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Galindez writes: "Progressives and liberals made huge gains on many fronts in 2014. Of course, the Congressional elections were a nightmare, but that's because the Democrats once again had no unifying message."

When it comes to issues, progressives and liberals made considerable gains in 2014. (photo: AP)
When it comes to issues, progressives and liberals made considerable gains in 2014. (photo: AP)


2014: The Beginning of the End for the GOP?

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

26 December 14

 

rogressives and liberals made huge gains on many fronts in 2014. Of course, the Congressional elections were a nightmare, but that’s because the Democrats once again had no unifying message. They distanced themselves from an unpopular president instead of presenting an agenda for progress.

On the local level and in the courts, however, progress was made. While Americans voted for candidates who opposed what they believe in, when asked to vote on the issues they voted for a progressive agenda.

Marriage Equality

Marriage equality continues to grow by leaps and bounds, not only across the nation but around the globe.

This year we saw 19 states win marriage equality – compared to eight in 2013 – for a total of 35 states plus Washington D.C. With the addition of Scotland, Luxembourg and Finland, there are now 20 countries with nationwide marriage equality.

In the U.S. there was a notable increase in marriage equality states in 2014, expanding from 34 percent to 64 percent in just one year. Gallup puts support for marriage equality at 55 percent – a 15-point increase in just five years.

Momentum is on our side, and Republicans who continue to fight against marriage equality are finding themselves on the wrong side of the issue and continuing to alienate a significant block of voters. Democrats could make equality a national issue and gain momentum at the ballot box.

Minimum Wage

On New Year’s Day, 21 states will implement minimum wage increases that are estimated to boost the incomes of 4.4 million low-paid workers, according to an analysis of Census data by the Economic Policy Institute. For the first time, as a result of these increases, a majority of states – 29, plus the District of Columbia – will have minimum wages that surpass the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Of the 21 states with minimum wage increases on New Year’s Day, four (Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota) approved the increases through ballot measures in the 2014 elections. When the issue is put before the voters, they pass minimum wage increases by large margins. Raising wages is another issue that a Democratic Party with backbone could ride to substantial electoral gains.

Marijuana Legalization

In 2014, 36 state legislatures had bills under consideration to create new medical marijuana laws, to impose only a fine for possession of marijuana, and/or to regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol. Several of those proposals were enacted. Three states — Maryland, Minnesota, and New York — passed effective medical marijuana laws this year, while Maryland, Missouri, and the District of Columbia’s legislative bodies replaced possible jail time with fines for simple possession of marijuana. Eleven states approved bills to allow high-CBD strains of marijuana, though most of those laws are very unlikely to actually provide access even to the limited group of patients they are intended to protect.

In several jurisdictions, voters themselves decided marijuana policy issues. Voters in Alaska and Oregon chose to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older and to regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol. Washington D.C.’s voters overwhelmingly approved allowing adults to grow and possess limited amounts of marijuana — though the measure will go into effect only after surviving a Congressional review. Guam’s voters approved medical marijuana. The only statewide marijuana initiative to fall short in 2014 was in Florida, where medical marijuana received 58% of the vote, but needed 60% to pass.

Legalization is another issue that a party that decided to stand for something could use to make significant gains.

Climate Change

This year marked the first major demonstration of how dramatically the quarter-century-old climate movement has changed, diversified, and grown. No longer is global warming an issue solely for environmentalists. People from more than 1,000 organizations walked in the People’s Climate March in New York, including trade unions, schools, and faith-based, social justice, student, and public health groups, among others. Thousands of activists joined marches in cities around the globe that day.

Despite the growth of the movement, climate change deniers gained seats in Congress. But polling shows that the issue is part of a broader agenda that could lead to a new majority in America.

Cuba

Normalizing relations with Cuba could lead to a dramatic shift in Florida politics. As long as right-wing Cubans continue to take extreme positions, their political influence will shrink. Young Cubans do not hold the same hard-line views as their parents. The Cuban vote is turning blue in Florida, a shift that will damage the GOP’s electoral chances in future elections.

Racial Justice

The high profile cases of unarmed African Americans being killed by an increasingly militarized police force has led to a vibrant movement for racial justice, and against the militarization of the police. The Republicans again are on the wrong side of the issue. While law and order traditionally does well at the ballot box, police violence has crossed the line. Voters will support reform candidates and could reject candidates that support the police unconditionally.

Winning Agenda

While there are many other issues that could make up a winning agenda, the ones I chose were the highlights of 2014. If we add issues like money in politics, violence against women, student loan debt, inequality, the environment, women’s issues, and labor issues, we can build a coalition that will end the GOP’s hold on Congress. It’s the coalition that allowed the Democrats to hold Congress in the past. If the Democrats turn away from their Wall Street supporters and build that coalition again, it will end the GOP’s control of Congress.

Many didn’t see the progress in 2014, but a shift has begun, a shift that could change our country, if we recognize it and act. I hear you: odds are the tone-deaf Democrats won’t see it, and will continue to hand elections to the Republicans. But we can choose to believe, and if we act and don’t wait for politicians to act for us, we can win.


Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+64 # DurangoKid 2014-12-26 15:10
I don't belong to any organized political party. I'm a Democrat. -Will Rogers
 
 
+16 # brux 2014-12-26 15:13
Quoting DurangoKid:
I don't belong to any organized political party. I'm a Democrat.
- Will Rogers
 
 
+43 # brux 2014-12-26 15:11
I wish .... but it's nice to visit fantasyland every once in a while to keep one's eyes on the prize.

The reason Democrats got routed in the last election is that most of the failed to even bother to show up to vote.

