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James Carville: Democrats have a "disease."

Discussion in 'Legal' started by progunner1957, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. progunner1957

    progunner1957 member

    Nov 14, 2004
    A wolf living in Sheeple land
    Carville: Democrats Have a 'Disease'
    Paul Rodriguez
    Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2006
    Political strategist James Carville believes the Democratic Party "has a disease" that must be rectified –- and soon -– if the party has a chance of gaining back the White House or the Congress.

    In an exclusive interview with NewsMax, Carville is touting his latest book, co-authored by CNN's Paul Begala, titled "Take It Back: Our Party, Our Country, Our Future." Both are savvy strategists who helped Bill Clinton earn a come-from-behind victory that brought him from Little Rock, Ark., to the White House in 1992. Later, the pair were architects of Clinton's successful 1996 re-election.

    Today, they have changed roles from insider Beltway operatives to pundits who are warning that their party -– today out of power in every branch of the federal government -- needs emergency resuscitation. Surprisingly, both authors argue that the party needs to change its dogmatic thinking on abortion rights, gun control and environmental concerns.
    "We think the problem with the party is anatomical," a direct result of outdated beliefs, such as that supporting health care for everyone must also mean support for late-term abortions, Carville tells NewsMax.

    With plenty of his famous Cajun spirit still directing barbs at Republicans and President Bush, Carville's book is notable in that it is not simply a polemic against the Republican Party, but one that doesn't hold back on fellow Democrats whom he and Begala have severely criticized for failing to learn lessons from past elections.

    Carville and Begala's "Take It Back" is fast becoming required reading for Democrats. Interestingly, it has developed Beltway "buzz" among Republicans who see it as a must-read for understanding how Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton may position herself in the 2008 race.

    With Hillary, D-N.Y., already the presumptive Democratic nominee for 2008, Carville makes clear he is ready to join her 2008 crusade.

    Last week Carville told radio host Don Imus, "I'll do anything in the world for Mrs. Clinton." As for her presidential ambitions, he playfully said, "I'm sure she'll tell us what her intentions are sometime."

    There is little doubt that Carville's "Take It Back" could be the Democrats' -- and Hillary's -- playbook for the next two years.

    Changing the Party

    Without naming names, Carville says there's too much dead wood in his party.

    "There's a significant part of the Democratic Party that doesn't want to reform anything. We call them the 'Remainderists.' OK?

    "Remainderists are people who say that if you hate them (the GOP) enough, then we're what remains and then people will vote for us and then we can have our people at the Capital Grill (a popular power restaurant a few blocks from the Capitol). And then we can get more golf trips and bigger steaks."

    That's got to change, Carville says.

    And it'll happen with a new cadre of "challenging candidates" willing to reform Washington down to its core, Carville argues.

    "That's what I'm waiting for" -- to give the old lions in Congress some competition on ideas.

    "The problem is not that the Democrats don't have any ideas," Carville candidly admits. "They got too many ideas."

    For example, if "you ask any Democratic think tank or Democratic politician what you think you ought to do about (fixing things), they've got eight ideas!"

    In fact, he says, the "central Democratic problem is that we lack a narrative. You hear a Democratic speech and you hear that 'I stand for a woman's right to choose, a person's right to health care, a nationalist foreign policy, a cleaner environment,'" Carville says.

    Such lists just "produces a litany" of ideas that "sounds like something we're for. But it doesn't mean anything."

    Carville reiterates his thesis: "The damn problem is that they have far too many things spread all over the map."

    To help bring focus, Carville thinks he's hit on a GOP-inspired theme that will work to unite his faltering party -- one that needs "to start with a real hard-core return to reform."

    ‘Wrap Ourselves in the Flag'

    "We actually believe, and we have a chapter in (the book) on it, that the Democrats should embrace what we call 'Progressive Patriotism.' We should wrap ourselves in the flag just like Republicans have done so successfully post-9/11 and even back to 1994 when House Republicans developed their 'Contract with America.'" (A new level of Democrat desperation: "If we have to act patriotic to get elected, we'll do it."):barf: :barf: :barf:

    Carville says Democrats –- such as Sen. John Kerry in 2004 -- don't seem to understand that just because they've got a large supermarket with all these nifty products, "that ain't a gourmet café."

