Contribute Now to Send The Democrats A Message They Can Understand

by Blue America

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Many of us have been disappointed in the Democratic Party (again) this year-- but electing conservatives in the form of Republicans or Blue Dog Democrats is NOT the answer. People with memories that go back beyond last November, though, probably remember just what 8 years of George W. Bush and a Republican Congress meant for our country. And, stretching out from there a bit, some progressives even remember what happened when we split our votes between Al Gore and Ralph Nader. There is a way to send a message to the Inside the Beltway Democratic Establishment. It's called primaries-- and it works better than blindly empowering crazed, angry, racist teabaggers. When Adam Nagourney, Cokie Roberts or Glenn Beck promote Democratic atomization, they're not pumping for progressive values, as Digby pointed out in the post that inspired this Blue America page. She asks how liberals can exert what power we have and have the results be interpreted the way we want them to be-- as a repudiation of corporatism and conservative governance, not as a repudiation of Democratic governance?

There is a fairly compelling theory in political science that says that after political parties come into power, fulfill some pieces of their agenda, get fat and bloated and are finally removed from office, they then tend to deny the reality of their loss and blame it on everything but themselves until they lose enough elections that they finally realize that their ideology has failed. The current GOP is not there yet by a long shot. They are still in the process of doubling down on their radical agenda at a time when the economy is still in ruins, the effects of globalization are being fully felt, the planet is in peril and about to reach a tipping point, and a radical fundamentalist movement is trying to blow people up. I don't think the world can take any more of the right's prescriptions for these problems right now: Lindsay Graham is considered too liberal and neo-Hooverism is their economic program. Yes, the Democrats are corrupt and inept. But the other side is batshit insane.

However, that doesn't mean that there's nothing we can do but wring our hands about how the system is broken and fret ourselves into inertia. The other way to send messages to the Democratic party is through the unsatisfying and often thankless process of primary challenges. Nobody can have any problem understanding that message, not even Adam Nagourney.

It's hard to find challengers and it's no wonder. It's expensive, time consuming and after all your hard work you will probably lose. It takes real commitment and a desire to not only win a seat in Congress but do it by way of unseating an incumbent of your own party with whom you disagree, an act which is guaranteed to make you an odd man out among the party hierarchy. But if you win, it can send shockwaves through the system.

And guess what? We are in another favorable year for primary challenges in recent memory. The insane teabaggers aren't going to allow any rational Republicans to run and the anti-incumbent fever is going to be as high as it's been since 1994. The Democratic base has an energetic activist faction, the netroots can raise money and there is a burning desire to show the party establishment that they cannot take liberals for granted. It's a perfect environment for successful primary challenges.

At Crooks and Liars John Amato makes the same point a different way. "There's an impulse," he writes, "to say screw it all and not show up anymore because 'they're all the same,'; but I can't do that. For the most part, politicians will let us down because they are... well, politicians, but they aren't all the same. There have been plenty of books written about Florida in 2000. If ballots had been properly labeled so that voters who wanted Gore instead of Pat Buchanan could have done so, we might have had a more fair election. And then the Supreme Court would have been left to watch election night like the rest of us and Bush wouldn't have entered the White House in 2000."
Think of what that would have meant for the country:

     •     The Bush tax cuts for the wealthy would never have been a reality.

     •     I doubt we would have had the attacks of 9/11 because President Clinton warned that the greatest threat America would face was terrorism and Gore would have not ignored him like Bush did. But if we did get attacked, then you can bet that Gore would have handled it as an adult. He wouldn't sought "revenge" against Saddam Hussein and prioritized control of all that oil. Gore wouldn't have let Osama Bin Laden get away and the world would still be sympathetic to us.

     •     Our efforts to put Afghanistan back together would be finished by now, assuming we even would have tried nation-building there.

     •     More troops and people would be alive and we would have exited the Middle East with our heads held high.

     •     America would never have invaded and occupied Iraq and over 4,000 troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians (if not millions) would be alive today.

     •     Abu Ghraib would never have happened.

     •     Terrorist recruitment would have stalled.

     •     Torture would not be part of the American lexicon and the likes of Dick Cheney and John Yoo would never have descended upon the offices of the VP and OLC.

     •     John Roberts and Sam Alito would not be on the Supreme Court and the makeup would probably be 6-3 against the radical Scalia-conservative agenda. A ruling on Citizens United is coming soon. Would the court ever have accepted that case? Not a chance and soon corporations will have a stranglehold on our election system much more than they have now.

     •     George Bush would have been back home in Texas leading the state into secession along with his pal Alberto Gonzalez.

     •     Nobody would have ever heard of Terry Schiavo.

     •     A much swifter and more effective response to Hurricane Katrina would have been implemented.



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Blue America PAC

Blue America fights reactionaries-- on both sides of the aisle. Our efforts have helped elect Donna Edwards, Alan Grayson, Raul Grijalva, Jeff Merkley, and Jared Polis among others. This year we will seek to advance a progressive agenda by assisting candidates who have clear and unambiguous records and platforms for peace, prosperity and equality. We need, first and foremost, BETTER Democrats, not more Democrats.

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Lance Enderle

MI-08

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David Gill

IL-13

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Patsy Keever

NC-10

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Pat Lang

OH-15

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Beto O'Rourke

TX-16

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Lee Rogers

CA-25

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Wanda Rohl

IL-16

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Aryanna Strader

PA-16

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Sue Thorn

WV-01

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