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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 08:49 PM
Original message
How Liberal is DU? Not very, it seems.
I posted the statement below a couple days ago. In light of more recent discussions about Haiti and sublte racism on local news and in the NYTimes, it might be worth restating this:

EXAMPLES OF DU JUST NOT GETTING IT WHEN IT COMES TO RACE, CLASS AND GENDER:

Everyone always had to sexualize their criticisms of Condi Rice back in the day when we talked more about Bush. It was weird. She may be a servant of the corporations. But to have to consistently translate that into Bush's sexual servant was just totally revealing of how many DU'ers imagined black women.

Also, reparations -- a legitimate issue to have a debate over, but there were some brutal discussions about it that included some of the most racist of presumptions and insensitivities. There were, literally, 200 post threads on reparations in which there were only two or three DU'ers who were even the slightest bit sensitive to the pro-reparations argument.

Also, Zimbabwe was another good example. It was amazing some of the racist presumptions that supported the anti-land reform argument. It's one thing to legitimately criticize mugabe. But it's another to say that blacks are too backwards to farm the land that the people who stole it from promised to give back to them 25 years ago (which they kept putting off).

And class too. There's a great book, Wealth & Democracy, which is super astute on the class issue in politics. Buzzflash talked about it forever and gave it away as a premium. There's never been a sustained discussion of that book here at DU. Some people talked about Nickel & Dimed for a while, but you can tell that arguments about class rarely inform the debate here.

And then, take Will Pitt as an example. He made a name here at DU and elsewhere criticizing the hell out of Bush about the war (which is great, don't get me wrong). After a year of reading his well-thought out criticisms of Bush, I remember posting to one of his threads a question along the lines of, "why don't you put as much energy into criticizing Bush's wealth transfer to the wealthy as you put into criticizing him about Iraq -- the immediate danger to the US is another depression, not a cold war." Pitt's reply: "yeah, I need to round out my game," or something like that.

To the extent that Pitt is a spokesmann for DU, I have to comment that I'm still waiting to see that game rounded out on DU. Race, class and gender don't get much attention here. That's where I see a big disconnect between DU and the rest of America. And I think it's no coincidence that I like Edwards alot (for those reasons) and DU has gone from Dean to Clark to Kerry.


And these are the people who want to pick the Democratic nominee??? No wonder CW at DU has been so far off.
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MrSoundAndVision Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. oh stick it
wanna argue an issue, argue an issue, otherwise keep your ambiguous generalizations about 'DUers' to yourself.

So are you interested in the ongoing class struggle, or are you just complaining others aren't?
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. I agree about ambiguous generalizations.
I don't understand what we're supposed to contribute to this thread that isn't a continuation of something on another thread that's perhaps long-gone, and such continuations are against DU rules.

What is the point of this thread?
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. When this post got good responses, I was going to separate it out and give
it it's own thread. I forgot to do that. Until today.
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. That does not answer the question at all.
You just told us what you planned on doing with the thread.

You did not tell us what you expect this thread to accomplish.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. I want people to realize that just because an opinion is posted at
Democratic Underground, it doesn't mean it's liberal.
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. You should post the qualifications...
...for whether or not something is liberal.

That way, we'll all know.

:eyes:
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. "Race, class, and gender don't get much attention here."
Probably because we're all mostly in agreement.
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MrSoundAndVision Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
3. Didn't John Edwards sell his $4million home to some...
member of the House of Saud? Or maybe he almost did, then the press reported on it, and he refused or something like that.

Some member of the proletariet...nice house John.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. Informed opinions are the most valuable ones.
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'd say there's a little bit of everything here.
But if you really wanna see some disgusting posts go to the I/P conflict forum. I'm not sure about liberalism there.
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number6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. agree with you on that one
..
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. That and
Also there seems to be a lot of misconceptions about the neo-liberal agenda. Especially in Latin America. But maybe it's just me. After all I'm just another one of those "fringe lefties".
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. There were way more Chavez critics here than Chavez supporters in 2002.
JudyLyn put the nails into that coffin with her hard work and excellent research skills.
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. That's true.
Ive gotten into it a few times here over the subject. But I guess I should let people think what they will.
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MrPrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. Right Said...
Yup...class, gender, race are treated with suspicion and at worst, some lame neo-con rap.

Part of me thinks that given the self-destruction on the Right--a few of the smarter ones are drifting to 'liberal' forums.

