I Am Very Worried About 2006

The Democratic primary in the IL-06 was not supposed to be close. I travel to DC often these days (in fact, I am about to leave for DC now), and from everyone I had talked to down there, I was told more or less the same thing: Duckworth will win this primary, and win it huge. I did not have access to the data they were using to make that assessment, but I also did not question it. A big Duckworth victory made sense. She had the support of every major elected Democrat in Illinois. She had the support of the DCCC. She was endorsed by every major union and progressive advocacy organization. She had more money. She had a lot more free media. In pretty much every measure I cold think of, she looked very strong. It seemed as though nearly every Democratic and progressive organization that works to elect Democrats and progressives was behind her. A few months ago, I floated the idea of the netroots getting behind Cegalis full-force to a few other bloggers, but after we had all heard pretty much the same stories on how Duckworth was going to cruise, we agreed it probably wasn't a very good idea. Better to focus our resources elsewhere.

Last night, however, something happened that made me extremely worried about our electoral prospects nationwide in 2006. Nearly the full-force of the Democratic and progressive electoral apparatus "succeeded" in only helping Duckworth win 44% of the vote in the Democratic primary. This wasn't the blow out I was told it was going to be. This wasn't the blowout I imagined it would be considering the establishment support Duckworth had. It wasn't even close to a blowout. It looks like the final margin will be somewhere around 1,000-1,100 votes. IT was very close, and it was a real nailbiter.

This makes me very worried about 2006. The same people and the same organizations who supported Duckworth remain in charge of winning elections of nearly every Democrat nationwide in 2006. If they produce anemic results like this in IL-06, what results can we expect across the country in November? Believe me, whatever group of rag-tag GOTV activists Cegalis had in this election, using their theocon grassroots, the Republican machine will more than match that nationwide in 2006.

We can't win if we continue to operate like this. The netroots and grassroots can't win by themselves, and the Democratic electoral establishment is hardly any better. At some point, there is going to have to be a way for us to work together, or we are just going to keep losing and losing and losing. We can't go on like this. We can't win without them, and they can't win without us. There has to be a way for us to work together, but that doesn't mean just treating the netroots like an ATM, not even mentioning the name of our candidates on official literature, or simplistic, authoritarian demands that we all "fall in line." There is an activist class war taking place in the Democratic Party--I can see it even happening in my own neighborhood. Those who currently hold sway over the movement better recognize that it is happening as well, and they better be willing to work with the people who make their position possible. We can't simply continue to be told to go back and keep toiling in the volunteer activist salt mines. Something needs to be done to solve this mess. I'm sure there are thing that both sides can do, but the overwhelming onus to fix this situation and create some sort of détente rests on those people who currently control the Democratic Party and the progressive movement. You have to find a way to show us that you care, that you appreciate our efforts, and that you are willing to work together. My suggestion from last night probably won't fly, but whatever the solution is, the ball is in the court of the establishment, and they need to think of something.

Tags: Activism, Democrats, netroots (all tags)

Comments

222 Comments

Next question.

Before you spend too much time worrying about what the establishment can and can't deliver and how you and the netroots can fix it, maybe you need to ask yourself why you and the bloggers you're counting on to make the big paradigm shift decided to buy the line you were hearing in DC and back off.

Saying you're worried about institutional Democrats' ability to deliver in '06 is an applause line.

Seriously assessing your ability to do anything about it is a real project.

by Kagro X 2006-03-22 06:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

Bingo.

by Andrew C White 2006-03-22 06:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

Or mayube the "Top Bloggers" don't add up to much more than coffee clutches for dweebs.

by goplies 2006-03-22 06:43AM | 0 recs
Bingo 2

This seems to be the constructive way of approaching this.

by tparty 2006-03-22 06:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

Perhaps I am wrong, but Kagro X also bought the line from DC.  This is not entirely the fault of Bowers.

by illinois062006 2006-03-22 06:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

Yeah, perhaps you're wrong. Not that it would make any difference. The point of my comment wasn't that I'm infallible and everyone else is a chump. It was that all bloggers should be examining their potential for creating change and assessing it honestly.

But to get back to your issue, would you like to tell us all what line I bought and when?

by Kagro X 2006-03-22 08:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

But you did not fully support Cegelis.  And neither did DHinMI and a whole group of DailyKos bloggers.  

by illinois062006 2006-03-22 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

No, I didn't. But we're talking about people who supported her generally, but backed off because they thought she couldn't win.

I never supported her, period. I didn't support anybody. So it's a little difficult to rationally accuse me of being soft in my support because I bought someone's line. There was no support at all, soft or otherwise.

by Kagro X 2006-03-22 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

But you did not support her, and you created a very difficult environment for Cegelis supporters.  As a result, you were part of the problem, not part of the solution, as were DKos posters such as DHinMI, AnnArborBlue, VirginiaBell, Kos and others.

by illinois062006 2006-03-22 10:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

No, I didn't support her. But that's not my job, and I don't owe it to anyone.

Nor do I agree with your assessment of my creating a "difficult environment" for Cegelis supporters. Those I discussed the campaign with caught my attention because they were creating a difficult environment for themselves and their candidate, by approaching their advocacy irresponsibly. As a result, they were as much a part of the problem as anyone.

There are a few Cegelis supporters who can attest to the time I spent with them trying to improve matters, and thereby improve their advocacy.

If there's any point to individual participation in the blogosphere at all, it's that nobody but nobody is entitled to anything from us, simply because they show up on the blogs and claim to represent "the grassroots."

From an early date, many Cegelis supporters dug themselves and their candidates into a hole, fueled by their own outrage, that some never found their way out of. Right up to the primary, there were people continuing to fling utter bullshit around in the name of "fighting the DCCC" or what have you who did more damage to themselves and their candidate than was ever done by any of the people you'd like to blame for Cegelis' loss.

I don't owe you or Cegelis a thing. I don't have to support her just because I use blogs, and her supporters claim she's the "netroots" candidate. You and anyone else who ever hopes to run on "netroots" support had better get that straight ASAP.

by Kagro X 2006-03-23 07:28AM | 0 recs
I agree with your first comment on this thread...

The question is-why was Mr. Bowers so willing to buy into the establishment CW? The leaders of the political blogosphere are going to have to decide whether they want to be agents of real change, or just want to wedge themselves into the front table.

Also, although off the topic of this comment, I'm wondering why the support for Duckworth was so lukewarm? I didn't pay much attention to this race and I'm really curious.

by bobbyk 2006-03-23 03:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

To me, it's not about bloggers. It's about the people on the ground in the state or the district. You ignore them at your own risk.

by anastasiap 2006-03-22 07:12AM | 0 recs
No Real Fear of a stay-home liberal base

The Dem. establishment is confident at the end of the day that the liberal/progressive base of the party will come out an vote for those the establishment has chosen as 'safe enough' (read DLC moderate) to vote for.  We are completely taken for granted.

The Repubs understand that their TheoCon base is subject to staying home and they feed and care for their base, although sometimes in only symbolic ways.

The Dem. establishment won't pay attention to the netroots/grassroots until they feel real fear (or respect) for the liberal base of the party.  They probably don't even know how many Dems have already written off Dem. politics as irrelevant to their concerns.  

The Dem. establishment hasn't yet learned and accepted the necessity of a worked-up and active base - they are concentrated on the important Independent vote.  Meanwhile the Independent vote is looking more like the Dem. base vote, in poll after poll.

What would it take to get the Dem. establishment to pay attention to the liberal/progressive wing of the party?  Would a crushing loss (again) caused by a stay-home base send the message?

Or, will the liberal base bend over once again and vote for non-fighting, non-principled, me-too candidates put forth by the DLC-style leadership?

by JimPortlandOR 2006-03-22 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: No Real Fear of a stay-home liberal base

The bottom line is the electorate is divided on deeply partisan lines and the chasm cannot be bridged. There are no swing voters.

As a result elections are won narrowly and the difference is who gets a better performance in turning out their base voters.

The Repubs have done better because they cater to their base and play to that base. The Dems have lost elections as they shun their base and play to the mythical swing voter.

Unless this changes soon the generic ballot strength that the Dems see currently will vaporize in Nov as the Dems base will not turn out in the numbers to make the difference in closely fought races.

I predict that Duckworth will lose in Nov as the Cegelis grassroots will not come out in strength to offset the Repubs advantage. And the likelihood of this happening across the country is very high.

The Dems DC establishment and consultants seem to repeat the failures of every recent election in continuing to believe that Dems need to have Repub-lite candidates and non-confrontational campaigns and that the Dems base have no choice so will come around at the end. Since, electoral victories are so narrow those few percentage points that decide win/loss are lacking for Dems as their base is never truly energized enough to come out in strength. Unfortunately as we are seeing in the primaries right now, this looks like another repeat of the playbook for Nov 2006.

by ab initio 2006-03-22 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

Bravo-  totaly agree.  Love the applause line bit.

by guero 2006-03-22 11:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

Actually all Chris's comment demonstrates is how out of touch he is with the residents of that district.  

