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The Confluence Demographics Survey

It has come to our attention that some of the A-list lefty bloggers think we are as dumb as a box of rocks.  Yes, we’re talking about YOU, Big Tent Democrat and Jane Hamsher.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and speculate that this is because we were right about Obama and that can’t be possible if we’re really just a bunch of bitter, old, uneducated, working class, sino-peruvian lesbians.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that but it must drive the rest of the lefty blogosphere crazy that we still are allowed to vote while we drool all over our ballots.  Come to think of it, Jane Hamsher is probably in that demographic although she’s trying desperately to pretend she isn’t.  For example, here is a description of Firedoglake that we found yesterday on her advertise page:

“Firedoglake and its associated publications attract a large, affluent, educated audience of opinion makers and engaged community leaders. It also attracts a select audience of legislative decision makers and policy makers in Washington, D. C.”

Um, that can’t be right.  After all, some of US have accounts at Firedoglake and that means that Jane has some poor, uneducated and disengaged couch potatoes leaving their opinions at her site.  Either that or we’re much smarter than Jane thinks so we blend in.  (Ooo, can’t you see Jane’s skin crawl at the very thought that we’ve been getting our dirty fingers on her slick graphics?)

Come on, Jane, no one can stop time.  You didn’t lose your intelligence when you turned 50, although there’s a pretty good chance you lost your keys.  And anyway, as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  We aren’t just going to shrivel up and die because the rest of the world finds us inconvenient.  We have a right to be here and to be heard.

Nevertheless, we are only speculating about how old, stupid and bitter we are.  There’s only one way to find out for sure.  We’re going to do a survey.  This is just basic demographics.  No personal information will be collected or shared with any third parties.  We may use the information to analyze for trends or to help us organize or *maybe* to attract advertisers.  We’re not really into advertising because it tends to make us compromise our principles if our livelihoods are dependent on it.  What’s that saying about being paid to not understand something?  Someone go ask Josh Marshall.  If we decide to attract advertisers we would have to be very choosy.  But I digress.

If you want to help us understand our readership, take the survey and help us out.  We’ll share the results with you in a couple of days.

Click here to take survey

Thanks for your help!

BTW, we see you when you’re freeping.  So, don’t bother.

497 Responses

  1. I took the survey!

    • So did I BB.

    • So did I. I hope I don’t pull your #’s down as I only have a Bachelor’s degree.

      • What’s really interesting is the Buttsniffers all seem to be high school drop-outs.

        We thought they were young and male, but it turns out they are all women in their 70’s

      • I don’t even have a bachelor’s. Hope I don’t tank your numbers either.

        • Now that I’ve self-identified as a low-information voter, may I ask what is a “sino-peruvian lesbian” and why should I not aspire to be one?

          • You don’t seem to have any trouble keeping up with anyone here. Remember what the Wizard of Oz said about the Scarecrow?

            Michael Faraday didn’t have a degree and he was one of the greatest experimentalists of all time. Routinely makes the top 10 list of greatest minds of all time.

            Jane is just a snob. We’re not.

          • George Bush is proof that Ivy League degrees don’t mean anything.

          • Have to admit that if I had nuts, I’d give my left one for an Ivy League degree. Seems to be the open-sesame to everything. Could have been cruising these last 40 years instead of working like a mule and re-inventing myself over and over. Haaaaaaard work.

          • RD, I love you. I use a line all the time from the Wizard of Oz whenever I talked of staying healthy “as long as my tail holds out” until I turn 65 and get on Medicare. (1.5 years to go.) To date, no one’s ever gotten it. Bet you would.

          • An education is only as good as the educated’s ability to put their knowledge to use.

          • Bush and Obama aren’t the only incompetent people to have graduated from the Ivy League. I know quite a few people who gained nothing from their Ivy League experience besides a chip on their shoulder. Yes, mayn people in the Ivy League are well-educated due to being born into wealth and privilege but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are smart. It only guarantees them a better chance at acing standardized tests because they had an excellent secondary school education and the money to take Kaplan test prep courses.

        • Diversity within a movement is a strength, and I seriously doubt that people with grad degrees are necessarily any smarter or better informed than those without them. Education is in general a good thing, but it’s not the only good thing.

          • Sandra, due to being an information omnivore (I’m not bragging here because I’d love to have that laser beam focus RD and others here have) I’ve spent more time in college classes than many, many people with degrees..even advanced degrees. Moreover, I’ve read more than almost anyone else I know…except for the people on this site, that is. However, I’ve never actually been admitted to the baccalaureate club. Maybe there should be an autodidact category. LOL

          • Sharon, I was once told by a poet and professor I knew that it was the clerisy that were really the driving force behind societal changes, but that they were so far ahead of the curve that they never got credit for it. I think that explains us pretty well.

          • It’s worth noting that he defined the clerisy as people who read for fun.

        • That’s okay, Sharon, neither do I – I have a 2 year nursing degree. I am, however, one of the most well-read people I know.

          Hubby has multiple degrees, triple majors in medicine, humanities, and physics, and loves that I can keep up with him on any debate/conversation on anything from string theory to philosophy, just by virtue of having a logical and curious mind. I’m not down on degrees – I wish like HELL I’d been fortunate enough to get more education. Life didn’t work out that way. But not being able to do that has never stopped me from reading like a sponge and THINKING.

          • I like your method. There are lots of folks out there that have been educated beyond their intelligence.

          • WMCB, as you know, you’ve been one of my personal heroines for almost 2 years now. Would have figured you had degrees out the wazoo. I have exceptionally educated friends also who love talking to me because I can keep up and frequently outpace them. My own daughter is getting a PhD in bio-medical research and just had a major paper published in Journal of Cell Biology. She has great respect for my education and intellect. But none of that means sh*t on a resume or to an HR functionary. You have to be in the club or you can’t get your foot in the door. About 15 years ago I re-invented myself as a software developer because I had 2 little kids to support and that was the only field where ability counts for more than credentials. But it will eventually be professionalized just as law, medicine, architecture, accounting were and become another gated career community. Sigh. Just hope my tail holds out until I can get on Social Security and Medicare.

          • “…educated beyond their intelligence…”

            Brilliant observation, Sophie.

          • “…educated beyond their intelligence…” Me like very much, Sophie. Thanks.

          • School is quite a nice and easy way to learn a bunch of stuff. In my opinion, the non school path is much harder and funnily enough in many ways better. I was far too lazy to learn the hard way, so I went to school. Any path that helps you to use your brain and think rationally gets you to the same place.

            Just think of all the academics that thought Obama was the greatest when you’re feeling insecure about such things.

            Some of the smartest scientists and engineers I work with have no college degrees at all. Ha, and one is a full tenured professor.

          • Hi, Dandy, you hunka burning love. Engineering does seem to be much more open to talent than to credentials. That’s why I chose software engineering, even though I don’t have the chutzpah to call myself an engineer.

          • For lots of people, I think think their education makes pretty clear where the limits of their intelligence lie. Put Gee Dubya and Obama both in that group. They both have graduate degrees and haven’t the faintest notion what to do with the know-how those degrees supposedly represent. I wouldn’t let GW do my taxes, and I sure as hell wouldn’t want Obama representing me in court, not even for a parking ticket.

          • Hey Sharon, don’t sell yourself short. From what I can see from your site, you’ve got your act together. You even have ScriptX listed. Now you’re talking my language.

          • Is that geek or nerd?

          • Is that geek or nerd?
            Uniquely both.

    • I mostly lurk, but took the survey. I really enjoy the excellent writing and thought-provoking opinions on this site. Happy New Year, all!


    • I threw in my JD and we make a ton of money. Sadly,we’re 55+ and I’m female, but what the hell!

  2. Done. And good idea.

  3. I took it too!

  4. Just filled the survey.

    I’m according to Booman one of those

    blacks that got confused and became Republican shills”

    • Guess according to Booman you’re not capable of independent thought only a herd mentality!! Sheesh, talk about RAYcist!

    • I don’t know why we have to give Booman any publicity. He is just an idiot, incapable of any original thought. Honestly. Even before all the hoopla of the Primary, I happened to look at couple of his diaries, and couldn’t get past first paragraphs. It was like wasting my time reading a blabbering idiot, with the writing skill and comprehension level of a grade student.

      On the other hand though, his psyche is very close to his other friends (the A-listers), without sophistry to hide it well. So the idiocy and sexism comes right through. I can see that it can be useful as cutting through all the extras, and see what they are really thinking.

    • As if he knew what that meant Mablue

    • he’s such a tool…and his grammar sucks. (bondage babies WHO got confused, not THAT got confused)

      his little froggie icon is a study in what NOT to reveal to the world about your peccadilloes.

    • Never confused – you saw things clear as day!

  5. I think we know who’s drooling all over themselves. Kool-aid will do that to a person! Project much, obots?

  6. I just realized that I left a lot of categories out. Like Native American and a zillion job descriptions. Whoops! Sorry about that.

    • I’m always sad when no one asks me if I’m Portuguese….

