On having “skin in the game” this Memorial Day

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The Florida Squeeze has been hosting some interesting discussions lately,
particularly regarding the role of activists and blogs like this one. With regard to the discomfiting loss in Jacksonville one notion repeated a few times was the idea that bloggers and activists need to be still.

Here’s a quote:

“Those who have real skin in the game are the only ones qualified to discuss things… “ said one commenter. “The consultants and Democratic Party staff are those whose careers depend on these races. You cannot claim that and thus have ZERO RIGHT to critique or criticize.” 

No skin in the game?

This indicates we need more conversation, not less. It’s emblematic of what’s eating at the heart of our party. At the center of “skin the game” claim is the idea that you have to be paid to matter as a political entity. What do we stand for? Is it money? Careers? Or are we actually trying to do Democracy right?

Turns out we’re pretty good at naming the skins in political games. Political systems where “skin in the game” equals wealth or money, are known as Feudalism, Plutocracy, Monarchy and so on. Centuries of bloody wars were fought to overturn the Divine Right of Kings, in order that ‘consent of governed’ would be the new “sword,” and Democracy would confer legitimacy on our leaders and party elite.

Ironically enough, this means the Tallahassee careerists who are challenging others’ legitimacy, do so at our sufferance. The only reason they have a right to issue statements is because we give them the power to do so.

Not to belabor the point, but a system where the “skin” is a career, is theoretically called technocracy. It’s theoretical, because it doesn’t exist in real life. Sociologists like Thorstein Veblen thought that technocracy would be a stepping stone to socialism brought about by the natural decay of capitalism and the rise of an engineering class. Like the Rapture, technocracy hasn’t happened yet, and likely never will no matter how many Amazon drones drop packages off at your door.

But we still use the word to describe transactions between political careerists. If the only media you watched was CNBC you would come away believing we have a proto-technocracy with paleo-libertarian tendencies. And you’d want to die.

The fact is, progressives are winning on the battlefield of ideas. Elizabeth Warren is the de facto leader of the Democratic Party. These ineffective party careerists aren’t convincing anyone that we have “ZERO RIGHT to critique or criticize.” Instead they’re showing us disdain for core Democratic values, and how little mastery they have over the political moment we find ourselves in.

If Democrats wanted to support a structure of plutocrats and monarchs, there’s a whole other party for that. We’ve seen where this strategy gets us (cue Il Fortuna and let Charlie Crist know we’re ready for his close-up).

What’s OUR skin in the game? Especially as regards Memorial Day, “skin in the game” refers to real lives that were lost on the battlefield defending our freedom to live and vote in a Democracy. It’s our duty to honor that sacrifice by protecting what little bits of Democracy we have left.

We can’t let our party get so blinded by Wall Street money they forget the basic Democratic values, let alone the framework of Democracy. Supporting one lifelong Republican after another, that’s sure to vote with Wall Street against Main Street, isn’t working. Whether it’s John Morgan’s or J.P. Morgan’s “skin in the game” — they don’t trump the voter’s.

This Memorial Day let’s remind ourselves that the skin we have in this game is actual skin. Never forget that this is what Democracy looks like. It’s so much more than a job. It’s a sacred promise that we’ll do what what it takes to promote a shared future worth passing on to future generations.

63 comments

  1. Naoya6161 · · Reply

    Yeah you completely misinterpreted that again. What others were been telling you was work together with the party instead of only antagonizing them.

    1. No, they’ve been telling us to shut up and fall in line because we don’t have a choice. They’ve told us that they know better than we do about who can win (i.e. money is all that matters). They/You don’t seem to understand that Democrats are tired of being taken for granted.

      1. Naoya6161 · ·

        No they aren’t. You’re the one who’s being unreasonable right now by refusing to consider other people’s POV… And in turn, being unable to consider why others disagree with you.
        You say you speak for all Democrats? Guess what? You don’t speak for all of us. Don’t be so arrogant as to assume that.

      2. If you think voters shouldn’t have a choice, then I definitely don’t speak for you. If you think paid consultants should make all the decisions, then I definitely don’t speak for you. If you think Wall Street should have more power to decide than actual voters, then I definitely don’t speak for you. Glad we cleared that up.

      3. Naoya6161 · ·

        Well considering that you’re refusing to listen right now and misinterpret everything I say, I would say that my perspective is pretty valid.
        And also? I’m a Democrat as well. So are quite a few of these people that you hate. If you’re going to disregard our opinions, then you’re already practicing the behavior you decry.

