portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting united states

alternative media | labor

Who are "the dems"?

Who are "the dems"? Actually, they are just working people. No more, but no less.

Yeah, maybe they tend to have the "big money" union jobs -- but they still are just working people.
Check out these links to what real dems are doing this New Year's Eve --

"Live-Blogging Your Lame-Ass New Year's Eve"



"What to drink tonight" by "Ray Mota" OR

"I swear no oath to the Democratic Party" by "TeacherKen" OR

"NYT: As Many Soldiers killed in 2004 as in 2005; more wounded" by "MuleDriver"


NOTE: Daily Kos website is overloaded and maybe won't work for you, because it's bandwidth is inadequate. I recommend that Daily Kos users go to Indymedia!

UNDERSTAND that "Daily Kos" website can't even begin to compete with Portland Indymedia in any way, shape or form --

All I am saying is to check out Democrats as people, as your neighbors, your co-workers --

"the dems" -- it ain't what you think it is!

Happy New Year!
anybody else had enough? 31.Dec.2005 20:32

hell yeah

This longstanding campaign to keep indymedia readers voting for idiot pushovers like Gore and Kerry is disgusting.

why is a 'party' needed? 31.Dec.2005 22:13


is it necessary to constantly profess and identify your personal (as if the DLC or Billary gave a flying fuck) fealty to an outmoded, irrelevant and corrupt establishment which - as an organization - is wholly owned by the exact same corporations as, and has little or no significant difference ideologically or otherwise from, its supposed 'opposition'?

your 'Democrat' / 'dem' identity has nothing whatsoever to do with your personal beliefs on issues or community support activities (as though the DLC or Billary gives a shit about that either).

why not just vote for Democratic candidates when and if absolutely necessary (or the only option besides not voting) in a particular Selection and then SHUT THE FUCK UP?

had enough already! 31.Dec.2005 22:50

g.d. dem

-- never asked anyone to vote for Kerry or anyone else!

That ain't the point, you idiot!

i don't like you calling anyone an idiot... 01.Jan.2006 00:16

mark holladay holladaymark@yahoo.com

dennis kucinich, he's your guru... go

I had enough years ago 01.Jan.2006 03:32

ex-democrat voter

But I'm not disgusted. I long since passed into the phase of being amused by the democrats and their pathetic attempts to persuade people to vote for them. They really cannot understand why they keep failing, and that alone is better than most movies out today. So let them keep failing, let them keep preaching to those who understand better already, it doesn't help them so just leave them to it. They can be our comedy team of politics.

what they do for you 01.Jan.2006 07:01


It depends on who answers that question. To Palestinians, Dems are people who reload the Zionist crusader's guns as fast as Zionists unload them into thier family members and friends. To me, Dems are 1 of 2 political parties that have sold out America's peace for special intrest votes and campain contributions and have been sacrificing thier fellow American's lives for decades by being so offensive.

Who were the Nazis? To some people, they provided slave labor. To others, they were murderous thieves who enslaved thier families. To the nazi's hungarian allies, Nazis gave them what they wanted, Slovakian lands. To the Zionists, dems give them what they want, American taxes so Zionists can be murderous thieves of Palestinian lands.

What have you done for me lately?

the dems are working people? 01.Jan.2006 11:47


actually, the Democratic senators have proven beyond any doubt that they represent the opposite of working people- business.

although working people are misled into voting for the Democratic party, it by no means suggests the policies approved by the party itself are representative of the needs of its constituents.

Luckily, many democratic voters are wisening up; the last 15 years has been a valuable tool in teaching the american people the true motives of the political parties.

There will remain, however, those who continue to pour their efforts into a party that has proven itself obsolete; the reasons for this semi-critical following of the Democrats are unimportant, the effect is significant- reaction.

Third option in 2008 01.Jan.2006 11:47

Man on the street promandan@hotmail.com

What organization or group of organizations can do the research to find trigger issues capable over pulling enough voters away from Hillary in 2008? Her weak points are that she is pro-war and has done nothing to protect the civil liberties of the American people. Crazy as this may sound the far right and the far left my have some common ground. Another weakness she has is that she backs the fallacy of free trade and the WTO. America can no longer afford too ship our jobs, manufacting base, and economy overseas.
She's weak on liberty, jobs, and peace. The only thing she has going for her is she isn't Republican. Her husband is to cozy with Bush senior.

