by and large Democratic but Islam is arguably the world's most homophobic religion.
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Old 12-19-2019, 10:42 AM
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Trump and conservatives appeal to more fundamental human instincts, and they play by a less complicated set of rules. The Republicans campaign on tribalism and they don't care if their messages are based on facts. They take advantage of the masses of people in a democracy who don't want to do the hard work of finding facts and analyzing the truth. I think that, for the foreseeable future, the Republicans will always have an advantage.
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Old 12-19-2019, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
  • Liberals are generally less united than conservatives, due to greater diversity and other infighting factors. "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line."
  • Liberal messaging is often considerably more complex than conservative messaging, which tends to be simple and to the point.
  • To a certain extent, structural disadvantages such as 2-Senators-per-state, the Electoral College, and gerrymandering.
  • Some liberalism goes against human nature (such as the teaching that there are more than 2 genders, which strikes many people as flouting common sense, or calling for leniency in criminal sentencing rather than stiff punishment.)
  • Much of the mainstream media is liberal, which means that conservatives generally have a good idea of what liberals want or stand for, but liberals generally do not understand conservatives as well vice versa, which hampers liberals in winning red-state votes.
  • Liberal views that support LGBT or a minority are, by definition, in the statistical minority. It will be clashing with a statistical majority.
ēYou're assuming that only LGBT people support LGBT issues. Not true. Almost two-thirds of Americans support gay marriage, for instance.
ē Some liberalism goes against human nature? Don't you mean goes against your take on human nature? And while you're correct that more liberals understand and accept that nature is, in fact, less binary than many had previously believed, the majority of Americans--again, about two-thirds--say they've become more accepting of transgender issues in the last five years.
ē The mainstream media looks more liberal if you're viewing it from a rightward slant. Those who watch conservative-biased media have less understanding of what liberals stand for, not more, because they're not watching "liberal" media; they're watching Fox News and its warped, propagandistic take on liberal views.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:02 AM
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...
3. Are the Democrats and Republicans both beholden to the same moneyed interests? No, they arenít. Democrats are not beholden to interests like the fossil fuel industry and their campaign to not do anything about global warming. Democrats are not beholden to the pharmaceutical industry and their campaign to charge Americans exorbitant prices for medications like insulin, epipens, or colchicine.

...
My suggestion largely reflected something I once read comparing the donors to Obama and McCain - which were VERY similar. Many/most of the same big businesses contribute to both sides. And Dems are no strangers to bringing home the pork.

It just seems so frustrating that - however diverse the Dems, that they cannot clearly identify the Repubs as the enemy of ALL of them, and acknowledge the vast desirability of achieving AT LEAST incremental improvement AND maintaing past victories.

Sometimes I resent the far left, who seem to act as tho if they cannot immediately achieve their extreme agenda, that they'd just as soon blow up the whole mess. But then I feel that Obama wasted too much time/effort TRYING to be reasonable w/ the Repubs, when the Repubs had no interest in meeting anywhere near the middle. But when I see the crowd of Dem candidates, I'm torn between voting for an electable mediocrity, or voting for some extreme change agent who will at least firmly plant the goalposts in the back of the endzone.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:29 AM
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We used to have an independent media. Now we have a handful of megacorporations that control what gets reported*. The Republicans are the party that serves corporate special interests so they get favorable coverage.

*It's not even a full handful. Four corporations - Comcast, Disney, National Amusements, and AT&T - control over ninety percent of the media outlets in the United States.
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Old 12-19-2019, 12:08 PM
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We used to have an independent media. Now we have a handful of megacorporations that control what gets reported*. The Republicans are the party that serves corporate special interests so they get favorable coverage.
This is an utterly ridiculous claim. The corporate media give favorable coverage to Democrats and unfavorable coverage to Republicans. We can just look up which candidate got endorsed by newspapers in the most recent Presidential election and get clear numerical evidence that that is true. Alternatively, we can take a poll of journalists and see that Republican journalists barely exist. Alternatively, we can look at the big-money donors in the most recent election and see that overall they preferred Democrats to Republicans.
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Old 12-19-2019, 12:46 PM
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Sometimes I resent the far left, who seem to act as tho if they cannot immediately achieve their extreme agenda, that they'd just as soon blow up the whole mess.
Speaking as something of an outsider (typically not a Democratic voter, except since about 2015-2016), I think this is something of a huge problem.