      4. If you’re the dominant group and complaining that your POV isn’t being considering adequately enough, it might be the quality of your ideas. No one is holding you back.

      5. Naoya6161 · ·

        No… Have you already forgotten than I’m a Democrat too? That means we actually run on the same platform. If you think I have bad ideas, that means you also have bad ideas. So you can’t use that argument against us.

  2. Great Column! As far as I am concerned there is no difference between the two major parties. When we just stand by and let are “leaders rule” we are no longer a Democratic Society. What’s that praise about “Power tends to corrupt;absolute power corrupts absolutely”. We have skin in the game, ours. The Democratic Party needs to get back to basics.

  3. Fla Dem · · Reply

    party consultants and staff do have more to lose. You activists just go on with your lives and agitate not understanding the consequences. We have to deal with this agitation and push to placate maybe 2% of the electorate all the time. Being loud doesn’t mean you are right. You are entitled to your opinions and constructive criticisms. However some opinions are more informed than yours based in yes having real skin in the game. And some criticisms are simply agitation from malcontents.

    1. Looks like you’re doubling down on your undemocratic position.

      1. Naoya6161 · ·

        No, he’s telling you why your approach is ineffective and causes more problems than solves.

      2. No, he’s telling me that consultants and staff are more important than voters. That’s offensive.

      3. Naoya6161 · ·

        No, you think he is. Part of democracy is having an informed opinion. Why do you think the GOP became what it is today?

  4. Arthur Adams · · Reply

    Good discussion. Our approach as Democrats has always been to push for inclusion and progress. And politically, that’s our “brand” if you will. But no organization is immune from the dynamic where those elected or appointed to serve are tempted to think of their task as not working for the common good, but defining it.

    It’s never going to be persuasive to anyone of a small or large “d” inclination that the decision as to who to vote for should come from the top down, rather than the bottom up. Equating “skin in the game” with who’s getting paid to peddle influence misses that point so profoundly that it does feel like irony.

    The “skin in the game” is running our state and country better, and we all share it. Shushing “critics and bloggers” instead of figuring out how to put up better Democratic candidates is not the solution.

    1. That’s why appeals for the scribes amongst us to ”shut the hell up,” are so godawful jarring. It’s an indication of how far to the dark side “our people” are willing to go. It makes you wonder, maybe they’re right. Maybe when you’re challenged as to whether you have the correct skin in the game, maybe you don’t. Maybe they’re fine with Wall Street running everything. Perhaps the assumption is they’ll do okay in that scenario, so to heck with everyone else. This is the attitude that chased so many of my peers out of the party in the 90s. Veblen was HOT back then, too 🙂

      1. Naoya6161 · ·

        You’re the ones who refuse to listen to reason and then lash out when mistakes in your reasoning are indicates. Like what you’re doing right now.

  5. The activists need to defer to those who study and run campaigns for a living.

    Opinions are fine but we must win the senate back and Murphy everyone paid to look at this agrees gives us our best chance of winning a seat back here in Florida.

    Besides Grayson’s behavior probably disqualifies him. Pam Keith is demographically wrong for statewide office though she’s made an impression on minority audiences. That’s where she should run.

    Murphy is our candidate. Either back him or help the republicans.

    1. Naoya6161 · · Reply

      Agreed!

      1. Naoya6161 · ·

        Grayson won’t be able to do that.
        Primaries only work as long as it doesn’t get personal. A report from a couple weeks ago reveals Grayson apparently said that Murphy was “a piece of excrement”. If that’s true, then I would expect Grayson to be disrespectful from the beginning…

      2. Meanwhile Murphy’s camp and the DSCC are planting negative Grayson stories with the press.

      3. Naoya6161 · ·

        And? It’s all true. And a simple look into Grayson’s past suggests he is incapable of running a campaign on the issues. So before you go around complaining about tactics, I suggest you cool your tone. You’re not going to gain sympathy when all you do is attack attack attack.

      4. Au contraire, Grayson’s public service is all about the issues. Just look at his voting record.

      5. Naoya6161 · ·

        He still lost badly in 2010 campaigning on the issues you held so dearly.
        And voting record means nothing so long as the GOP holds the House. Boehner would never allow progressive legislation.
        Im going with the candidate who can win.