There were an awful lot of people who supported Christine Cegelis because she has been right there still campaigning for the last 2 years after running against Henry Hyde in the last election WITHOUT assistance from the DCCC and proving that it could be done.

The only real disappointment is that the DCCC didn't pick some other district in Illinois that needed a hero representative and we could have had 2 Democratic pickup seats instead of one.

And no, I don't live anywhere near the IL 6th but I have some very good friends who do live in that district and they are pissed, truly pissed at the DCCC.

I don't think there's anything that the DCCC can do to win them back.  Will they vote for Duckworth over a Republican candidate? Yes -- BUT the DCCC will never see a donation from them again in their lifetimes.

I don't think any general analogies can be drawn between the performance of the DCCC-selected candidate in this district and any other districts.

by dwahzon 2006-03-22 05:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

You are right.

I got hosed. I got fooled. And I let everyone down as a result. I should have known better, but I didn't. Trust me when I say it won't happen again.

by Chris Bowers 2006-03-22 06:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

Well, I'm sure your support would have been welcomed, and probably valuable to some extent. But it was up to them to win this thing, so I wouldn't beat yourself up too much.

The real point of my comment was to prompt an assessment of just how valuable your support is, and what, if anything, could be done next time to make it valuable enough to actually sway a race like this one.

This is the unfinished business of last cycle. A post-mortem on the Dean/kos/anybody else Dozen. An inquiry into whether online fundraising is as powerful as it needs to be, and how it squares with our insistence that "we're not an ATM." Thinking about how online advocacy works, and how to make it more effective.

One of the things that I think handicapped Cegelis' supporters online was their early proclivity for some truly low-ball attacks on Duckworth. I know we all love the freewheeling nature of the blogs, and we hate "message control," but it was my impression that a lot of potential out-of-district online support slipped away over the base nature of these attacks. Plus, by the end, there was an unmistakable backlash against the DCCC-bashing. People got sick of it, whether it was deserved or not. It even worked against some other candidates who came around trying to make the same case about their primaries.

I encountered a lot of resistance from Cegelis supporters to whom I suggested things like, "Hey, let's maybe not make jokes about the fact that Duckworth has had her legs blown off, eh?" Or that maybe the hay you could make out of saying that Duckworth "refuses to move into the district" wasn't worth the backlash that might come when people find out the reason she wouldn't move (her friends and neighbors had just finished remodeling her home for handicapped access at their own expense). The most frequent response? "Fuck you! I'm speaking truth to power!"

Not good. And while I doubt it had anything to do with the outcome of the race, if there's any role to be played by the blogs at all, this race warrants a second look at things like this.

by Kagro X 2006-03-22 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

Absolute BS.  Cegelis supporters were strong proponents of our candidate, but we did not attack Duckworth.

Go back and re-read the posts on Cegelis' behalf, and then tell me with a straight face that we attacked Duckworth.  We attacked insane people who said they liked Duckworth because she was "hot".  We attacked the Democratic establishment.  We said Duckworth was a "made" candidate, which is true.  We said she had a "campaign in a can", a phrase that came from Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet, and is also true.

If that's "attacking" Duckworth, you ain't seen an attack.

Our fervent support of Cegelis didn't turn anybody off.  Those who pretend that it did have some agenda other than letting the people decide who is best for their district.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

by Caro 2006-03-22 11:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

Oh really? Absolute BS? Nobody ever did it? That's a pretty sweeping statement. Are you sure you want to stand by the assertion that nobody, anywhere, ever attacked Duckworth?

I can point you right now to Bob Brigham's very commendable condemnation of just such an attack, made just days before the primary. And that's just something I can grab for you offhand.

Their style of "support" absolutely did turn people off. Me, for one.

Now, if you've got some credible evidence of my "agenda," let's lay it out onthe table. Whatcha got?

by Kagro X 2006-03-23 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

Kagro, I was going to call you a bad name, but I just want to be clear.  NOBODY who supported Christine agreed with Tim the Democrat's diary.  EVERYONE who commented on the diary, if you read the comments, condemned them.  It wasn't just Bob Brigham.  MOST of the rest of us chose to ignore it, figuring it was some kind of troll.

I know it's tough online but please don't conflate Tim the Democrat with a "Cegelis supporter" and given how insane it was, even addressing the diary would have been ridiculous from the campaign or any of the close supporters.  Saying "Christine condemns this diary" brings actual attention to the diary.

I, for one, didn't read it until just now.  And I'm very glad I didn't.  It was a distraction, and would have been stupid coming from the Cegelis supporters.

by jakester 2006-03-23 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

You're right, it WOULD have been stupid. And my recollection was that there were others that approached the same level of stupidity. I had the same problem with "formalist," as I recall. And early on, some significant disagreement with Michael in Chicago, though I don't recall thinking his approach was nearly as destructive.

by Kagro X 2006-03-23 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

Well, you know, the great thing about the Internet is that you should be able to provide some links.  

"My recollection" and "as I recall" ain't gonna cut it.

Mostly what I saw was people criticizing the way Rahm and others intruded on the campaign; and pointing out Duckworth's failings in her public statements, positions, and chances in November (surely fair game) particularly for someone whose supposed to be the star candidate of the party!  And then being accused of criticizing a disabled war hero!

So you throw around a charge like Cegelis partisans were mocking Duckworth's wounds -- a serious charge -- and all you can come up with is one guy who NOBODY agreed with, and many people either ignored or lambasted?  And some "I seem to remember recalling..."s?  Do some research and come back with the real indicting statements.

Thanks!

by jakester 2006-03-23 01:08PM | 0 recs
by Kagro X 2006-04-01 02:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

Do you realize that.

Foramalist, ilyayavitz, and Illinois062006 and probably tim the democrat are all the same person.

Formalist had Ilyayavitz(sp) as his email before he was banned and Ilyayavitz repeated the same "fuckworth oh i'm sorry that was just a typo" line multiple times all while bragging he could type 95 wpm and tim's writing style and invective is very similar as both.  So just one crank who was roundly slammed by all is your justification for saying Cegelis supporters were cruel to Duckworth.  Granted I myself said some harsh things but nothing a seasoned campaigner like Duckworth shouldn't be able to handle if she even had a blog to post at and nothing she will not hear from the republicans.

by Delver Rootnose 2006-03-25 09:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

No, I hadn't realized that.

That would be a different story. Of course, it would call for completely discrediting all current postings by Illinois062006, no? And that's fine by me. Because he's current and active right here on MyDD, right now.

Are we saying that we have your agreement and the agreement of at least some substantial portion of Cegelis supporters, then, that Illinois062006 is a sock puppet whose views are to be discounted, if not ignored completely?

by Kagro X 2006-04-01 02:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

One or two assholes may have overstepped the boundaries of good judgement in their comments on Duckworth, but it's irresponsible to hold the Cegelis campaign responsible for something they can't control.  

by Feh 2006-03-23 06:08AM | 0 recs
True.

Which is why I didn't do it. My caution to them was always that they were doing damage to their effectiveness as advocates, not that their candidate was responsible.

Though I will say that for a "netroots" candidate, Cegelis appeared to have precious little interest in organizing her online advocates to conduct themselves creditably.

by Kagro X 2006-03-23 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: True.

I don't consider Cegelis a "netroots" candidate.

Cegelis was a grassroots candidate.  If anyone was supported on the organized political nets, it was Duckworth.

by Feh 2006-03-23 09:53AM | 0 recs
Fair enough.

For a grassroots candidate, then, she did precious little in that regard.

Not that your version of what kind of candidate jives particularly well with the way she was oft times sold on the blogs.

by Kagro X 2006-03-23 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Fair enough.

Grassroots supporters can easily blog, but most netroots supporters are not able to show up at campaign HQ every day and go door-to-door in the district.

by Feh 2006-03-23 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

Absolutely totally BS.

I don't have a clue who posted what.  I do know it was NOT any Cegelis supporters I've been corresponding with.

On the contrary, every one has worked incredibly hard to say NOTHING against Duckworth.  Facts only.  I personally have been accused of bashing Duckworth just because I dare to state the facts.

Many supported her & voted for her because she had a "more compelling" story than Cegelis.  I doubt there were many that were combat vets.  She did her job.  She knew the risks.  Not qualifications for congress.  

After living in both worlds, I knew the difference between the two women.  Like many, knowing the difference didn't impress me.  A single mother successfully raising 2 sons on her own & working at a professional job is a lot more "compelling" than a weekend warrior rotorwing jockey cruising over the action at 2,000 ft.

My father's combat experience is "more compelling".  In his words, "deal with it!"

by Philosophe Forum 2006-03-23 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

It wasn't a Cegelis supporter you've been corresponding with, so it's "absolute total BS?"

You're losing me with the "logic."

by Kagro X 2006-03-23 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

What else is new?

Stereotyping & putting everyone together isn't a good thing.  Makes your arguments not exactly correct.

by Philosophe Forum 2006-03-23 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

Who put everyone together? I was very clear about this being limited to certain supporters.

Keep ignoring that. Makes your arguments not exactly correct.