Progressive gains in this country were earned by folks fighting the good fight. Getting out demonstrating, publishing local magazines, joining groups, writing editorials, contributing money, and voting.

The least effort thing anyone has to do in America is vote, and the people cannot be bothered to even do that.

What do you suppose that is?
 
 
+43 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-12-26 15:34
Think Bill Maher summed it up this way, "Americans are not cultured enough to vote for their own interests." He or someone on his show suggested a tax credit for voting. Then people, perhaps more Democrats, would show up to vote. People who have money such as wealthy Conservatives can vote with their money. Politicians are store keepers.They, therefor have a store. What is in the store? A stock of potential votes. And they are for sale. "Bundling" of issues in a one vote or no vote for all creates lots of stink in the system.
 
 
+12 # wrknight 2014-12-26 21:06
Quoting Eldon J. Bloedorn:
Think Bill Maher summed it up this way, "Americans are not cultured enough to vote for their own interests."


Not cultured enough, or not smart enough?
 
 
+16 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-12-27 05:54
I know lots of Republicans but who I do not really associate with. Yet, the Republican Party, it seems to me is able to motivate lots of their base through hatred. Also, the Republicans fear Democracy. If Republicans do not vote, their fear will be realized. If they can suppress voting by the Democrats, they feel relieved of the threat of Democracy. The Republican Party is still fighting the Civil War. That party can continue to stir up hatred, particularly against Obama and get Republicans to vote based on hatred.
 
 
0 # brux 2014-12-30 06:49
Did it ever occur that Republicans are motivated by fear into having to control and work against the Left?

If I was a business owner and I read and listened seriously to some of the ideas from the Left, here, and their animus and cluelessness, I'd be scared too.

That is why, for good or bad, right or wrong, the Left must drop the threatening tone and seek to discover really where their priorites lie, It was pretty clear with Occupy Wall St. there really is no agenda, and no real leaders. That should have been significant to all of us, yet no one talked about it or analyzed it.

The real priorities of the Left don't sound so violent or vengeful, so more Lefties with a chip another shoulders don't get supercharged up over say, tax issues, but that is where our real priorities lie.
 
 
+2 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-12-31 17:30
This I do know. That the U.S.is ranked 4th in the world, quality of life. Those nations that are superior to ours in life quality have merged Socialism with Capitalism so as to make Capitalism less brutal. "This is the greatest country in the world" has been hammered into our heads since birth. It is a big lie.
 
 
+29 # wantrealdemocracy 2014-12-26 15:35
most of us failed to even bother to show up and vote because to the total corruption of our electoral system. The fix is in and the rich are in control of everything and face it---the Dems are exactly the SAME as are the other corporately funded bunch of greedy corrupt creatures. Both of these political parties entirely void of any human compassion and sure as hell no morals or ethics.

We are not going to be able to fix this by voting. We need a massive rebellion against this rotten government---an d time is running out. Look who is coming at us now!! Another bush or another Clinton. Lord help us!
 
 
+39 # bigkahuna671 2014-12-26 16:46
The Consumer Protection Agency was backed by Pres. Obama and passed through the work of people like Elizabeth Warren. That it has been weakened in this past Omnibus Treasury bill is not Obama's nor Warren's faults. The fault lies directly with the Grand Obstructionist Party and crooks like Boner and McCantle. When you only have knuckleheads voting for them, it makes the job of trying to help said knuckleheads get out of economic difficulty. Surprisingly, in states like Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and throughout the South, a great percentage of those knuckleheads are actually on the federal dole. Guess they don't realize the handouts they get monthly come from the Federal Government and not the GOP.
 
 
+19 # WestWinds 2014-12-26 19:01
#wantrealdemocracy

We need to move the Mid-term elections back into the presidential cycle.

Midterm elections are sometimes regarded as a referendum on the sitting president's and/or incumbent party's performance.

The party of the incumbent president tends to lose ground during midterm elections: over the past 21 midterm elections, the President's party has lost an average 30 seats in the House, and an average 4 seats in the Senate; moreover, in only two of those has the President's party gained seats in both houses.

See Part 2
 
 
+20 # WestWinds 2014-12-26 19:02
Part 2

Midterm elections usually generate lower voter turnout than presidential elections. While the latter have had turnouts of about 50-60% over the past 60 years, only about 40 percent of those eligible to vote actually go to the polls in midterm elections. 62% of those who voted in the 2014 Mid-term election voted Republican.

For all of the money the Democrats poured into this election, they failed to turnout the voters. Personally, I don't think the average Democratic voter knows enough about the elections process or how important it is to the overall picture and therefore don't bother.

Also, the Latino voters were angry about the immigration situation and the Democrats didn't exploit this issue to their advantage.

See Part 3
 
 
+27 # WestWinds 2014-12-26 19:04
Part 3

I'd also like to see mandatory voting for every adult US citizen with a full week-end starting on Friday for ballot voting at local Boards of Election, and I'd like to see each BOE holding rolling classes in Civics (which, I believe, has been intentionally stripped out of the public schools,) so voters understand their government, the party platforms and the candidates. ***
 
 
+22 # Old4Poor 2014-12-26 20:37
You raise excellent points in these three posts.

I could not help but notice that the Senate and Governor elections held in mid term seemed heavily weighted towards the GOP.

Also, in some coutnries - PERU leaps to mind, all adults are REQUIRED to vote,and it is marked in an ID booklet which must be presetned for other benefits - such as getting on a train or plane, and if you have not voted, you are not admited.

Voting is not just a priviledge it is a responsibility.
 