Also in hindsight, the segregating of the 'Primaries' was probably a bad move (will mentioning democrats still be 'locked' after the primaries and beyond)

(Political junkies have opinions--granted)

I tend to pick and choose the thread I read or respond to, and there HAVE been some very good analyst as well as righteous calls to arms on the rights front, the environment and economics debates. (esp in the LBN site)

But you are right--lately there have been a litany of crypto-religious/moral threads that are quite frankly rehashes to older folks who have ALREADY sifted through the args and 'moved on...'

But a thoughtful post...thx
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Thank you. That was a valuable contribution.
I'm not alone.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #8
29. "Segregating of the Primaries" is what kept me here...

... so I must disagree that it was a "bad move."

And I must ask, what are "crypto-religious/moral threads?" Is there something in your closet you want to talk about, or are you one of those "older folks who have already sifted through the args and moved on?"

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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
9. You Think DU is LESS Concerned about Race, Class, and Gender?
I would agree, it's probably because there is no "other side" to argue against. I can't imagine DU being thought of as sexist. There is a strong sentiment against the upper class and stong support for progressive taxation, raising the minimum wage, and organized labor. And lack of enthusiasm for reparations does not indicate a problem with race.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. The progressive taxation thing was a long, hard slog. When the tax debates
started here a year or two ago, nobody understood the issue, and many people were very pro-flat tax.

I wasn't saying that being anti-reparations was a sign of not getting it. I'm saying the total lack of any sympathy for the argument, and unwillingness to even think about issues raised (which is kind of like parts of my CBS thread -- it's amazing what engenders hostility/reticence around here).
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #12
26. He Was a Good Pirate
in "Pirates of the Carribean.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #12
32. hold it now - "pro flat tax" is not the same as saying that a flat tax was
not to be feared because - with a per person deductible (and I know that makes it less than "flat" but the GOP have never proposed a flat tax without a per person deductible) - the flat tax would increase the tax on the rich and decrease it on the middle class - and that was using the numbers - not exactly a left or right discussion.

Likewise a Sales tax like Vermont's - I posted the damn Vermont Law! - is pretty progressive as to which class it hits the hardest and the least.

On US taxation, this site - including myself - are as progressive as you get without going to an annual wealth tax (and I can be talked into this idea rather quickly!).

As to your other examples - Zimbabwe/land reform/Mugabe is, for me - nothing to have an argument about - Mugabe bad, land reform good - but unfair to those now on farms if there is no compensation - or if - as Mugabe has done - courts are ignored. There is no one on DU - I think - that buys the blacks are too backward to farm the land.

I agree there is a desire not reduce any discussion to just my class against their class - it doesn't meet the American idea of fairness or the Christian idea of treating others the way you want to be treated. But I suspect most on DU would agree that the current structural legal/tax set-up was heavily biased in favor of the rich - and getting worse - and needs to be changed.

Likewise on globalization - the advantage to both sides of a trade deal makes both better off - in the long run and if fair. And most I dare say would feel that without environmental/labor rules such deals are not fair.

I agree there is a total lack of any sympathy for the arguments that are put forth by the reparations folk for a cash payout - but for any non-cash gov service that helps and is fair - I think most would say if it helps the family/village/quality of life go for it if we can afford it. (there really are limits to what the gov can or should do for anyone - and why are the evils done to family A worse than those done to family B - indeed that is how the rich control - they get the non-rich fighting over the crumbs)

I also can't imagine DU being thought of as sexist and I agree that there is a strong sentiment against the upper class and strong support for progressive taxation, raising the minimum wage, and organized labor.

And I see no problem with race at DU.

Now lets talk about age discrimination against the old and discrimination against the sick and disabled!

:-)

peace

:-)
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #9
24. There have been numerous complaints
Edited on Fri Feb-13-04 09:34 PM by smirkymonkey
and threads on the sexism on DU. It's almost shocking to see how supposedly liberal men can act like freepers when it comes to women. Not all men on DU, some are very supportive, it's just that when the subject comes up, there is always a lot of backlash.

I would have to agree with AP on this though - I really don't think this board is truly liberal overall, there are varying degrees of it, but on the whole, I would say its only slightly left of center.

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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:20 PM
Response to Original message
15. re: class
Try starting a globalization thread on DU. Watch it sink, unless you're the presumed spokesperson for the site's membership.

No, DU is not particularly liberal, especially now, but that doesn't mean that some of us aren't out here.

