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Author Topic: MoveOn to old Dems: It's time for you to move along
Zyne
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"Now it's our Party: we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back."

quote:
Dear MoveOn member,

Who will lead the Democratic Party? The answer may come as soon as this weekend, when the state Democratic Party leaders gather to discuss who should chair the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for the next four years.(1) The election for chair is rarely competitive. But this year, with the race wide open, we have the chance to elect a leader who will reconnect the Democratic Party with its constituents -- us.

For years, the Party has been lead by elite Washington insiders who are closer to corporate lobbyists than they are to the Democratic base. But we can't afford four more years of leadership by a consulting class of professional election losers. In the last year, grassroots contributors like us gave more than $300 million to the Kerry campaign and the DNC, and proved that the Party doesn't need corporate cash to be competitive.(2) Now it's our Party: we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back.

We've made it easy to contact your state Party leaders and ask them support a chair who will represent all of us OUTSIDE of the Washington beltway and engage us in a fight for a bold Democratic vision. If we get enough signatures today, we'll deliver your comments to their meeting this weekend, so please click below NOW to make your voice heard:

http://www.moveonpac.org/dncchair/

MoveOn includes Republicans, Greens, and independents. But all of us who are struggling for health care, clean air, decent jobs, and a sane foreign policy can agree on one thing: we're better off with a vibrant, populist Democratic Party that's strong enough to challenge the extreme-right Republican leadership.

Why haven't we had one? Under outgoing DNC chair Terry McAuliffe, the Party cozied up to many of the same corporate donors that fund the Republicans -- drug companies, HMO's, media conglomerates, big banks, polluting industries. The result was watered down, play-it-safe politics that kept the money flowing but alienated traditional Democrats as well as reform-minded independents in search of vision and integrity. And so the Party lost ground.

But in 2004, something incredible happened: hundreds of thousands of small contributors gave millions and millions of dollars and changed the way politics works forever. New we have an opportunity to birth a new Democratic Party -- a Party of the people that's funded by the people and that fights for the people. Tell your state Party leaders that you want a DNC chair who will use this new grassroots energy to catapult us to victory at:

http://www.moveonpac.org/dncchair/

The Democratic National Committee is the national backbone of the Democratic Party, and it matters who ends up as the new chair. With Democrats out of power in Washington, the new chair will play an unprecedented role as the voice of the Party. And no one will be in a better position to orchestrate a Democratic revival.

The state Party leaders -- who play a pivotal role within the DNC -- understand the importance of the DNC Chair. They have helped to make the election process more transparent, by inviting candidates for Chair to a public forum at their meeting. And for the first time, they are considering endorsing a candidate en masse. If they vote as a bloc, they could determine the next Chair. They represent all of us who knocked on doors, who gave money, who made phone calls -- and it's time for us to weigh in.

The movement for change that we built during the last election is still gathering strength. We need leadership that will break the chains of corporate funding so we can fight -- really fight -- for a better America.

Thank you for all that you do,

--Eli Pariser, Justin Ruben, and the whole MoveOn PAC team
December 9, 2004

1 The Democratic National Committee is the organizational structure of the national Democratic Party. The chair is elected by the approximately 440 voting members of the DNC, who include state Party officials, elected Democrats from all levels of government, and representatives of Party caucuses like the Young Democrats of America and the National Federation of Democratic Women. The election for DNC chair will take place in February, and state Party officials control between one-quarter and one-third of the votes that are likely to be cast. This weekend, they are meeting to hear from a number of candidates for Chair. They may or may not make an endorsement at their meeting, but they have announced plans to do so at some point.

2 "The Next DNC Chair: Why You Should Care," syndicated column by Arianna Huffington, December 8, 2004. Online at: http://www.ariannaonline.com/columns/column.php?id=748



[ December 09, 2004, 07:56 PM: Message edited by: Zyne ]

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kelcimer
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I like the sound of this. [Smile]
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Gaoics79
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Given that the election appeared to have been lost over fundamental social issues, and the voter turnout was about as high as it's going to get on both sides, moving the democratic party further left sounds like a recipe for disaster, that is, unless you can simultaneously influence the values of the country at the same time. And by the way, for all you Michael Moore Democrats, who think that everyone on the other side would just agree with you if they weren't dupes of the evil corporate right, think again: these people really disagree with you, and aren't being duped in the least bit, so no verbal trickery or clever arguments are going to convince them to fall into line with a social liberal agenda, no matter how much you wish they would.
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Naldiin
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Zyne, was that snappy, heavily ironic line yours, or the subject line of the message?