 
+16 # wrknight 2014-12-26 21:14
Quoting WestWinds:
Part 3

I'd also like to see mandatory voting for every adult US citizen with a full week-end starting on Friday for ballot voting at local Boards of Election, and I'd like to see each BOE holding rolling classes in Civics (which, I believe, has been intentionally stripped out of the public schools,) so voters understand their government, the party platforms and the candidates. ***

I'll buy part 3 - that's easy. Parts 1 and 2 require Constitutional amendments as house members are elected every two years and senate members are elected every six years which puts them both out of synch with the presidential elections.

I have no problem with changing both house and senate members to four year terms (instead of the current 2 and 6) and synching their elections with the presidential election, but that's going to hard to accomplish.
 
 
+6 # grandma lynn 2014-12-27 01:30
And lobbyists should get term limits too.
 
 
+18 # backwards_cinderella 2014-12-27 05:27
Just outlaw lobbyists.
 
 
0 # brux 2014-12-30 06:51
That ain't going to happen it would take a Constitutional amendment. Stick to what people can understand and is doable.
 
 
+18 # wrknight 2014-12-26 21:04
Quoting wantrealdemocracy:
most of us failed to even bother to show up and vote because to the total corruption of our electoral system. The fix is in and the rich are in control of everything and face it---the Dems are exactly the SAME as are the other corporately funded bunch of greedy corrupt creatures. Both of these political parties entirely void of any human compassion and sure as hell no morals or ethics.

We are not going to be able to fix this by voting. We need a massive rebellion against this rotten government---and time is running out. Look who is coming at us now!! Another bush or another Clinton. Lord help us!


Don't blame the electoral system when you don't bother to vote. We probably will be stuck with a Clinton/Bush choice in '16 because you and the rest of your ilk won't vote in the primary election where there are more choices. You probably won't consider a third party candidate either. You'll just sit and bitch.

It's real easy for the minority to win when the majority doesn't vote. They don't even have to fix the system - you fixed it for them.
 
 
+1 # A_Har 2014-12-29 00:11
Money RUNS our politics to the point where I doubt that it matters. The majority may not be voting because they know that the outcome will not make much difference as the big money has disenfranchised them.

In the past election cycles, we got candidates that promised all kinds of things to their base and then turned around and did nothing like what was promised. Wall street, the corpos, and the big banks got everything they wanted though.

"Before the election the promises, after the election the alibis."
 
 
+5 # lfeuille 2014-12-26 18:39
Quoting brux:
I wish .... but it's nice to visit fantasyland every once in a while to keep one's eyes on the prize.

The reason Democrats got routed in the last election is that most of the failed to even bother to show up to vote.

Progressive gains in this country were earned by folks fighting the good fight. Getting out demonstrating, publishing local magazines, joining groups, writing editorials, contributing money, and voting.

The least effort thing anyone has to do in America is vote, and the people cannot be bothered to even do that.

What do you suppose that is?


The author is correct. They didn't vote because the Dems didn't offer them anything worth voting for.
 
 
+12 # bigkahuna671 2014-12-26 23:22
You don't necessarily need the Democrats to offer anything, just the idea that the GOP will take over everything should motivate REAL Democrats to get off their asses and vote. The ones who don't vote are the same folks who bitch, moan, and groan about how bad things are now that the GOP is in control.
 
 
+6 # kyzipster 2014-12-27 10:37
I don't buy it, most didn't vote because of laziness and apathy. Even people with strong convictions should show up and vote for a write-in candidate to send a message to mainstream Democrats.

Handing the country over to rightwing extremists because the Democrats are a disappointment is not the answer. They still want to privatize Social Security and eliminate the income tax, replacing it with their FAIR tax, a federal sales tax placing the tax burden almost entirely on working people. If we give them both Congress and the White House in the next election, not much will stand in their way.
 
 
+7 # grandma lynn 2014-12-27 01:28
The rats are kept busy figuring out the maze. The 1% look on.
 
 
+5 # politicfix 2014-12-27 09:08
Getting out to vote is paramount, but the election was lost by the Democrats acting like the President was poison. Something the GOP would never do. They backed Bush no matter what he did and were united. The Democrats stupidity centered around not talking about the economy now compared to what it was 8 years ago. Gas prices were down, etc.. It was the ECONOMY and not having a united front beside their President. They looked wish-washy, When Grimes in Kentucky refused to answer whether she voted for the President she looked pathetic him hawing around. The GOP would have answered it a way that reflected UNITY. The question probably wouldn't even have come up had they had the President campaigning for them. Idiotic strategy! Politics is no place for wimps.
 
 
+3 # motamanx 2014-12-27 16:07
Correct, Politicfix. Right on.
 
 
-1 # motamanx 2014-12-27 16:07
Correct, Politicfix. Right on.
 
 
+48 # riverhouse 2014-12-26 15:11
President Obama does not brag and politically it appears quite necessary to toot one's own horn on a regular basis even if, as Republican's do, you have to manipulate the truth a bit or even outright lie. President Obama has done some quite amazing things considering the racist opposition he has faced from the GOPers in Congress. Beyond the salvation and recovery of the worst economy since the Great Depression left to him by GWB, President Obama has made a remarkable and positive impact on this country.
 
 
+27 # cunegonde 2014-12-26 15:46
While I think riverhouse has overstated the case for Obama, I don't think it's overstated by much. If you look through the various issues mentioned in this article, he's directly influenced some and indirectly influenced others. It's impossible to believe that current Republican presidential hopeful would have supported any of these measures, and most would have actively opposed them. These are important points to keep in mind alongside Carl Gibson's more critical ones in the earlier article about the financial situation in the US. Yes, Obama has been a disappointment in some respects, but regarding him as essentially a conservative Republican flies in the face of many important facts.
 
