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Author Topic: McCain-Feingold and MoveOn.com
WmLambert
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The wall Street Journal's Opinion Page made this statement today:
quote:
McCain-Feingold places significant new restrictions on political party fund-raising and speech, the result of which is to weaken the parties and strengthen "independent" groups like MoveOn, which are far less restricted. Because the Democratic Party was weaker than the GOP to begin with, it is feeling the brunt of the McCain-Feingold restrictions and is far more vulnerable to being supplanted by extremist outfits like MoveOn, which may be able to rally the base but can never appeal to independents and moderates.

It would be bad for the country if the Democratic Party were to turn into a fringe party; in politics as in economics, the country as a whole benefits from real competition. One can hope that Democratic voters pull back from the brink and support one of the more sensible candidates in the field, or, more realistically, that the party recovers its sanity after suffering a blowout in November.

Is this reasonable? Any takers?
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LetterRip
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I haven't read much of moveon, so on what basis is the individual claiming it is an 'extremist organization'? So far all I know about it is the advertisement competition.

LetterRip

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Ron Lambert
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The Democratic Party is already a long way toward being a fringe party, since moderate candidates can't seem to get nominated any more. The Republican Party does not seem to nominate moderate candidates anymore, either. Perhaps we need a new political party to take over the neglected moderate mainstream, and provide the majority of voters the moderate candidates they want. If any party does start nominating moderate candidates, it will quickly take over the mainstream.
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MannyJ
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Frankly, I don't know what's moderate or extremist anymore, and all the candidates including Bush have some positions that could be considered extreme and many that are fairly moderate. None of the candidates have any internal consistency, because neither party has anything close to a coherent ideology.

Republicans want small nonintrusive government -- except w/r/t sex, the military, law enforcement, and the national debt. They want rule of law, but nobody should ever get audited by the IRS. I have no idea what Democrats want, other than a sort of general niceness -- the candidates all consider themselves mainstream and yet each swears by substantially different economic theories.

So, no, there is no vast moderate silent majority, because there is no middle, because there are no clearly drawn sides.

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TomDavidson
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MoveOn.org's hardly extremist. It's considerably more sane than, for example, FreeRepublic.
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Gary
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Are we talking about a different MoveOn.org? The one I saw on the news last night had a speech from Julia Stiles about how she was afraid to spek there since she was concerned that Bill O'Reilly might show up on her doorstep with a shotgun. Margeret Cho (ex-comedian, current humorist) said Bush would be a Nazi if he just applied himself.

Did I miss something? Is O'Reilly really making threats? Why is MoveOn.org so hung on the Nazi thing? This is mainstream only in Kooksville.

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Everard
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Apparently, fringe parties receive 47-48% of the vote in national elections.
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John L
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Gary,

Of course it's not extremist. After all Tom is a "Moderate" Democrat. So if he says that it is mainstream,.............well it just has to be.

Remember that socialite in NYC after the 1972 election? She remarked that she just couldn't understand how Nixon won the election because she didn't know anyone who voted for him.

Parallel universes DO ocassionally cross paths. November elections this year are goin' to show what happens when great mass from both universes collide, and how it affects events.

Keep your seat bealt buckled!

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TomDavidson
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"Is O'Reilly really making threats? Why is MoveOn.org so hung on the Nazi thing?"

*laugh* For a look at REAL fringe politics, Gary, head over to the FreeRepublic forums and post something to the effect of "Clinton was the best president ever!" [Smile] Jokes about O'Reilly's smear campaigns and calls of "fascist" are, quite frankly, nothing in comparison. *grin*

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LetterRip
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Ok,

still noone has answered my question. Can someone please explain why moveon should or should not be considered extremist? Ie some specific examples?

It is clear that some conservative commentators and newsites don't like it, but that really doesn't mean anything as to the actual nature of moveon.

That two presumably liberals have used it as some sort of basis for jokes/humor at conservatives expense, but that really doesn't say much at all about the organization itself.

LetterRip

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Dan Allen
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quote:
John L: Remember that socialite in NYC after the 1972 election? She remarked that she just couldn't understand how Nixon won the election because she didn't know anyone who voted for him.
I had that same problem with Clinton in ’96… [Frown]

The only other point that I’m aware of that could make MoveOn an ‘extremist’ organization is that it’s major funding apparently comes from a Mr. Soro’s (sp?) Who has stated that his only purpose is to remove Bush from office – with no apparent reason than he hates him.

That qualifies as ‘extreme’ to me.

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Gary
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quote:
Apparently, fringe parties receive 47-48% of the vote in national elections. --- Everard
You're making a mistake if you think that all of those people voted for the Democrat candidate. Many vote for the same party over and over again (Dem or GOP) because that's what they've always voted for. My grandparents always voted Democrat and that's just the way it was. As far as I know, they didn't really follow the politics or the party positions.

Many will also vote against the GOP. It's not that they endorse the dem candidate, they just think he's the lesser of 2 evils. Same happens on the GOP side as well.

I also know people that vote democrat only onthe strength on one single issue (pro-choice seems to be the most common one but there are others). Most of them I know are fairly conservative or middle of the road except for that on single issue which is so important to them they overlook anything else. I suspect there are those that vote GOP for similar reasons but I just haven't encountered them.