Look, the alternative is to admit that you all did wonderfully and still couldn't convince the blogosphere that you could win. It ignores the existence on the record of the kind of lowballing I'm talking about, but I suppose we could just skip off into la-la land and see if the unexamined campaign plan does any better next time.

by Kagro X 2006-03-23 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

I was very clear about this being limited to certain supporters -- Not really.  You based your entire perspective on whatever you interpreted as Duckworth bashing.  The core supporters are not the entire  blogging community.

As for the vote totals, the blogs had nothing to do with Cegelis losing.  Durbin took Duckworth on buses went around to senior citizen centers, loaded up, & went to the Early Voting.   There were several busloads during the several weeks prior to the election.  He was personally on 2 of the buses.  Duckworth made the rest of the trips on her own.

It's one way of giving her campaign a "personal" touch.  It's definitely good for eaking out a plurality.

by Philosophe Forum 2006-03-23 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

Yes, they call it GOTV, and it's what Cegelis supporters said was her strength.

And you're right. This being the sixteenth time around with this business, I neglected to use the word "some" in reference to the Cegelis supporters I was talking about.

If I'm going to make sweeping accusations about them again, I'll limit it to their being pedants.

by Kagro X 2006-03-23 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

I'm certain Cegelis would've enjoyed the personal touch that riding around IL-06 in a bus brings had she all the big-name backing & financial support that Duckworth had.  When Durbin supported Cegelis in 2004, he didn't come with a bus for senior citizen voters.

by Philosophe Forum 2006-03-23 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Next question.

I'm sure she would have. But you'll have to take that up with Dick Durbin, not me.

by Kagro X 2006-03-28 11:41AM | 0 recs
Thank you, Chris

It's exactly what happened in Ohio and the game is over here; all the hopeful predictions aren't going to change the fact that DeWine is going to retain his Senate seat in November, probably by a 60-40 margin.

I'm sick and tired of hearing from Sherrod Brown supporters that the grassroots people who supported Hackett need to "suck it up" and be vehemently enthusiastic about Brown, who has the support of all the progressive and party insiders as well as the national party, After we were denied a primary battle because of behind-the-scenes string-pulling.

The Democratic Party MUST stop imposing top-down dictates the way the Republicans do and realize that we aren't Republicans for a reason. They must stop undermining Howard Dean's efforts to reach out to the grassroots, the actual people who cast the votes. They must stop rewarding party loyalists with spots on the slate regardless of the viability of their candidacy. They must give up the idea that the Republicans made the rules and we must play by them.

Abortion is a perfect example. Instead of cowering, or trying to promote how many "limitations" we support, we need to realize that when it comes to being "pro-life", it is the Republicans that are vulnerable. We need to start saying LOUDLY that it is impossible to be anti-abortion because you care about "unborn children" so much when you favour abstinence-only programs and limiting access to birth control. We must hurl this contradiction out into the open and challenge anyone who cares about fetuses to link with us in banning abstinence-only programs. Won't do it? Well, you clearly  don't care about unwanted children! We must ask them to join with us in increasing funding for pre-natal health care and universal child care. Won't do it? You are anti-life and hate children. C'mon, Dems. You can do this!

by anastasiap 2006-03-22 06:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Thank you, Chris

They must stop undermining Howard Dean's efforts to reach out to the grassroots, the actual people who cast the votes.

I think last night's outcome was a validation of what Howard's been saying since his campaign. I don't think I've seen so many establishment members mobilized against a candidate since Howard Dean.  But Cegelis had a really great grassroots campaign that seemed to embody so much of what Howard is advocating now in his 50-state strategy.

by KimPossible 2006-03-22 06:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Thank you, Chris

word, think outside the box. let the process moderate and let "the party" (the people) speak.

by PurityOfEssence 2006-03-22 07:53AM | 0 recs
Say Amen! N/T

by Kankakee Voice 2006-03-22 07:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Thank you, Chris

You were denied a primary battle because Hackett quit.  Period.  There is ALWAYS string-pulling and side-taking in politics.

by davej 2006-03-22 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Thank you, Chris

Paul Hackett was forced out.  When polls show that you CAN win if you can get your message out, and the party is cutting off your access to fundraising and insiders from somewhere or another are spreading dirt on you ranging from that you used to be a Republican to you committed atrocities in Iraq, sure, you can technically stay in, but they have essentially quite the race for you.

And denying us a primary battle is NOT a good thing. All the energy and excitement has fizzled from this race.

by anastasiap 2006-03-22 09:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Thank you, Chris

"The Party" cutting off access to fundraising?  Hackett sure raised a lot of funds when he ran for Congress and "The Party" had little to do with that.  

You say that "The Party" was making accusations that he committed atrocities in Iraq?  Are you saying that Howard Dean was accusing Hackett of this?  WHO are you saying did this?

I wonder if you can substantiate what you are charging here?

By the way, in the coming election who benefits the most from this stuff?

by davej 2006-03-22 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Thank you, Chris

By the way, just to be clear, I'm arguing here against a "conventional wisdom" developing over what happened to Hackett, that I think is just divisive and serves no purpose.  I really like Hackett, and I really like Brown.  But we all have to keep in mind that what we really want to accomplish here is sticking together to defeat the Republicans and literally save democracy and the planet.  Keep our eyes on the prize.

by davej 2006-03-22 11:08AM | 0 recs
You can win in Ohio

if you decide that winning is more important that showing the Brown people you were right.

by Alice Marshall 2006-03-22 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Thank you, Chris

I'm sick and tired of hearing from Sherrod Brown supporters that the grassroots people who supported Hackett need to "suck it up" and be vehemently enthusiastic about Brown, who has the support of all the progressive and party insiders as well as the national party, After we were denied a primary battle because of behind-the-scenes string-pulling.

I like Paul Hackett. I'm glad he's joined forces with IAVA, and keeping that "fire in the belly" he evokes so well, in himself and in others. When I listened to him speak, I got the rush that says, yes, we can fight! His sole liability was lack of experience, and time changes that.

I got calls from both campaigns seeking funding. I held off until I could gather my own information based on my own research. I concluded that Paul Hackett should not have run for the Senate. He will make a FANTASTIC Representative in the US House, or even the Ohio House. I truly, dearly hope he runs for OH-02 again and puts the Wicked Witch Of The South out to pasture for good.

I will be the very last to tell you to "suck it up" for anything. But I will be the first to tell you that WE HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER. If you want to take your money, your time and your vote and stay home because you think you got slighted or ignored, then DeWine goes back to Washington and NOTHING WILL CHANGE. I have it from the Senator himself that he supports President Bush and his policies.

I will vote for the last Dem standing, whether he's Beltway Blue, Ohio Red, or green with tentacles, because until we are in the majority, it's more of the same. We'll gain the majority with the Dems we have, and they will not always be the Dems we want.

It took the Republicans decades to get here, it may take us decades to get back. But it will be even longer if we keep up the pissing matches between ourselves.

Brown isn't perfect.
Strickland isn't perfect.
Duckworth isn't perfect.

But I will walk, petition, call, cajole and give every penny I have to get them elected. The alternative is simply unacceptable.

-GFO

by GuyFromOhio 2006-03-22 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Thank you, Chris

Guy from Ohio, this isn't about whether a candidate is "perfect." There is really nothing terribly wrong with Brown's positions. He just isn't a viable candidate for Ohio. As for Hackett running in Oh-2 against Schmidt, the way things are looking, Schmidt's career in politics may be over by then and if there's a respectable-sounding Republican, in that district, he or she won't be beatable by any Democrat. This has been hashed over so many times. Brown has little momentum. He's an uninspiring speaker. He isn't reaching outside his hardcore base. He's just a tepid candidate. And even if I were really, really  inspired and excited by him, I don't have the time, money or energy to campaign for everyone, so for me, it's the essentials: get Strickland elected governor, get Jennifer Brunner elected Secretary of State so we can have fair elections again and get Chandra or Dann elected attorney general so we can take over the reapportionment board and redistrict the state to get some Republicans out of office.

by anastasiap 2006-03-22 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Thank you, Anastasia

This has been hashed over so many times.

Well, then one more won't hurt. Chalk it up to my naivete.

... get Strickland elected governor, get Jennifer Brunner elected Secretary of State so we can have fair elections again and get Chandra or Dann elected attorney general so we can take over the reapportionment board and redistrict the state to get some Republicans out of office.

Beautiful! Please believe me when I say I will work for these things also.

As for DeWine 60/40 over Brown, that only steels my reserve to press that much harder. We have 7 months to watch that number change, and any one issue (just ONE!) could make the difference.

-GFO

by GuyFromOhio 2006-03-23 05:07PM | 0 recs
You should be worried
The Dems like their "share the middle" position with Neocons. And they hate blogs ae equally as the Neocons.
It's going to get worse before it gets better for Democrats. They are negligently and directly guilty in the crimes of this government.
by Landsurveyor 2006-03-22 06:28AM | 0 recs
Re: You should be worried

Might think about the fact that one candidate had years, and no money and therefore never would have a chance in the General, and another had a few weeks and lots of money...but no time.