 
+18 # WestWinds 2014-12-26 19:17
#cunegonde: "Yes, Obama has been a disappointment in some respects, but regarding him as essentially a conservative Republican flies in the face of many important facts."

--- I don't agree. Here are some REALLY important facts: Obama has not returned habeas corpus, rescinded posse comitatus and vacated the Militarization Authorization Act which has the police acting like jerks. Beyond this, he is a supply-side fiscal conservative and scuttled Medicare for All with his corporate kissing for-profit health INSURANCE scam instead of getting We the People reliable, quality health CARE.

For me, the litmus is whether or not someone is supply-side or demand-side economically. I think it is LUDICROUS to have a Democratic president (Obama/sHillary Clinton) that supports supply-side economics; this is antithetical on its face.

These are basic and fundamental things that are supposed to define the difference between the Right and the Left. In recent years the lines between the two have been intentionally blurred, I believe, to intentionally ensnare unsuspecting Democrats into the for-profit trap to gain the advantage for a fascist state. We all know it's against working people's best interests. What more proof do we need?
 
 
+5 # cunegonde 2014-12-26 20:25
That might be the "litmus" for you, WestWinds. I don't have a single "litmus," and I don't know anyone who does. I said I wasn't pleased with everything Obama has done, and you've given some reasons why we shouldn't be. However, reducing everything to a single "litmus" is an overly simplistic approach to an extremely complex set of issues.
 
 
+16 # wrknight 2014-12-26 21:43
Quoting cunegonde:
That might be the "litmus" for you, WestWinds. I don't have a single "litmus," and I don't know anyone who does. I said I wasn't pleased with everything Obama has done, and you've given some reasons why we shouldn't be. However, reducing everything to a single "litmus" is an overly simplistic approach to an extremely complex set of issues.

How about a few more litmus tests, viz., 1) ending wars in the middle east, 2) providing a livable minimum wage for everyone, 3) punishing bankers that gamble with and lose other people's money, 4) protecting the privacy of American citizens by curbing the NSA, 5) protecting American jobs, 6) protecting the environment, 7) protecting organized labor unions, 8) rebuilding our decaying infrastructure - want more?
 
 
+1 # ritawalpoleague 2014-12-27 11:18
Bingo, brother West Winds. Your comment above hit the dreadful pol. nail on the head !!!
 
 
+25 # fenox 2014-12-26 16:22
Good heaven, aren't American voters adults? Politics is not a question of who is president or if he brags or not. It's just the question of what program he defends. The same for your representative in congress. A 38% of voters does not represent a democracy anymore. It's time to realise if you want to be a democracy or not. Up to you!
 
 
+3 # wrknight 2014-12-26 21:16
Quoting fenox:
Good heaven, aren't American voters adults?

Are you kidding?
 
 
+18 # bbaldwin2001 2014-12-26 17:11
YES YES YES ! Thank you, he has thrown out the old and brought in the new. Despite the racist attacks on him He will go down as one of the greatest Presidents this country has seen. Riverhouse puts it well. ".... since the Great Depression left to him by GWB, President Obama has made a remarkable and positive impact on this country"... thank you Riverhouse.
 
 
+10 # WestWinds 2014-12-26 19:24
Quoting bbaldwin2001:
YES YES YES ! Thank you, he has thrown out the old and brought in the new. Despite the racist attacks on him He will go down as one of the greatest Presidents this country has seen. Riverhouse puts it well. ".... since the Great Depression left to him by GWB, President Obama has made a remarkable and positive impact on this country"... thank you Riverhouse.


--- NO, NO, NO. Obama is a shill like all the rest. Just look at his cabinet:
Rahm Emanuel, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers... And his AG, Holder. All these men have tap roots into Wall Street. For petessakes, wake up!
 
 
+2 # politicfix 2014-12-27 09:26
Obama's biggest failure has been his backing of Wall Street. He was adamant that we would NOT have universal healthcare, so he stayed semi-loyal to the rotten healthcare/phar maceutical industry and corporations. You can't call it swimming if you don't get too wet. No guts...no glory. However, I hope history shows how the GOP did nothing for the country for eight years because they wanted to boycott the president and restrain Obama's accomplishments so we'd never have a black president again. The economy rallied but that's how it goes it you look at history. The Republicans rape the country when they're in and the Democrats try to correct it when there in office. That equals 0 and we achieve little progressive over decades. The wealthiest, corporations, pharmaceutical, and the rest of huge conglomerates are always the winners. More so now than ever before in the history of our country. The majority of GOP in the House and Senate are going to go after Obamacare to get it reversed. With our partisan GOP Supreme Court they may get their chance. The people have to start saying NO and start fighting for themselves. No one person is going to get this done for them. The people have been boycotting Monsanto and their GMO's People are going gluten-free and buying non-gmo food. That's where the strength of the people show. Screw pop with high fructose corn syrup and aspartame. Coke just came out with Coke Life without either of them. Supply and demand. The people need to take charge.
 
 
+14 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-12-26 15:29
Remember that Christmas story, where two sons are given gifts by their dad? One son was given $1,000 This son was a little bent toward being negative. He complained to his father that thieves could steal his money. Could lose the gift in the stock market. So, he was very sad and mourned. The other son, who was an optimist was lead to the barn where his father proudly pointed to a very tall pile of horse "shix." While saying, "son, here is your Christmas gift." The son dived into the pile and began digging like hell. While shouting to his father, "dad, you can't fool me. I know there is a pony in here somewhere.