Interesting message, although I'd think the Democrats need to radically rethink platform not just rethink leadership. I think they need to get back to being the party of the prolatariot, instead of the party of the Boston Intelligentsia.

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Zyne
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That's pure me, thanks [Smile]

I am pulling up a chair and making popcorn for this. And breaking out a bottle of ye old vines. Being a libertarian minded independent, I'm just into change at this point. This'll be big fun!

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TomDavidson
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You know, I would be perfectly happy belonging to any party that genuinely represented the intelligentsia. There's no shame in sharing opinions and political positions with educated people. [Smile]
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Pete at Home
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quote:
In the last year, grassroots contributors like us gave more than $300 million to the Kerry campaign and the DNC, and proved that the Party doesn't need corporate cash to be competitive.(2) Now it's our Party: we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back.

.... But all of us who are struggling for health care, clean air, decent jobs, and a sane foreign policy can agree on one thing: we're better off with a vibrant, populist Democratic Party

Vibrant and populist sounds OK, since populist implies dropping the deadly anti-religious, cultural leftist baggage that lost the Democrats the presidential election. (My district in Nevada, for example voted for Bush, but also elected a Democratic senator & congresswoman who are on record opposing ssm).

On the other hand populist has usually included some anti-immigrant sentiment, which I'm not crazy about.


I get suspicious as I hear the ugly name of Arriana Huffington, cultural leftoid and fiscal conservative. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy her style, but her politics is precisely what murdered the Democratic party. Ariana? Populist? I think not. Not in these times.

Hmm. Zyne, I realize you're culturally leftist, but I didn't peg you for one of Ariana's eat-the-poor types. Libertarian? I thought you were fiscally leftish.

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Zyne
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TD, you show your true stripes as a liberal, red-meat hating, ivory tower humping intellectual.

IMO, I'm fiscally responsible. Hungry, ignorant, sick, malnourished and/or homeless people are bad for the economy and therefore bad for us all.

Ariana's come along way.

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Pete at Home
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Ah. I apologize for questioning your statement about your own political position. I didn't mean to. I guess I'd misunderstood things you'd said earlier -- probably prejudiced by the way you came out just barely southeast of me on that 2d chart. Of course, I recognized that the chart plotted me wrong (I was startled to see myself rated south of the equator).

quote:
Hungry, ignorant, sick, malnourished and/or homeless people are bad for the economy and therefore bad for us all.
Well, you know what we liberal, red-meat hating, ivory tower humping intellectuals say about that [Smile] If we teach 'em, feed 'em, provide public transport so that they can get to their jobs, then they can pay their own rent, eventually buy their own houses, and will cease to be hungry, ignorant, sick, malnourished homeless. [Smile]

-Pete, who doesn't *hate* red meat per se, but is quite proud of his discovery this week of how to *roughly* simulate breaded veal by frying a slab of dough made from pintos and fresh-ground wheat flour.

[ December 09, 2004, 10:44 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Zyne
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Veal is evil spelt wrong. [Smile] And beans and wheat flour are much healthier (not to mention 10xs cheaper and 10xs easier on the enviornment).

When everyone can prosper, we all will prosper. [Smile]

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Tezcatlipoca
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quote:
When everyone can prosper, we all will prosper.
But why bother when I can reach higher prosperity without having to worry about other people prospering? [Smile]
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Lewkowski
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Come on Moveon go go go! Drive the Democratic party further into the ground! WooHOO!!
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Snowden
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"But why bother when I can reach higher prosperity without having to worry about other people prospering?"

You can say what you want about moral values and the left, but I don't know how many deaniacs even joke that way.

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Gary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lewkowski:
Come on Moveon go go go! Drive the Democratic party further into the ground! WooHOO!!

I second that. [Big Grin]
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RickyB
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Lew and Gary - I wish all right wingers, including those making decisions for your side, were like you. We'd never lose. Actually standing for something beats being "opposition lite" any day of the week. Clinton had the right mix of centrism and Democratic principle, but McAwful is just that.