That's a helluva combination I don't think you'll see played out elsewhere. If Duckworth had been recruited 1.5 years ago then the comparision would be valid.

by BigDog 2006-03-22 06:31AM | 0 recs
If the support the DCCC

had given Duckworth had been given to the existing candidate that nearly won without it then this thing would be a blow out upset in the general.

As it is we may well miss the opportunity to pick up Il-06 because of Rahm and the DC insiders lack of knowledge about how to win.

by Andrew C White 2006-03-22 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: If the support the DCCC

That's quite a prediction. A blow out in the general????

Did you look at the total number of votes for DuPage county for the 6th CD in the Republican primary?

44,000 votes.

Versus 25,000 in the Dem primary. That's quite a partisan difference to make up in the general. I wanted Cegelis to win this thing because I think that progressive messages give voters a reason to vote Democratic. But let's not kid ourselves here. This district is still republican, and there's no way anyone is going to blow out the Roskam.

by adamterando 2006-03-22 06:59AM | 0 recs
Re: If the support the DCCC

yeah, that's probably true. I do get enthusiastic upon occasion. The point of the statement is still true however. Duckworth is likely to lose this seat and it didn't have to be that way. The DC insiders made an extremely bad choice here and it has probably cost us this seat.

by Andrew C White 2006-03-22 07:34AM | 0 recs
Re: If the support the DCCC

Cegelis got 110,00 votes against Hyde in the 2004 general.

But the Democratic Establishment has thrown away that lead and now they have to start over from 14,000.  Long way to go.

by Feh 2006-03-23 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: If the support the DCCC

"had given Duckworth had been given to the existing candidate that nearly won without it then this thing would be a blow out upset in the general."

Sorry, but there is absolutely no correlation whatsoever between what happened or could have happened last night and the general election.

If there was such a correlation, it would stand to reason that Cegelis would have blown Duckworth out on the strength of the 105,000 votes she garnered in the 2004 election.

As for the whole "Rahm and the DC insiders lack the knowledge about how to win" stuff, well, whether you like it or not, they did win.

And they won with a candidate who no one had heard of a few months ago... by defeating a candidate who had been running a perpetual campaign for 2 1/2 years and had built up name recognition and a grassroots organization.

You obviously don't like the result, and that's fine.  But at least be rational.

by Politicalhack06 2006-03-22 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: If the support the DCCC

Did they win? Have they won? These guys have shown that they can get themselves elected but they have also consistently shown that their approach loses when it counts. The fact that they won a primary against a ragtag bunch of voters and activists with money, media, organization and all that jazz on their side means squat.

They lost congress and the presidency and have been losing ever since. They don't know how to win. If they knew how to win they wouldn't have just fought against the very help they need to win and they wouldn't have pissed off a bunch of people like me that can, when added to their existing strengths, make the difference that turns their losing ways into our combined winning ways.

People, stop getting lost in my angry statements and actually pay attention to the one and only main point I've been making all along here.

The DC party establishment needs to learn to share some of the power and work with us activists on the ground if we are... together... going to take back our country.

That is the point.

I want to work with these guys. I can't win without them and they have shown that they can't win without us.

So let's work together please. This means we need to get off our high horses sometimes and work for their candidates and it means they need to not challenge our candidates (Hackett and Cegelis being prime one and prime two examples but their are others).

It has got to be a two way street and they have got to learn to share and play nice with the new kids.

by Andrew C White 2006-03-22 06:29PM | 0 recs
if DC Dems hate blogs

why is Harry Reid speaking at the Kos convention?????????

by Alice Marshall 2006-03-22 07:34AM | 0 recs
by blogswarm 2006-03-22 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: if DC Dems hate blogs

Cuz Kos has become rich and part of the MSD crowd.

by Kankakee Voice 2006-03-22 07:46AM | 0 recs
Re: if DC Dems hate blogs


Cuz Kos has become rich and part of the MSD crowd.

I expect his realtor would beg to differ.

-GFO

by GuyFromOhio 2006-03-22 09:25AM | 0 recs
asinine

nt

by Teaser 2006-03-22 11:54AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

You should be worried.  I hope this does some real damage to the "Rahm Emanuel, Kingmaker" image that Emanuel's trying to cultivate.  He really could have accomplished much more had he not decided that the DCCC could manage without the grassroots.

It also shows just how weak the Democratic establishment is if with all that firepower behind Duckworth, Emanuel still couldn't manage a bigger margin of victory than 2 percentage points.  

I wonder just how many grassroots activists will do nothing more than vote in November?  I can imagine many of them will support Duckworth only in the abstract sense of "I hope she wins," but not willing to give their money or their time.  

The establishment tried to push the grassroots out of the way and the roots pushed back.

by KimPossible 2006-03-22 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Rahm Emanuel fired the first shot against Paul Hackett and no matter howe much the DCCC claims "We had nothing to do with that decision," I will not forget that.

by anastasiap 2006-03-22 06:32AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

The DCCC deals with House races.  Hackett was running for Senate.  

The Senate version of the DCCC is the DSCC, which is run by Chuck Schumer.

by Josh Orton 2006-03-22 08:15AM | 0 recs
Consider this a warning shot

The peasants are pissed, and they're starting to revolt.  

The folks in the manor house have totally misread the situation, and are trying to figure out how to keep the peasants in line.

This party can either try to play a lot of very smart and intrinsically motivated grassroots activists for suckers, or can listen to them and start actually SUPPORTING THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.

We are not ATMs, and we are not children.  We are the people.

by beemer 2006-03-22 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Consider this a warning shot

"We are not children."

Children take their marbles and go home, and there is a lot of that on this thread.  

This is a very long fight.  It is a two-track fight, moreover, to reform the party and also to win enough seats to stop Bush in his last 2 years. We need both.  Is it so hard to hold both thoughts at once?  Primaries are for fighting for your candidate, but general elecions are for fighting the Republicans.  Period.
 

by Mimikatz 2006-03-22 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Consider this a warning shot

General elections, like primaries, are for voting for the best candidate in the race.  Period.

by rba 2006-03-22 09:03AM | 0 recs
Which is exactly why

I have been and remain pissed at exactly those traditional organizations and elected officials that chose to wage war against the netroots, DFA, and the people of Il-06 by backing Duckworth.

My argument every step of the way has been that we all need to work together and not in opposition to each other. Their choice... their choice... to work in oppossition to the rest of us was a serious, serious error on their parts.

Think of what could have been accomplished if they had thrown their considerable weight behind the existing high-quality candidate that had the support of the district, the support of the netroots, and the support of DFA. Think of what we could accomplish together if they worked with us instead of against us.

As it is I am, and I remain, pissed at rahm, durbin, the cook county party, the DCCC, and all those that undermined Christine Cegelis and told us all to go take a hike.

By themselves they will lose the way they always have. They may have the money and ability to defeat us... narrowly... but they will lose in the big races unless and until they learn to accept that... their... only... path... to victory is to learn to share power and work with us.

Together we can crush the republicans. Divided we all lose.

As far as I can tell the DC bunch are more concerned about keeping their dwindling hold on minority power then they are on winning and becoming the majority power in this country.

Rahm is an incredibly bad leader.

by Andrew C White 2006-03-22 06:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Which is exactly why

I have been and remain pissed at exactly those traditional organizations and elected officials that chose to wage war against the netroots, DFA, and the people of Il-06 by backing Duckworth.

Wage war against the people?  Come on.  The "people of IL-06" voted yesterday, and picked Duckworth.

And there was no war waged; there was a political fight.  Each side fought with the tools it had, including using outsiders to fund/staff their efforts.  The traditional orgs beat the Cegalis backers.

The netroots asked for money outside of IL-06, and so did the traditional orgs.  The netroots asked for people to make calls from outside IL-06, and so did the traditional orgs.  

And the netroots were not united behind Cegalis.  Many of us like Duckworth as a candidate, and many more just didn't pay attention.  The claim that the entire netroots was on one side of the argument is simply an error.

by nathan 2006-03-22 06:37AM | 0 recs
Who will this candidate owe allegence to?

How many people go to the polls and vote for the most recognizable name instead of candidates positions?  

Duckworth won because she had the largest name recognition due to mass mailings made possible by the DCCC and friends.  She did not win because she had a great ground game.  Should she win against the Republican who will she owe her seat to?  The people she represents or to the corporate powers that funded her campaign.  When it comes down to the tough votes who will she side with. I bet it'll be with whoever Emanual wants her to side with.  He's remind her that she's here because of his and his friends efforts.

People  think that once we get a majority again that the Democrats will take care of the people.  But if the Dems are elected with corporate money can anyone please tell me how much things are going to change for the good?  

We need people who get to Congress because of the people they represent so that they when it comes time to vote they will fully represent the people of their district and not the interests of big money.

by lisadawn82 2006-03-22 06:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Who will this candidate owe allegence to?

I still fail to see how that was declaring war on anyone.  It was an election, and to quote someone whose name I forgot, "Politics ain't beanbag."  Do better next time.  

In 2000 Maryanne Connelly was in EXACTLY the same position as Cegalis here in NJ.  The DCCC endorsed her opponent, most of the elected Democrats backed her opponent, money came in from all over, House members flew in for fundraisers, etc.  We beat the organization there because we outworked them.  