Not only does the extreme left act like they'd sooner blow it all up than vote for someone who isn't in completely with their agenda, they don't seem to realize that politics takes compromise and communication, and that being on the extreme end, they're going to have to play a long-term game, instead of being frustrated that their extreme agenda isn't getting traction.

But they don't, and their antics combined with a reluctance of other Democratic politicians to call them out on their behavior or unreasonability of their agenda, can be seen as tacit acceptance of those ideas. That's something that turns a LOT of people right off- they might be ok with Obama/Clinton/Biden style left-of-center politics, but they're not about to get on board with socialist or a significant degree of overt wealth redistribution. And by not saying "No, those people are f**king crazy; the Democratic party isn't about that." they're in effect saying they are about that.

Their best bet IMO would be to try and change attitudes within the party- in essence try to get some of their policies to be within the Overton Window through convincing the party faithful that their agenda isn't as weird as it seems or maybe by trying to pave the way with lesser policies that could eventually lead to their agenda being adopted.
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Old 12-19-2019, 12:58 PM
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This is an utterly ridiculous claim. The corporate media give favorable coverage to Democrats and unfavorable coverage to Republicans. We can just look up which candidate got endorsed by newspapers in the most recent Presidential election and get clear numerical evidence that that is true. Alternatively, we can take a poll of journalists and see that Republican journalists barely exist. Alternatively, we can look at the big-money donors in the most recent election and see that overall they preferred Democrats to Republicans.
"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist."
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Old 12-19-2019, 12:59 PM
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Any appearance of ineffectiveness on the part of Democrats is due to McConnell abusing his power as majority leader. The House has passed hundreds of bills, many bipartisan, that Mitch simply refuses to allow the Senate to vote on because he can and there is no mechanism to make him. Then there's all the Obama judicial appointees he blocked and Trump appointees he rushed through for the same reason.

Meanwhile, out where he has no power Democrats flipped the House, several state houses, and governor's mansions as well. Oh, and they impeached a President when barely more than three months ago most people thought it wouldn't happen.
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Old 12-19-2019, 01:29 PM
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The D's and the R's are playing different games.

I want to say the Democrats are trying to do what's best for the country as a whole. I don't think that's 100% true, but I think it's a lot truer of them than of the Republicans. Meanwhile, the Republicans are playing the zero-sum game of Republicans vs Democrats.
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Old 12-19-2019, 01:58 PM
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Any appearance of ineffectiveness on the part of Democrats is due to McConnell abusing his power as majority leader. The House has passed hundreds of bills, many bipartisan, ...
Sure, but why does this BIG TICKET item - the impeachment, come across as a slowly leaking balloon? Damned if I can see the gameplan where the impeachment - and/or the Mueller investigation, bears significant fruit where it matters. Sure, there MAY be all manner of lawsuits when he is out of office, but why aren't the Dems able to get PR behind them NOW? Even the most rbid liberals I know are thinking this awfully weak beer.

I gotta figure the Dems have enough high-powered PR specialists and strategists working for them. But damned if I see their plan. Of course, I imagine that if I am not in one of the 3-5 key states, or a state w/ a Senate seat at issue, I might be unaware of the efforts underway.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:31 PM
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Sure, but why does this BIG TICKET item - the impeachment, come across as a slowly leaking balloon? Damned if I can see the gameplan where the impeachment - and/or the Mueller investigation, bears significant fruit where it matters. Sure, there MAY be all manner of lawsuits when he is out of office, but why aren't the Dems able to get PR behind them NOW? Even the most rbid liberals I know are thinking this awfully weak beer.