      • You’re Portuguese?? I had no idea. I always picture you as some blonde midwestern farm girl from good Norwegian stock or something. Wow, pictures are deceiving.

        • you didn’t put sino peruvian as a demographic choice … I feel left out

          • Hey, I’m not a professional at this. Write it in “other”.
            I feel so stupid for leaving out Native American. I remembered Pac Is and then just sat there drooling, thinking, “who am I forgetting? Oh well, they’ll let me know soon enough”

          • Yes, sino peruvian lesbian fits me perfectly. Survey completed nonetheless. 😉

          • Is there a wiki entry for sino peruvian lesbian?

        • Mom says that comes from a Flemish sailor back in the 1800’s — I think they used the Açores as a vacation retreat. ….

          • Oh, yeah! Now I remember. The Flems and the Portuguese had some kind of trade route cartel into and out of S. America. That kind of makes sense.

    • Yup, you left out Biz people, but I am sure you will tinker them in some how.

    • Classism Stats ( As someone that knew what it was to be poor, I find the current classism towards working people very disheartening. The one thing I learned while studying Human Resource Management, was that the most important asset in a business is; YOUR EMPLOYEES. Yup, that is what makes a business successful, happy employees. You have to have appreciation for the workers, and some don’t have degrees, others have degrees, but can’t find work in their field and some are just geniuses who if treated with dignity will work wonders.)

      • I agree with you. The classism towards working class people is shameful. But these days, I count myself among them.
        The point of this exercise is to see how many of us do not fit the stereotype of the bitter knitter Palinpal that the A-listers seem to think we are.
        Then, I suggest we all make new accounts at their sites and settle in.

        • I just signed up for a new account at one of the A-list sites. Just for the hell of it.

        • Seriously, we should go over and make accounts? The only one I visit from time to time is SALON, of the ‘hoytie toytie’ AWE ‘we are so progressive and LEFT’, only I think LEFT these days means leaving some behind that don’t know what a ‘caramel macchiato’ is. My friend always asks what is my coffee, because she can’t remember my coffee; regular coffee.

        • Meh…who needs them? I have no desire to commiserate with their ilk.

          • I still have my cheeto account, but I’m no longer a “trusted user.”

          • Heh me too BB.

            I’m the polar opposite of Myiq. I haven’t been banned from anywhere as of yet.

      • LOL – the only employers I’ve ever had who profess their high level of respect and admiration for the valued people working for them used that as a backdrop to disguise the atmosphere created by their incompetent management and constant employee abuse.

        • Right on, Gweema, I’ve had more jobs than anyone else I know and my rule of thumb is: if they call you a “team member” instead of an “employee”, run like hell if you can afford to. If you can’t afford to, you got 15 seconds to get wet or it’s gonna hurt. There are two human sub-species that give me gas…those with HR degrees and those with MBAs. Sure, there must be exceptions. Just haven’t met any in 40+ years.

        • “a backdrop to disguise…” Does that ever sound familiar!

    • So’Kay RD……Other was sufficient

    • I think your liberal provision of “other” gets you a pass.

    • I was gonna check “other” and write in “ethnically ambiguous” but decided otherwise. What do you call a white person who has spent her life being asked “where do you come from?” I’m often tempted to answer “Mars.”

  7. Survey done. I will be interested in the results, but I’m pretty sure there will be no surprises. TC has a well educated following. That’s obvious from the posts and comments.

    • Yeah, but numbers don’t lie.

    • There’s “formally” educated and then there’s “self” educated… somehow, respect for the latter category has diminished to zilch. Some of the most resourceful, creative and informed people I know managed to skip the formality of degree acquirement. But they sure are fun to hang out with!

      • Believe it or not there are more self made rich folk W/O college educations then with or there used to be anyways.

        Usually college folk go on to work for someone else(not that there is a thing wrong with that in my opinion).

  8. done. I missed the question about my bowling score. Surely we’re all beer swilling bowlers.

    • Yeah, but do you have your own ball?

    • Shame on you for not including “some Elementary school” under education level, and you forgot to ask about how many teeth we have and whether we’re married to our 2nd or 3rd cousins. Geez..

      • Is there some kind of sino-Peruvian help line we can call to talk us through if we’re not smart enough to fill out a whole survey all on our own? The drool and the words get in the way.

      • Not to mention first cousins, siblings and the family mule.

        • The former CEO of Boeing, Phil Condit, was married to his first cousin for many years. You don’t want to spend too much time looking at his photo, but his brain seemed okay. May need to add quality of DNA on the cousins question.

      • you crack me up, SOD!

      • uhhh, can’t we just say other? good survey though.

  9. …not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  10. done. how long will you be collecting data?

    • I’m going to let it run until Monday night around 10 EST then I’ll do the graphs.

  11. Speaking of demographics: Happy Birthday RalphB!!!

  12. The survey did not ask about our knitting projects or membership in the KKK.

  13. took the survey…will be fascinating to see the results…

  14. I wanted to take the survey…but I need pictures instead of those damn letters and numbers. You got any surveys like that there McDonalds keyboard type thing?
    I needed that thar picture of a bitter old white woman, a few knittin’ needles and a gun, and a totin’ bible…what is a bible totin’ thing? I do wish I were smart as them Firedoglakers and Kos people!

  15. I’m a blogstalker who has no life other than obsessively stalking people who disagree with me. I wish I could get this icepick to penetrate my skull.

  16. BTD thinks everyone is stupid, including the majority of commenters at TL.

  17. To paraphrase a talk show idiom, I’m a longtime reader but a first time commenter. Took the survey and was happy to do so.

    As a general rule, I dislike these surveys as it is hard to really relay the depth of your politics, I put down “Very Liberal” but I hate gun control and support (a more limited) death penalty. I put down “Populist Lefty” in the describe yourself section.

    Great blog, and I hope to begin contributing here more. I’m sorry I haven’t until now, but i am really done with the Party as it now stands.

    Happy belated New Year everyone!


    • Hi there Jackson! Nice to meet you.

    • Hey Jackson. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

    • “I put down “Very Liberal” but I hate gun control”

      Not too different from me, actually (although “hate” is probably a bit strong for me). I once shook up a state Democratic party platform committee meeting by saying the following when the issue of gun control was brought up:

      “Every time John Ashcroft opens his mouth, I thank God and the Founding Fathers for the Second Amendment. You should, too”

    • Hi! Happy New Year!

    • Welcome Jackson!

  18. I’m a Canadian, but I’ve been here since day 1. Should I take the survey?

  19. I am glad you didn’t ask if any of teach as they would have field day with our quick thoughts, and to busy to notice all the spelling errors. Any hoo, for me it is all about exchanging ideas.


    I learn a lot from you, I really do and often read your economic posts two or three times.

  20. God, you people have a way with words. “Asexual panromantic” sounds so much better than “postmenopausal”. Thanks for the upgrade.

    • Huh? I thought it meant we could get pleasure from any and everything, if we were so inclined!

  21. Done.

    Gee, I sure hope I past the test. I’m from the Appalachians and all so I sure am glad it was multiple guess.

  22. Happy New Year everyone!

    Question—has anyone run across a post from TexasDarlin recently? I really miss her insghts/commentaries.

  23. Why would you list anyone other than Hillary? I mean we all know it was her turn.

    • Yes, it was her turn. But we believe in choice and self-determination and all that namby-pamby democracy stuff.
      Go figure.

      • I was uncertain on what to put in that regard I started out an Edwards supporter and switched to Hillary after he dropped out because she definitely ran an inclusive campaign and seemed to take policy seriously.

        I guess I probably should have put Edwards but I truly was cheering on Hillary towards the end.

        • Hell, my position was a good deal more complicated. My position in ’92 was “I’m for Bill because Hillary isn’t running”. From the first t9me I hear her speak I thought she was Presidential material. However, I was pretty disgusted with her campaign during the early part of the 2008 cycle, because she seemed too risk-averse to take strong positions on issues (I blame Mark Penn). I supported Edwards because he actually talked about income disparity, class issues, and had a real healthcare plan. Sometimes I’m an overly optimistic judge of character ;-).

          I was starting to lean back to Hillary even before Edwards dropped out. I hope that redeems me.

          • She got better and better as the campaign wore on. It took her a while to “find her voice.” I agree that Penn was awful for her, and wish she had taken the lead from the start. Once she took matters into her own hands, she was radiant. Of course, she was on point and breathtaking in every debate from the beginning. I can still see her standing on that stage with 9 candidates–so cute, but then when she spoke, my jaw just dropped. She had a 5 point, 10 dimensional answer for everything. Never unprepared. Unlike “uh, uh, uh…what she said.”

        • Same here! I started out a Kucinich supporter, switched to Edwards when Dennis dropped out and didn’t get behind Hillary until I started really paying attention. But I checked Hillary because she was the one candidate that I can say I truly supported once I got past my assumptions and started listening to what she had to say.

        • Ditto here. But it’d be tough to do a survey that covered all the evolution in candidates.

      • But yet have no idea how primaries or caucuses or the branches of government work. Gotcha.