Also, you are setting up a straw man by saying many of us think that if the Democrats take control they will take care of us.  I haven't seen many people anywhere outside of Washington DC make that argument, and surely no one active in the grassroots of the party.

Most of us think that if the Democrats take control it will stanch the bleeding.  The body politic and the body America are receiving wound after wound and something can be done this year to reduce the damage and maybe even reverse some of it.

But we don't think the current crop of national Democrats are the answer.  That's why in addition to working to elect a Democratic House and Senate we are filling Committee seats, working on School board elections, fighting for Mayor's offices, etc.  

2006 is not the end of the war for the country, or for the Democratic Party.  Even if we win both Houses of Congress and Pelosi becomes President after Bush and Cheney both leave office simultaneously it won't fix the problems we have.  Things will be better, but not fixed.

We have to think long-term, and work hard to create a progressive bench of local and state elected officials to move to the national level in 2010, 2020, 2030, etc.  We need to be sure that our infrastructure is in place to raise the money, run the campaigns, staff the phones, place the yard signs.

But that doesn't mean quitting on trying to achieve a Democratic Congress this year.  A Democratic Congress -- with Cegalis or Duckworth or Casey -- is better than a Republican Congress any way you look at it.  

We are not strong enough yet to fight for the perfect.  There is a lot of work to do in order for us to get there.

So for now we have to do two things in 2006: 1) Fight for the better of two evils; and 2) Lay the groundwork to fight for the perfect.

by nathan 2006-03-22 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Who will this candidate owe allegence to?

"I still fail to see how that was declaring war on anyone."

Read my rely above. They declared war when they consciously chose to back a different candidate.

by Andrew C White 2006-03-22 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Who will this candidate owe allegence to?

That's called politics, not war.  War is what is going on in Iraq where people die, lose legs, are blinded, get their homes blown up, etc.

They backed their candidate, you backed yours.  They brought money from outside the district, you asked the progressive community to give money form outside the district.  They asked for volunteers from outside the district, you asked for volunteers outside the district.

They are more powerful, they won.  Get more powerful and beat them next time.

Still, it's not war.  It's politics.

by nathan 2006-03-22 03:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Who will this candidate owe allegence to?

You think war and politics are different things?

Interesting....

Peace,

Andrew

by Andrew C White 2006-03-22 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Who will this candidate owe allegence to?

Yeah, I think that making governmental change by making phone calls, writing checks, mailing letters and pulling a lever for my candidate without worrying about being killed is different from making governmental change while wearing body armor, carrying an AK-47, searching for people to kill, ducking bombs, skirting IEDs and risking life and limb.

Call me nuts, but I see a difference between war and politics.

by nathan 2006-03-23 06:47AM | 0 recs
Yes we have to

think long term. So always voting for the lesser of two evils is NOT long term thinking. That's why strategic voting in IL06 in Nov. would be long term thinking. What's more important progressive, people, values or helping a corporate loving MSD win? It's just 2 years. Write in Cegelis and send a message to the rest of the DINOS: THEY CAN'T WIN WITHOUT US AND WE AIN'T GONNA COMPROMISE OUR VALUES ANYMORE!

by Kankakee Voice 2006-03-22 07:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes we have to

Thank you, Mr. Rove.

Your transparent efforts to help the Republican won't fly here.

by admiralnaismith 2006-03-22 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Who will this candidate owe allegence to?

Good thoughtful comment that I tend to agree with.

by PurityOfEssence 2006-03-22 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Who will this candidate owe allegence to?

You might well ask, who will the Republican owe allegiance to?  We all know the answer to that, don't we?

Some day, our kids will turn up the television and whisper to us, hoping the government SpyMaster2056 doesn't pick up their voice, "What did you do when the Republicans were grabbing for power?"  Do you want to tell your kid, "I helped hand a swing district to the Republicans, to teach the opposition party not to take us for granted"?

by admiralnaismith 2006-03-22 10:04AM | 0 recs
Ok, feel free to ignore

the point I was making all you would like but I suggest you read your own words in the procss...

"The traditional orgs beat the Cegalis backers."

Yup. They did. They chose to fight against us and this is the outcome. I am assigning motivation to their actions by stating that they "waged war" against us and that is subject to debate but you know what? I'm right.

They made a conscious decision to back a different candidate. Whatever reasoning, rationalization, or justifaction they, or you, come up with, the facts remain the same... they made a conscious decision to go a different direction then the 44% of the district that voted for Cegelis last time around and were prepared to vote for her this time. They made a conscious decision to pour tons of money and effort into defeating Cegelis. They made a conscious effort and spent tons of money to defeat the popular candidate.

They waged war against us.

Bad mistake.

And it will probably cost us the district as a result. They need to learn to work with us and not against us. That is the point of my post. That is the point of every post I've written on this subject since Rahm decided to retain all power and control in his own hands (the same holds true for Schumer and a few of the senate races). Their vision is too small. They are far more concerned about retaining their grip on their minority power and don't have the vision to figure out to gain majority power. They do that by working in conjunction with us... not against us as they did in this case.

Feel free to object to my choices in strong words but the facts remains the same... the made a conscious decision to work against the popular, grass/net roots candidate in the district.

by Andrew C White 2006-03-22 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Ok, feel free to ignore

I've been reading this blog for some time now, but this is my first time posting a message.

I am really confused (and quite frankly saddened) by some of the discussion regarding yesterday's primary.  Having been involved in various campaigns since the 6th grade, and having run for office myself, I understand the pain and disappointment involved with losing an election, particularly a primary.  However, some of the rhetoric here seems way off base.

I don't mean to pick on Andrew, but I'll use his post as an example.  His use of the "us versus them" dichotomy (I'm not sure what he means by us versus them, but for arguments sake let's take the us as the netroots and the them as the DCCC and related parties), the claims that "they" declared war by supporting a different candidate, and his assertion that "they" essentially overthrew a "popular" candidate in what he seems to think is a coup (though I am not sure how a candidate who lost the general in '04 by 8 and the primary can be minted the "popular" candidate) all seem to reflect a viewpoint that is not in fact reality.  

It strikes me that Andrew, and those like him, firmly believe that the netroots equals the Democratic party.  Frankly, that is a rather self-absorbed position.  Yes, the netroots is a part of the party, and arguably an important one at that.  But the do not represent the combined will and beliefs of the party as a whole.  No one group does.  That's why we have primaries, so that differing factions (I hate to use that word because it has the connotation of anamosity, which I don't necessarily think needs to be involved) within the party can compete for the hearts and minds of the voters, with the one doing the better job (be it through massive fundraising, door to door barnstorming, a better message...whatever) winning.

So here you have two different groups squaring off (though, it doesn't seem that the whole netroots truly coalesced around Cegelis the way they have other candidates), the people voted and the a winner was chosen.  The DCCC didn't support Duckworth in order to incite the netroots.  They saw the possibility of picking up a seat and felt that Duckworth had a better shot, so they supported her and the people agreed.

Your arguments against Duckworth support their proposition...namely, her ability to raise large amounts of money quickly and to garner free media attention because of her compelling story.  Like it or not, money and publicity are what it takes to win an election these days.  In two years plus of campaigning, Cegelis was able to garner neither.

by drpd02 2006-03-22 08:36AM | 0 recs
Wrong

The National Party and it's campaign organs have no business interceeding in any primaries. Their job is to insure a fair and impartial primary, and prepare to support the winner. Period.

And the fundraising was from the National party, which makes the "she's a better fundraiser" line utterly silly. Everyone would be a better fundraiser, if the connected heavy hitters fundraise for them. Duh. A small fuzzy Ocelot could be great fundraiser that way.

by ElitistJohn 2006-03-22 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong

First, the national campaign didn't intercede.  As for it's organs, the goal of the DCCC is to win as many House seats as possible.  Therefore, if they feel candidate A is more likely to win the general than candidate B, it strikes me that it is in their interest, and more importantly within their mission, to support candidate A.  

Second, politicians always endorse and lend their name to other politicians, be it in an election or a primary.  I live in Massachusetts where both Tom Reilly and Deval Patrick have received endorsements from sitting politicians (which they both tout) who help them in their fundraising efforts.  Politicians are people too and they can support whomever they want and use their position (much like the blogs use theirs) to raise money and awareness for a candidate.

Finally, why does the source of funds matter (so long as they are legal)? Duckworth raised more funds than Cegelis, ergo, she is a better fundraiser.  If the heavy hitters decided to support a small fuzzy Ocelot and it raised more money than Duckworth and/or Cegelis, than it would be the better fundraiser.  Because of her story, Duckworth is a draw...and draws will get money to them.  And, pray tell, what is the difference between John Kerry sending an email to his supporters asking to donate to a candidate and a popular blog doing the same?