Zyne - I saw a wire report about this on Salon. It had a comment by a DNC spokesman named Cabrera had this to say:

"Call me crazy, but I think the fact that for the first time in party history we outraised the Republicans, and did so primarily through grass-roots fund raising is something to be proud of."

This is just hilarious - giving Terry McAwful credit for the grassroots efforts, when in fact they are proof positive of why he has to go.

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Godot
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My only interjection: I am always amazed at how zealously people define themselves as L/R or Rep/Dem. I agree and disagree with many things both parties say and do. No party has my allegiance only good ideas do and they can come from anywhere. Perhaps it's just that the common-man, every-day pragmatist doesn't shout it from the rooftops.
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meworkingman
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quote:

Actually standing for something beats being "opposition lite" any day of the week. Clinton had the right mix of centrism and Democratic principle, but McAwful is just that.

While I agree that standing for something is important, I've just been sitting hear scratching my head wondering, "what, exactly, did Clinton stand for?" I wonder if you could enlighten me? BTW, you do remember that it was the Clintons that forced McAwful on a hapless Democratic party, don't you?
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Daruma28
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Yeah Move on! You tell 'em!!!!!

Who needs evil corporate sponsorship when we have the vast wealth of an international currency speculator!!!

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RickyB
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Clinton stood for what is known as "the third way" - for the idea that government does have an important role in helping people, but that more government proigrams aren't the solution for every problem. For mending welfare, rather than ending it. For realizing the justified complaints many people had against big government without selling out wholesale to big business. I could go on, but perhaps you get the message.

As for Clinton forcing McAwful on us - yes, I remember. I never said the man was flawless. As I said, Clinton had what McAwful doesn't.

Oh, and Daruma - most of MoveOn's money came from small donors.

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WarrsawPact
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meworkingman is so right!

Listen up people: Bill Clinton didn't STAND for anything. He was and is not a *principled* man. He has even admitted that he subscribes to "situational ethics," which is basically like not having ethics at all.

Many of Clinton's campaigners back in '92 were stunned by his actual performance in office. Carville, especially, noted that he didn't really know where Clinton would take a stand. Clinton had given in to monetary and fiscal conservatives all across the board trying to build a bigger (Democratic) budget for 1996.

And then look at this guy's foreign policy. He didn't "take a stand" on any foreign policy issue *at all*.
Bosnia? He wouldn't go in until the public outrage at ethnic cleansing and creepily Holocaust-style concentration camps finally made him exclaim "We're getting creamed!"
He whined all the timer that "someone should really do somthing about that." He apparently forgot he was the President of the United States and was in a unique position to drive foreign policy.

Clinton didn't have principle. He had polls and a keen sense of what people wanted to hear. He was brilliant, but not principled.

Yikes, this is going to turn into a rout if some bright Democrat doesn't say something sane here.
=======================
On another note: Zyne, I didn't know you were libertarian-minded! Tell me more about how you lean in that direction; I had no inkling you were of that persuasion.

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WarrsawPact
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And Clinton didn't *mend* welfare, he dumped it on the states. It was a way to escape responsibility and gut the actual welfare payrolls. Now welfare is a skeleton of its former self (and that's a good thing, but it doesn't count as "mending"), reduced basically to the WIC program (Women, Infants and Children, mostly food stamps at that).

And by "helping people," I'm sure you mean wealth redistribution. You've basically given into the idea that the people Clinton specifically "helped" were of greater moral value than the people who had their money jacked from them, largely by people they didn't vote for.

From Q&O:
quote:
The purpose of tax policy is not to enforce moral judgments about individual worth. It’s to raise a required amount of revenue for the government. That’s it. Once you grant the government the power to make value judgments about personal worthiness, and enforce it through the tax code, then you’d really better hope that people who believe the way you do are always in power. Because the second that your opponents come to power, you have already, in principle, agreed that they can then tax you based on their estimation of your personal worthiness.

Oddly, though, it’s usually the same people who declare that the government has no right to make moral decisions about, say, what a woman does with her body, or who can marry whom, that argue the government does have the right to make moral judgments about when they can take your money away, because, after all, you don’t "deserve" it. The Left is every bit as keen to make moral judgments--and enforce them through the law--as the Right is. Only the judgments differ, not the totalitarian impulse that guides them.