        • I’m sorry, you must think this is DailyKos. Why don’t you go play on the turnpike? No one has time to watch you today.

        • Well as it stands right now the way the caucuses work is you ship a whole bunch of out of state folk to a location, pre fill out ballots, and lock the doors before anyone who wouldn’t vote for your guy can get in.

          As for how the branches of government work- at this point I’d say not very well considering we have around 53 million without health care and the big concern is whether or not a woman may be able to get an abortion.

          • The Branches of Government:

            The Legislative: Divided into two halves, the corrupt and the incompetent. Neither is enacting any useful legislation.

            The Judicial: Used by both parties as a bludgeon to keep people in line (“But what about Roe v. Waaaaaaade?”), and co-opted by the Exec to cover their asses and allow them to get away with whatever they want.

            The Executive: PR division at the top, headed by spokesmodel. Cabinet is a place to keep your friends close and enemies closer. Also a good way to reward your cronies. Who needs qualifications?

          • LOL. Good one Sandra.

          • Sounds about right Sandra

          • Perfect.

          • I thought it was this way:
            Legislative: Works for Big Commerce
            Judicial: Selects the President
            Executive: Vacations

          • “Well as it stands right now the way the caucuses work is you ship a whole bunch of out of state folk to a location, pre fill out ballots, and lock the doors before anyone who wouldn’t vote for your guy can get in.”

            Yes and in Texas after the primary vote went for Senator Clinton, Obama supporters were unlocking the back doors and sneaking additional people (who may or may not have been Texas voters) in after the caucus doors were supposed to be closed.

            Democracy in action.


          • Brilliant! Should be required in 9th grade civics.

        • Sonny, I was running caucuses before you were even a bead of sweat on your daddy’s brow.

          • What is it with the “It was her turn” meme that turns otherwise sentient beings into mindless automatons?
            It *was* her turn to run. Just like it was Chris Dodd’s and John Edwards’. I think this is a variation of the dynasty meme, which I also didn’t understand. We had three terms of Bush’s, two terms of Adams’, FDR ran forever (and won) and was preceded by his cousin Teddy in a different party. But for some reason, Hillary Clinton was prohibited from running because…
            I hate to blame sexism for too many things because it tends to become cliche but I am at a loss to understand why these two memes struck such a chord.
            Essentially what these asshats are saying is, “It doesn’t matter how well prepared, smart, disciplined and tough she is. We don’t like her because she is married to Bill and she thinks it’s HER turn to be president now. No, no, give us that tall skinny guy with no experience and big financial industry backers instead. He looks promising when the country is on the verge of Depression.”

          • If Obama didn’t believe it was “his turn” then why did he run? Don’t tell me, in his modest aw shucks Lincolnesque way, he was just hoping his doomed run would attract enough attention that they’d allow him to sit on the Agriculture Subcommittee? But in a Capraesque turn no one could have predicted, his complete lack of knowledge, discipline, and ethics ignited a grassroots uprising that swept him into office? So he could become POTUS almost by accident, completely lacking in this sense of entitlement you find so deeply offensive? What a beautiful tale. I certainly don’t remember anyone saying this was our “one chance” to vote for him or he’d take his toys are go home–which is lucky, because that sure sounds like he thought it was “his turn.”

          • He had two whole years in the Senate and he’d written two memoirs. Plus he had given a speech!

            He figured he was ready.

          • Actually, I think Michelle *did* make the argument that we may never have had another chance to vote for the lightbringer if we didn’t do it in 2008. I think her reasoning is that the grueling campaign is too hard on the family and marriage.
            Good! I assume that means he won’t be running for a second term.

          • Better than that….according to Chuck Todd, Michelle’s words were that they would be far too wealthy in four years to be able to relate any longer to the struggles of the people in the country.

        • “Angry Inch?”–and that’s when it’s red & swollen, huh? Poor baby. No wonder you are how you are…

        • I’m be angry if I only had and inch too.

        • I’m be angry if I only had an inch too.

  24. Some of us have very interesting and unusual jobs. Pretty cool.

  25. Rd

    Since you are considering doing this for organizing purposes you might consider including a question on geographic region next go round.

  26. There are a lot of floating comments that were once tied to that stoopid MeatPr0d person so I hope you don’t mind if I get rid of them.

    • awww mom!! you never let us have any fun! 😦

    • PS: Deleting comments messes up the nesting big time.

      • That’s the only bad thing about nesting.

        • The ONLY bad thing? Gosh, you make it sound so trivial. Don’t you remember the contributors we lost over nesting? I think that was the straw that finally broke Gary’s back. He took his dishes and went home over it. I have the emails.

          • Really? I find that bizarre – on sites that don’t nest (Cannonfire, RL,etc.) I find it very difficult to associate “metacomments” with the comments they refer to.

          • It’s too bad, because all we needed to do was get used to it. So many of us hated it at first, but if they’d just stuck it out a few weeks they’d probably have grown to love it.

          • Yep, that was my theory. Nobody likes change but some people just LOVE control. Oh, well, hope they’re happy.

          • Yep, that was my theory. Nobody likes change but some people just LOVE control. Oh, well, hope they’re happy.

          • I remember, but I always liked it. FDL doesn’t have nesting and it’s incredibly hard to follow the conversation. I even think our nesting is better than the Cheeto’s.

          • The nesting is good; otherwise, it’s too hard to follow for this low-info type.

          • The only thing I really like a lot about TL is their nesting. It tells you which comments are new since you’ve been on a thread. That comes in handy especially for large threads, like TL had in the early primaries.

    • More fun to just edit the comment to be something funny, that way the nesting remains.

    • naw….we all know he had ( as Freud would say) “Mommy issues”.

    • Click on edit and amuse yourself with creative rewriting. That doesn’t mess up nesting.

    • An enhancement that might be worthwhile would be to have a conversation space off to the side sorta like FaceBook has. Perhaps this could even be a subscription feature and thus help the cash flow. There are a few things I’d prefer not to share with the whole world…even though I do it all the time anyway because I have nooooo shame. But I do so often feel the pull to connect on a personal level with some of your peeps. They’re so interesting I want to ask them more about themselves than would be appropriate in this venue. Also sometimes I’d just like to get a clue on the meaning of running gags such as the sino-peruvian lesbian thing without necessarily making it sooo obvious how clueless I am. (Love the way Corrente has a little pop-up tool tip defining insider terms, acronymns, etc.) You people can be really scary.

  27. Done. Of course now I’m worrying that the buttsniffing trolls will run up the numbers to be what they want.

    • We can see their IP addresses and domain names, just like we can in our comments section. We went through this before during the primaries. Trolls can be clever but they’re generally not invincible.

      • RD, we used our other desktop for my husband to weigh in. Hope that’s not against the rules.

        • That will show up as the same IP but two different machine/mac addresses. They should be able to tell that.

    • all taken care of DT — no worries.

    • Sweet.

  28. I still read TL. I never felt settled with BTD’s ‘pols are pols’ default explanation for all hypocritical behavior. Where is the line with that approach?
    And his dismissiveness and condescension towards this site and PUMA’s makes him look like a deliberately uninformed snob.
    Why is their realization that Obama is a fraud more legit than ours? We saw it early but somehow it’s ignorable. Oh, right. We’re racists. It’s always that argument. The criticism you can’t refute. He also says the primary battle was legit and we’re nuts to say otherwise.
    Why do I care what he thinks? I guess it’s the struggle for the truth. I don’t want to live in a bullsh*t world and to have your own ‘tribe’ create so much bullsh*t is/was incredibly depressing.

    • I’ve never cared what BTD thinks. I got used to him at DK. He’s eccentric and emotional, but entertaining.

      • When he makes sense he’s entertaining. He doesn’t do satire well, but maybe that’s because it’s the last thing humans “get”.

    • To say the primary battle was legit is just willful ignorance of the facts. Facts are stubborn things. That’s the problem with the sudden realization of former Obots–if they are prone to denial about one thing, they will be prone to denial again.

    • The only way BTD can keep himself at that elevated ego level is to redefine terms and rules to fit his argument. He does it constantly.

      If he can’t win the argument with a reasoned explanation, he simply pretends the readers aren’t smart enough to understand what he is saying. He finally resorts to condescending bullying, then bans the person from participating in his threads.

      I think it is easy to find better writers and more intelligent analysis than BTD provides. He fashions himself quite the expert on HCR…but, his track record with Obama doesn’t make him my “go to” guy for sound information.

      • BTD is generally a good guy and I usually (but not always) agree with what he says.. Bloggers are by nature opinionated, outspoken and argumentative. Having your own blog gives you the privilege of getting the last word if you want it.

        BTW – I was banned from TalkLeft (by Jeralyn) even though I never violated their comment policy.