I wonder if the anger here isn't so much directed at the DC establishment but at the realization that perhaps the netroots isn't as powerful (yet?) as people here make it out to be.  That spaces like this make people feel empowered, that they are making a larger difference than they actually can or are making.  The netroots experience is still young, and perhaps with time it will become the force for change that people (here at least) hope it will or can be.  But it doesn't seem that it is quite there yet, and maybe this series of posts represents a certain amount of frustration or impatience.

by drpd02 2006-03-22 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong

First, the source of funds matters only because the justification for this by "Boss Hog" Rahm was that he didn't think Ceglis could fundraise. Then he carpetbagged ina  sock puppet who he proceeded to do all the fundraising for. See the logic fault?

Second, it is most assuredly not the business of the DCCC to instert themselves into primaries. It is their job to assist the people who were fairly chosen by Democrats in the voting population to win the General. It would always be more efficient to have Boss Hog pick our candiadtes for us...save a lot on the primaries. But that isn't how things work in a Democracy.

If he feels that makes his job too hard, he can happily go ahead and quit.

Third, no one is talking about individual politicians making choice on the merits as to who they endorse. They have that right (hopefully tempered with the wisdom that they should be very careful throwing their weight around). The objection is Boss Hog working in coordination so these are not individual choices but extensions of the DCCC apparatus.

This isn't about "netroots", it's about basic ethics. The party organs have no business telling the rank and file who should be their representative. The rank and file should tell the party who they will get. And organs like the DCCC have no business fundraising to "beat Republicans" while spending in primaries.

To remove the netroots, I'm on a State Committee, and I'm busy shooting down the old crony network that wants to endorse in State primaries. This is an old problem, and has more to do with the connected trying to get more connected.

by ElitistJohn 2006-03-22 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong

Second, it is most assuredly not the business of the DCCC to instert themselves into primaries.  It is their job to assist the people who were fairly chosen by Democrats in the voting population to win the General.

Excuse me?  I don't think you understand what the DCCC is.  It is a PAC, set up by House Democrats and run by House Democrats, whose business it is to maximize the number of house Democrats.  They aren't owned by anyone except house Democrats and answer to exactly two (overlapping) groups:  their donors and house Democrats.  You may (as I often do) disagree with their choices of candidates and strategy, but the fact remains that they are what they are.  

by Jay 2006-03-23 01:10AM | 0 recs
Terrific

Then they can STFO of National Party business. Since they have no official association to the DNC, they can go blow.

No fair playing both sides. Either they're an official party organ, or they are a self interested group working solely for the interests of House members. Can't have it both ways for the most convienient argument at the time.

by ElitistJohn 2006-03-23 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Terrific

They work for us.  We don't kowtow to them.  That's the difference.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

by Caro 2006-03-24 04:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong

Why doesn't the national party have any place in primaries?

You can't complain that they don't help in the general election if you are going to tell them to stay out of primary elections.

by nathan 2006-03-22 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong

You continue to miss the point completely. Are you doing it on purpose or has it really been that unclear?

by Andrew C White 2006-03-22 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong

The problem I have in understanding your point is that it is not consistent.  "My opponent is bad for bringing in outsiders, but we are good for bringing in outsiders."  

You say that national party organizations should stay out of local primaries because the local people should be allowed to decide who their candidates are.  And people post here that they are mad that the DCCC DID come in from outside.

Then you ask the netroots -- a loose national affiliation of like-minded political activists -- to come in to a local primary with money and phone calls to influence the local choice.  And people post here that they are mad that the netroots DID NOT come in from outside.

No one had any problem with folks from outside districts supporting Hackett in OH2, fighting Cueller in Texas or backing Lamont in Connecticut.  But when it is YOUR candidate who is the target it is war and terrible.

That's what I don't get.  We patted ourselves on the back for marshaling national resources for Hackett, crowed over our multi-state contributions and phone banks in Texas, and love taking on Lieberman and promoting Lamont.

Yet when the DCCC does EXACTLY the same thing it is wrong.  And I guess I am too obtuse to see the difference.

by nathan 2006-03-23 02:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong

This is a very smart observation, and something that the netroots will have to reconcile.

If the establishment had come in hard FORF Cegelis, I can imagine that a lot of folks would have been very happy that she would have had all the resources she needed.

The fact that they didn't turned the establishment into 'outsiders.'

From a political spin perspective, claiming that an opponent is trying to buy an election is occasionally a worthwhile line of attack or good spin, but that's all it is.

Let's not kid ourselves here.  If it had been a candidate that the netroots favored who was being accused of trying to 'buy the election' with help from the establishment, folks here would be getting a good laugh out of it.

The inconsistency comes down to whether you believe the spin.

by Politicalhack06 2006-03-23 03:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong

"My opponent is bad for bringing in outsiders, but we are good for bringing in outsiders."

No, that is not even remotely my point. Not even close. It in fact has nothing whatsoever to do with the point I have been making throughout all of these posts going back to the moment it was rumored that the D-trip was looking to support another candidate.

Pay attention.

by Andrew C White 2006-03-23 09:17AM | 0 recs
Uh

Obtuse much?

by ElitistJohn 2006-03-22 06:29PM | 0 recs
A well stated position

and I take no offense. Please refer back to my original statements however that my main point was that the DCCC made a conscious decision not to back the existing popular, and yes, take th 04 results against Hyde and there can be little doubt about her popularity and strength in a district that has been traditionally a bastion of republican strength.

Another point, Duckworth didn't show the ability to raise a lot of money. The DCCC and the DC establishment showed the ability we already knew they had... to raise a lot of money.

The party establishment could have decided to throw all that support behind a candidate that narrowly lost all on her own. That support would have been enough to make up the difference. Instead they decided to go another direction. They could have been uniters instead they made a conscious decision, followed by hard and heavy fund raising and publicity actions, to defeat the existing popular candidate.

I may well be talking in extreme's but it is because I am extremely pissed about it. We will not win if the establishment does learn to play well with us. We can't win on our own and they have proven that they can't either. If we work together towards common goals we can kick some Republican ass. We are willing. Apparently the DCCC is not.

They need to wake up and learn to play ball with the rest of the team.

by Andrew C White 2006-03-22 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Ok, feel free to ignore

Geez.  Enough!  Is this about winning in '06 or just pouting and throwing a temper tantrum?

by beerwulf 2006-03-22 12:23PM | 0 recs
In November

Duckworth will, of course, lose badly to Roskam and will never be seen again in this District. Having made the supreme sacrifice for the Party, she may turn up elsewhere as a candidate. With  Republicans regaining their solid hold on IL-06, Rahm, Durbin, Obama, Kerry, Billary, and the rest will lose all interest in our little district.  Unfortunately, after all the Washington heavies have departed, I will still be here living under Republican rule for the remainder of my days.

It was a nice dream we had thinking we had a chance at capturing the Congressional seat.

by pascal1947 2006-03-22 06:50AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Don't think that the DCCC and Dem Consultants are going to be the ones who are "in charge of winning elections of nearly every Democrat nationwide in 2006."  

At Blue 7th PAC and Dump Mike we prefer to think that we have something to say about winning in NJ7, as does our candidate Linda Stender.  

We welcome the help of the consultants and the DCCC and anyone else who wants to get involved, but they are not in charge here.  

And thinking that they are will guarantee we lose.

Every district needs to take care of itself, to fight for itself, to organize for itself.  We all need to recognize that it is our district and not anyone else's.  It is OUR work that will tip the scales, regardless of money or consultants from outside.  Without us, we can't win.  

That said, I agree with you that the netroots and grassroots and the "establishment" Dems (I'm actually all three!) need to work together to win in 2006.  But the only way we can work together is if we are all in charge, and not outsiders swooping in and taking over.

by nathan 2006-03-22 06:31AM | 0 recs
quit going to DC

DC is the problem, not the solution.

by blogswarm 2006-03-22 06:35AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

I think your worry is well-founded.

The Democrats have now lost IL-06.  Peter Roskam out-matches Tammy Duckworth at every point.  He not only has more money, he has an army of dedicated volunteers, which Duckworth does not, and never will.  Her appeal to the voters, backed by unprecedented funding, was not enough to win even half the Democratic voters.  How can they possibly expect she will win over the Republicans?

by Feh 2006-03-22 06:38AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

I was in the 6th CD yesterday, campaigning for Tammy Duckworth. More than a handful of Republicans told me they could not pull a democratic ballot, especially with a competitive gubernatorial primary, but would be voting for Tammy in November.

by LetsWin 2006-03-22 06:40PM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Yeah, right.  Sure.  Uh huh.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

by Caro 2006-03-22 11:22PM | 0 recs
Damnit

Why didn't you and others listen to those of us on the ground? Damnit this pisses me off. We told you and everyone who would listen this would be close and Cegelis was for real. But the very people who we need to lead in the Blogosphere bought the fucking conventional wisdom DC was using to undermine Cegelis.

We needed help to balance the free media Duckworth was getting and you guys bailed because the very people we were running against told you Duckworth would win big. Well no shit. What did you expect them to say.

I fucking quit.

by michael in chicago 2006-03-22 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Damnit

Come on now.

Don't ever forget the simple squatting eunuchs of the right NEVER QUIT.