This article is at least being like the optimistic son.
 
 
+5 # ericlipps 2014-12-26 19:51
Funny thing is, research has actually found that pessimists are more accurate than optimists about their own personal situations.
 
 
0 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-12-27 05:29
I don't doubt your research comment. Why? Pessimists create their own situations. Therefore they are also aware of "their own situations."
 
 
+17 # tedrey 2014-12-26 16:22
I notice Galindez doesn't even mention some vital issues which will keep many progressives from voting Democratic if not resolved, such as aggressive foreign and military policy, NRA surveillance, CIA torture, and subservience to both Wall Street and to Israel.

"Yet these you ought to have done, and not to have left the others undone."
 
 
+18 # bigkahuna671 2014-12-26 16:51
If you vote against someone who helps you in all ways but one, you get the crappy government someone like Jeb Bush will provide. Just what we need, another Bushie to screw up the country. People need to realize we can't be like a lot of Republicans. We can't be one issue, otherwise we'll hang ourselves by our own petard. Many Republicans vote that way simply because of abortion. They disagree with that party on everything else but because of abortion, they continue to vote for people they KNOW are screwing them and this country over. Then they bitch, moan and groan, and ask why the country is screwed up. All they need do is look in a mirror and they'll get their answer.
 
 
+17 # WestWinds 2014-12-26 19:32
Quoting bigkahuna671:
If you vote against someone who helps you in all ways but one, you get the crappy government someone like Jeb Bush will provide. Just what we need, another Bushie to screw up the country. People need to realize we can't be like a lot of Republicans. We can't be one issue, otherwise we'll hang ourselves by our own petard. Many Republicans vote that way simply because of abortion. They disagree with that party on everything else but because of abortion, they continue to vote for people the KNOW are screwing them and this country over. Then they bitch, moan and groan, and ask why the country is screwed up. All they need do is look in a mirror and they'll get their answer.


--- I don't think it's just abortion. I think anti-Black has a big role (at least here in the Deep South) where White supremacy is alive and well, and also the "Christian" card. Many of the so-called Christians are low-information voters so they rely on god to make their decisions for them and since this government has no intentions of censuring any of the churches by removing their tax-free status, they are free to be political from the pulpit and the Right has promised the churches all of the "faith-based ministries" like social services where the church can then convert the helped into paying customers. The churches are an abomination these days.
 
 
+6 # bigkahuna671 2014-12-26 23:26
Perhaps in the South, but in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, the abortion issue is quite possibly the #1 factor in people voting GOP. Believe me, I know plenty of people who disagree with the GOP on just about everything but because these phonies claim to be pro-life and anti-abortion, they vote straight GOP, regardless of what idiot that party is running for office.
 
 
+4 # politicfix 2014-12-27 09:42
Why women vote for the GOP is a mystery. The GOP constantly disenfranchises women on every level. Their "WAR ON WOMEN" is alive and well. They want to take women back to the 40's or 50's. Let's remember that the black male got the vote before women. We need a woman president who will do some great things that the GOP can't ruin. Mind you...if a woman gets elected president they'll have a whole different plan to destroy her (just as they're doing with Obama) to make sure we never have another woman as President again. As long as we have the same antiquated financial system, with all the advances in technology, we're never going to have real progress. The Federal Reserve has destroyed this country and the world is going backwards as fast as we can with a failed economic system. Hungary through the bankers out of the country. If we don't take a lesson from Hungary we going to be headed for another bailout when they get into trouble again...which they will. We need to stop the big thief at the top and we will automatically stop the little thieves at the bottom.
 
 
+10 # Scott Galindez 2014-12-26 18:08
Quoting tedrey:
I notice Galindez doesn't even mention some vital issues which will keep many progressives from voting Democratic if not resolved, such as aggressive foreign and military policy, NRA surveillance, CIA torture, and subservience to both Wall Street and to Israel.

"Yet these you ought to have done, and not to have left the others undone."


As I stated in the article I chose the issues of 2014, where gains can be made. the ones you mentioned are very relevant but not areas we made progress this year...
 
 
+6 # tedrey 2014-12-26 22:20
I knew why you were limiting the list, Scott; we both are balancing what is needed against what is popular. But I think you saying "Look what we've done" while I'm screaming "Look what we still must do" doesn't mean we're on different sides. We aren't.

Thanks for what you do, brother.
 
 
0 # chapdrum 2014-12-26 16:27
An understandable but quite unlikely prediction for the fate of this seditious party.
 
 
+3 # Helen Marshall 2014-12-26 16:58
OOPS hit the wrong button, assuming that you mean that the GOP is the seditious party...
 
 
+10 # Shorey13 2014-12-26 18:07
Beginning with the Clintons and the DLC, Democrats abandoned their natural constituency: the poor, the working class (what's left of it), low-paid white-collar workers (a burgeoning group!). Not Wall Street; not even the so-called "middle class" ($100,000 a year?). Those who identify themselves as "moderate Democrats" used to be called "Rockefeller Republicans" when I was young (long, long ago). When they were summarily dismissed by the Republican Party, they hijacked the Democratic Party. Obama is another DINO.

The problem is not "messaging" but bad policy. Elizabeth Warren is correct when she uses Howard Dean's line: "I belong to the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.

Sadly, she has no chance of doing more than "influencing" Ms. Clinton (more messaging BS). I still think there is a constituency for a Progressive Party, which would be a natural for Ms. Warren. Meanwhile, I despair for our putative democracy.
 