He's a Libertarian btw.
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Daruma28
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Not even close Ricky...at least not in 2004.

Check out OpenSecrets.org.

Take a look at the entire IRS itemized list of Moveon's donors.

Almost ten million dollars came from a a handful of wealthy donors, including Soros ($2,601,000), Peter Lewis of Progressive Corp. ($2,500,000) , Herbert Sandler of World Saving and Loan ($2,505,014), Steven Bing of Shangri La Entertainment ($971,777), Jeff & Jeanne Levy-Hinte of Antidote Films ($251,000), Jared Polis of JPS/Pro Flowers ($200,000), Lewis Cullman of Cullman Foundation ($100,000), and Richard Foos of Shout Factory ($100,000) - for a total of $9,328,791.

All of the rest of the donors combined, including retirees, homemakers, attorneys etc. combined for a total of $2,330,183. George Soros alone donated more than all of the small donations combined at $2,601,000.

$9,328, 791 from a few weatlhy donors versus $2,330, 183 from small donations.

Like I said, for Moveon.org, who needs evil corporations when you've got George Soros? [Wink]

[ December 10, 2004, 03:47 PM: Message edited by: Daruma28 ]

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FIJC
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3rd Way
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meworkingman
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quote:

Clinton stood for what is known as "the third way" - for the idea that government does have an important role in helping people, but that more government proigrams aren't the solution for every problem. For mending welfare, rather than ending it. For realizing the justified complaints many people had against big government without selling out wholesale to big business. I could go on, but perhaps you get the message.

Yes, I believe that I do. However, if we were to define the "third way" based on Clinton's actions in office, that definition would differ quite dramatically from the definition you give. From everything I observed of the Clinton administration, it appeared that the "third way" meant little more than, "hey, let's get together a focus group and do whatever they say they want us to do." Heck, the Clintons even focus-grouped the question of where they should go for vacation.
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FIJC
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quote:
"Yes, I believe that I do. However, if we were to define the "third way" based on Clinton's actions in office, that definition would differ quite dramatically from the definition you give. From everything I observed of the Clinton administration, it appeared that the "third way" meant little more than, "hey, let's get together a focus group and do whatever they say they want us to do." Heck, the Clintons even focus-grouped the question of where they should go for vacation."
That, and the fundamental rationale and ideas behind the welfare reform bill signed in 1996 by Bill Clinton pretty much had its very beginnings in the Domestic Policy center of the Heritage Foundation. Welfare reform, in the form it was signed in 1996, wasn't Clinton's idea, the basic ideas presented in the bill were mainly the product of policy experts (mainly Stuart Butler and Robert Rector) at Heritage. Clinton signed it because it was politically expedient at the time--there was considerable pressure at the time to sign the bill. Politicians and their staff usually never come up with any meaningful original ideas, but if they are smart, they will recognize good ideas and solid philosophy when they see it, and run with it when the right time comes, either at the time or in the future.

[ December 10, 2004, 04:57 PM: Message edited by: FIJC ]

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meworkingman
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quote:

Welfare reform, in the form it was signed in 1996, wasn't Clinton's idea, the basic ideas presented in the bill were mainly the product of policy experts (mainly Stuart Butler and Robert Rector) at Heritage. Clinton signed it because it was politically expedient at the time--there was considerable pressure at the time to sign the bill.