    Still missing is that "narrative" he thinks the GOP has artfully mastered.

    "See, Bush says, 'I was a shiftless drunk, I was transformed by the power of Jesus Christ, I was further transformed by 9/11 and I will protect you from the terrorists in Tehran and the homos in Hollywood.' And he sticks with it!"

    Carville and Begala argue that moving "somewhere on the ideological scale" is not the key to changing the Democrats from a losing party to a winning party.

    "Progressive Patriotism" is the operating philosophy since "everything fits under this rubric." For example, the wealthy can give up their tax cuts, because we're all in this together. Or so Carville thinks.

    That's what we need; we're all in this together.

    Of course Congress is going to have to reform itself, he says. Of course we're going to wean ourselves from the special interest groups. (Never gonna happen).:D

    Of course we're going have to change things. We can't ask everybody in America to be part of patriotism and have our leaders not be part of it, too.

    Carville's ideas on restoring his party to power come from GOP successes.

    He credits former GOP Rep. Newt Gingrich's takeover of Congress in 1994 and the "Contract With America" with offering a similar approach.

    "I admired that. And I've talked to Gingrich at length about this," he says of Gingrich's strategy. He notes that the House Republicans failed to seize the momentum of their success.

    Carville's thinking flies in the face of "the cocktail party circuit" and the cable TV crowd who say Democrats stand for nothing.

    "We say no, they stand for too much, and that it doesn't fit into America," he says.

    Stop the Pillow Fighting

    "It's like my uncle used to say to me, 'Go up there and tell those kids to stop the pillow fighting.' And when I took the first step my intention was to tell them that my uncle told them to stop the pillow fighting. But by the time I got there in the room, there I was grabbing a pillow and joining the pillow fighting.

    "My intention at the bottom of the stairs was fine, but once I saw the fun and games that were going on I jumped in."

    The same thing happens to people coming to the Congress, Carville says. "I do think that to a large extent we put good people in a bad system and we make them not as good people as when they started.

    "There was actually a good Eddie Murphy movie about a scammer who comes to Washington. There was a lot more truth in that movie than most people realize," Carville notes. "There are good people in the lobbying community and in Congress. But you know what?" he says ruefully: "Good people do bad things."

    People like Jack Abramoff, the disgraced former Republican lobbyist who allegedly has implicated up to 80 members and congressional staff and executive branch senior aides with possible wrongdoing.

    Carville acknowledges that some Democrats will be tainted by the ongoing scandal -- one that's "gonna get a whole lot worse."

    Still, the Abramoff scandal may get lost on the public, who won't see the distinction that mostly it's Republicans caught in wrongdoing, Carville argues.

    And that's one of the key problems for his party -- to get its voice heard as though from a narrative story instead of just a bunch of worn-out litanies.

    "Nobody has been able to communicate through a litany, only through a narrative. But we're a party of litanies," he says.

    To fix this nagging problem Carville suggests Democrats seize on two pressing problems: First, energy, and second, hard-core reforms across a broad array of issues and topics.

    "Everything should be on the table of reforms," he says. "We have to change how we drive, how we are consuming energy, deal with deficits and exploding health care costs. And the first people we've got to deal with are the people in Congress, because they have to set the example."

    On other matters, including getting misty-eyed when mentioning his wife, GOP strategist Mary Matalin, Carville says:

    Democrats' foul treatment of Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito was nothing more than unpleasant politics so that the Chuck Schumers and Ted Kennedys of his party "will be able to say we told you so" in the future when, for example, Alito works to overturn Roe v. Wade on the first case before the Supreme Court.

    Congress needs to dramatically overhaul campaign finance and lobbying laws -- and make it all 100 percent public. He thinks that challengers to sitting members should be able to raise as much money as they can.