This may be the best chance for a third party candidate to run in a long time.

what is this shameless begging for acceptance? 01.Jan.2006 12:01

dem dam dems

enough of this shameless grovelling for understanding and compassion. Gonna sing a Union song now too? Tell it to Feinstein and Biden and Kerry and the rest of the 'working class" you so love. No Wobblies here you ranting flack. Ultra-rich pseudo progressives. Patrician snobs run amuck. Politics is for rich ugly people. Hollywood for the not so photogenic overly ambitious. Richard Daley. Harry the 'Nuke' Truman. Lyndon Johnson. Yes- who ARE the dems ideed? Mostly Republicans who recycle their garbage and drive guzzler SUV's anyway. They read the Nation but laugh at Dennis Miller jokes anyway. They order all the Doo-Wop tapes from PBS but have no Black co-workers. I know we have to win congress back, so we probably have to vote for your sorry asses. But don't pretend to be anything than the less lethal brand of fly-spray on the supermarket shelf.

Who Are The Dems Indeed? 01.Jan.2006 13:34

GreenPartyMike Minnesota ollamhfaery@earthlink.net

Hey Folks,

Greetings from Minnesota. When we talk of the Dems, we need to look at two different aspects of the Dems and then ask some deeper questions.

First, the grassroots activists in the Dem Party. These are ordinary, decent political allies who are, in many cases fighting for peace, justice and equality for all Americans and other people in the world. People such as G.D.Dem who posts here on a regular basis. They are indeed "ordinary, decent people" although it must be noted that some Dems are just as racist, homophobic and bigoted as other Americans.

Then there is the Corporate Leadership of the Dems. The people who have conducted a war on the poor, been complicit in promoting the war on the people of Iraq, aiding and abeiting the corporate media an giving the media undeserved credibility and now the "leadership" who have abandoned their responsibility to voters rights and democratic integrity ala Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004. These self styled leaders have abandoned progressive politics, except to give it lip service at election time. The Dem "leadership" have shown the most stunning political cravenesss and cowardice in the face of some very real threats to our democracy, limited as this democracy is.

The deeper question is, given the history of abuse heaped on progressives and given the above truth of craven political cowardice (Gore in Florida and Kerry in Ohio) why do so many decent, honest and well meaning progressives continue to support a political party which creates such "leaders"?

I have heard of a "battle" going on inside the Dem Party and attempts to "change the system from the inside". It was shown with the "Peace In The Pricincts" motion put forth by the Kuchinich folks and by the appointment of Howard Dean to the Chairmanship of the Dem Party.

Well Howard Dean is now effectively "caged" by his appointment, even after he stated, here in Minnesota at an ACLU Conference that he now sees the need to stay the course in Iraq. Peace In The Pricincts has gone nowhere and the only thing it has done is assauged the conscience of some white, middle-class liberals. To quote the Rap group Immortal Technique, "those who work inside the system to change it will find out one thing. You will not change the system, the system will change you". This statement goes to the herart and soul of why I am a Green. I am a member of the Green Party BECAUSE I am an Irish, Catholic, Working-Class, Peace, Justice, Union and Media Activist. Not in spite of it but because of it.

So given these historical facts, we must ask again, why do so many decent, honest and well intentioned progressives continue to throw away their political energy with the Democratic Party and it's corporate corrupted and cowardy leadership?

I am still not sure of the reasons but I suspect it is because in part of the "beaten spouse syndrome" of progrssives in the US and/or when you come right down to it, some progressives deep, deep down inside where they do not want to look, understand that they actually benefit from the system but want to cling to their image of themselves as "liberal".

I have met both types of political progressives and to those who I see as having "beaten wife syndrome" I say, just as when a women or man is abused, it is scary both financially and personally. But when these people do make that decision, it is liberating. My mother did it when she threw a pot of hot tea around my father in a Catholic Housing Project in northern Ireland and kicked him out, with the assistance of my Uncle John. (I still have love and respect for my Da but that is a long story) I watched, as a 10 year old child as this beaten down woman, abandoned with 5 kids in poverty, in said Catholic housing project, blossomed into one of the most heroic and wonderful people I have ever known.
Ma taught me politics and I thank God for her doing that. That is the message I have for those kinds of progressives. For the record, G.D.Dem I consider to be one of these types of progressives.

As for the others, or as I call them "latte-liberals" discussing revolution (titter titter) and deep political thoughts from the confines of their middle-class neighbourhoods and minds I have a very different message. You are just as much part of the enemy of progressive politics as the neo-cons and the corporate media. Maybe even more so because you give credibility and support to a system that is corrupt to it's very foundation. Even more damning, you help keep those decent, ordinary folks tied to a political system which is not, and has never been set up for their benefit but instead is set up to benefit you and people like you.

As I have said before, the time for political cowardice has to end. There is too much at stake for it to continue.

Michael Cavlan RN
Candidate US Senate 2006

PS If you like this message then feel free to contact us at the website and contribute via PayPal.
You know, the whole money thing. It is the only way right now, to get corporate money out of the political system.

Minneapolis Minnesota

RESPONSE to "Man on the street" 01.Jan.2006 16:24

g.d. dem

Thanks for posting an intelligent comment! Reading your comment was like finding a diamond in a pile of crap.