Get active at the precinct level and start to exert control. It will take time and effort to correct the party, but we can fucking do it because we are the ones who actually pay for these mistakes. But most importantly, our country is hemorrhaging and quitting is cowardice.
 

by Citizen80203 2006-03-22 06:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Damnit

Everyone is pissed off at the DCCC for swooping in with their fundraising and money and taking over the campaign.

And now you are pissed at Bowers and the "netroots" for not swooping in with their fundraising and money and taking over the campaign.

I've seen this in the Hackett complaints, the Cegalis complaints, and elsewhere.  The fact is that the DCCC and the establishment Dems have as much right as we do to promote, push, help and develop candidates they prefer.  

Yet when they do it better than us we are upset!

Forget getting angry and walking away.  Get better at it and fight on!

by nathan 2006-03-22 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Damnit

Define "fight on" : a vote for Duckworth???

by Kankakee Voice 2006-03-22 07:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Damnit

Are you active in the precinct? Are you on the precinct committee? Do you vote in the caucus? Quit whining and take over the precinct, this is fighting on! Don't forget that in the short term Duckworth IS. So fuck yea, support the party, but change the long term. I've been reading these pathetic posts of "fuck off I quit", well if you are not in for the long term you are part of the problem.

by Citizen80203 2006-03-22 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Damnit

Keep on working at precinct level making slow but steady gains and in maybe 30 more years when Roskam is ready to retire, your grandkids will be ready to take up the mantle for the next Democratic Congressional challenger.

by pascal1947 2006-03-22 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Damnit

Yea right. Only if you are a sloth that does not want to work up. In fact, I would be willing to bet you are one the cheerleaders sitting in the stands, so cheer, then curse, then cheer, then curse...

Hell, you're not even angry, you're lethargic.

by Citizen80203 2006-03-22 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Damnit

A fight for precinct seats, a fight for school board seats, a fight for Council seats.

And, yes, if you think that Duckworth is a better candidate than the Republican a vote for Duckworth.

You will not always have the best candidate to run.  Sometimes you will have to accept the fact that the best person chooses not to, or is unable to raise the money, or is beaten in a primary.

But walking away after that is admitting defeat.

NO ELECTION IS FINAL!  NO ELECTION IS FINAL!  NO ELECTION IS FINAL!

This is the United States of America, where once we had slavery and we got rid of it.  Once we had unlimited corporate pollution and we got rid of it.  Once we had child labor and we got rid of it.  Once we had Jim Crow and we got rid of it.  Once reproductive freedom was illegal and we got it.  Once gay sex was illegal and we fixed that.

This is an eternal fight for the soul of our country, for the laws of our country, and for the morals of our country.  Often change has to come incrementally with a Casey Jr. instead of a Pennachio, or a Menendez instead of a Holt.

But the change does come, as long as we fight.  The problem we've had is that the grassroots progressives went underground after Carter and let themselves be defined, abused and ignored by the "mainstream" politicos.

Well, we're back.  We screwed up in the 1990s but we are back.  It will not be easy or a quick fix, but 2006 is a step along the way.

As I said above, we need to stanch the bleeding by electing a Democratic Congress AND set up the foundation for progressive wins in the future.

So, yeah, it means casting a vote and even volunteering for Duckworth.  Sometimes fighting means covering up and taking a punch so that you can deliver one later.

by nathan 2006-03-23 02:16AM | 0 recs
I agree

This is abusrd. Ohio didn't have a primary between Hackett and Brown and should have (that was the fault of both sides BTW- Hackett withdrew rather than fight AND the establishment worked hard to force him to withdraw).

In Illinois, there was a primary and the establishment outfought us.

What I see here is a tendency to splinter when we don't get our way. That's not how you turn things around. Tammy Ducksworth may not be your favorite candidate. She is still better than the GOP. Do you want Waxman and Conyers as chairman again and investigating Bush? Or do you prefer to cry in your beer every Thursday over the loss of your favorite candidate.

Fight like hell in the primary for your candidate. Throw the GOP out in the general. If you want to take it out on the establisment, may I suggest you give to Ned Lamont?

Otherwise your  just the People's Front of Judea yelling at the Judean People's Front wasting everyone's time.

Get fucking serious. Getting the GOP out is job 1.

by molly bloom 2006-03-22 08:06AM | 0 recs
Re: I agree

Amen, Molly.  People can choose the Nader route and think like a Leninist that you have to destroy the Party in order to save it, or you can believe that Republican control has been awful and while the Democratic party is far from perfect, It is much better than the GOP that controls everything right now.

I choose the latter.

by Ian in DC 2006-03-22 08:20AM | 0 recs
Reforming the Dem Party

is job number 1!

by aiko 2006-03-23 06:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Reforming the Dem Party

Only if you believe the Democratic party is no different than the GOP, Ralph.

The country is on fire, the GOP has to go. Everything else is secondary.

I understand your frustration with the Democratic party, however, no matter how disgusted you are with them, they won't,  on their own, pull Iraq's. I don't see any Democratic presidential candidate claiming the right to lock up American citizens without trial and without evidence and only on the say so of the President.

Sorry to be harsh, but if you don't understand the stakes you need to fucking wake up. This is your birthright (and mine) being flushed down the toilet. You may not care, but I do. We can sort out the problems of the Democratic Party later, right now we do not have that luxury.

by molly bloom 2006-03-23 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Reforming the Dem Party

How long do we give the Dem party to reform?

I disagree that the Dems are saving us from any damage the GOP might inflict on the country. IMHO, the Dem's prescriptions simply inflict the same damage more gradually.

by redstar66 2006-03-23 11:50AM | 0 recs
1 step at a time.

Throw the GOP out first. Then, if and as necessary throw out Democrats who are GOP lite.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't fight in the primaries for the candidate you feel would be best. If you think Cegalis is better than Ducksworth, then fight like hell for Cegalis. Love you for fighting for what you believe in.

But its over now, and Ducksworth is better, even if only marginally, than the GOP position.

BTW do you really think Al Gore would have invaded Iraq had he been president? Do you really believe Hillary, if left to her own devices,  would have invaded Iraq if she were president. (this is not an endorsement of Hillary)?  You and I may despise her positioning on Iraq, but I doubt she would have invaded Iraq were she president.

Do you really think Al Gore or any other Democrat would have nominated Alito or Roberts? I don't.

Do you really think  Al Gore or any other Democrat would skew the tax code for the upper 1%? I don't.

Which Party is more likely to move towards universal health care?

Which Party is more likely to move towards alternative fuels?

I can go on and on.

While I am at it, do you really think Democrats would lock someone up without trial or evidence a la Bush?

Do you really think Democrats would endorse torture as did Bush?

Is your name Ralph Nader?

Change is not going to happen overnight. The GOP's march to control didn't start in 2000. It started in 1964 with Goldwater (arguably it started in1952 with the Eisenhower Taft fight). If you want to change things, you better be prepared for a long fight. Otherwise you are spitting into the wind and you might as well be Ralph Nader for all the effectiveness you are going to have.

by molly bloom 2006-03-23 01:41PM | 0 recs
Re: 1 step at a time.

Gore in Iraq? Hard to tell. Given Lieberman would have played the role of Cheney, and given his affinities, I'm not so sure you are correct here. We may well have gone into Iraq, later and with more allies, more troops, and find ourselves every bit as deligitimized as we are now. Hypothetical, hypothetical, one will never know, but I'm not sure I'm with you there. You might be right, you might be wrong. I voted for Gore anyhow (I bought that "people v the powerful" schtick - unfortunately, most Dems don't) so it's sorta a moot point.

Ditto Hillary with respect to Iraq, who might well have done what so many other Dems do and "prove their National Security mettle". Her husband after all bombed the same neutered Iraq Bush is bombing, every bit as mercilessly, killing civilians we don't hear Dems say much about, though we hear them complain once it is a GOP president killing them.

As for your other charges, they're demonstrably questionable. Democrats did nothing to block Alito or Roberts or Scalia for that matter either. That was also an overwhelmingly Democratic chamber which confirmed Thomas. They could have, but they didn't. Further, senate Dems and virtually the entire DC leadership was on board for the Iraq resolution and the patriot act, and do you need for me to tell you how many Dems helped Dubya pass those tax cuts? Or gave bipartisan cover on bankruptcy "reform"? Let's not forget who controlled congress in 2002. It wasn't the GOP. Yet we got tax cuts, NCLB, and finally, the Iraq War. Thanks Dem leadership!

"Change is not going to happen overnight. The GOP's march to control didn't start in 2000. It started in 1964 with Goldwater (arguably it started in 1952 with the Eisenhower Taft fight). If you want to change things, you better be prepared for a long fight. Otherwise you are spitting into the wind and you might as well be Ralph Nader for all the effectiveness you are going to have."

I'd buy this line of reasoning if I thought the Dems had any chance of reform. As it happens, the Dems remain dominated by their "Rockefeller, echo not a choice" wing, and frankly I don't see this ending any time soon for the simple reason that the bag men financing the party's central apparatus need this to continue in order to keep the corporate sponsors on side. And they need those corporate sponsors to keep Chuck Schumer in custom suits and in control of the party, despite his utter lack of leadership on core issues of extreme importance to the rank and file (beginning with Iraq). Schumer and friends show no signs of passing the torch, despite their demonstrated ineptitude. In Europe when a party fails as miserably as the Dems have in most elections since '94, people resign. In America, a McAuliffe gets a raise and praise to high heaven. And the only way you get rid of a Pelosi or a Daschle is to hope the Greens or the GOP finally force them out of office to give someone with courage and convictions a shot).