    America should shift to much more use of nuclear power and even drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if need be.

    New Orleans should become the first "Green City" in America, making it a showcase of what can be done.

    Salaries for members of Congress should be $350,000 a year instead of an average $150,000. "You've got somebody making $150,000 a year hanging out with millionaires and with $800-an-hour lobbyists. It's a system designed to be at best corrosive and at worst corrupting."

    Community colleges will be the way of the future with respect to creating the needed opportunities for the disadvantage and elderly to make progress through learning new skills.

    Immigration reforms are needed, but ones that are realistic. For example, he chides President Bush's idea of sending people back to their home countries after five years. But, he added, "the Democrats just don't get it" too with silly ideas like amnesty.

    Has Carville, the fiery Ragin' Cajun who vociferously defended the Clintons during the 1990s, become a voice of new moderation for his party?

    We queried if his wife was mellowing the maverick political strategist's zeal.

    Carville chuckled. Not denying the suggestion, he said he has grown to dislike labels.

    "I think I am, deep down inside, an economic liberal and a social traditionalist."

    But then, he added, perhaps just to prove his unpredictability, "But where I do break is that I'm completely pro-gay. Why do I care? It doesn't mean a rat's ass to me."
  2. Lobotomy Boy

    Lobotomy Boy Senior Member

    Feb 16, 2004
    Clinton himself blamed losing Democratic representatives in enough key states to give the House to the Republicans in 1994 because of the idiotic Assault Weapons Ban. If the Dems were to take Carville's suggestions and pull their heads out of their collective fundaments and come to their senses about Second Amendment issues, they could take back congress and the White House. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting.
  3. nfl1990

    nfl1990 Member

    Sep 17, 2005
    And it would only be acting too.
  4. Kim

    Kim Participating Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    I watched a ligualist from Berkley on FSTV give a talk on how the Democrats need to lean to use religious speech to their benefit.He was dripping with scarcasm of truly Christian beliefs. They have actually had meetings and learning sessions with this guy and The lefty REV. Wills (sp)the founder of Sojourens Magazine a Liberation Theology movement(ie started in South America mixing marxism with christianty) publication. I have heard some of his suggestions in some of their speeches. Kerry used it in the debates ie Sermon on the Mount,the book of James. Dean tried but he got all mixed up. Get ready as they are also going to try and act Religious. And that is exactly what it will be acting and propaganda.:barf: :barf: :barf: Remember to them Give to Ceasear what is Ceasers and to God what is Gods means just the opposite. (ie give the State your money to do Gods work as they see it)I have not read this book but I would bet money there is a chapter on this idea.
  5. dm1333

    dm1333 Active Member

    Dec 21, 2005
    I think Carville hit the nail on the head but I don't think much is going to change. I know plenty of Democrats who are patriotic, have good family values, go to church, etc. but the leadership of the party veered off the road quite a while back. Of course I also think the same of the Republican party, especially when it comes to the areas of the environment, energy and ethics. Maybe everybody at work is right, I should be in a cabin in the woods writing my manifesto and growing a really long beard:uhoh: When I think of the next presidential election I feel queasy.
  6. Kim

    Kim Participating Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    Funny about living in the woods thing. People have told me the same. I guess I have become a radical. :neener:
  7. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    After Snopes Clinton, I'll never so much as consider voting for a representative of the Democratic (sic) party. It doesn't have a disease. It simply is a disease.
  8. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    Colorado Springs
    I know politicians on both sides like to deamonize "special interest groups" ... but the truth is that "special interest groups" is us. The people.