BTW, I agree with all the points you make.


re: gd dem 01.Jan.2006 17:55


Yes, there are some good elected people in the Democratic Party. Yes, there are lots of decent people who are registered democrats. No, I do not agree with your position.

I believe that if all those people were to publically renounce the Democratic Party and become greens, or start a new party, that they would get a lot farther and faster. You believe otherwise, but you get mad when others do not adopt your belief.

I will not give one iota of support to the democratic party. I will not support the progressive caucus. I will continue to suggest that it is a poor strategy which helps maintain the status quo and to put my energy towards other alternatives. You do what you gotta do.

The fondest wish I have is for every decent democrat to all publically condemn business as usual, to publically renounce the democratic party and the entirely corrupt system it props up and to start talking on behalf of people. People would listen. It would send a shockwave through the system that would bring it to its knees.

But instead, progressive democrats have choosen the very worst course of trying to keep people in the democratic party.

As they say - "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".

RESPONSE to Jason 01.Jan.2006 18:36

g.d. dem

Thanks for an intelligent comment. I just have to say, however, that I haven't gotten angry or expressed anger "when others do not adopt" my belief. All I do is present my belief -- and people get VERY angry and fly off the handle at me. Please re-read my remarks and tell me where I have ever gotten angry over anything but crap being thrown at me! Crap such as "shameless begging for acceptance", or implying that ordinary Democrats are not working people, and suggesting that I am pushing Kerry or whoever in 2008 (when that topic had NOTHING to do with my article), and that I "SHUT THE FUCK UP" (as though I had misled someone into reading my article, like they couldn't click on it and move on?).

It might be that you could say that I act as a lightning rod for the free floating anger of others that surfaces at the word "Democrat" -- but that isn't my fault. I actually think that such free floating anger is something for those holding it to look at.

I respect where you are coming from -- except that I think you make too much of a thing about being a registered Democrat. The Democratic Party is basically a big machine. It's like a bus that we take to get across town. It's a judgment call, a matter of practicality whether to take the bus or walk or whatever. Sure, there should be more choices -- but there aren't. (At least not in the primary ballots as they are today.) So, meanwhile, we do what we have to do, as you say.

I happen to think that the Democratic Party could still be an important instrument in our attempt to change the system, to open things up. You think in terms of some sudden mass movement, and that would be wonderful -- but it ain't real, as of yet. So, meanwhile, some of us continue to think of change as gradually developing in a subterranean way.

Thanks for your candid comment.

The party that waits 01.Jan.2006 20:59

George Bender

"The rule is reaction, not action. The Democrats have become the party that waits. The plan seems to be to wait until the Republicans falter, then to move in for the kill. It's not pretty, it's not inspiring and it's not working." -- Anna Quindlen, "Enough of the Waiting Game," Newsweek, December 12, 2005

In fairness, it should be noted that the Democrats in Congress united to stop Bush's scheme for privatizing Social Security, and in opposition to budget cuts for programs that serve poor people. Unfortunately it looks like they've lost that battle, although there is one more vote to go in the House. Still she's right: they're defending, but not leading. Congressional Democrats have failed to take any united position on the war. Most of them are still trying to dodge the issue.

So where does that leave us when the next election rolls around? I'm still waiting for a good reason, on the national level, to vote for Democrats. I want to see some leadership, not just a defense.

On the state level, I'm still mad at the Senate Democrats, who had a majority in the last session, but made a deal with the House Republican majority and, again, cut the Oregon Health Plan. I can't see any excuse for that. They betrayed poor people, so why should I vote for them?

I understand there is an initiative petition being circulated to have an open primary for state elections. Everyone would get the same ballot, with all the candidates on it. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, would go on to the main election. It sounds like this would effectively take the parties out of the political equation and give us a nonpartisan state legislature.

I like this idea. I think we would make better choices if we could just forget party. Yes, there is a difference, but not enough of a difference. You can't predict what someone will do in office based on their party. So let's just free ourselves of the whole concept. Does anyone know who is doing the petition drive? I want to sign, and maybe circulate.

re: gd dem 01.Jan.2006 20:59


I supported people who registered Democrat in order to vote for Kucinich in the primary. I am not at all opposed to such tactical choices.

I may have given a false impression by my one comment, but I am not angling for some sudden change out of nowhere. Things percolate underneath, and then will 'appear' suddenly. Is the last straw any more important than the others?

And yes, you do end up as the recipient of negative feelings towards democrats. If you take the name, you are going to get some of the blame. The democrats do deserve much criticism. The party as a whole and its decisions, and all the people who support the party, even the ones hoping for better deserve criticism because there is so much power and potential there and the results obtained are so meager.

There are a lot of people who are registered democrats who do wish for better, but I do not see much real action. I firmly believe the channels of activity through the party are controlled and that people going in hoping to effect change are more often changed themselves. Often those changes are underground as you say, but amount to a form of co-opting.