I gotta figure the Dems have enough high-powered PR specialists and strategists working for them. But damned if I see their plan. Of course, I imagine that if I am not in one of the 3-5 key states, or a state w/ a Senate seat at issue, I might be unaware of the efforts underway.
WRT impeachment thereís only one potential positive outcome that I can see. If there are others Iíd be happy to know about them. The good outcome is if Republican senators from blue and purple states are seen to be unfair by the swing voters in those states and end up losing reelection. Even that seems to me to be iffy at best. Removing Trump from office is a non-starter. Trying to win the general populace over with the impeachment articles will also go nowhere due to the right wing media and how they are presenting this. Iím not sure what else that leaves as a potential positive outcome. Maybe it helps the more liberal representatives by allowing them to claim they did something, and thus avoiding being primaried from the center?
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Old 12-19-2019, 04:57 PM
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WRT impeachment there’s only one potential positive outcome that I can see. ...
I never thought there was a chance in hell of getting the bum out. I am surprised any other than cockeyed optimists woulda thought so. The current Repubs - the same folk who said their primary goal was defeating EVERYTHING Obama proposed - clearly indicated they had no desire of refreshing any familiarity with honor and professionalism.

So lacking that as a possible outcome, I hoped it would do any or all of the following:
-reduce his chances for re-election
-distract him/hamper his ability to push his agenda
-enhance chances of picking up senate/house seats/governors/etc

If they didn't expect ANYTHING other than his immediate ouster, I really gotta wonder why they pursued it. Or what else have they been pursuing to improve electoral chances next year.
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Old 12-19-2019, 05:21 PM
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I feel like because of the left-ed ness of this board, people really don't "get it" when it comes to why Democrats lose.

Republicans run on a platform of "Make America Great!". Get government out of people's way so they can be successful! Make Big Business successful so they can make products Americans want and need and create jobs for them to work at! Take on those "shithole" countries using underhanded trade practices and "stealing" our jobs! Whether it's "true" or not, it's a message that excites people.

The Democrats run on a platform of "victimhood". It's all about how the wealthy, big business, White People, the police, whoever is "screwing" this group or that group. It's not enough to tell us how crappy Trump is. Or come up with unworkable pie in the sky ideas about saving the environment.

The Democrats need to put someone out there who can get people excited about their ideas (whatever those are). I mean we are at less than 4% unemployment and haven't had a major war or terrorist attack since Trump took office. So what do the Democrats want to change to make America "better"?
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Old 12-19-2019, 05:42 PM
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Republicans run on a platform of "Make America Great!". Get government out of people's way so they can be successful!
The Democrats run on a platform of "victimhood". It's all about how the wealthy, big business, White People, the police, whoever is "screwing" this group or that group.
The Republican platform is all about victimhood. I mean, the first point of theirs that you pointed out is 'the government is screwing people who would otherwise be successful. Same with the 'religious freedom' and 'war on Christmas' rhetoric, the idea is that Christianity is under attack by secular humanists and queers. 'Support our troops' is about how 'our troops' are constantly being insulted by eh longhairs. 'Blue Lives Matter' is about how those terrible dark-skinned people don't respect the police enough. 'Build that wall' is about stopping an invasion of brown people. 'Protect traditional marriage' is about how traditional marriage is under assault by the gays.

The Republicans campaign on 'victimhood' at least as much (and really far more) than Democrats do, it's just got a very different focus on who the victims are. "Make America Great" is all about how good, honest Americans are the victims of evil liberals or dastardly homosexuals or rapin' immigrants or big government or the like, and that once we're in charge we'll make them stop keeping 'us' down.
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Old 12-19-2019, 06:06 PM
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In the impeachment thread, folk have been questioning just about every step the Dems have taken. And this is not an unusual incident. It does not seem uncommon that the Dems take stances with little clear idea of how to attain effective results. Whereas the Repubs seem more effective in achieving practical results.