 
+12 # Scott Galindez 2014-12-26 18:40
Quoting Shorey13:

The problem is not "messaging" but bad policy. Elizabeth Warren is correct when she uses Howard Dean's line: "I belong to the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.

Sadly, she has no chance of doing more than "influencing" Ms. Clinton (more messaging BS). I still think there is a constituency for a Progressive Party, which would be a natural for Ms. Warren. Meanwhile, I despair for our putative democracy.


I would not say no chance....In fact Warren is the best candidate the Democrats have. I covered Iowa and new Hampshire in 2008.Hillary is not a good candidate...Her base is aging like right wing Cubans. I went to her New Years event in Iowa. Senior Citizens sitting on their hands while a rock band played her theme song. It wasn't at a senior center it was a town center in Des Moines. Surrounded by shops full of people who were not rushing to see her.

Even Bill Richardson had a younger more diverse crown a few blocks away that night.

Of course Hillary leads the polls now, but by January of 2016 there will be a new front runner. I still believe it will be Elizabeth Warren. I also believe that as soon as Ron Paul concedes the GOP nomination to Jeb Bush many of his followers will back Elizabeth Warren , not Jeb or Hillary.

We need to stop expecting the predictable.... in 2007 did you think Obama could beat Hillary?
 
 
+2 # bigkahuna671 2014-12-28 17:18
Scott, I totally agree with you. Elizabeth Warren may be 65, but she's got a young heart and knows how to appeal to young people. The Democrats need a candidate who can get young people off their computer games and out to vote and Warren's the one. A ticket of her and Julian Castro would ignite the hearts and souls of the party and tear it away from the GOP. In fact, that ticket could carry a lot of the Congressional seats along with them, thus allowing PRESIDENT WARREN to pass laws that make Wall Street accountable and shut down GOP recalcitrance.
 
 
+14 # Robbee 2014-12-26 19:43
we don't need another political party. in our political system that is disastrously counter-product ive, as nader and perot clearly showed to all mindful folks.
we need to remake the dem party, to represent citizens, not banks and big business like now

not that there's anything wrong with warren or sanders becoming president, there's not, but they are changing the conversation, and, to do that, they don't have to be president. no matter how effectively they communicate, that will not happen overnight. there are no quick fixes to this broke-down democracy, we have to be in this for the long haul, not the quick fix

regarding progress, that the author does not mention expanding affordable healthcare to millions of working poor stuns me. why don't they count? don't they vote? if they don't, dems need to communicate about folks dying in states where repugs refuse to cover millions, because without healthcare death happens

there is a difference. every female repug senator voted against equal pay for women; women need to know. dems only need to start to craft a more-progressiv e message
 
 
+7 # Scott Galindez 2014-12-26 21:47
I think its because the vote on healthcare was 5 years ago...I think thats why it didnt come to mind as something gained this year...

I see your point, the ACA was implemented this year...

I
 
 
+12 # Rockster 2014-12-26 20:22
Does anyone remember the incredibly effective Repub line in the Al Gore " election" that really their both good smart guys and there's not much diff ...:: why not vote for the less stuffy one ? So have historical events backed up that idea well? How different the world could be right now if Gore was President after 9/11. Well , I believe that we in the progressive wing have just been outsmarted again. Pres Obama has not been our perfect President so we just don't support him when the country really needed it. Kind of like children throwing a tantrum when they get Almost all the presents they wanted for Christmas. Maybe we democratic Demos need to grow up and play smarter.
 
 
+4 # Old4Poor 2014-12-26 20:41
The GOP is like a virus which realizes there are new vaccines and mutates to try to stay alive and kicking, but little by little this defeated. In this case their voters are old (Like me, one of the old liberals left) and are dying away.

R.I.P. GOP
 
 
+8 # wrknight 2014-12-26 21:24
Quoting Old4Poor:
The GOP is like a virus which realizes there are new vaccines and mutates to try to stay alive and kicking, but little by little this defeated. In this case their voters are old (Like me, one of the old libeals left) and are dying away.

R.I.P. GOP

R.I.Hell GOP
 
 
+2 # Old4Poor 2014-12-27 12:39
As long as they go, I am willing to let them RIP.

Their day is done, and the world needs to change, and the older you are the harder it is to deal with change.
 
 
+11 # geraldom 2014-12-26 21:00
I truly wish Mr. Galindez was right, but, based on the current situation, to which I fully blame the stupidity and the naiveté of the Democratic Party, I have to disagree with him. The Repubs' greatest victory was the passage of HAVA, the Help America Vote Act. Now every American in every election must now use corrupt and fraudulent e-voting machines to decide that election. That alone gives the Repubs a tremendous advantage for 2 reasons:

o E-voting machines are designed, manufactured and programmed by companies that support the Republican Party, and they’re not shy about cheating. Many machines in the last election were flipping their votes, primarily from Dem to Repub candidate. Who knows how many votes were stolen internally without the voter even knowing? The Repubs have created a situation where even exit polls are now being questioned.

o The software that drives these machines is considered proprietary by the companies that produce them and cannot legally be verified or checked by independent agencies for accuracy and honesty.

Because Obama and the Dems betrayed their voting base and because of e-voting machines, they lost control of the U.S. House in 2010 and lost many state govts to the Repubs at the worst possible time, when the 10 year census took place. This allowed the Repubs to gerrymander these states and others that they controlled which virtually guaranteed them control of the U.S. House for perpetuity.

