The Lie Must Die: Why Democrats Aren’t Just Like Republicans

False-Equivalency

It is an election year, which means that Republicans and the emo-prog left have returned to attempt to depress Democratic voter turnout by claiming that Democrats and Republicans are the same. Today, we put a stake through the heart of a lie that must die.

Audio of the show:

Check Out Politics Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Jason Easley and Sarah Jones on BlogTalkRadio

The false equivalency is widespread. It is a favorite tactic of conservatives that was most recently put on display by the conservative activists who are trying to get Stephen Colbert fired. It has also been employed by favorite entertainers of the left Jon Stewart and Bill Maher.

The reality is that both sides don’t act the same way. The people who trot out this excuse are looking for a reason to justify their lack of participation in the process. Some want to say that both Democrats and Republicans are owned by corporations, or business. Seventy one percent of political donations come from businesses, and 58% of those donations go to Republicans. Labor only makes up 5.4% donations, and 88% of them go to Democrats. Overall, Business donations outnumber labor by a margin of 15 to 1.

Corporate interests may want to control both parties, but it is clear that there is only one party that they own right now. All of these numbers are argument in favor of campaign finance reform and the public funding of elections.

This argument is always used every election year to discourage Democrats from showing up to vote. Both sides don’t do it, and it is time to destroy the myth that it isn’t worth participating in our electoral process.

34 Replies to “The Lie Must Die: Why Democrats Aren’t Just Like Republicans”

  1. The solution is more government spending? I don’t think so. The national debt is $17 billion. Right now the Federal Reserve is printing money and the Treasury is borrowing it. The entire Social Security Trust Fund is “invested” in Treasury bonds.

  2. Mr Easley and Ms. Jones, you have a great start to an important issue in our current political environment. But you need more specifics in this article and more examples of how the right wing attempts to water down the underhanded tactics used by the GOP and project their actions onto Dems
    What have Dems done in the past 12 years and why?
    Im not saying they arent different , they most certainly are and far better for most of America .
    Dems worked their butts off in 2009 and 2010 , the most productive congress in decades. Point the most important of these out Show the every day Joe in America just who IS working for them and how.
    Write about the GOP efforts to block closing Gitmo behind the scenes or not funding programs to show us all how they are such horrible ideas.

  3. The dems and repubs are not equal, the repubs are a theocratic extreme right wing party, the dems on the other hand are right of center apologists – war mongers, free trade job exporters, and corporate insurance lackeys.

  4. It goes further – the POLICIES are not the same. For all the Left outrage that we did not get perp walks on bankers – well, NOT voting is what got the legislators that made what most banks did LEGAL. Want Glass-Steagall? First – tell me what it did. Bet you don’t even know. But I’ll tell YOU – it put a firewall between our deposits and the money banks can invest for themselves. And you got THAT back with the Volcker Rule accepted Dec. 11, 2013. Doesn’t go far enough? Well sure – get us a decent Congress and we WILL regulate hedge funds, derivatives, etc. that were never regulated in the first place because, you, know you didn’t vote so the GOP got its way.

    You think ideology trumps facts? That’s SO bourgeois spoiled privilege, Lefties. READING widely and deeply not just of your hair on fire fave sites but ones with those pesky details matters.

    If you aren’t smart and you don’t vote, you earn nothing in a democracy – save our contempt for your phony posturing.

  5. “If you aren’t smart and you don’t vote, you earn nothing in a democracy – save our contempt for your phony posturing.”

    Please allow me to correct the above statement:

    “If you DON’T vote, you AREN’T smart, PERIOD!

  6. Did you listen to the show? They talked about the policy differences and the platform differences. I don’t see how anyone could be confused between the parties myself.

  7. I suspect what Spencer alluded to is that we could use talking points in a concise form, so that when we encounter a Gish-galloping screed about how it’s all bullshit anyway, or are trying to persuade someone brainwashed by one, we have the counterargument ready to use.

  8. Social Security wouldn’t even be an ISSUE were it not for Ronald Reagan, who LOOTED the Social Security fund for his own chickenhawk purposes. And STOP acting like the national debt is Obama’s fault — 92%+ of the present national debt came from Reagan and Bushes 1 & 2. The “addition” of debt during Obama’s terms came from ACCOUNTING for things GWB didn’t CLAIM.

    Bill Clinton, for all his ‘hanky-panky’, put us on a path that would have ELIMINATED the national debt by NEXT YEAR!

    All this wrongful supposition that everything was normal and honky-dory under the GOP “leadership” is the biggest lie of the last 120 years. IN FACT, the ONLY bigger lies in the history of this NATION were that slavery was OK, and the idea of “Manifest Destiny”.