        • He comes off abrasive to alot of folks. You gotta have some thick skin when arguing with him because he does have a mean streak. For the most part though I think he’s decent. True story: We got into an argument on DK about TRing. He called me something along the lines of stupid. I called him something like the left sides version of Rush Limbaugh. We went back and forth for a day or two. When things cooled down he invited me to Swords Crossed, a site Trevino and BTD founded for the two sides of the respective aisles to argue, debate or whatnot. As you say most bloggers are pretty opinionated. I’d actually say BTD is one of the better folks when it comes to believing someone is entitled to their opinion. I kinda dig opinionated though so I guess its a your miles may vary type thing.

        • BTD didn’t make very much sense when he was going through his “Obama being a media darling is super duper asset” phase.

          • I think his problem is that he doesn’t make much sense a lot of the time and he acts like he’s above explaining things. I remember one time he got into an argument, and granted, the other guy was being ridiculous, but instead of just laying the argument out so everyone could understand, whether the other guy chose to or not, he just basically kept saying, in so many words, you’re being foolish, stop. His communication style is not always that effective, IMO.

  29. you didn’t put sino peruvian as a demographic choice
    As a example of education not preventing gullibility, until recently, I thought RD was Sino-Peruvian aka, “tusan”.

  30. An “Angry Itch”…is there any other kind?
    An itch is always annoying, unpleasant, uninvited and a sure sign that something as foul as fleas, mosquitos,bedbugs or an allergic reaction is present. So many annoying bugs.
    Thank God for Benadryl and the delete button!

  31. Oops- my apologies to the fleas, bedbugs, and mosquitos.

  32. I’m considering some organizational activities to give us better visibility outside of the blogosphere. Here are a few that I’ve considered:
    1.) The Confluence Run- sort of like a Nike run. We plan for a race at many different geographical locations. In the lead up to that race (like a 5K or 10K with a walking option), we do recreational runs together as informal meetups. I’m going to start posting some run mix posts for anyone who is interested. Maybe T-Shirts are called for as well.
    2.) Bowling night- Another informal meetup activity. Hey, if they’re going to treat us like bowlers, why not? It’s a good way to meet people and if we all wear Confluence T-Shirts…
    3.) Cocktail Parties- Just another way to meet and organize. At this point in time, public venues are probably better but once we make connections, we can make them more private or extend our circle of friends.
    4.) Community service projects- like getting a posse to work on habitat for humanity in NOLA. That way we can drop in on Dak and raid her refrigerator. 😉
    Add your idea below.

  33. OT: There was a really important and heartbreaking segment on Amanpour (one of the few assets CNN has left) this weekend, about the trafficking of women and girls. I was really glad she did this and gave attention to the issue. Here is one writeup from the website, and here is another. Wish I could find a youtube, there’s a link on the Amanpour site to the podcast, though.

  34. Did the survey and sent it to my sister, the other silent reader.

    Seriously, ‘me thinks they protest too much”–when people have to constantly tell you how smart they are, then they’re not.

  35. WordPress is very user friendly. I can block IP’s faster than the Buttsniffers can generate new ones.

  36. Has any here heard about the Modern Whig Party? I just saw it mentioned on another site….

    • That sounds really conservative.

      • here’s their website:


        kind of vague… they expect fiscal responsibility, but believe in equality for all. cherry picking ideas form both parties

        strange name for a new party though…..

        • I thought Whigs were the original Republicans, or precursors to republicans. They were formed in opposition to the Andrew Jackson and the Democratic Party.


          • Well, to be fair, Andrew Jackson was a bit of an outlier when it comes to the Democratic party. He didn’t much like Native Americans at all and his attitude towards the supreme court was downright disrespectful.

          • My people (except the Baptist ones) don’t believe in hell, but are willing to allow that Creator might have made special arrangements for Jackson.

          • Andy was married to a Native American—Rebecca—I am pretty sure but was noted for a hot temper. He was enraged by the way DC society treater her.

          • Wow, Andrew Jackson was married to a Native American AND didn’t like them? Was he reincarnated as Lou Dobbs?

          • Sophie–LOL!!!

            Andrew Jackson’s wife’s name was Rachel. I don’t think she was Native American. Jackson adopted a Native American baby though.

          • I’ve been looking, but I can’t find anything saying she was Native American either. What she was, was already married when she and Andy got married. (First husband lied about the divorce being final.) Anyway, they finally did get properly married, but the Village (yes, DC was one, even back then) kept badgering them about the adultery.

            According to Wikipedia:

            Although a dowdy, forlorn figure in middle age, famous for smoking a corncob pipe, Rachel Donelson in her youth was a comely, vivacious woman. She was known for her intelligence and wit. She was clearly able to “hold her own” in any conversation and was popular with the men she met.

            She died after he was elected but before the Inauguration; she never got to be first lady.

    • Looks interesting but sounds a bit like they don’t have a political philosophy yet. They call themselves moderates and want to cherry pick from Ds and Rs. What can you pick from the Republicans?
      I mean, that you’d want in your government. Gotta tread verrrrry carefully here.
      They’re also mostly military. Actually, I can identify with military people since my dad was one for a bazillion years and my brother is career army. I can kind of guess where they stand on most of the issues. They’re probably a LOT more friendly to working people. If I had no other choice, I might consider the Whigs.
      But I think there’s another party out there that hasn’t formed that is probably better.

      • I worry about us expat dems and hope we get something going while there is some momentum….. I’m ready for something that represents the core principles expressed here.

  37. One category I’d like to have added to the survey is individuals’ political activism. Any past or present political office holders? Any protest marchers amongst us?

    Would it be too intrusive to ask what people’s college majors and post-college degrees were?

  38. I took the survey, because I simply can not resist a good button-mashing session online. Besides, I come here everyday even if I don’t comment.

  39. Done.

    Will be curious to see results.

  40. Oh RD! You should have included “choice of alcoholic beverage”. It’s always easier to critique afterwards-sorry. 😦

    Your booze of choice would give a definite idea of the class of the survey-taker. However, there are some problems with that. PBR could indicate the typical southern redneck OR pretentious wannabe who identifies with…what?

    • Aren’t we all a “certain class of women?” At least that’s what Jane thinks.

      • Redneck women who drink PBR?

        For some reason I would have thought bitter knitters would be the sherry drinkers! 😉

  41. I didn’t know what to put for the liberal/conservative question. On all those political spectrum quizzes, I always end up being told I’m most closely aligned with Dennis Kucinich or Gandhi or whatever, but I don’t identify that way anymore. When it comes to policy, I’m pretty liberal, but culturally I identify more as a moderate.

    • Yeah. I’m a big Liberal idealist in terms of what I want to see happen, but I’m a big pragmatist in terms of How we get there (i.e.: baby steps).

      • Those are hard for me, too. I’m VERY liberal in what I want to see done, but am not one who wants to just hand a chunk of power to the State and tell them, “Go do what you think is best.” I don’t trust the feckers.

        I used to say I was a fiscal conservative, but that’s not quite it, either. I don’t mind taxes or paying for things if you can get good results via govt. Maybe I’m a Liberal who is an accountability conservative rather than fiscal conservative: i.e. I believe that govt can do good and helpful things, but must be very specifically guided and constrained and watched like a hawk so they don’t get all grabby and power-happy and screw it up.

        • I think accountability is exactly what is missing. Whether this develops into a PAC or a third party or a revamped Democratic party, your definition of accountability should establish the foundation of any new movement.

        • Without accountability you get, well you get what we have now.

          • Are you referring to politicians who piss on our backs and tell us it’s raining?

            Forgive my working class-bitter-clingy vulgarity.

  42. OT: The number of American identifying a Democrats is at it’s lowest level in more than 7 years of monthly tracking by Rasmussen Reports.

    Currently, 35.5% of American adults view themselves as Democrats. That’s down from 36.0 a month ago and from 37.8% in October. Prior to December, the lowest total ever recorded for Democrats was 35.9%, a figure that was reached twice in 2005.


    • Good going Obots!

      • Even more good going, obots: Ian Welsh has the latest on the percentage of Democrats planning to stay home in the next elections: it’s up to 45%.

        warning: the click through at Ian’s goes to Cheetoland. Since I already made that mistake, I’ll treat you all to some entertaining quotes from the ‘analysis’ section:

        There is also some potential evidence that the Democrats lost this round of the P.R. war over health care.


        In the best evidence to date that the Democratic leadership is going to have to do an immense amount of outreach to their base in 2010, the highest percentage of Democrats to date (45%) indicated this week that they are either unlikely to vote, or certain not to vote.

        Oops! I guess no one told them, the base has left the building.

        • They refuse to recognize the value of what Clinton did.

        • Isn’t that what good ole Donna was after? A general purge of the base?

          • I was going to say the same. They told the base to leave. They did. What’s with the long faces now? /snark

      • During the blog wars of 2008, when I got kicked off a non-political board, I tried to explain to the obots that they were alienating the Democratic base, those of us who had supported the Party long before the Big Zero came along; and I cautioned them that Obama voters would not stick around. But they preferred to get rid of the longtime Dem voters in favor of the new, young ones. It was a really stupid move, or clever if destroying the Democratic Party was the intention.