(Continued)
 
 
+8 # geraldom 2014-12-26 21:01
(Continued)

Not only did the Republicans gain control of the governorships and the legislatures of over half the states, they also gained control of the court systems in these states, which gives them complete control of the rules and laws which dictate how elections are to be run, which means they control the electoral process in these states. Some of these states want to change the rules on how to distribute the electoral college votes to the presidential candidates based on the gerrymandered districts which will favor the Republican candidate.

And, once again, thanks to the ignorance and stupidity and the cooperation of the Democratic Party, G.W. Bush succeeded in packing the federal bench with well over 300 extremist Republican political hacks, including two on SCOTUS. So, not only do the Republicans control over half of the state court systems, they also control all of the federal court system, and because the Republicans now control both houses of Congress going into Obama’s last two years, he has truly become a lame duck president. Even if the opportunity presented itself for Obama to replace one of the 5 Republican judges on SCOTUS in his final two years, he would have an almost impossible time doing so with a more moderate judge.

And there is so much more than that.
 
 
+6 # Blackjack 2014-12-26 21:18
The folly of believing that the GOP is on the ropes is that the Dems, taking far too much for granted, will continue to hew center right and in so doing will hand the Republicans exactly what they want in 2016. Even though they have a great opportunity to return to their progressive roots, the lure of campaign money will be too great and they will fall all over themselves trying to suck up to the one per centers. Dems are their own worst enemies.
 
 
+6 # Rain17 2014-12-26 21:41
So what honestly? Where it matters--at the Gubernatorial, Senatorial, Congressional, and Legislative levels--the election was a complete disaster.

So what if these ballot initiatives passed? The brutal reality is that Americans went out of their way to elect Republicans hostile to all these issues. They elected Republicans who will pass laws to undermine those initiatives.
 
 
+5 # Art947 2014-12-26 21:49
Quoting wantrealdemocracy:
most of us failed to even bother to show up and vote


It is not most of us -- it was the ignorant and lazy that didn't show up to vote! Before the election I said that if those of college age don't bother to vote, then they shouldn't complain when the costs of an education put them in debt. If young women didn't vote, then they shouldn't be surprised when dirty old men and dried up all women decide what they can do with their bodies. If Latina/os don't show up to vote, then don't complain about the lack of progress on immigration. And I could go on with other groups as well. And sure enough, we got the result that I expected.

Never be surprised when one permits others to create the rules to benefit themselves and then they win. The prostitutes on SCOTUS ratified corruption and rethugnicans with their DINO friends will only enhance the corruption.
 
 
+10 # Shorey13 2014-12-26 22:00
All this discussion about not voting or voting "wrong" keeps reminding me of Socrates warning in Plato's Republic that the fatal flaw in democracy (remember--the Greeks invented it and witnessed its first failure!): the false assumption that all citizens are equally (or even) capable of self-government , which allows oligarchs to hire sophists (spin doctors) to use their rhetorical skills to convince foolish voters to vote against their own best interests. Nothing new here, folks.
 
 
+7 # Art947 2014-12-26 22:19
Thank you Shorey13 for reminding us that nobody in this conversation has been talking about Kansas -- a state that has witnessed the disaster known as republican economic theory and then decided to ratify it continuous. When Kansas finally declares bankruptcy, will those of us in "blue states" come to its rescue and bail it out? Unfortunately, the answer is probably "yes"!
 
 
+3 # grandma lynn 2014-12-27 01:35
I get the idea here, but the sentence is hard to read.
 
 
+7 # grandma lynn 2014-12-27 01:39
I like that fresh-faced look of Elizabeth Warren's. I'm also aware that my former, retired Sen. Judd Gregg is now shilling for the nuclear industry. They all go somewhere, don't they? They gravitate, broken-in U.S. Senators, to other reasons to feed at the corporate trough. Can't let easy money that uses / abuses their names get away. And here we have to talk about minimum wage increases for the people in our country who actually work. Minimum wage - not even living wage, which is something different, something advanced, something rational.
 
 
+4 # FDRva 2014-12-27 03:56
Want to know why Dems cannot win elections--that Wall Street does not want them to win?

Wall Street's chosen one--Barack Obama was not chosen to match your agenda.

Putin is a Russian patriot--but not a fool.

The intell community wonders about Pres. Obama, the Brits and their terrorist creations in the Mideast.

The Bush organization is too closely tied to terrorism suspects in the Saudi entourage to be trusted.

About those unreleased 28 classified pages of the 9-11 report....

President Obama's unwillingness to release the documents suggests complicity in Cheney's crimes.

Say it ain't so Barry!
 
 
+2 # FDRva 2014-12-27 04:38
Liz would be a presidential front-runner if she only would say what we all are thinking.

Obama should be impeached and removed for the same reasons as Cheney and Bush--should have been.

The last time I checked, war crimes and torture were still war crimes--whether committed by a registered Democrat or a registered Republican.
 
 
0 # cherylpetro 2014-12-27 05:48
I think the Republicans stole the necessary elections to put themselves in the lead position. They have messed with elections before, but they know they can't do it, if there is an overwhelming majority of polls saying there is a distinct, and obvious leader (in the polls.) The Republicans LOVE to see the pollsters say there is a tie, or near tie in the opinion of the voters; then they can swoop in and rig the election in their favor. Oh yes, I am sure those putting out the polls, get generous "donations" to claim ties. This country's election process is up to the highest bidder, that is why we must back a candidate, and make a lot of noise for them; just like we did for candidate Obama!
 
 
0 # wrknight 2014-12-27 10:20
Quoting cherylpetro:
I think the Republicans stole the necessary elections to put themselves in the lead position.

The Republicans didn't steal anything. The Republican party offers what the 1% wants, so they vote. The Democratic party has to offer something to the 99%; then maybe they will vote.
 