  9. I have found it very difficult to debate republicans in person. They refuse to assert facts and usually just resort to name calling and telling me I’m a commie or socialist. It’s difficult to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

    When talking to Democrats we either have a decent productive discussion or they instantly begin to complain about the republicans. My first question to them. Did you vote? About 90% of the time they say no. It’s always they didn’t have the time, or we were probably gonna lose anyway. I always tell them you can’t win if you don’t play.

    I am a staunch Democrat. Are they perfect? No, but would you rather live in the 21st century or the 19th century?

    The one advantage we hold is social media. They don’t realize everything they say and do ends up on line and around the world in seconds. We need to exploit that at every turn.

  10. Democrats are not perfect. I’ve not agreed 100% with everything the Obama Administration has done and at times have felt a certain level of frustration with the Administration. On some occasions I’ve disagreed with my Democratic Representative and my state’s Democratic Senator.

    That said, I’d vote for every single one of them again.

    When I look at the philosophy and overall policy positions of the Democratic Party, I find more I am in agreement with than I am in disagreement. I do not see compassion or empathy in the Republican Party’s overall policies and I think the one thing we seem very short of lately is compassion and empathy. I see a Party that would tear apart the social safety net the first chance they got. I see a Party that would attempt to flex its military muscle whenever it could and damn the consequences. I see a Party that would rather keep people down than lift them up.

    Democrats might not be perfect, but at least they’re not Republicans.

  11. I was warned about the coming collapse of America when I was in grade school. I was told it was due to the National Debt. It was going to destroy this nation, sink it as a world leader, cause chaos and misery everywhere.

    That was 50 years ago.

    We are still here.

    The ones expanding the debt are all the ones who warned me about it. Conservatives WANT a huge debt to crowd out all social funding, stimulus, etc. so I do not remotely CARE about that argument that is totally fallacious and the fact of debt due to those ‘warning’ us about it. Productive debt creates jobs, permanent infrastructure, innovation, research, and programs that help sustain people in hard times so that they can weather the idiotic destruction caused by the private sector.

    Since WW II this has been a conservative hysteria – when the Dems are in power. But those who created the most debt are the GOP. Give it up. It is not true.

  12. For the record, I am not a democrat but the GOP is such a neo confederate party as a normal thinking human being I can’t ever see myself voting for the party of viagra and rogaine abusers! I call myself an ”independent” but for the most part independent voters are almost as asinine as republicans! I recognized both parties are control by corporate america but the GOP doesn’t even try to fake it!! But as long as “SOME” POOR- HATEFUL- UNEDUCATED- americans keep voting GOP the big wigs in corporate america will continue to use us to fight each other! the democratic party with ALL it’s flaws aren’t 0.00000000001 as screwed up as the republican neo confederate party is.

  13. Beware the paid posters who will pretend to be Democrats or liberals but whose main purpose is to divide and discourage. Do not hesitate to confront them and call them out for being the saboteurs that they are.

    We saw a wave of these pretenders on many blogs in 2010 and we on the left need to forcefully rebut their message at every turn and on every post!

  14. When it comes to foreign policy both the establishment Democrats and establishment Republicans have supported preventives wars and meddling in the affairs of other countries: Iraq, Syria, Vietnam, Libya, Afghanistan, Egypt, Israel, Somalia, Ukraine. President Bush was bad, but President Obama has followed his policies, sort of a Bush-Lite. It was a united effort of Progressives and Libertarians that helped to prevent President Obama from bombing Syria.

  15. Of course elected Democrats do a bit more good and a tad less harm than elected Republicans. But this should never be used as an excuse for the many, many Democrats who are as wholly owned by corporate interests as your average Republican. To soft pedal this reality, which this article does, is to ignore why so many reasonable folks are disgusted with both parties. Instead of making the lesser-of-the-available-evils argument, how about making one which advocates that the Democrats stop acting so timid in doing the people’s business.

    Not quite sure who is your “emo-prog left,” but suffice it to say, all you conservative-acting Democrats should be thanking real progressives, and leftists, and labor, and humanists, and environmental activists, and peace activists, and poverty activists for pushing the Democratic party in a very needed direction.

    Playtime is over.

  16. No need to spend more, just cut an equal share for all. Middle class taxpayers, the infirm, the military, the children of all parents, the elderly, the mentally ill all are important taxpayers in one form or another. They are not asking for more than what they deserve. Unlike the takers at the top who could, but won’t share the burden of running the country. And of being a patriot! Middle class patriots share this country’s bounty. Pigs at the trough suck it dry, those who want keep the bounty in their back yards and their garages. They hog the bounty for others and try to get the biggest serving!