        • that’s cause the old base was raycist…so they thought if they sprayed their Raycist BeGone spray that Obama would be president, all hate would disappear, the birds would sing, the sun would shine… the Democratic party would be a more perfect unity pony. Never occurred to them that the old base wasn’t just a bunch of raycists but rather had a lot of people who had been voting for the Democrats–in spite of the problems they had with the party going in a corporatist direction in recent years–in part because they cared about civil rights and all human rights and they thought the Democratic party did, too.

        • so prescient was she….

          • I *love* that one!

            BTW, Hillary took RI in the primary. I did massive phone calling for her campaign in RI. Coincidence? Nope!

    • Would you want to be associated with this current bunch?

  43. everyone should take the survey

  44. It’s as good as a confession when a Buttsniffer tells the other blogstalkers he saw a comment here when that comment never made it out of the spam filter.

    • I wonder how many RL restraining orders the Buttsniffers have accumulated? Stalking is the kind of behavior that tends to be repeated with multiple victims.

    • Ha. That would be a big oopsie. Caught red handed.

      • Buttsniffers is what happens when trolls get their own blog. It’s a place where they can organize troll swarms, brag about their exploits, and show each other their comments that got deleted from real blogs.

        It’s just a coincidence they are mostly guys and spend most their time stalking and harassing women through the blogosphere.

  45. http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/obama-clinton-and-puma-problem-3323137

    sheesh, and we thought they forget about us sino peruvian lesbians …

    So the youngish black guy won, as opposed to the old-ish white woman, and Barack Obama has been president now for almost a year.

    But people are finding themselves unable to decide whether Barack Obama is simply a slipperier, less charismatic version of Bill Clinton, or a rather pedestrian retail politician from Chicago who, while having a good line in nuance and speeches, simply campaigns to the left, and governs in the middle.

    Is he a putz, or a genius? I can’t tell. But as the President increasingly speaks on both sides of his mouth (he was for how US security dealt with the terrorist attack at Christmas, before he was against it. He is now most definitely against it), a chorus is rising: ‘See, Hillary would have been different!’

    These (mostly middle-aged, and late-middle-aged women) felt Obama had used the race issue to jiu-jitsu the Clintons (they were right), that he didn’t really believe anything (they may have been right), and that he had no spine for engaging the hard issues in a hard-headed way (ditto).

    Their life experience had taught them that no politician could have such attributes and be trusted.

    They were so angry, they were nick-named PUMAs, or ‘Party Unity, My Ass!’ These people disliked Obama so much they were prepared to savage the Democratic party that had bred them in order to stop him.

    • Saw that. There must be a loooooot of new bitter knitters po’d and very nostalgic for Clinton.

      • it seems a lot of them have turned Republican … congratz there POTUS for helping the Republican party and destroying the Democratic brand!!! Such a uniter!!! Not a Divider!!!

        • Well, I haven’t re-registered as a Republican and I’ve never given the Republican party a dime. I voted for a third party candidate in the NJ governor’s election and he was a pretty decent guy. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. If Corzine wanted to be reelected, he should have acted like a Democrat instead of a placeholder for a player to be named later.
          But if it’s true that there are a new bunch of TONRs out there, the party has no one to blame but itself.

          • I’d NEVER register republican.

          • I would consider it in order to vote in a GOP primary.

            There are some Republicans that would be worse than Obama.

            Like Gingrinch.

          • I’d rather stay home.

          • I haven’t given any money to a Republican yet. But then I’m more than happy to break a few eggs. I love the smell of sedition in the morning! And one of these days I might go ahead and jump, and send SarahPAC some money.

          • Occasionally I have a rather naughty thought of saying let’s all abandon the Democratic party (and others) and all register as Republicans. If there is effectively only one corporatist party, then let’s stop playing games and get rid of one of the two branches.

        • No, the Republicans are only 35%. It’s the Independents that are growing, I think.

          • We unaffiliated are a third of the electorate now. We should just call ourselves The Third Party, write ourselves a charter and get on with it.

          • Where do I sign?

          • I’m with you RD but I would like to aim for the 2/3 Party!
            The other 2 parties are very likely going to piss off that
            many people soon enough.

          • ya know I really like the the name The 3rd Party….it’s simple, direct and graphics oriented.

        • Yep, keep it simple and easy to find on the ballot.

        • After the primary debacle, I donated money to and phone banked for McCain. I would gladly do it again since I respect him a lot, though I didn’t become a Republican.

          This year I’m going to be a Republican and vote in the state primary. After that, I’m staying Independent unless something better comes along.

    • He’s wrong though to assume the underlying reason for us becoming unaffiliated.

      • I haven’t gone anywhere, the Democratic party left me.

        Most of the PUMAs/former PUMAs that have “gone Republican” have actually “gone Palin.” But they are a minority of PUMAs/former PUMAs.

        • PUMA was a limited time only thing. We’re something else now.

          • Except for those of us who still do not feel any call to party unity with any party. I think it still works, though there may be a next thing to do (or not do, as the case may be).

          • I get what you’re saying. I stick with the PUMA label for two reasons. The first is that I don’t have a new one yet, and I want to differentiate myself from the credulous dupes only now becoming disaffected, and the second is that I want to fight against the way that PUMA got appropriated right out from under us. I don’t let the fact that I disagree with an awful lot of what currently passes for feminism or the fact that people think feminists are scary bitches prevent me from calling myself a feminist. I’m not going to let people co-opting PUMA scare me away either. But I may take on a new label once I find one I like. Even then, I’ll be a proud former-PUMA.

        • OTOH–strategically speaking, signing up for Grover Norquist’s “Drown Government in the Bathtub” Coalition is the only feasible means I can see to force Jane Hamshire to start returning our calls…..

          • Please, Jane isn’t going to answer our calls. She wants desperately to pretend we don’t exist. She’s going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming to accept reality.
            Just keep an eye out for her appearances on C-Span and call in to challenge her on mandates or something. But be sure to tell her you are a well educated affluent community organizer and opinion maker who voted for Hillary Clinton and blames Jane for ruining the party.

        • I can’t see myself voting for Palin for Prez under any condition. If there was even a hint of my thinking that was the legitimate choice, I’d expatriate as quickly as possible to some farmland out of the way of things.

          • I don’t know, we might end up with some good stuff.

          • I dunno, Kat. Could she really be worse than what we already have? Abortion seems to be a big sticking point for women wrt Palin but Obama hasn’t rescinded the Bush Conscience Rule and we’ve seen how he kissed up to Ben Nelson. Under Obama, Roe is just going to become a vestigial ruling anyway. You’ll have the right to discuss abortion options with your providers and those providers will have the right to deny you. Or your state religious nannies will do it. How is that so much scarier than what Palin would do? For all we know, real opposition would form if Palin took office.
            As for her supposed intelligence or lack thereof, she’s as quick as a fox. No one gets to be the governor of a state as big and oil rich as Alaska unless they are well connected or have natural political talent. I’m going with the latter. When it comes to governing, you don’t have to be a genius. You just have to be smart enough. What is more important is your ability to move others to do things for you. That she appears to have.
            As a person, I think she’s charming. As a politician, she’s probably more ruthless than you think. I don’t like her positions on issues or her affinity for Limbaugh and I wouldn’t vote for her for president but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if she won.

          • At least Palin is pro-contraception. It would be an improvement over what we have now, if we could get contraception covered for whatever American wants it.


          • I don’t know. She governed pretty moderately when she was Governor. I don’t think she’d be any worse than Obama. In fact, I think she’d be more populist, and less of a corporate kiss-ass. That wouldn’t be a bad thing, even if I think her personal social conservatism and policy tendencies towards libertarianism are problematic.

          • I’d vote for Palin against Obama in a heartbeat. But I doubt we’ll be lucky enough to have a real choice. It will be Jeb v. Obama and Jeb will win.

            djmm, I saw the funniest bumper sticker today: Pro-Obama, Pro-Choice. I so wished the owner had walked out just then so I could have laughed and said: Shouldn’t that say Pro-Obama, Pro-Life?

      • They never will get it. They have too many preconceived notions about who we were and why we did what we did.

        I’m a political junkie who never ever thought I’d vote anything but Democrat, even though I could see what Nader was saying and believed there was truth to it. The 2008 election exposed the fault lines in the Democratic party and then broke the party into pieces. The Ds won the election–but at what cost? How is it that the only line they have really been willing to draw in the sand in recent years has been to tell the “old” coalition take it or leave it, but the insurance companies, Wall Street, etc. — I am supposed to believe they are so cowardly and can’t draw any lines in the sand? The Democratic party made it abundantly clear who their new base was in 2008, and it sure as hell didn’t include me. Rather than seize the opportunity that had come out of the dredges of the Bush Administration to galvanize the nation behind real reform on behalf of the people, the Ds have decided to remove any possible defense against Nader’s assertion in 2000 that these two parties are the difference between Coke and Pepsi.

        • Yep. The Democrats were given a complete free pass in ’08, and there are two ways they could have spent it. Demonstrate their desire to be an actual political party and leverage that good will to demonstrate a commitment to public service and make concrete gains for the American people. Or, use a free pass to demonstrate their contempt for the American people and spend 4 years looting the Treasury and setting up their cushy lobbying jobs for when the party’s over.