 
+4 # Bruce Gruber 2014-12-27 09:48
IF (!?!) the Progressive nature of the Democratic Party is equivalent to belief in universal single payer health care, renewable energy, publicly funded and issue oriented elections, free public education, health and safety oriented regulation, fair and equal justice, and equitable peace and opportunity, why don't we roll up our sleeves, recruit our friends and fellow progressives, and take local action within the Democratic Party.

Demand that the Warren-Sanders- Brown-Grayson-M urphy-Spitzer-S hultz BRAIN TRUST (ala FDR) do a nationwide Progressive traveling ROAD SHOW to the future. Sell our principles. Demand commitment of Americans who imagine a possible future to take political action against the simple-minded fantasy of a non-existent past.

A 2016 Convention that ignores the apologists for greed and dedicates the Party to the advancement of mankind's future might even sell to the most pessimistic opportunists who join in politics to blame, hate, feel superior or network for profit.

Personally I would like to listen to the best among us publicly debate the difficulties and obstacles to success in an environment of positive, hopeful and idealistic goals.I would prefer NOT to settle for a least common denominator approach to selecting leadership from among those unlikely to dare suggesting "change" without 'focus group' direction. Avoiding the appearance of leadership by adopting 'averaged" NON-conviction maintains ONLY the status quo.
 
 
+2 # kyzipster 2014-12-27 10:30
It's been the beginning of the end of the GOP since 2006, unfortunately the Democratic Party is too afraid to seize the day. I think they're still afraid of Reagan even though Reagan would be kicked out of his party for being a RINO today, difficult to understand.
 
 
+2 # medusa 2014-12-27 18:07
Why did Obama drop his rhetorical power almost the day he was sworn in? Why didn't he continue to denounce torture, and call to close Guantanamo? What happened to "we don't torture, that's not who we are"? Without leadership, nothing happened.
Same with single payer health care. He surrendered to the compromised. But why?
 
 
0 # Scott Galindez 2014-12-28 07:59
He never proposed single payer health care, not even when he was running. he even opposed a mandate when he was running in 2008.
 
 
+1 # geraldom 2014-12-28 11:23
Mr. Galindez, you seem to support the Obama admin. Why? I voted for the man in 2008 for a couple of reasons. John McCain, unfortunately, is one of my senators. I currently reside in the state of Arizona. My vote for Obama in 2008 was based on knowing the damage that John McCain would've done if he had become president, the lesser-of-two-e vils syndrome, and because I felt, to some degree, that Obama was being somewhat sincere in his promise of change from that of the Bush admin. But, it turned out that Obama, for the most part, based on his foreign policy, his national security policy, his financial policy (Wall Street, banks and corporations), and apparently his telecommunicati ons agenda, turned out to be a 3rd Bush admin. His actions did not match his rhetoric!

One of the biggest problems that I've run into during Obama's six years as president is how many people of power and influence on the liberal side strongly condemn the Republican Party and its members for their actions which go against the public interest while handling the Democratic Party and its members with kid gloves when they do the same. Thom Hartmann is just one example of many.

I submitted a post on this article which I had to break up into two parts, and I was hoping that I would get a response from you on its content, and I'm still waiting. The post deals with the real world, not fantasy. It begins with "I truly wish Mr. Galindez was right." I would appreciate some comment from you on it.
 
 
+1 # A_Har 2014-12-29 00:00
Quoting geraldom:
One of the biggest problems that I've run into during Obama's six years as president is how many people of power and influence on the liberal side strongly condemn the Republican Party and its members for their actions which go against the public interest while handling the Democratic Party and its members with kid gloves when they do the same. Thom Hartmann is just one example of many.


I gave up being a DEM for just this reason. I am now UNAFFILIATED. I got sick of defending the indefensible. If it was wrong when Bush did it, it is *still wrong* when Obummer does it. I call him Obummer because of all the promises he made that he never followed up on. AND I don't believe the charge that it is the Rethugs fault that he couldn't do it. How about how he threw the progressive on his campaign under the bus once he got elected? Nobody forced him to do that. He was not forced to sign the NDAA either or forced to drone innocent civilians.

*Change you can believe in* is the most cynical ploy of all: it has been shown to be full on BS.

I never voted for him--I chose write ins of *who I wanted to vote for*. We don't have a "lesser evil" anymore.

IMO partisans lose IQ points when they vote for their "brand". http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090503_buying_brand_obama
 
 
0 # geraldom 2014-12-29 00:13
Obama did not only willingly sign the National Defense Authorization Act, he went way out of his way to pressure the Congressional Democrats to pass it. It was his personal pet project.
 
 
0 # Rockster 2014-12-27 19:07
I agree with Bruce , as in let's roll up our sleeves and get to work . I donated to get my five Elizabeth for President bumper stickers , you?
 
 
+2 # Scott Galindez 2014-12-28 08:01
I agree Rockster....let s stop waiting for "them" to change ...

the Democrats can be "us" instead of "then"
 
 
+3 # fixtroy 2014-12-28 09:23
Let's add infrastructure spending to our platform. Our electricity grid needs work, maybe more sustainable sources...? We could use work on all of our transportation systems, how about fast trains and smart highways? Hey folks, shipping...?
To hell with the private sector, they have clearly proven that they won't do these jobs. These are our interests and it's time to stop bitching about taxes and get this stuff done! Private industry stands to benefit from this spending in two ways; they can get the contracts to do this work and they will reap the rewards of having healthy support systems. Patriotic? Let only businesses that don't move their account overseas to bid for these lucrative and important contracts.
 

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