  17. Both sides have been bought and paid for. But we need to get out, hold our noses, and vote against the worse of the two parties.

  18. Romney observed that the world doesn’t think any better of the U.S. now than it did before Obama was elected. Of course not, the president has been following the same foreign policies as Bush, making our war machine rich and making more enemies abroad. What do we expect with a Democrat president who is to the right of Nixon? And Congress critters who spend half their waking hours soliciting bribes?

  19. The author makes in this piece the claim that, “Corporate interests may want to control both parties, but it is clear that there is only one party that they own right now.”

    Unfortunately, the only case the writer actually makes is that the GOP takes MORE of Big Business’ money, but he hasn’t begun to make the case that the DNC is NOT owned by Corporate America.

    If a crook walks away from a bank robbery with one million dollars and a second crook gets away with two million dollars they are both still crooks.

  20. Sure the Republicans are clearly corrupt. If the Democrats aren’t also, then they are at least guilty of being unorganized pushovers. The only thing they seemed to accomplish is offering this “Affordable Health Care”. No one asked for it. What the people wanted was real financial reform, to end war, and a return to civil liberty. I voted for Obama, but we got none of that! Dodd Frank was reduced to insignificance. We haven’t exactly been non-warlike, and the Democrats don’t seem to mind the overuse of invasive tactics to catch “terrsts”. So I disagree that both of these parties are not influenced by money the same way. Money drives everything. Anyone with a grain of sense knows this. We need a third party and it’s possible the new populist movement might fill that role. That’s what the people who wrote this are really afraid of!

  21. I’m sorry, I certainly didnt mean to get under your skin. my post wasnt meant to be a put down.
    Its not that the story hasnt been told.
    But to get the message out, someone like me telling others to go search for it in the archives at Politicus isnt going to cut it, Ive used archives before and many times cannot find the ones I want.
    Specific linked examples of Dem legislation in this article , who is bringing what to the table and how the GOP is in the background quietly under funding programs etc helps immensely in getting info to others quickly. it also needs said over and over again as the “it’s both sides” crowd needs to be shown how wrong they are.

    Youre not trying to persuade me. I already agree with you.
    Also, ready to use info and links to the BLS, CBO or whatever credible source gets the info to people you might persuade…those on the fence.
    I would think your intention isn’t to preach to the choir, but to help as many as possible understand what’s real…

  22. Healthcare reform was a top priority in the nation when Obama was elected.
    Obama has done what he said he would do where the Iraq war is concerned, he did end it.
    He couldnt get “real financial reform ” passed due to GOP blocking and lying, couldnt close Gitmo due to GOP using scare tactics that terrorists cant be kept in the states, as if they had magical powers -never mind that we already have some 300 terrorists in the US prison system. Pretending Obama could have gone around them is asinine. Dems didnt start the NSA and most of the documents provided were from 2006 -who was president then? Obama is doing something about data collection.
    For the first time ever marijuana is legal in two states for recreation and the federal govt wont interfere. Dont mention raids in Cali –those were brought on by local authorities who stated the dispensary owners werent following local and state laws
    which is what Obama had stated would be the case. So tell us , exactly what is it Obama hasn…

  23. Your Professor was correct Anne. If the rethugs gain control of the Senate, retain control of the House, gain control of the W.H. Our fall will be fast and furious. Because they already have control of the Supreme Court.
    As for the debt, ask your self this question.
    Why did Reagen raid the Soc Sec. and why did Shrub put his wars on our credit card? When their call has been, “Pay for it, before we vote for it.”

    The rethug plan has always been to “drown the economy in a bath tub.” Their quote. with this election, they, see a possible win, win.
    The only way to stop them … is get out to vote.

  24. Really David War mongers?? who started the last wars, unpaid for, costing million, killing just as many millions, leaving behind thousands of injured Vets, and call themselves Christians the family values party, pointing fingers at anything that may help the poor, the uninsured, the jobless? Who has not passed any bill helping this country, who is now calling for more war?
    It’s not the Dem’s. Smells like the rethugs.

  25. President Obama followed the Bush plan for ending the Iraq War. Except that Obama tried to keep troops in Iraq longer. He did not do so because the Iraqi government would not allow it.
    NSA: President Obama did not fire James Clapper for lying to Congress, which sent a very strong message: Obama supports Clapper and the actions of the NSA.
    Afghanistan: As Commander in Chief, Obama could have ordered our withdrawal in 2009. He ordered an escalation instead.
    Syria: Obama tried to bomb Syria.
    Libya: He bombed Libya without approval of Congress.
    NED: Obama supported/directed the meddling of the “National Endowment for Democracy” in the Ukraine.

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