      • From a link to a PA paper in the NZ story. Lots of people feel just like this guy.

        Republican opponent was a Democrat until recently

        “I was a Democrat at the time so I supported the Democratic Party’s candidates. I was wrong, and I’ve seen the error of my ways,” he said. “It’s not anything that I hide.”

        On his Web site, he confronts his past as a Democrat head on.

        “Until recently, I was a Democrat because I believe that government should protect the powerless from the powerful, but President Obama and Congressman Kanjorski have transformed the Democratic Party into the powerful from whom we all need to be protected,” he wrote. “In the words of Ronald Reagan, ‘I didn’t leave the Democratic Party; the Democratic Party left me.'”

    • Saw that. I don’t buy their conclusions. Not a hell of a lot of PUMAs voted Obama. And a protest vote for McCain does NOT make one a Republican. A lot of contempt for everyone in the whole writing too.

    • I REALLY detest the tone of that post. I was not enthusiastic about Hillary until after NH and the “IRON MY SHIRT” episode. I had researched Obama, even through Brit papers, beginning in January. I revved up my reading about Hillary and her record. She was the best candidate, brilliant and experienced. I attended one of her rallys here and she was knowledgeable and spoke without one note. I don’t vote on the likeability of a politician’s personality although I came to like Hillary a lot. To “enthrone” her never crossed my mind.

      There’s a real disconnect between my reality and this man’s knowledge of me and the time-consuming work I did before choosing Hillary. The problem is many of these male writers don’t listen to numbers of women and read female posts and comments on blogs. They just skim off the top of whatever they’ve read or whomever they’ve interviewed in passing and write some dumb-ass shallow post like this one.

      • My comments are a reaction to dak’s link at 4:24. My anger slowed down a quicker response.

      • It’s not necessarily ignorance. If they tell the truth about who Hillary’s supporters are/were, it would mess up their narrative about what happened in the 2008 primary.

      • He made my skin crawl, but at least he did a fairish job of delineating some of the actual issues some Hill voters had with Obama (race baiting, not having any principles, etc.) instead of the typical caricaturish mischaracterizations. Also, he mentioned lack of trust in politicians who demonstrate lack of character, as opposed to personal petulance or racism. It’s not great, but better than usual IMO.

    • Not a very bright writer. #1 – the PUMA named themselves, they weren’t given the nickname.

      He really misses on enough points that his piece isn’t worth the paper it is written on. Then, NZer’s would have a difficult time trying to think like an American politically.

    • less charismatic version of Bill Clinton

      Less charismatic than Bill Clinton. LOL. Don’t tell that to Tweety.

      • Don’t forget slipperier. Tweety won’t like that either–and really, really don’t tell him that’s the best case scenario.

  46. puma was not a limited time thing for me

  47. RD ok i understand that your moving on . but where are you moving on to .& how has your message changed?? now that you consider your self post-puma

    • I am looking for a viable third party. I would very much like to join one or start one. Unfortunately, I am a full time working person and don’t have a lot of time to devote to something this big. But I am going to help anyone who steps forward to take it on.

      • See note below.

      • Just a question… Don’t you think that if a third party were to happen and people here and Reclusive Leftist were at the forefront that you will be considered PUMAS by most people anyway?

        • We’re not ashamed of PUMA and we have no control over what others think. Some Obots consider people like Lambert and Susie Madrak to be PUMAs, even though they were never associated with the coalition.

        • Would you say Reclusive Leftist is PUMA? I think Dr. Socks is a Green.

      • By starting a new party you will probably face much input and questions but I’m hoping mine can be of some help –

        What is the goal of a third party? Do you plan on drafting a presidential candidate to win or just to send a message? I ask this because you run the risk of becoming another green party who has little or no affect on the electorate. If the goal is to get a true liberal in the white house and Obama is the democratic nominee it may only get you a Republican in the end which is fine IF you are looking to send a message. In that case you have to decide what you want your story to be? Do you want to be remembered as The Third Party who swung an election or do you want to be remembered as The PUMA’s who reclaimed the democratic party? I see more benefits in reclaiming a party that can actually win an election rather than one that can swing one.

  48. “You didn’t lose your intelligence when you turned 50, although there’s a pretty good chance you lost your keys.”

    Having turned 50 this year, I think that’s pretty damned funny.

    I took the survey.

  49. Took the survey and did some research on starting our party. For CA.

    The California Law on Registering a New Party

    The law, in this case, says:

    “5001. Whenever a group of electors desires to qualify a new political
    party meeting the requirements of Section 5100, that group shall form
    a political body by:

    (a) Holding a caucus or convention at which temporary officers shall
    be elected and a party name designated, which name shall not conflict
    with that of any existing party or political body that has previously
    filed notice pursuant to subdivision (b).

    (b) Filing formal notice with the Secretary of State that the
    political body has organized, elected temporary officers, and declared
    an intent to qualify a political party pursuant to Section 5100. The
    notice shall include the names and addresses of the temporary officers
    of the political body.”
    (SOURCE: California Election Code, Division 5, Ch. 1. Available Online
    at California Secretary of State,

    In addition, in order to put candidates on the ballot you must show proof of party support. Without going into the legal mumbo jumbo that equates to about 1% of the registered voters for congressional and statewide offices. This proof of support (signatures of registered voters) must be filed approximately 135 days prior to the election.

    If you want to actually do this new party, I will volunteer time to help organize it.

    • Wait until Violet Socks gets back from vacation and calls for abstracts and papers. Should be soon.

      • In the research that I have done—which is just across the surface—it looks to me like we will have to go state by state for a political party. Which is doable and implies an organizing team in each state sharing a common set of organizing principles, vision, mission whatever but answering to what the rules are in each state.

        Does Violet post here or does she have her own blog?

        • Violet is here: http://www.reclusiveleftist.com/

          She’s been writing extensively about where to go from here. She was initially calling it the Pony Party, and now she’s leaning towards the Justice Party.

        • Violet has her on blog.

          Reclusive leftist is on the sidebar of blog links.

          If what you are saying is true then geographic data is definitely going to be something that needs to collected.

          Lambert at correntewire is also looking at a third party idea. So that is 3 blogs that are thinking along the same lines.

  50. “Firedoglake and its associated publications attract a large, affluent, educated audience of opinion makers and engaged community leaders. It also attracts a select audience of legislative decision makers and policy makers in Washington, D. C.”

    I’m trying to spell pretentious. OK, got it. There is so much here that simply reeks, but also reeks of “mission statement” and PR hooey. Gosh, one wonders who their audience really is, and what impact they have on the world beyond their “select, affluent, well educated, opinion(ated)” circle.

    • Meant to add, thanks for making the survey easy, RD.

    • That’s the mindset, that’s the progressive/liberal koolaid, priding oneself on how affluent and therefore enlightened and important they are. That’s the reason why even though policy-wise I still gravitate toward liberalism, I really don’t feel like I can relate to the ATTITUDES amongst the activist left anymore. Progressives and even a lot of self-identifying liberals talk the way Jane does in the description of FDL, sadly. I sipped some of the snobby koolaid myself while I was in college. I regret that, but that was part of my learning curve. I mistakenly thought that most people on the left shared my egalitarian ideals. Turns out I was very wrong–I started to realize this some time before, but 2008 just put a lot of experiences that I had into perspective. The whole paradigm of people on the left being the ones who were about “live and let live” — it just wasn’t adding up. I’ve met and seen too many people on both sides of the spectrum who defy that concept.

  51. Other options for political action in addition to forming a new party are:

    a. Registering as a lobbyist group
    b. Forming a political action committee, PAC

    My choice for names regardless of what is formed would be:
    1. The Third Party—because the name generates a burning idea of choice
    2. The Confluence—because I love the metaphor it is and on a smaller scale it generates a political idea of coming together.

    I am sure there are many other great possibilities this blog can generate as we are knitting and bittering.

  52. The geography search would be helpful RD to identify the states we would need to research election laws.

    • Been reading here and geo. is a must–parties must get a certain number of people in a ballot. Do another survey with a state ID .

  53. I know he got a bad name in 2000, but I’m thinking Nader’s Green Party looks good. B0’s first year (along with Pilosi’s Congress and Reid’s Senate) certainly proved out his meme that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats. I can get behind everyone of their Ten Key Values.

    • Is Nader still a Green? I thought there was a schism and the Greens are now basically divided into 2 separate factions? I think he won our Green Party primary in ’08 but then he went on to run in the general against McKinney, the Green nominee.

      • Idunno. I wasn’t actually interested before 2008. I saw those 10 Key values and thought, hey, we’re for that!

        • Yeah, they did a good job with the platform. I believe the schism possibly has more to do with party building and organization, trying to build up the state parties and elect more office holders vs. putting more resources into the Presidential campaigns, etc.

  54. I was disappointed that the survey didn’t ask if I lived in a trailer with a guy named “Bubba”.
    I’m real proud of the trailer and of Bubba, too.