Yes, that is exactly my point. In fact, I can't think of any major successful policy accomplishment that germinated inside of the Clinton administration. I always have to laugh when someone contends that Clinton gave us a federal budget surplus. In the first place, the surplus never really existed. In the second place, even if it had existed, it would not have been produced by Clinton's policies but instead by a white hot economy driven by the internet bubble. The Clinton administration never had the goal of balancing the federal budget (Clinton was widely quoted as saying that it was not important to balance the budget), let alone producing a surplus.
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FIJC
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quote:
"Yes, that is exactly my point. In fact, I can't think of any major successful policy accomplishment that germinated inside of the Clinton administration. I always have to laugh when someone contends that Clinton gave us a federal budget surplus. In the first place, the surplus never really existed. In the second place, even if it had existed, it would not have been produced by Clinton's policies but instead by a white hot economy driven by the internet bubble. The Clinton administration never had the goal of balancing the federal budget (Clinton was widely quoted as saying that it was not important to balance the budget), let alone producing a surplus."
Ditto on that one buddy. [Smile] I would say more, but my need to get out of the office right now is greater. Have a great weekend.
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Anonymous24
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The election was won mostly over terrorism. It wasn't that most Americans wanted to ban gay marriage; they just didn't want the judiciaries to decide it either. If, in four years, Iraq is still a mess, it won't matter if the Democratic Party has gone to left.
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RickyB
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How surprising, FIJC, that you should think all good things come from Heritage [Big Grin] . However, adopting the other side's good ideas is a good thing. That's the point of the third way. It's an anti-dogmatic synthesis. You call it "situational ethics". I call it "Reacting to the way things actually ARE". It's much better than refusing to concentrate on terrorism because the outgoing administration told you that you should, and you're determined to do all things different from them.
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WarrsawPact
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Ricky -

So, the ideal leader is a slavish follower?

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RickyB
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Of course not, and I admit that Clinton was way too dependent on polls and such. I also admit that he sometimes had a tendency to get lost in all the details he was so amazing at mastering.

But the ideal leader does not foist preconceptions on reality. Like...oh, just for example, if conditions change, and are no longer suited for cutting taxes, he does not insist on cutting taxes anyway.

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WarrsawPact
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I think we're in agreement on that last post of yours, to the word.

Our differences here arise from:
* me thinking reality can be created; people being who they are you can make a self-fulfilling prophecy; and a leader can get people to rally behind a bold move if he's willing to take a risk and tell everyone it's the right thing to do
* me thinking Clinton was nothing close to the ideal leader you've described.

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RickyB
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reality can be created
Sometimes, but there's a reason it's called reality. Take the drug war. All the will power in the world has yet to make a success out of it. You can rally the people all you want. If expenditure is higher than income, you will have a deficit.

As for Clinton - nothing I can say will change your mind, so I guess we'll have to leave it at that.

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RickyB
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BTW, Daruma - thanks for the facts. I don't see how I can argue with them at the moment. Apparently I confused MoveOn's donors with those of the Democratic party.
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FIJC
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"How surprising, FIJC, that you should think all good things come from Heritage . However, adopting the other side's good ideas is a good thing. That's the point of the third way. It's an anti-dogmatic synthesis. You call it "situational ethics"."
Heritage does a lot of solid work, which is why they are the most influential public policy organization in the United States. Heritage has effectively demonstrated the ability to influence policy debates in both Democratic and Republican Administrations. If one wants to know what President Bush's mandate for his second term will be, it would be wise to look at the focus of prominent conservative think-tanks in Washington. The Heritage Foundation is currently putting their focus on taxation/spending, Social Security reform, and Homeland Security issues. There is much talk about a serious reorganization of the Homeland Security department--look to conservative public policy organizations such as Heritage for the solution.

Heck, even the Washington Post has given credit to conservative policy organizations such as Heritage, for President Bush's second term mandate for leadership:

"To build public support and circumvent critics in Congress and the media, the president will travel the country and warn of the disastrous consequences of inaction, as he did to sell his Iraq and terrorism policies during the first term, White House officials said. He is also enlisting well-funded conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation to help build the case for change -- or "reform," in the words of the White House -- through ads and commentary on television and in targeted publications, the aides said."

What ultimately seperates conservative policy organizations from liberal policy organizations (such as John Podesta's current brain child), is that eternal principles guide their policy initiatives, rather than vice-versa. Building upon the conservative traditions that (I believe) makes America unique and great for solutions to current problems in society is the real success formula for conservative public policy.

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RickyB
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"Heritage does a lot of solid work, which is why they are the most influential public policy organization in the United States."

I know they do. I was just ribbing you.

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Daruma28
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No Ricky...thank YOU. Your post inspired me to do a little research into 527s funding and because of that, I found that awesome website. They also do a complete breakdown of all 527s -- including SBVFT etc.

Needless to say, had you been correct in your assumption, I was prepared to post an admission that you were indeed correct. [Smile]

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carmachu
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And that website on 527's is?
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RickyB
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OpenSecrets.org. He linked to it in a post about 10 up.
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