So why are Dems generally so ineffective? Ho have they NOT been able to score more apparent results against someone as incompetent and offensive as Trump? Many of the Dem Congresscritters are quite intelligent, and I assume they are more knowledgeable and experienced that the likes of us Dopers in the ways of Congress and how to achieve results.

But HOW could Hillary have lost to Trump?! And HOW could Kerry have lost to W? Why did Obama not achieve more?

I acknowledge that there have been positive trends over the past 50 years - from the Civil Rights legislation in the 60s, through recent action on gay rights, legal pot, disability rights, and ACA.
-Am I being myopic WRT specific issues, and not giving enough weight to the consistent positive trend? Because the Trump's judicial appointments are going to be HUGE for decades to come. Womens' rights and minority voting rights are under constant attack. The idea that he could well have 4 more years to push his agenda on the national and international stage will GREATLY affect our nation's course well into the future - as well as changing the idea of what is acceptable political behavior.
-Are Dems constrained by some factors Repubs aren't?
-Why do Dems seem to squander every opportunity they are given?
Is the truth that both Dems and Repubs are beholden to the same monied interests?
-Are Dems just too diverse and disorganized compared to Repubs?

At the outset, I admit that I am quite liberal on most issues. And I personally think most liberal trends reflect an enlightened, inclusive, and humanistic approach. It also seems as though at least some aspects of most liberal positions have a majority support among Americans.
I think the simple answer to this is that Democrats are so divided on what they want, especially in the party. You have the establishment liberals. You have the progressives. You have the blue dogs. You have the moderates. You have the various minority groups. There is some level of overlap in what they want on some things, but not across the board. And each group thinks THEY are the voice of the party, and what the party REALLY wants/needs. And the most vocal elements are, invariably, the most radical and probably out of touch with the majority of their own party, at least in the aggregate. They are, however, convinced...and convince themselves...that this isn't the case, and what the majority of the party REALLY wants is whatever they think it should want.

The Democrats are like cat herders...with particularly independent and stubborn cats. It's hard to be effective when you have such a wide disparity between the various factions, and when some of those factions would rather fight to the death with each other for dominance (or take their marbles and stay home) than to compromise and get stuff done within the party. The Republicans, but contrast, have mainly eliminated or subdued at least the various factions, pretty much forcing them to walk in lock step.

That said, I'm not really convinced by the core premise of the OP, as I don't see the Republicans as being all that effective in actually getting their plans implemented or enacted. They are just good at thwarting the Democrats, which, honestly, isn't all that tough considering the lack of unifying message or leadership in the various warring parties of the Dems. Hell, look around this message board sometime when the various factions of Dem are fighting...they are almost more vicious against each other or even with anyone who only agrees with them partially but not in lockstep than against the actual 'conservatives' or few Republicans still about. You can see this very dynamic in play all the time, in thread after thread...and that's HERE. The actual infighting in the party is SO much worse, and the Dem voters are torn between those groups and what the message is.
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Old 12-19-2019, 06:27 PM
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Another reason Republicans may tend to display more cohesive unity and lockstep is because they know they're in the electoral minority. When you've got 12 million fewer voters than Team Blue, any disunity within your own ranks can be fatal. You either vote together in lockstep and go to the polls at a high turnout %, or else you're screwed. This means showing more tolerance towards fellow Republicans, even if you disagree with them.


Democrats, on the other hand, know they have bigger numbers - and also that future demographics favor them - and so they may be more prone to infighting or complacency.

Last edited by Velocity; 12-19-2019 at 06:28 PM.
  #25  
Old 12-19-2019, 06:34 PM
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...The actual infighting in the party is SO much worse, and the Dem voters are torn between those groups and what the message is.
As per usual. Arguing is how a consensus is formed, rather than imposed. Whenever there is total unity in America, its usually that some catastrophe has befallen us. Or is just about to.

And we mustn't forget that if the Dems ever achieve a solid lock on power, the ruthless and ambitious will start pretending to agree with us.