    2. Surely this is satire. Right?

      1. Naoya6161 · ·

        Well, the candidate you supported has, in the past week, called his wife (and mother of his kids) a gold digger. And the week before that? Turns out he has hedge funds, just like the other politicians he decries for doing. And then there is his response to the reporter.
        You’ve pretty much justified Murphy as our candidate before anything began.

      2. Trish McMillan · ·

        You have to hope so. I can’t imagine even a minor political operative in the real world would think something like “activists need to defer to those who run campaigns for a living” is thesis that would fly with Democrats.

      3. I think you’re confusing Brook’s post with your blind (or is it paid?) support of a candidate.

      4. Naoya6161 · ·

        No, I can actually foresee the potential problems of a Grayson campaign before it begins. thrse episodes show that Grayson has a LOT of issues that will surface in a campaign. This is why the DSCC didn’t endorse him – they saw what you didn’t see and realized he couldn’t win.
        Ah yes, and no one is paying me anything. My choice is of my own free will.

    3. If Grayson jumps in, it will be interesting to see if Murphy’s runs a campaign *for* the Senate, or a campaign to attack Alan Grayson. Florida voters might actually be interested in seeing Senate candidates discuss policy and ideas. It’s not like we’ve never had primaries before. Hillary and Bernie Sanders are having a fine primary campaign, focusing on issues and voters. Primaries are good for producing vetted candidates that are on their A-game for the General. If we want Democrats who can win, it’s best if they have the enthusiasm of the party base.

      1. Naoya6161 · ·

        Grayson won’t be able to do that.
        Primaries only work as long as it doesn’t get personal. A report from a couple weeks ago reveals Grayson apparently said that Murphy was “a piece of excrement”. If that’s true, then I would expect Grayson to be disrespectful from the beginning…

    4. Super Dem · · Reply

      Hey, how much did Patrick Murphy’s campaign pay you to write that ignorant and racists comment? Way to fall back on stupid stereotypes! The truth is that Pam Keith is an eloquent speaker. She is polished, balanced, well-informed and substantive. Have you actually ever seen her speak? She is impressing people everywhere she goes, no matter the racial makeup of the audience. That is precisely why the Murphy campaign is so nervous. As compared to Patrick Murphy, Pam may be angry. But who isn’t? He has no reason to be angry. Life has been really good for millionaire white men. It’s the rest of us that are upset and have every reason to be. And Pam is speaking directly to the issues that are really affecting us. But if you want to increase the divide between Blacks and Whites in Florida by slandering a good candidate, you go right ahead. Pam’s not about that, and she is going to keep putting out her positive message.

    5. Racist much?

      PS-you said the same thing about Crist. A Republican Retread. How did that work out for you?

  6. Concerned Democrat · · Reply

    Well, well, if it isn’t the one and only Susan Smith rambling on here in this blog bitching and complaining about the Florida Democratic Party with her dinky little “Florida Democratic Progressive Caucus” that she anointed herself President of years ago and surprisingly hasn’t had any election to replace herself and surprisingly has NO county Caucuses like every other Caucus in the state, like the Black, Hispanic, GLBTA and Veterans Caucuses cause Susan likes mouthing off and being the center of attention and dragging every Democrat in a Florida into the loss column by supporting nuts that can’t win.

    How you say? Let’s start with the fact that Susan Smith has no one to blame about Allison Tant but herself cause her one person Caucus supported Allison Tant over Susan’s own home town Hillsborough County State Committeeman and DNC member Alan Clendenin who ran for State Chair on the platform of vowing to “Clean House” at FDP Headquarters Tallahassee and fire all the rats and scum sucking overpaid staff and consultants who have raped us loyal Democrats for millions of dollars to loose every statewide race including the slim minorities we have in the House and Senate.

    Yes Susan how is your Allison Tant endorsement working for you now?

    Oh Susan had plenty of help with Debbie “I know nothing” Wasserman Shultz and Bill Nelson who were pushed by the scared rabbits (rats) who were going to loose their jobs (rightfully) at the FDP If Alan Clendenin got elected.

    So Allison became the puppet of the staff and the stooges above…except Susan Smith… who just got used for the “Progressive” endorsement and votes,

    Cause no sooner than Tant took charge than Tant screwed Susan’s pick for Governor, Nan Rich out of a simple 5 minute speaking spot at the Annual FDP State Convention and JJ Dinner in Hollywood when Nan Rich was the only candidate qualified to run for Governor at the time!