    Clearly politicians would LOVE to wean themselves from the "special interest groups" since that would mean eliminating any accountability to the people (which is what I believe McCain-Feingold is designed to do).
  9. insurgent

    insurgent New Member

    Oct 20, 2003
    Carvelle is nothing but a liar so don't bother reading anything he has to say.
    I saw him at the "Meeting of the Mouths" and all he could do the whole time was hold up a piece of paper with the numeral "1" written on it and constantly told us this was how many battalions Iraq had...period.
    So I checked online after the show and guess what I found? Iraq had some 80-100 battalions at the time. Only one was "level 1" i.e. could operate 100% independently if Iran invaded . He's a liar, plain and simple. :cuss: :cuss:
  10. Sindawe

    Sindawe Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Outside The People's Republic of Boulder, CO
    < blink blink > whaaa....??? I think its the other way round Zundfolge. " Special Interest Groups" daemonize politicians via large infusions of cash and gifts so that the said politicians can be counted on to do the SIGs tasks (namely, voting as the SIGs see fit) when the time comes.

    +1 on nfl1990's comments.
  11. cracked butt

    cracked butt Mentor

    Jan 3, 2003
    SE Wisconsin
    And he's entertaining too! Guess which one of those two qualities the rest of the democratic party doesn't have? At least Carvelle has that going for him.
  12. torpid

    torpid Participating Member

    Aug 12, 2004
    CA coast
    Ever since I first saw his rather unique grinning visage, I have appreciated the fact that his wife actually nicknamed him "Serpenthead".

  13. mountainclmbr

    mountainclmbr Participating Member

    Oct 25, 2003
    On top of a mountain in Colorado
    They should wrap themselves in a Progressive Flag:confused:

    Would that be the flag of the USSR, China or North Korea?

    No one should tell them, they will realize their mistake soon enough. I just want to see the look on their faces when they realize that everyone can see they are self-aggrandizing socialists!
  14. Lobotomy Boy

    Lobotomy Boy Senior Member

    Feb 16, 2004
    I used to believe that "they is us," but no longer. Our constitutional republic has been replaced by an oligarchy consisting of a cabal of powerful industry group and what goes on in Washington has very little to do with the "people" who elected these corporate whores.
  15. PATH

    PATH Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Rockland, New York
    The Democratic Party of the Truman Era is long dead. The party is now run by the loony tune left. More is the pity.
  16. TheEgg

    TheEgg Participating Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    He is trying to sell his book.

    'Nuff said.
  17. carlrodd

    carlrodd Active Member

    Dec 20, 2005
    i read the first two-thirds and then read enough. the important, sick, multi-faced, opportunisitic, selfish flaw with where this man is coming from is this: his concern is not for his country, or our people, or our freedoms and traditions and standard of living; it's for getting democrats back into positions of power.....and he comes right out and says it. of course he wouldn't agree with how i just put it, but it assuredly is what he means. it's so amazing that he all but says, 'we need to change what we believe in and stand for, so as to appeal to the american people'.....what the f**k kind of party is that ???????:banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

    he wants to refute the notion that democrats stand for "nothing", and to address this problem, he encourages them to rethink what they stand for:banghead: :banghead: :banghead: i would rather have to listen to people that stalwartly, vehemently and eternally back mostly bad ways of thinking and being, than have to endure listening to a group of people that truly stand for nothing. james carville is to the democratic party as bruce valanche is to hollywood 'funnymen' and awards show hosts.
  18. RealGun

    RealGun Mentor

    Mar 21, 2004
    Upstate SC
    It sounds like he wants to remove very popular reasons for picking one party over the other, anything to get back in power. He would lend real credence to the theory that the two parties are indistinguishable in their principles.

    Personally, if a party becomes obsolete, I think it should die. Attempts to hold it together are just people trying to hold onto power and influence. He portrays the party as wanting to regain power for its own sake, never mind that core beliefs would have to change.
  19. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Mentor

    Jan 26, 2004
    After reading that dreg, I can only say that Carville's 'solution' is part of the problem-form over substance. He's as detached from reality as those he's blaming.
  20. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    Oct 23, 2004
    did you guys miss this?

    the solution to the problem of litanies, is a "broad array of issues and topics" with energy at the top spot.


    i hate to beat the humor out of it by overstating the obvious, but exactly what is the difference between a litany and a broad array of issues and topics?

    in short, he's proposing the same thing they're doing now, which is fine by me.

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