One of the things that strikes my about liberals happens as I bike around Portland. I bike through wealthy liberal neighborhoods where the vast percentage of people voted democrat. Lots of money there, yet I see hardly any houses running solar power and plenty of big SUV's. The people who could/should lead the way are not.

We need a new vision. What we are calling progressive democrats, I would only call progressive in comparison to the fossilized political structure. The progressive democratic caucus is not outlining a sustainable vision for the future. Honestly, the best of them would be my opponents in a serious discussion. The spectrum of political discussion should be starting where they are, and moving towards where I am. Instead insanity rules, and well meaning people like yourself encourage me and others like me to support the PDA.

In the name of truth and honesty, I must hold the line. I must take a position that is sane for our future. That puts the truth ahead of what people or big money donors want to hear.

Progressive democrats tell lies. They tell lies to appease the national denial. They speak of the viability of a growth economy. They say that we can have our cake and eat it to. They might do these things for political survival, but I do not respect it.

I believe the same sort of thinking that leads to the idea of working within the system, leads to the failure of that effort. It is a complex and subtle discussion, not well suited to this sort of venue.

I certainly wish you success. I certain wish the Kucinich's and Conyer's and Lee's could/would turn the tide and obtain enough power to actually effect policy, rather than just being bystanders wishing for different.

Global Climate Change and Peak Oil are the two most important issues of our times. As I said, it is my wish that all the progressive minded people would walk away from the Democratic party, and form/reinvigorate another party that did not form on ideological lines, but on practical lines. And from that platform put forth a sustainable vision and begin acting locally and nationally to bring it to fruition. There are millions of people waiting for that vision to manifest.

There is a subtle attachment to the status quo that hinders such a fresh start. Many progressive democrats are attached to the status quo. It would feel like a step backwards at the start. You yourself say, you refuse to cede any ground, yet the wise general knows when to cede ground. Sun Tsu's Art of War describes this well.

The current pattern is so well worn that it is nigh impossible to get out of it, especially with corporate power having such a vested interest in keeping the status quo. Something new is needed. Something not of the same pattern. The art of Tai-Chi is the art of reading the patterns of energy and moving with them to effect an outcome that is better for all.

The language of Democratic institutions is stultified. I hear it in the words and patterns of thought. We need a vision that is non-partisan and a universal language of humanity. To speak of freedom, one must be free - free of rigid structure, external and internal - free of influence, and fear of influence. In such a vision rests the hope of a new dawn for humanity. Wherever such a voice sprouts up, even within the Democratic Party, I would support it.

and one more thing 01.Jan.2006 22:41


The Democrats render themselves nearly powerless because they think politically. Hugo Chavez went to jail for a failed coup attempt in Venezuela. He tried to overthrow the old corrupt regime. Now look where he is. If he had played the political angles, just like democratic progressives try to do, he would never have succeeded. He did what he thought was right and is now president of the country and doing some amazing things.

Any politician not willing to go to jail, or face public ridicule or rejection will never acomplish anything significant. They will go on playing the political game, never really seeing how they have already sold out the truth for the illusion of hope.

Why the word 'democrat' creates hate 02.Jan.2006 08:27


please no more excuses for the Democratic party. No more pointing to exceptions while ignoring the rules. What real power does Kucinich or Conyers, or any other non-leader of the party have?

If you by chance become big enough to make a splash in the party, one of two things will happen- either you will accept a comfortable position within the party and consequently sell out (Dean), or you will become completely marginalized. The structure of the party contains within itself countless roadblocks to real reform. Who gets the party money? who gets general party support? who gets TV time and attention? these are all things strictly controlled by the party, and there are no doubt many others.

How long until everyone realizes the true motive of the Democratic party?

A near unanimous agreement on free trade? NAFTA? GATT? WTO? - in the face of this, who the fuck really cares how liberal they are on other issues?

The party is based on a thousand connections to big business, cutting those threads is utopian. A new political party is needed, one that has a strict political philosophy that is pro-people and anti-business (no the Greens to not qualify).

NO MORE REFORMISM!!!!! 250 years is too long!

Jason stop coddling them 02.Jan.2006 08:30


your efforts, although respectable, are futile. I admire your patience; It is very hard for me to repeat the same, obvious arguments to those Democrats who refuse to listen to reason, but are attracted to every justification in upholding what appears to everyone else as a withering corpse.

ho 03.Jan.2006 09:50


It is a hard thing to face. It is very hard to admit the thing is broken so badly. Especially for people who give their lives for the system and feel meaning in it. Facing the truth leaves a huge chasm that is frightening.

It means we are on our own. It means we have to roll up our sleeves, and use our creativity, and abilities and make something better rise out of the ashes of the dying social system. It means that the life we have and know, is at an end. Giving birth to new life is painful.