    Now Susan and her “Progressive Caucus” is pushing hard for Alan Grayson to run for Senate and Susan is pouting here cause the FDP and DSCC are all behind an normal, centrist, rational, and very intelligent wealthy Democratic candidate who can reach across the isle who beat a whacked out Tea Party Nut Republican in Alan West in a Republican district and can raise the hundreds of millions needed to run a statewide race as opposed to Susan’s equally whacked out, potty mouthed, wife beating, certifiably insane candidate in Alan Grayson who can only assure the Democrats a solid defeat to the Republicans at the polls in 2016 and who stole the only newly created and safe Hispanic Democratic Congressional District in the State of Florida and the prestige that Hispanic Democrats could rally around nationwide.

    Mrs Smith is so busy suckering everybody in Florida about her Progressive Caucus that she hasn’t even shown up to her own home county DEC in Hillsborough in well over a year that the DEC dropped her off the rolls!!!

    1. B. Educado, Jr. · · Reply

      Interesting. I didn’t yet have an opinion on Alan Clendenin, but I now know that people who hint that they are very close to him and Patrick Murphy

      – Fear and hate the Progressive Caucus to a high degree

      – Call other Democrats “rats” “rabbits” (???) rapists, and (utterly false) “wife beaters,” and

      – Repeatedly spell the word “lose” “loose.”

      I’m a little surprised this kind of thing made it past moderation on the site, but I’m glad it did. For what it’s worth, I believe the anonymous poster is the insider he / she purports to be and is a part of the campaign structure of one or both of those candidates. Surely the venom for Susan Smith comes from someone bitter over what she and the Progressive Caucus have accomplished, including backing Murphy off his Republican plan to damage Social Security.

      I will never support Murphy. Alan Clendenin, or any candidate or group I determine to be related to either of them. I hope Grayson comes out for Senate and gives Murphy an opportunity to tell in person the lies his surrogates seem to feel are such good campaign tactics.

      Congratulations. You are the bad guys. You are not Democrats. You are not liberals. You are not measured or respectful or kind, and you do not know how to make a persuasive argument. You have lost almost every election you have worked on, and still berate the people you purport to serve as though you know better than they, when you clearly do not.

      And you cannot spell the word “lose.” I hope you learn more about that word very, very soon.

      1. Naoya6161 · ·

        I’d love to hear you talk about your plan to win over Murphy voters if Grayson wins the primary.
        Just because someone disagrees with you on some things doesn’t make them any less of a Democrat.

    2. Well, well, if it isn’t a caucus president wanna-be. So many of your facts are wrong that it’s hard to take you seriously.

  7. Joe Kreps · · Reply

    Brook and Susan are two very intelligent and passionate Democrats. Their detractors are cowards who snipe at them from the dark. When the party thinks they know it all and exclude grassroots activists and minorities from their decision making they are hurting the party that they work for. When the party leadership doesn’t help Democratic candidates who aren’t wealthy they are not doing their jobs. The party should be encouraging and helping all candidates. If they did, than we would have a bench and more Democrats volunteering and voting.

  8. True Blue DEMOCRAT · · Reply

    I am a liberal, a progressive. But I must admit Grayson rubs me the wrong way and believe we MUST united behind Murphy to win. Grayson has more baggage than a family traveling to Latin America for the entire summer. Grayson’s divorce, his constant crazy statements, his handling of the media, his theft of a Hispanic district and Taliban Dan are all issues. Murphy does not have this baggage. Murphy is a dram candidate, young, good looking, well spoken, moderate and appealing.

    I also understand Kartik has been advising Pam Keith. If you are a true Democrats, get this neophyte out of the race. She has no business running and has not paid her dues. She is running a minority campaign, inflaming the blacks. She speaks well but has no business running. Nominating a black female would be even dumber than nominating Grayson. It is demographics and we must appeal to voters in the middle.

    The lesson of Brown’s loss in Jacksonville is that he lost moderate white DEMOCRATS with his embrace of racial rhetoric and the souls to the polls drive at the end. We cannot have that happen again.

    Grayson has zero credibility and cannot be taken seriously. Outside of the loud progressive wing of the party no one wants him to run. Keith is setting up to be dangerous because her strategy of simply going to minority groups in South Florida is very damaging. If it is Kartik advising this race baiting he ought to be thrown out of the party.