  55. A political action committee might be an easier way to begin, especially if the focus you want is primarily to impact Federal elections. The type of PAC we would want to set up would be a “nonconnected PAC”.

    How do I start a nonconnected PAC?
    Nonconnected PACs must register by filing FEC Form 1 [PDF], Statement of Organization within 10 days after raising or spending in excess of $1,000 in connection with federal elections. Such PACs should download the Campaign Guide for Nonconnected Committees [PDF] for more information on the laws that apply to them.

    Download our Nonconnected PAC Registration Toolkit
    The complete package of forms and other information necessary to register a committee with the FEC.

    • Good information and good place to start.
      We really need a viable third party. So far, all the attempts to form one have come from the right. There needs to be one from the left.

      • Agree. The right is making a bargain with the so called tea party but I think there are plenty of independents who don’t find that a comfortable new home. Not to mention Dems in limbo. Saw Hamsher and a woman strategist from the Tea Party on CNN—within two minutes they were at odds about the HRC mandate. They agree they did not like the mandate but Hamsher wanted a public option instead and the Tea Party woman was saying no way. That is a partnership that is going nowhere fast.

        I absolutely agree with your point that we need to hammer out our principles and use them to attract those who will work with us to achieve them. The obots have taught us at least one thing—how NOT to negotiate.

      • OT. RD – Your January 1st “Jane’s Amazing…” post has over 400 responses.

        What’s the record?

        • not sure. I think we’ve had bigger comment threads. My PUMA power post got over 100K hits on its own last year but I think we closed the comments on it.

      • See also notes up thread on starting a new party. It is going to be cumbersome, state by state, but it is doable. If nothing else, a couple of viable new parties may shake things up and change the calculus.

  56. A “plurality rule” election system makes it very difficult for a third party movement to succeed. Purging the leadership from the Dem. party may have a better chance. It is unfortunate that the fundie-wingnut-wackos took over the Rethug party; the Republican Party of Lindsey, Javits and even Nixon would have offered a real but temporary alternative to the Obot party.

    A monumental election disaster for the Obot party in 2010 and 2012 is probably the only path to real reform of the Democratic Party. The downside is a return to the Rethugs. Unfortunately, a serious illness often requires very unpleasant treatment modalities.

    • I actually think a third party will be the best lever to purge Dem party leadership and maybe even Repub leadership. If we were able to shake things up in a significant way and not get anyone elected, I think that would be a victory. Third parties really have trouble succeeding at elections but they have made significant contributions to how our government works. Nader had a real impact on car safety, e.g. Bull Moose on food safety, La Follette on election laws and citizen ballot initiatives.

      • But a big problem is that Third Parties have to compete in an arena where the rules are made by their competitors. Remember when the Green candidate tried to run against Casey and Santorum? The Dems pulled the good old reliable signature challenge ploy, and the judge tossed him off the ballot. It’s not a level field (which, granted, is the same problem faced intraparty with O’s cronies controlling the levers). If they see a Third Party making enough inroads to threaten the outcome, they’ll do what they have to.

        • No one ever succeeded at anything by giving up before they started.

          • I didn’t say give up. We’re talking about whether it’s more effective/easier to try and take back the Dems or coordinate with an existing Third Party or start a party from scratch. Obviously, each road had its good side and bad side.

        • Agreed Seriously. I personally think a third party is a pipe dream. They’re hard enough to deal with in a Parliamentary system. In Canada we ended up with a bunch of teensy left-wing splinter parties, the no-longer majority Liberals, and a united Right that keeps winning. Instead, I think it’s better to work with PACs and to build a big pissed-off voting bloc. Ideally one which can and will punish both major parties until they start to give a crap about voters again. Bonus points if we can bully them into enacting legislation that fundamentally alters campaign finance law and electoral law in a way that limits the role of corporations in politics and improves the chances for an eventual third party victory.

        • The problem with third parties is their issues are split up and co-opted by the two big parties. A third party would have to be more based in principle and discipline. It would have to be national and the leadership would need to defund candidates based on their lack of adherence to standards. The DNC gave up on that with the 50 state blue dog alliance.

          Starting a third party isn’t a problem, keeping it around is.

    • Does this very unpleasant treatment come with medical marijuana?

  57. That was kinda fun for a cold, cold blustery Sunday!

  58. I’ve never seen so many comments. Like cozying up with a good book.

  59. Whoopsie daisy. Over at Huffpo, Marianne Williamson goes from “Yes We Did” to “WTF did we do?

    • another disenchanted with McDreamy piece… too bad nobody could have predicted this.

      Maybe we should call it the Nobody Party and say “yes we did… predict it.”

      • How could anyone predict anything else? This isn’t ANTM! The guy’s one skill is being able to read off the TelePrompTer! In what galaxy does that translate into great President?

        • it’s ANTP (next top prez)

          • Lol! I would really like for someone to explain what exactly they thought would happen. It’s like a movie: Obama steps to podium, close up on cheering crowds, fade out. Wait, what? Whaddya mean it’s just the beginning? What does he have to do now? I don’t understand. We had Inauguration Day, we had balloons, we had puppies! We’re done!

    • The whole Obama phenomenon brings up memories from my distant past: the good-looking guy who talks real good, whose line you don’t buy immediately but whose charm is so dazzling that he gradually convinces you that this time it will be different.

      Yeah. Right. Really different.

      Did Marianne not learn from her college years when a guy whispered any promise in your ear to get you into bed with him? Marianne, you were conned using the oldest trick in the book but the worst part is that the rest of us are getting screwed for your mistake too.

      • Wow! She is channeling US!

        He bailed out the banks, but he didn’t stipulate that they had to start lending again. He got us health care, but he wouldn’t say a word about single payer and he wouldn’t raise a finger for the public option. He won the Nobel Peace Prize, but accepted it with a speech that was an apologia for war.

        In the meantime, we should be looking at our options. In “Healing the Soul of America”, I wrote about Ghandi’s notion of soul force in politics and why it matters to stand on your truth. Should we re-brand the Green Party, or draft another Democrat to challenge Obama in the primaries in 2012? I don’t know what we should do, but I know one thing that we shouldn’t do: pretend to ourselves that this man is delivering on what he promised when he first won our hearts.

      • I would bet there are several old threads like this.

    • Hallelujah! I was so disappointed when she drank the kool aid.

      Now if Carolyn Myss would come to the same epiphany…

    • Wow.

      Well, they are getting really disappointed with The One.

      Maybe the next step will be—-drumroll—-admitting to ourselves and everyone else that we did to us and the frakkin USA. That was really our bad.

      • Some of them will remain in permanent denial. Nothing will ever be Obama’s fault, it will always be blamed on the GOP, the media, Hillary, us, bad advisors, etc, etc.

        • Yeah, Obamacare is Bill Clinton’s fault–Big Dawg gets blamed for the contents of this bill, but it’s Obama who will get the photo op and the credit for signing the unprecedented, most historical (hysterical?) social legislation since LBJ.

  60. Whigs—a note on their past—do not know what the new guys are up to.

    The British version was about government improvements for roads, waterways etc. parliamentary government and against inherited privilege. Whigs of this time were big into science. Whigs believed that modern history was a gradual progression of improvements in government and people.

    American Whigs began in the 1830’s in opposition to A. Jackson. They were for government improvements in infrastructure and science. They were opposed to Jackson and Dems on slavery and banking. Whigs self-destructed over the slavery question in the 1850’s giving rise to the Repubs who included the Radical Republicans who wanted to abolish slavery and/or were against any extension of slavery into new territories.

  61. Man, the Buttsniffers are really losing it the past few days.

    Obama’s tanking, Hillary is soaring, more and more of their fellow Obots are giving up Kool-aid and going PUMA, the Democratic brand is going to shit, Palin’s a hit and they have no rebuttal to our chant of “We told you so!”

    They just keep ranting “Racists . . . dried up hags . . . low information voters . . . bitter knitters . . . myiq told a sexist joke 2 1/2 years ago!!!”

    I expected this, but not so soon. I’m not enjoying it as much as I thought I would either.

    • LOL! Don’t forget “Hillary wouldn’t have been any better!!” and “We never expected him to do (X, Y, Z)”

    • And Rev. Rick pulled in $2.4M this weekend.

    • Maybe we should hold a telethon to help them find a new hate object to get their mojo back. Octomom? Nigella Lawson? Diane Sawyer?

  62. She tried to tell them too…

    • Damn! Who could have predicted….

    • Change is not a speech, it’s about working hard. Amen! If anything I hope the Obots carry that lesson with them for the rest of their lives so they don’t make the same mistake twice.

    • More prophetic words from Sen. Clinton

      • I think we should dedicate a post with all of the youtube clips of the 2008 debates just to list all of the lies and bullshit Obama told and all of Clinton’s responses and predictions about Obama that turned out to be true. I can post the youtube debate clips all day.