Last edited by elucidator; 12-19-2019 at 06:34 PM.
  #26  
Old 12-19-2019, 06:51 PM
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MY assumption (which isn't based on anything) is that the current crop of democrats came of age during the southern realignment, Carter and Reagan, so they have a deep seated terror that any mistake will result in large numbers of people leaving the democratic party and becoming republican. What they dont' grasp is that pretty much everyone who would realign pretty much has already. And there are enough educated women, liberals, minorities, etc to build winning coalitions without catering to resentful whites from small towns.

Plus democratic leadership tends to come from an older generation where economic inequality wasn't that bad. They don't really understand how bad their kids and grandkids generation has it in many ways and they are too intimidated by the rich to pass any effective laws to make the country better.

What still puzzles me is that republican politicians are terrified of their voters. Thats why GOP politicians are so loyal to Trump. They're terrified of their voters turning on them.

But democratic politicians don't fear their voters at all. If anything they disdain them. Democratic politicians fear so called 'moderate republicans' far more than their own voters. They're far more scared of alienating moderate republicans than they are of alienating their own voters (liberals, blacks, labor, etc). Maybe this is just structural, because the democratic base are groups that society doesn't value or respect as much. I really don't know. But democratic politicians have far more respect and fear for GOP voters than their own voters.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 12-19-2019 at 06:52 PM.
  #27  
Old 12-19-2019, 06:54 PM
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It's easier to sabotage things than it is to fix them. This is especially true in our system of government, which is designed with multiple features to prevent things from happening, but no features to make it easier to make things happen. Thus, the party whose goal is to break the government and prevent it from functioning has success, while the party whose goal is to make the government functional and accomplish good things has much less success.
  #28  
Old 12-19-2019, 06:55 PM
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I feel like because of the left-ed ness of this board, people really don't "get it" when it comes to why Democrats lose.
You mean "lose" as in elections, not in actually running the country and making it better. Yes, Republicans are much better at getting elected than Democrats, for many of the reasons outlined above (fear-mongering, gerrymandering, stupidity of their base, trite catchphrases over complex reality). So they "lose" in some elections. The goal of the Republican party is to win elections. The goal of the Democratic Party is to run the country well and fairly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith
The Democrats run on a platform of "victimhood".
Bullshit. That's what the Republicans scream at their base about what Democrats run on, but it's not reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith
The Democrats need to put someone out there who can get people excited about their ideas (whatever those are). I mean we are at less than 4% unemployment and haven't had a major war or terrorist attack since Trump took office.
Your inability to grasp what the ideas of the Democrats is shows just how out of touch with the reality of that party and its ideas.

Republicans are certainly much better at winning elections. Democrats are much better at making the world a better place for everyone. You get to decide which is better.

Last edited by Hamlet; 12-19-2019 at 06:56 PM.
  #29  
Old 12-19-2019, 07:10 PM
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Another reason Republicans may tend to display more cohesive unity and lockstep is because they know they're in the electoral minority. When you've got 12 million fewer voters than Team Blue, any disunity within your own ranks can be fatal. You either vote together in lockstep and go to the polls at a high turnout %, or else you're screwed. This means showing more tolerance towards fellow Republicans, even if you disagree with them.


Democrats, on the other hand, know they have bigger numbers - and also that future demographics favor them - and so they may be more prone to infighting or complacency.
It's not just the fact that Republicans received 12 million fewer votes in past elections, it's that they know that their agenda is always going to get them 12 million fewer votes in future elections unless they can do something to shrink the opposition's political power -- hence the gerrymandering, misinformation (lying), working with a hostile foreign power, purging voter roles, and weaponizing the courts to sanction what they do by confirming ideologues. The Republican party does not want real democracy -- they know that real democracy is their enemy. They want oligarchy, plutocracy, and kleptocracy. Republicans like being rich and they like being powerful, and their worldview is that those who have gold get to make the rules and everyone else can just suck it up.