    Murphy should be the only candidate. Let’s pivot now to the general election and leave the infighting to the Republicans.

    1. “Theft of a Hispanic district,” and “inflaming the blacks.” <– if you're seeking reasons why your candidates don't win, look no further than this line of thinking.

      Murphy is "young, good looking, well spoken," and a life-long Republican. And hey, I bet he won't be "inflaming the blacks" or his white Wall Street financiers who'd prefer the Rising American Electorate collapse upon itself.

      1. Naoya6161 · ·

        All of what you say means nothing if you can’t deliver us a viable alternative.
        In case you forgotten? Quite a few Republicans left out of disgust of the current Tea Party. So sorry to inform you, but you’re in no position to hate on someone for changing parties.

      2. Brook, you left this one out: “more baggage than a family traveling to Latin America for the entire summer.”

    2. Fred W., Orlando · · Reply

      Holy god. “Inflaming the blacks?” Someone wrote that, in a comment they hope will … influence people?

      Here’s the message that comment delivers to me:

      Either racist Republicans have come to the site to push for Patrick Murphy because they fear Alan Grayson, or some VERY odd Democrats, who think racist comments are helpful are supporting Murphy.

      Maybe the fact that Murphy was a Republican until very recently explains why his supporters would think an appeal to racism is a good play here? Either way …

      Gross.

      1. Naoya6161 · ·

        One person doesn’t speak for all of us.
        And quite a few Murphy supporters are decent people who believe that he’s the better choice. So don’t make assumptions.

  9. Blue Dog Dem · · Reply

    It is not racist to claim an angry black woman candidate cannot win moderate white votes. It is just a reality of our great state ofFlorida.

    I hope Grayson runs. He would be entertaining and would expose some feminist groups as frauds once they back someone with his marital record.

    1. Naoya6161 · · Reply

      For your first point… ANY person who says inflammatory stuff in Florida will lose votes. Skin color has nothing to do with it.
      But I do feel your second point is valid, regarding Grayson. Already some female Democrats have decided not to support him.

    2. dianecbrown · · Reply

      So you don’t like feminists either?

  10. Ron Baldwin · · Reply

    Before we tear each other apart, let’s look at whether we have a problem. I am a CPA and like working with numbers. Let’s look at statewide registered voter totals.

    Total voters for the 2010 General Election compared with total voters for the 2008 General Election had a decrease in total voters of 30,250. As I recall, after 2010, lots of people and organizations started voter registration efforts.

    Total voters for the 2012 General Election compared with total voters for the 2010 General Election had a whopping increase in total voters of 717,062.

    Total voters for the 2014 General Election compared with total voters for the 2012 General Election had a decrease in total voters of 2,913. What a screeching halt in voter registrations! Wasn’t that when the Legislature decided to end voter registration “fraud” by requiring registration solicitors to get the registration forms to the SOE’s within 48 hours or face massive fines? Gee, what a coincidence.

    At the 2014 General Election there were 4,628,178 Democratic voters and 4,172,232 Republican voters eligible to vote, a nice 455.946 plurality of Democrats although somewhat less of a plurality than in 2012 (536,647) or 2010 (591,815) or 2008 (657,777). Still it was something to make Democrats feel good even though the plurality over Republicans decreased by 201,831 voters.

    But still, registered voters increased from the 2008 General election to the 2014 General Election by 683,899 voters. Let’s look at where those voters went.

    The vast majority of increased voters between the 2008 General Election and the 2014 General Election went to the NPA status (675,429). Other minor parties decreased by 5,561. Now hold on to your hats. The Republican voters increased by 107,931 and the Democratic voters decreased by 93,900 voters. That is a swing of 201,831.

    Oops, I guess we have a problem.

    Has anyone heard the FDP or the paid consultants or the “experts” or the DEC’s paying any attention to these alarming statistics? I hear the crickets.

    1. The influx of voters to NPA status — a political designation with NO brand — indicates to me that voters can’t differentiate the two parties and stake out territory where they can claim “I am my own person.”

      I’ve heard people talk about these numbers, but in a different context. There’s no underestimating the impact of the barriers put up by Rick Scott to curb voter registration.