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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Rember when Carlos posted his term paper? It was a pro-privatization
paper about water utilities in South America.

Man alive!
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #17
34. I do.
Frightening shit, as I recall.
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woodstockjimi Donating Member (112 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. if not liberal, then what is DU?
I'm new, so be gentle!
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Welcome to DU!
:hi:

Just remember, you don't have to agree with everything you read here.
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. I'd say the range is between
Edited on Fri Feb-13-04 09:32 PM by SMIRKY_W_BINLADEN
people that are to the right of Joe Lieberman to people that lean toward Che Guevara and everything in between. But the left left lefties seem to stick out a lot for some reason.

Oh yeah, welcome.
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markses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #15
30. Ulysses: You know me
Edited on Fri Feb-13-04 09:50 PM by markses
Massive disciplinary project. 'Member that? I think it goes directly to this question.

DU is "liberal," to the extent that "liberal" is itself not particularly concerned with race, class, or gender. these are the "particularist" concerns that disrupt the consensus aimed at by liberalism. There was a post here earlier about the difficulty African Americans are having squaring away the gay marriage issue, given the traditional emphasis of a - let's just say it - homophobic tendency in African American communities, often fueled by the churches. Now, here's the problem: we all know that the African American churches have been a motor for organization and change in that community, and have worked double time in history forming something like a "class consciousness" for African Americans with respect to oppression in American society. OK: The conflict is now clear. The very force that produces struggle and organization on one issue tends to reinforce oppression on another. What to do? Liberalism thinks these differences can be smoothed over at another level. It either privileges one form of oppression over any other (i.e., the economism that destroyed - quite rightly, from the perspective of feminist, racial/ethnic minority/ LGBT struggles - the New Left), or expects some resolution in "democracy" writ large, as the rule of reason - liberalism back to its roots: liberalism hates difference - perhaps not as much as conservatism, or perhaps more insidiously.

The problem is not that DU is NOT liberal. Class is an object of scorn among centrists, who parrot a conservative line in the most obnoxious overtones imaginable, and can focus (as per the usual idiocy) only on specific incident that evoke blame. Race - at best - makes most of these voices uncomfortable. Gender is - and the original poster is right - little more than an opportunity to ban certain words. It is hardly the political force that delimits and strangles forms of life. On the contrary, DU is too liberal. With the caveat here that DU is not a monolithic entity, I would say that for the most part posters on DU view struggle with indifference, unless it is easily tied to personages.
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Ripley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
25. It appears that you argue racism as badly as you do pro-Edwards.
Insulting groups of people does not make your viewpoint legitimate.

Why do you insist on group-attack? You want to tell me that I don't "get it" yet you have not "gotten it" about the attacks you made upon Howard Dean as a "racist."


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boxster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
27. Considering the high number of Kucinich supporters on DU...
(he used to get third in nearly every DU candidate poll), I'd say that DU is fairly liberal.

The word "liberal" covers a lot of ground, the vast majority of which is not addressed in your post. Branding much of DU as "not liberal" based on the response to one of your posts on a narrow subsection of the issues liberals espouse is misguided, at best.

I am not necessarily disagreeing with the conclusions within your post. I do, however, feel that your title is misleading considering that your assertion is based on responses to selected issues.

Will Pitt is Dennis Kucinich's press secretary. Claiming he is not liberal when he is involved in the campaign of perhaps our most liberal candidate seems like little other than a dislike for Mr. Pitt.

Or, am I missing something? Is Mr. Kucinich not liberal? Did I miss a memo?
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
28. well
a lot of people, myself included, think your accusations of racism are unreasonable. Using the term "reared" is NOT racist. A news program showing two disparate stories, one with black people, another with dogs, isn't a sign of racism as much as an overactive imagination.
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Response to Original message
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markses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
33. My Country - Nas
Edited on Fri Feb-13-04 10:07 PM by markses
My Country Lyrics

American born, American raised, American made


My country shitted on me (My country)
She wants to get rid of me (Naw, never)
Cause the things I seen (We know too much)
Cause the things I seen (We seen too much)