This is why it's critical to understand that political polarization is not just a consequence of the Trump administration; it's a causal agent, a viable political strategy. By cranking up the polarization and by being as outrageous as he can possibly be toward Latinos, Blacks, Muslims, and women, it creates an extreme backlash and an extreme sense of urgency. And when moderates within the party don't share that same sense of urgency and tell those who do that they need to calm down in public and be more strategic, it creates an environment in which friction and mistrust can occur, and that ultimately can lead to the Balkanization of the Democratic party. Polarization works. Russia has meddled in Eastern Europe before with precisely this purpose in mind. Polarization is what Hugo Chavez governed on.

The problem Democrats have is that their strength is also their diversity. If you can get the right guy, like Obama, you can get people to put away their relatively minor grievances. The Dems are united in their disgust with Trump, but ultimately, presidential politics is a lot more personal and individual than we assume, and the diversity within the Democratic party is a weakness in the sense that not everyone is suffering from the same kinds of problems. If you're white and gay like Mayor Pete, you have different concerns than if you're Black. And both have different concerns than many people in the Hispanic communities, who have come to fear ICE. And women, of course, have their own understandable fears and concerns in the Trump era.

Last edited by asahi; 12-19-2019 at 07:15 PM.
  #30  
Old 12-19-2019, 07:13 PM
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Republicans are certainly much better at winning elections. Democrats are much better at making the world a better place for everyone. You get to decide which is better.
If the Democrats can't win elections, they can't DO anything to make the world a better place. They just can't.
  #31  
Old 12-19-2019, 07:17 PM
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The problem Democrats have is that their strength is also their diversity
I missed the edit window. I meant weakness - their diversity, which is a strength, is also their weakness.
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Old 12-19-2019, 07:18 PM
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If the Democrats can't win elections, they can't DO anything to make the world a better place. They just can't.
Yes, it's very important to understand that. We can't be naive here; we have to win elections, which is hard work.
  #33  
Old 12-19-2019, 07:24 PM
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If half the country doesn't want the country to be a democracy, the other half can't save it.
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  #34  
Old 12-19-2019, 07:43 PM
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If the Democrats can't win elections, they can't DO anything to make the world a better place. They just can't.
Democrats do win elections. They had supermajorities in congress and the white house in 2009 and 2010. They passed a tepid version of health reform that disappointed their base.

Democrats also control the state government in a variety of blue states, and control government in most large cities.

They generally don't do anything useful with the power the voters give them. The democrats need their own version of ALEC that can push for model legislation on the city and state level.

Labor reform, health reform, voter reform, protecting abortion rights, public financing of elections, tax reform, etc.

For the most part, democrats don't use the power the voters give them to do much of anything. That may be slightly changing now, which is good. States like IL are starting to pass large amounts of legislation with a blue congress.
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  #35  
Old 12-20-2019, 07:57 AM
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If half the country doesn't want the country to be a democracy, the other half can't save it.
I would say that maybe 25-30% don't want a true democracy, but instead want a democracy that is largely white christian nationalist. I mean, hey, Iran has a "democracy," right?

A bigger problem is that maybe another 25% of the country just doesn't care one way or the other -- politics is too distant, too remote for them to be concerned with.

It's the people who don't care who enable the ones with authoritarian leanings.
  #36  
Old 12-20-2019, 09:06 AM
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It's easier to sabotage things than it is to fix them. This is especially true in our system of government, which is designed with multiple features to prevent things from happening, but no features to make it easier to make things happen. Thus, the party whose goal is to break the government and prevent it from functioning has success, while the party whose goal is to make the government functional and accomplish good things has much less success.
Wish we had likes because this post deserves one. The constitution and an archaic and unrepresentative electoral system enable a dug in minority to obstruct progress for decades. We have to fix our elections as soon as Dems gain control of everything.
  #37  
Old 12-20-2019, 09:09 AM
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Infighting, that's my opinion.

There's almost nothing a democratic candidate can say/do without undergoing intense scrutiny from the party. Should Yang have implied Asians are good at math? Did Beto give his wife due credit publicly for raising their kids? Did Biden use the wrong word?