        • Agreed. It’d be great to have video evidence of all of the bullshit he pulled during those debates. Especially since I think most Obots never watched any of them, just read the quotes of the Anti-Hillary zingers emailed out the next day.

        • Another “Who could have predicted…” post!

      • Hillary and we were all Cassandras.

        • Yes, and now we’re all Banquos. They think they’ve killed us, and yet we come back and just won’t go away. Our very presence serving as a maddening reproach. Lol Where did it all go so horribly wrong?

    • More Obama lies about health care reform and providing universal coverage.

  63. Does someone have a link to BTD calling people stupid? I’m not up to speed on the contretemps. Thanks.

    • I think it was a while back. I found this post but I think there might be more where BTD made remarks about PUMA in the comments.

      Kos wrote a mocking post about the crumbling PUMA movement. I happen to think the PUMA movement is nuts. But these are just citizens and voters expressing their views, however wayward and stupid I may think them. What really amazes me is the anti-PUMAs, those erstwhile Obama supporters who are attacking Obama for making unity noises with Bill and Hillary Clinton.
      Leading the charge of course is the foolish and harmful Andrew “Bell Curve” Sullivan, along with the usual Clinton haters in the the Media, with MoDo playing her usual fool’s role. Sullivan writes:

      The total capitulation to the Clintons at the convention is particularly lame[.]

      This is nuts. Having the last Democratic President, a two termer at that and still incredibly popular President and the Dem Senator from New York, who won half of the vote in the Democratic primaries, speak at the Democratic Convention is capitulation? Hatred is blinding. And when you could not see well in the first place, the Mr. Magoo act gets to be very serious. For people like Sullivan, hating the Clintons trumps all. They are at least as silly as the PUMAs.

      By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

    • My comments in moderation so I’ll try posting again. Here is the link http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/8/15/19499/8442

      I happen to think the PUMA movement is nuts. But these are just citizens and voters expressing their views, however wayward and stupid I may think them.

      • There are many people over there in the comments defending PUMA or at least why people became PUMA’s. That’s why I don’t see the benefits of abandoning it. After all for the most part it will essentially be the same thing with a different name. Why waste time trying to rename something that’s already named?

        • What was said in those comments back then are resognating more and more with people today.

      • Thanks very much for the linky. Now, this thread is eating my computer!

  64. One thing that I can say positive about Obama is that he has stayed true to himself. From what little factual information that was/is available, he is the same now as he was as Law Review Editor, State Senator, US Senator and now President; using people to get ahead but never actually wanting to do or doing the job.

    That is the fallacy of the people who are surprised or try to blame bad advisors, “front-man” for Rahm, corporations, etc. His behavior hasn’t changed.

  65. Dang it! You forgot to ask how many teeth we have. 😉

  66. There’s an open thread … at the moment it’s below this one.

  67. Very busy day today – painting – uh – but I did complete the survey – great idea RD. Thanks

  68. The amazing thing about PUMA is that it appeared systemically just I was feeling very alone and frustrated by the shenanigans of the obots and their supreme one during the 08’s.

    I traveled to work for Hillary.
    in central Pennsylvania her during the April Primary. ( In the area where O bowled a 37!)
    She won the state by 9 points and I was ecstatic knowing the tide had turned and Hillary would be our nominee.

    Boy was I wrong.The media twisted and spun as hard as it could for Obama. The insiders whored themselves to Obama and I felt forlorn. I realized the fix was in for him.

    What a lonely time it was, when soon after, I wandered over here and discovered I was not alone. I was not the only one dis-enfranchised from my life long party.
    PUMA spoke for me. It summarized all the feelings I had over the primary fiasco. It was intelligent and topical.
    TC has been home for me ever since.
    PUMA still has relevance. We knew before all the others that Hill was the one. We saw the corruption first hand by the DNC and we endured the false premise that Obama ran on.
    (the fairy tale)
    For me Hillary was presidential
    Obama was an also ran.

  69. Well I really loved the survey. It occurred to me that most polls are horrendously biased because they ask a question and don’t include the broad options of answers….that is until I got to the education level…why l does it matter if the Bachelor’s is a BS or a BA? I know many BS degrees with much lighter coverage than my BA — in Biology…along with my other BA in Political Science and with my career in COMPUTER science. I am a well-rounded educated person without a PhD. Just shoot me.

    I will be frank and say I think there’s a bit of educational elitism in the “liberal blogosphere” and I don’t think this site is excluded from that trend. Please think about such things when writing articles about how elitist the blogosphere is. Maybe you’re being a bit elitist too..

  70. Chris Floyd just posted a a hair-raising piece on his site.

  71. Reports: Cartoonist Attacker Targeted Clinton
    The Politiken newspaper reported Sunday that Danish intelligence knew the 28-year-old Somali man was held in Kenya in September for allegedly plotting an attack against U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

  72. I’m a lurker but, I took the survey. I have been reading here for two years.

  73. Awww shucks. Sharon thanks! I used to comment here from time to time quite a while ago and everything you say is true. I’ve just been working like crazy, reading as much as I can and haven’t been as able to be nearly as involved as I’d like. I still am not forgetting the caucus frauds, the fake roll call “vote” or May 31st. In fact I was in D.C. for that so called “rulz” meeting.. I’m not impressed with revisionist history at all. I still think there has to be some kind of reform or there’s never going to be another “fair” vote taken at all. No matter who the hell you try to vote for in the future, the gaming is down to an art form and some seem to think that’s hunky dory, until it happens to them. and it WILL..

    I love reading this blog and frequently pass the articles along to those who still wonder what happened that caused me to vote McKinney rather than Obama.

    • You were there? Did you hear Mawm yell at them? 😉

      • I was also in D.C. I met Mawm out in the street. He was very vocal – as were a lot of people, self included.

        • Yeah, we’ve heard the audio of him yelling lipstick on a pig. It must have been horrible to witness this, but it’s awesome that you guys went and tried to stand up for democracy like that. Thanks. 🙂

        • I was there and met many people that still are hard at work trying to make sure that the Voters Votes are counted in all elections in the US.

  74. I initially supported Edwards. Cringeworthy in retrospect, esp. considering I felt uneasy at times – like with Elizabeth’s blog post about how they installed florescent lightbulbs in their humongous house for energy savings. Huh? Disconnect. Anyway, I committed to the ride and what a ride that turned out to be. Ha! Never mind though, as what happened next turned out to be even worse. I immediately switched my support to Hillary because I admired her performances in the debates (forums, whatever). She really beat all of the competition, and if that damned Edwards hadn’t posted all of those progressive/liberal policy positions on his website, I would have switched my allegiance even sooner. The rest is history. Bad history. Hillary was attacked from all angles and forced out of the race. Ack. Now I’m all hunkered down. Not anxious to give my support to any party or candidate. Good going, “Democrats.”

    I’m a pretty simple person. Political parties used to have strong platforms. Voters used to align with platforms rather than personalities. I was brought up to believe the Republicans were the party of the rich and the Democrats were the party of the working class and the poor. Obviously no longer the case. But, I could never, ever vote for a Republican candidate – not even as a strategy. I just can’t go there. Not judging others, just feel repulsion when the Repubs are even mentioned. It’s gotten worse over the years. While I like Sarah P. in a way and would defend her against any unfair criticism, I could never vote for her. Her party is not for me and now my former party isn’t either. Bummer. I read “The Family” and she fits right in with their stealth agenda – even though it’s not really stealth – it’s just that people aren’t paying attention. Theocracy, baby. Not going there.

    A question about the survey. Is it private? Not so concerned about this site as the surveymonkey site. Thanks.

    • Have you visited Reclusive Leftist at all? They’re trying to start a new party and I guess some of the people here are going to be involved when the planning starts up soon. Something to think about, anyway.

      • Yes, I’ve visited Reclusive Leftist. I’m just more of a lurker than commenter. A bit shy and a lot of neurotic. I appreciate your response!

        • Oh, don’t worry about it. Well, I mean yes, Reclusive Leftist seems kind of intimidating, not in a bad way, but here, I’m a complete idiot and everyone is still really nice. You’re not an idiot, you have nothing to worry about. You’ll get along fine. 🙂

  75. I’ve been lurking for a long time, so I filled out the survey. I know some of the regulars here from when I was participating on TM (under a different name). I’m de-lurking to say that Jane and her ilk make a lot of false assumptions about the people who share the views stated on The Confluence.

    They believe that those of you who post regularly are homogeneous in nature; and they assume that the many lurkers who frequent this site do not exist (or if we do, that we can be categorized as identical to the regulars). By labeling us as “other” (less affluent, less educated), they assign us to a “lower class” than people like them who conform to society’s dictates, at any cost. Conformity, in their view, is analogous to superiority. Consequently, none of them will ever admit to being wrong about Obama, the events of the primary, or what was best for our country.

    What differentiates many of us from them is that while they see membership in a certain group as proof of greater value, we see acting on principle as something which transcends subjective worth.

  76. Seriously,

    You’re not an idiot. Neither am I, I suppose. But, feel like one much of the time. Ha. Thanks for your vote of confidence. G’night.

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