It was packed on the Riker's bus
The tight cuffs is holdin' me shackled
The life of a thug caught in the devil's lasso
On the streets I was invincible
Cowards would duck at a glimpse if they knew
What my pistol would do, a fuckin' killa
Mothers of dope fiend embarrassin' me
All in front of my friends
In the street smile with no teeth
I never knew daddy, heard he had a 72 caddy
Died in a robbery, can't remember him, was probably 3
Why didn't my folks just die in this society
Why wasn't I a child of a doctor, who left stocks for me
Two little brothers, two sisters, them shortiez gots to eat
Mother's a junkie, she twisted, so all they got is me
I'm the provider, with goals to do much better than my father
Whether through drugs sold, or holdin' revolvers
Blurry visions of dad holdin' me high
It comes to me slowly, the words he would cry

My country shitted on me (My country)
She wants to get rid of me (Naw, never)
Cause the things I seen (We know too much)
Cause the things I seen (We seen too much)

It is I that step up
Me that don't give a fuck, you that bold, then it's all over soldier
Hummers and Range's through the desert
Fuck a 20 inch, long as we got gas and we got water
Troopers lookin' for manslaughter
I gotta get back, for what they owe
Shoot'em in the back for the get back
Lead through shit bag, hold tie gag
Forget the life had, now we all rebels
Everything burnt down includin' the ghetto
We can see 4 miles the land its major rubble
And debris from the earth as we knew crumble
Yo you could see the sea
And the stars look closer to me
I'm a mad man, this is a real life movie Mad Max
S-K's, AK's max, ABR's spittin' and it ain't a rap
My mommy dearest pray for me hopin' I come back
But yo

My country shitted on me (My country)
She wants to get rid of me (Naw, never)
Cause the things I seen (We know too much)
Cause the things I seen (We seen too much)

Yo, I'm sittin' behind these prison walls
I got this pen and pad wishin' on a visit, God
Brothers is here for homicide and yo, it's some for rape
Some brothers innocent, I pray that I could just escape
How is the war
And yo I'm wishin' I was in your shoes
Holdin' machine guns
Clean fun shootin' dudes with fatigues on
Anywhere is better than this
It's America's plan every color of man inherits the shit
Yo I'm startin to think it's all a scheme, nobody cares
I know the warden is readin' the scribe
But yo I swear, it's a billion dollar business
Courts, lawyers and jails
We all slaves in this system, I'm bout to rebel

There's not a bitch in sight
All block bench, all block gates
All gray fence, look who fucked it all up, Mr. President
I remember yesterday we was on the block gettin' bent
Now it's state of the art
I just saw the first dude I met here, his head came apart
What a bloody mess, a slug fest
I just buried 8 of mine, at night I hear grown man cryin'
You know I'm spittin' mine
I ain't goin' out here, we gotta win
Everytime I hear the wind I think a slug went in
I'm checkin' my chest, holdin' my head
Catchin' my breath, watchin' my back
Smokin' this grass, beatin' my dick, thinkin' of ass
I don't know what they broadcast, the news flash is fake
Everyday I'm feelin' like you, I wanna escape
And if y'all niggas feelin' like me, y'all niggas just say

My country shitted on me (My country)
She wants to get rid of me (Naw, never)
Cause the things I seen (We know too much)
Cause the things I seen (We seen too much)

This goes out the Che Guevara, a revolutionary destroyed by his own country - Just trying to fight for what's real
This goes out to my nigga Malcolm al Haj Malik Shabazz, just trying to fight for what's real
This goes out to Martin - all about peace and destroted by his own country
This goes out to everybody in the whole world - just trying to fight for what's real
To Patrice Lemumba - just trying to fight for what's real and destroyed by his own people
To my hood niggas coming up everyday just trying to survive the only way we know how
But see we know too much now - and we seen too much now...
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JasonBerry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:08 PM
Response to Original message
35. Crying wolf
Edited on Fri Feb-13-04 10:10 PM by JasonBerry
AP, It's simple really. People here at DU will almost always agree with you when there is real racism involved. What you don't seem to understand is that most on DU don't find racism behind every corner. Your thread about the local news and the kid and dog stories was really stretching it. In fact, to me anyway, it's like crying wolf. When there's real racism most will be here to defend you. But cry it too often, about things that clearly are NOT, and you'll be considered crying wolf - which is a shame because sometimes you most surely will be right. That's what happens -- when you cry wolf! Just my opinion anyway.
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Moderator DU Moderator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
36. Locking
Rules to start discussion threads in the General Discussion forum

7. Discussion topics that mention any or all of the Democratic presidential primary candidates are not permitted in the General Discussion forum, and instead must be posted in the General Discussion: 2004 Primary forum.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation,
DU moderator
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