WHO. EFFING. CARES.

Meanwhile President Pussygrabber is attacking war veterans, their widows, bullying austistic 16 year-old girls, intimidating witnesses, trashing every democratic institution and virtually his entire party stands with him. That sort of commitment and unity gets them over the finish line..

Last edited by phantom lamb; 12-20-2019 at 09:10 AM.
  #38  
Old 12-20-2019, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
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The Democrats run on a platform of "victimhood".
Bullshit. That's what the Republicans scream at their base about what Democrats run on, but it's not reality.
Of course it's reality. If you are black, you are a victim. If you are gay, you are a victim. If you are transgender, you are a victim. If you borrow money you can't pay back, you are a victim. Etc.
Quote:
Republicans are certainly much better at winning elections. Democrats are much better at making the world a better place for everyone. You get to decide which is better.
If Democrats were better at making the world better for everyone, everyone would vote for them and they would win elections.

Democrats would be better at winning elections if they actually understood people who don't vote for them automatically.

Dems seem to oscillate between moral outrage and condescension towards anyone that disagrees with them. "We lost the election? It must be because the electorate is stupid and racist!"

Uh, okay.

Regards,
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  #39  
Old 12-20-2019, 11:27 AM
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Of course it's reality. If you are black, you are a victim. If you are gay, you are a victim. If you are transgender, you are a victim. If you borrow money you can't pay back, you are a victim. Etc.
Wow. Shodan, offering no actual proof, but instead simply repeating the Republican party line. What a shocker? I may need a lie down.

Pointing out that some people are victims WHEN THEY CLEARLY ARE is certainly a part of the Democrat's platform. Weirdly enough, people of color were victims of racism in the 60's. Discriminatory and homophobic marriage and discrimination laws also created victims. But you know what Democrats did? Change it. Despite the best efforts of backward ass, racist conservatives and social conservatives. Meanwhile Republicans were and still are telling poor, rural, white people that THEY'RE the actual victims because "those people" want "special rights".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan
If Democrats were better at making the world better for everyone, everyone would vote for them and they would win elections.
While I would love to share your bright-eyed, optimistic view of the world and voters, I think history has proven for decades that people certainly don't vote rationally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan
Dems seem to oscillate between moral outrage and condescension towards anyone that disagrees with them. "We lost the election? It must be because the electorate is stupid and racist!"

Uh, okay.

Regards,
Shodan
And strawman.


Not having dealt with you in while, I'm glad for the refresher course in how inane your posts can be. Thanks for that reminder.

Last edited by Hamlet; 12-20-2019 at 11:29 AM.
  #40  
Old 12-20-2019, 12:20 PM
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Of course it's reality. If you are black, you are a victim. If you are gay, you are a victim. If you are transgender, you are a victim. If you borrow money you can't pay back, you are a victim.....
Now, that was pretty slick! Nice segue at the end, slipping deftly to the defense of the payday lending industry, who devoutly worship the miracle of compound interest.

Last edited by elucidator; 12-20-2019 at 12:21 PM.
  #41  
Old 12-20-2019, 12:52 PM
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Now, that was pretty slick! Nice segue at the end, slipping deftly to the defense of the payday lending industry, who devoutly worship the miracle of compound interest.
Let's be fair: he might've been defending zero-down subprime mortgages or mafia loan sharks.
  #42  
Old 12-20-2019, 01:38 PM
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Of course it's reality. If you are black, you are a victim. If you are gay, you are a victim. If you are transgender, you are a victim. If you borrow money you can't pay back, you are a victim. Etc.
If someone says 'happy holidays', you are a victim of secular humanism. If you can't find a job, you're a victim of foreigners stealing your job. If your business goes under, you're a victim of government overregulation. If you lose your job for dropping bigoted comments, you're a victim of political correctness. If you get impeached for gross abuse of power, you're a victim of meany-pants Democrats.