      1. dianecbrown · ·

        Maybe people select NPA because the republicans lie so much, constantly, about our top Democratic – Obama, and congressional members, voters believe they or they don’t know what to think.

        Obama won Fl twice – but in my opinion, he is not clearly moderate and not conservative, but slides between left of moderate and moderate.

    2. I agree with Brook. This is a national trend and also the reason progressives are pushing hard for the party to take stronger stands to differentiate itself from the GOP. When our candidates try to straddle the fence with squishy moderate positions, the voters aren’t motivated to vote for our side, they’re turned off.

      Thank goodness Hillary Clinton and her advisers seem to understand this. It’s a shame many Florida skin-in-the-game consultants (aka the only ones who matter) don’t seem to have a clue.

  11. dianecbrown · · Reply

    Shouldn’t article writers disclose their conflicts of interest? I am fairly new to the Squeeze and have not seen such a disclaimer, so I checked the sites information on Brook Hines and found no mention of her membership in the Dem Progressive Caucus.

    Now, I consider myself progressive, but I want to know the political background of a person writing political commentary. Needless to say I was extremely disappointed to read below this morning. It is not so much the position but the person delivering it.

    From Tampa article on Grayson (who always votes progressive). This applies to his Cayman Islands account: “The explanation is good enough for leaders of the Progressive Democratic Caucus of Florida…’We researched it and we were completely satisfied that it’s the opposite of what Mitt Romney was achieving with dodging taxes,’ said BROOK HINES [emphasis mine], a spokeswoman for the caucus, which has about 200 members.”

    1. Concerned Democrat · · Reply

      The FACT that Susan Smith’s Progressives have “researched the fact the Alan Grayson has an off shore investment account (exactly like Mit Romney did that lost him his election…and when exposed to Grayson for a comment Grayson unloaded with a potty mouth tirade that the Republicans have already pasted up mailers and TV ads licking their chops to destroy Grayson exactly like they did when they beat Grayson in his previous election…which is when Grayson carpetbagged over to the next congressional district to steal the only newly created Democratic Hispanic Congressional District in the State) and is OK with them” shows exactly the blind stupidity and the clear path to defeat that Susan and her irrational “blind leading the blind” Progressives are leading Democrats to defeat with Grayson.

      The Democrats need to accept disaffected Republicans with open arms just like the flight that went in the other direction.

      The reality is that elections are won and lost by the fastest growing electorate which are those “in the middle” Independents and NPA’s…not Progressives on the left or Tea Partiers on the right.

      And to win and have ANY power or say so in government you have to get elected first. And unfortunately Susan and her Progressives would rather loose and be in the outside looking in than actually get elected to any office and that is exactly the problem we have now here in Florida where Republicans have veto proof control of everything in government by running appealing to and winning elections buy getting voters on the right AND in the middle.

      So you Progressives keep listening to Susan and her ultra liberal nut bags like Grayson, and Nan Rich (who couldn’t even get out of a Demicratic Primary) and don’t come bitching cause the Republicans are ruining our beautiful state cause you couldn’t compromise and move to the middle yourself!!!

      1. dianecbrown · ·

        Concerned, if you were responding to my post, you need to go back and read it again. It was not about the Dem Progressive Caucus or Grayson. I was questioning where Brook Hines should disclose she is a spokesperson for the DPC when she writes an article supporting their position on anything.

      2. Naoya6161 · ·

        She should. Reading anything she says should be scrutinized knowing that she has her own agenda.

      3. FYI, public opinion surveys have shown most NPAs are NOT moderates. Assuming someone who does not register with one political party or another is a moderate is lazy and some of the same type of uninformed analysis our party sometimes makes assumptions based on. Most NPAs are either liberals or conservatives.

        Here is something from Republic 3-0.

        Study after study has shown that there are actually very few truly independent voters who don’t lean toward one party or the other – perhaps 6 to 7 percent of the electorate. The vast majority of “independents” are actually what the University of Virginia calls “closet partisans” who think and vote like partisans but don’t want to be openly affiliated with a particular party.

        As a consequence, independents are actually ideologically very diverse. Political scientist Alan Abramowitz, for example, found that independent “leaners” “generally share… the dominant ideological orientation of the party they leaned toward.” In fact, he concludes, “ independent Democrats were more liberal than weak Democrats while independent Republicans were more conservative than weak Republicans.”