It would be very interesting to see statistics of those that vote for the Dem candidate this year, why they did it (and vice-versa for the GOP).

quote:
For a look at REAL fringe politics, Gary, head over to the FreeRepublic forums ... --- TomDavidson
I've never been over there (will check it out right away though) but nobody is denying that there is some far right fringe groups - surely there are some. The question in this thread is about MoveOn.org and so far your only defense is to deny it and point out what may be fringe right wing organizations. As a member of MoveOn, you must have something that can answer LetterRip's question. Don't you?

quote:
That two presumably liberals have used it as some sort of basis for jokes/humor at conservatives expense, but that really doesn't say much at all about the organization itself. --- LetterRip
I think it says quite a bit. These are the people that are asked to speak by the organization. Most political groups invite speakers that will be in line with the group's goals and ideals. That there were at least two speakers with this "humor" (you're very generous here)implies this even more strongly that these are the views of MoveOn.org unless you think it's a coincidence.
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WmLambert
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On June 30, 2003, this article came out which pretty much nailed exactly where MoveOn.com is positioned compared with preferences of 697 "Democrats or Democratic leaners" as defined by Gallup. This puts them at the extreme left of the left. If 697 "Democrats or Democratic leaners" are to the left of the general population, which I think we can safely assume, then MoveOn is pretty far out there.

Any statement that they are balanced, or middle-of-the-road, or moderate is just looney. Brendan Nyhan of MoveOn actually argues that Mislead and SpinSanity, both creations of MoveOn, are not left-leaning - but centrist resources.

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LetterRip
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Dan Allen,

quote:
Who has stated that his only purpose is to remove Bush from office – with no apparent reason than he hates him.
According to everything I've read Soros strongly disagrees with the Neo-Conservative idealogy, which happens to be heavily represented in President Bush's policys. Thus it is natural for him to strongly fund organizations that have the goal of ousting Bush. People tend to personalize there politics, so I guess I wouldn't be surprised if he does in fact hate Bush.

However, that definitely does not seem a sound basis for claims of being an extremist organization. Thanks for answering my question though...

Gary,

quote:
I suspect there are those that vote GOP for similar reasons but I just haven't encountered them.
That's odd, many of the GOP voters I know are extremely single issue - Abortion or Taxes. (I have a large number of friends who have become ministers or at the least earned degrees so my sample is a bit conservatively biased <grin>)

quote:
As a member of MoveOn, you must have something that can answer LetterRip's question. Don't you?
I'd think the burden of proof would be on those claiming (or agreeing with the claim) of extremeism.

quote:
I think it says quite a bit.
I'd disagree. First commedians will poke fun at anything. For instance Leno frequently tosses jabs at Schwarzeneger about the sexual harrassment claims, even though they are good friends. Since the Nazi thing was in the news jokes about it were inevitable. That is just the way that comedy works.

quote:
Brendan Nyhan of MoveOn actually argues that Mislead and SpinSanity, both creations of MoveOn, are not left-leaning - but centrist resources.
Have you read spinsanity? It is definitely one of the most centrist publications on the web that I've found.

As to Mislead, I'm not familiar with it. Doing a search it looks like you might have meant misleader.org . I'll have to look into it.

LetterRip

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LetterRip
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Hmmm...

looked at misleader.org, I don't think it is reasonable to consider it centrist. Though certainly not extremeist either.

LetterRip

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WmLambert
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Yes, LR, Mis-Lead is found on misleader.com. It specifically says: "The Daily Mis-Lead: A daily chronical of Bush Administration distortion." A one-trick pony with the single purpose of adversarial relations.
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TomDavidson
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WmLambert, your June link is useless for the purposes of this discussion.

Why?

Because the discussion is partly attempting to argue that MoveOn's actions should be discounted because it's an "extremist" group. To "prove" that MoveOn is extremist, then, your link provides only the voting records of the MoveOn organization during a single primary -- which, as everyone knows, the Dean organization wrapped up handily.

The link, then, asks us to believe that certain candidates are more "extremist," and that votes for these candidates indicate nothing more than extremity. That seems, especially within the context of this conversation, especially pointless as a measurement.

I think you'll find, if you browse MoveOn a bit, that it's considerably less ideologically partisan than FreeRepublic -- which, again, I keep using as an example because I think it's a pretty good example of what partisan extremism ACTUALLY is.

[ January 15, 2004, 05:14 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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towellman
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quote:
MoveOn.org's hardly extremist. It's considerably more sane than, for example, FreeRepublic.
quote:
I think you'll find, if you browse MoveOn a bit, that it's considerably less ideologically partisan than FreeRepublic -- which, again, I keep using as an example because I think it's a pretty good example of what partisan extremism ACTUALLY is.

The point was not that there aren't extremist sites on both sides, but that Moveon.org has such a strong and large following and that with the DNP showing weakness, smaller groups with platforms that can't win national elections have too much influence.
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TomDavidson
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I'm not sure that anyone here has demonstrated that MoveOn.org represents a "small" platform which can't win a national election. For that matter, surely platform is less important than salesmanship nowadays; no one believes that Bush's actual policy -- "starve the beast" and hardcore Christianity -- is mainstream. Arguments, anyone?

[ January 16, 2004, 10:06 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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