As I pointed out earlier, the victim rhetoric is much, much stronger on the R side, they just don't like to admit it.
  #43  
Old 12-20-2019, 03:35 PM
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Lies can be easy to understand; the truth is more complicated and people like it simple.
  #44  
Old 12-20-2019, 09:11 PM
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Let's be fair: he might've been defending zero-down subprime mortgages or mafia loan sharks.
Just goes to show you, my little Shodan RoseAnnadana. Two kinds of problems in the world, the ones that can be solved, and people.

Last edited by elucidator; 12-20-2019 at 09:12 PM.
  #45  
Old 12-21-2019, 07:55 PM
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I feel like because of the left-ed ness of this board, people really don't "get it" when it comes to why Democrats lose.

Republicans run on a platform of "Make America Great!". Get government out of people's way so they can be successful! Make Big Business successful so they can make products Americans want and need and create jobs for them to work at! Take on those "shithole" countries using underhanded trade practices and "stealing" our jobs! Whether it's "true" or not, it's a message that excites people.

The Democrats run on a platform of "victimhood". It's all about how the wealthy, big business, White People, the police, whoever is "screwing" this group or that group. It's not enough to tell us how crappy Trump is. Or come up with unworkable pie in the sky ideas about saving the environment.

The Democrats need to put someone out there who can get people excited about their ideas (whatever those are). I mean we are at less than 4% unemployment and haven't had a major war or terrorist attack since Trump took office. So what do the Democrats want to change to make America "better"?

Exactly. Democrats run on a platform of victimhood and "white, police, this, police are evil, etc.

Yes, white supremacy is prevalent in America and there is a policing problem, but the way how a lot of far-left people demonize police day in and day out doesn't bode well.

The Republicans run on a platform of "immigrants this, immigrants that". Climate deniers, union busters, etc.

The Democratic Party has a party of tribes and coalitions but with a bigger demographic share in the future.
  #46  
Old 12-22-2019, 07:29 AM
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Exactly. Democrats run on a platform of victimhood and "white, police, this, police are evil, etc.

Yes, white supremacy is prevalent in America and there is a policing problem, but the way how a lot of far-left people demonize police day in and day out doesn't bode well.

The Republicans run on a platform of "immigrants this, immigrants that". Climate deniers, union busters, etc.

The Democratic Party has a party of tribes and coalitions but with a bigger demographic share in the future.
On reflection, I think it's actually more than that. Republicans seem to focus on consolidating and expanding their power. So they target the largest demographics and appeal to the groups that have the money.

Democrats tend to focus on "fairness" and hope it will be self evident that everyone has that same sense of fairness. But I think for most Americans, they want to hear more about how Democrats will make their lives better, rather than how mean history has been to everyone who isn't a white male. And even when they have ideas that will make everyone's life "better", they are often impractically expensive or too abstract to actually be implemented.

And I would argue that putting Democrats in charge objectively "makes life better for everyone". Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey have exorbitantly high taxes that are driving people and businesses away. San Francisco is covered in human shit. Under De Blasio, there is a perception New York is seeing increased crime and homelessness.
  #47  
Old 12-22-2019, 08:12 AM
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Business Insider ran an article two years ago: "Liberals have a hamburger problem."

The "hamburger problem" example given in the article was this, as written: If a man wants to eat a hamburger while watching a Redskins game, conservatives say, "Sure, you do what you want." But liberals would tell him that his burger meat is factory-farmed, that meat contributes to global warming, and that the Redskins team name is racist.

Last edited by Velocity; 12-22-2019 at 08:15 AM.
  #48  
Old 12-22-2019, 08:20 AM
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We would?
  #49  
Old 12-22-2019, 08:26 AM
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We would?
Ask the author. Those are his words.
  #50  
Old 12-22-2019, 08:58 AM
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"Liberals: would you tell a man who wants to eat a hamburger that his burger meat is factory-farmed, that meat contributes to global warming, and that the Redskins team name is racist?" sounds like a perfect title for a poll thread. What are you waiting for?
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