        Here’s further evidence that moderates and independents are not the same: while party identification has been slipping to new lows – Gallup found that a record 42 percent of Americans now call themselves “independent” – ideological identification remains relatively stable.

        So assuming non party voters are “moderates” if deeply flawed. In fact in many cases ideological voters are disgusted with what they see as a centrist drift of BOTH parties and register or re-regrister as unaffiliated voters.

  12. […] by Florida Democratic Party Chair, Allison Tant, not to bother to run. Read the article yourself here.  But more importantly, read the […]

    1. dianecbrown · · Reply

      Every one should read Leslie Wimes article at this link (“Why African Americans in Florida…..”). It shows exactly the kind of person she is — pure racist, who thinks nothing about twisting the truth by taking others statements and events out of context. It is no wonder the Black women turned their backs on her. She deserves no platform to spew her hate.

  13. shortylo · · Reply

    The longer you let a person talk, they’ll eventually tell you how they really feel about you. The people are listening.
    #CarryOn!

  14. Concerned Democrat · · Reply

    Kartik, While I respect your right to your opinion and allowing different voices to air theirs, I totally disagree with your and Mr Abramovitz’s opinion about NPA’s and IND’s being liberal at all.

    You can opine and survey and quote whatever professor you can dig up to support your claim all you want but The evidence and results of all the elections in Florida are crystal clear…the “middle” voters Dems need to appeal to are CLEARLY not ultra liberal as much as you and Susan’s Progressives clearly dream that they are…they are moderate to conservative…especially here in Florida…and do not align to either party and as long as you keep dreaming that they are liberal then you and Susan can only guarantee one thing…that the Democrats will continue to be loosers while the national Democratic presidential campaigns that appeal to the middle, Obama, Clinton, Carter and now Hillary are the only ones smart enough to win Florida..by not being the liberal you think they are!!!

    1. Concerned Democrat must be talking about the successful campaigns of Governor McBride, Governor Davis, Governor Sink and the current Governor Crist.

      1. Naoya6161 · ·

        We’re looking at the people who succeeded here. Those are the examples we want to emulate in future elections.

    2. Even the consultant who I will leave nameless most connected with the Clendenin faction told me only 1/3 of NPAs are moderates in one of the few conversations I had with him around Alex Sink’s race in 2010. So even those in our party think that.

      George W. Bush did not appeal to moderates at all and he is the ONLY Presidential candidate that cleared 52% statewide in a Presidential contest since 1988. Why? He appealed to his base and stimulated greater turnout. Obama’s 51% was stimulated by higher than expected turnout on the left among yes NPAs.

      The moderate candidates haven’t worked statewide. Will liberal ones work? Maybe not – maybe it is time the Democrats messaging turned toward solving problems and NOT simply throwing rocks at the other side. Now wouldn’t that be a nice change? Instead of hearing how bad Rick Scott or Marco Rubio is, maybe we can discuss why we are different and why we should get power. Newt Gingrich the nastiest creature of all did it in 1994, pushing forward a poll-tested agenda which while radical in some ways had some very non-controversial elements.

  15. Tony J · · Reply

    Lack of Backbone Syndrome:

    I am calling on all voters, political operatives, and candidates to stand up for a better party. It is sickening that we are allowing a handful of losers with big egos to run our party into the ground. Our chair and many of her confidants have the same issue: taking voters for granted. That syndrome leads to three fatal mistakes that cause the party to stagnate.

    1) The party doesn’t worry about building a bench. In large counties like Miami-Dade, the problem is clear. Municipal elections and other races are for the most part ignored by the party. No help is given to any newcomers no matter how loyal to the party they have been throughout the years. These party loyalists are let down and without the help their first, second, and sometimes third campaigns land largely unsuccessfully.

    2) Stopping competition. Competition is key to any improvement of the party. We would have really shitty cars if there was a single brand that monopolized the market. Yet, the party often fosters these monopolies. They endorse far before primaries, silence other voices, and line up behind candidates who have often not been vetted yet. Exhibits: Nan Rich, Alex Dominguez, Pam Keith.

    3) Last but not least. The party lacks any new ideas. We are lucky we have President Obama who once in a while drops an idea that everyone rallies behind and repeats till it’s no longer relevant. We need candidates who are going to give concrete ideas like Pam Keith does on her website, and other candidates too often shoved out of the limelight bring to the table.

    These are the problems with the DECs and Party.

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