Your Dems are a far cry from Goldwater. The Social Dems are much closer to that thought. But whereas Goldwater could count on rich white cranky guys to finance his budding retrograde social movement, for obvious reasons, this is far less true on the left. Which makes reform on the left much easier to squelch by the existing party apparatus, which naturally feels threatened by a nascent movement on the left that thinks it, accurately, venal, ineffective and ultimately retrograde.

And the squelching is what we are witnessing today.

It will get worse before it gets better. You can make fun of that phrase all you like, but there's a reason why it is true, and it is beyond the Dem rank and file to do anything about it. So I'll continue to vote for Dems who share my values, but that's as far as I go. I got off the train awhile back, and I ain't getting back on til it starts tooting the right notes.

And in my pivotal Senate race, where Schumer and Emanuel also pulled their dog and pony show to get Amy Klobuchar, who is basically a DLC centrist, enshrined as Senate nominee to try to keep Dayton's seat in Dem hands, I'll not only not be supporting the Dem, but I probably won't vote for her either. I don't vote for DLC Dems. And I reject the assertion that DLC Dems are better than Republicans. They are not. Both are poisonous. It's simply a matter of which poison acts the fastest.  

by redstar66 2006-03-23 05:59PM | 0 recs
No-one certainly not me

is squleching your right to dissent or advocate for the candidate you like best. But when the race is done, sitting on your hands, because your favored candidate did not win,  is a vote for a candidate you like the least.

This is not an attmept to squlch your voice. This is purely an observation. When you cut off your nose to spite your face the result is ugly. I wouldn't care, but I have to live with your foolish choice to pack your toys and go home when you don't get your way.

by molly bloom 2006-03-24 08:36AM | 0 recs
Re: No-one certainly not me

"But when the race is done, sitting on your hands, because your favored candidate did not win,  is a vote for a candidate you like the least."

Actually, you are being somewhat presumptious in assuming that I like the GOP the least.

I've already stated that in a race between a DLC Democrat and a GOPer, it's down to pick your poison. Hard to say which one I like least. I don't believe in God you see, but that piece in les Pensées commonly referred to as Pascal's Gambit has some application here. DLC/Clintonian types, like the GOP, are hard-core neo-liberals, free trader, fundamentally anti-worker rights. The difference between the two classes of pols is one of degrees. Both are market fundamentalists who believe in the inherent goodness of free unfettered accumulation of capital and create policies which reflect this fact. Go back and see how the vote went on Telecommunications "Reform," to take but one example, to see what I mean.

Obviously, the GOP is far more fundamentalist than DLC types, so their policy prescriptions tend to be more extreme.

Now, atheist that I am, I am not foolish enough to believe I am without a doubt correct in my atheism and, with reference to Pascal's gambit, were I to be a religious man, I should certainly be a very religious man, for that is what the wager, were I to accept its logic, would necessarily lead me to be.

And agnostic as I am to the neo-liberalism both parties espouse (with dissidents, to be sure, in BOTH parties), Pascal's logic would again, were I to accept the logic, lead me to prefer the more principled (and thereby virtuous) of the two. Which is what the GOP is. In other words, I think you're both wrong, but if you're right, the GOP will get us to the Capitalist's paradise you both believe in, where all workers are free from want and rewarded with leisure, much more quickly and effectively.

Of course, I reject this logic. And I reject neo-liberalism. Which makes it hard for me to see how you can possibly think I would accept that the Democrats in general  are palatable in any but the most casual way (a few dozen Congressmen and one living Senator excepted). From my perspective, it's truly "meet the new boss, same as the old boss," but I'm getting the feeling you won't see where I'm coming from, just as I get the feeling you haven't been out of the country much.

The problem with Democrats? Most of their leadership have no principles. They have no principles because they have no morals, primarily because for the most part, they, like GOP politicians, are largely children of privilege who grew into adults of privilege. There are exceptions, and more of them of course in the House than in the Senate, but these exceptions for the most part prove the rule, especially in the Senate. Values voters sense this, and also see that unlike the GOP, Dem leaders won't even talk about morals, so they vote GOP. And while many Dems seem to patronizingly think these voters are voting against their interest when they vote GOP, these same voters see Dems talk about fiscal responsibility and paygo, and getting Nafta pushed through, and they know who pays for those policies - them. GOP on the other hand give them tax cuts, and that's not nothing, even if it's irresponsible to do so without justifiably soaking the vastly under-taxed rich in this country.

No matter, at least the GOP is doing something for them. The Dems - zilch. (And don't try telling me the Dems do anything for the poor - if you do, I'd invite you, again, to please cite for me one piece of progressive legislation the Dems have gotten enacted since the Clear Air Act.)

"I wouldn't care, but I have to live with your foolish choice to pack your toys and go home when you don't get your way. "

See, here again you insist on patronizing me. You talk about of both sides of your face. You say out of one side I have the right to my opinion, you respect that, and that you are not try to squelch that right, and you say out of the other that I am a child, implying I don't have that right.

You really don't get it, do you? I am not cutting off my nose to spite my face when I reject Democratic candidates. I truly dislike what your party has become. I honor the ideals on which it nominally stands, and respect a couple dozen of your office holders, but I am disgusted by the party and what it has (not) done with those ideals for the past 3 decades.

And when I put, say, Feinstein up next to Schwartzeneggar or Schumer up next to Giuliani, or Lieberman up next to Chaffee, beyond the tone and the language of the rhetoric, I'm not seeing the differences you claim are there. And I'm not buying. Either product.

by redstar66 2006-03-24 10:33AM | 0 recs
Re: No-one certainly not me

Actually, you are being somewhat presumptious in assuming that I like the GOP the least.

To each their own. I guess I was being presumptious to take you at your word that you were a progressive.

but I'm getting the feeling you won't see where I'm coming from

The feeling I get is that you've never done a lick of manual labor in your life and you probably never have sat down and talked with working people except in rather condesceding tones.

"I wouldn't care, but I have to live with your foolish choice to pack your toys and go home when you don't get your way. "

See, here again you insist on patronizing me. You talk about of both sides of your face. You say out of one side I have the right to my opinion, you respect that, and that you are not try to squelch that right, and you say out of the other that I am a child, implying I don't have that right.

I respect your right to an opinion. You shouldn't confuse that with respect for your opinion. There is a difference.

The fact that you are presumably an adult and have the right to your opinion is not mutually exclusive to the fact that you are exhibiting childish behavoir. Even if you were a child,  well children have a right to an opinion too (try stopping them from having one).

Your intellectual inability to distingush Republicans from Democrats says a lot. One difference between us, I have the elementary ability to compare and contrast and to see differences as well as similarities.

You apparantly are so blinded by your ideology you cannot not. You, sir, are rigid. Its your way or the highway. Its probably fortunate, that neither of us will ever lead a poltical movement, but I think I am more fortunate in this respect than you.

At this point, I veiw you and your quest for political perfection as part of the problem. Career choices you should avoid include mediator, labor negotiator, and most definitely law. With your certaintity about the correctness of your position, you might make a good doctor as it has long been my experience that you cannot tell a Doctor anything either.

by molly bloom 2006-03-24 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: No-one certainly not me

Of course I see the GOP and Dems are different. But their similarities are more widespread, on matters of fundamental importance, than their differences. Economic policy. Trade policy. Welfare policy. Consumer rights.

I am not rigid at all. Out of my wish list of maybe 20 issues, quite frankly I'd be happy if a Dem came out and spoke to 3 or 4 of them in a way which paid my values heed. BUT THEY DON'T.

That isn't rigidity, that is incompatibility and that, ma'am, is why I consider myself a socialist and not a Democrat. And being French, my vote actually counts in France, though to be sure it rarely oes here.

You are so far off the mark as regars my person that you are laughable. But we all know that someone who resorts to ad hominem has begun to lose the argument. Try adressing my POV before putting words in my mouth and making up another straw man and arguing it like you've been doing all day. My guess is you're an urban liberal professional who hasn't spoken to a real so-called "red-state" values person in her life, and you presume all that disagree with you are either rigid purists or stupid hicks.

In any event, your condescension to all who disagree with you shows.

But your party is good at that.

That's part of why it loses election after election.

by redstar66 2006-03-24 12:58PM | 0 recs
quite the contrary

You are so far off the mark as regars my person that you are laughable. But we all know that someone who resorts to ad hominem has begun to lose the argument.

An ad hominem attack is one that says you can't believe him, he is a (fill in the blank).

Pointing out your position is childish or that your behavoir is childish, is NOT an ad hominem attack.

As for being off the mark in my description of you, I don't think so. I also, sad to say, don't believe you when you say that you would be happy if a Dem would speak to 3 or 4 of your pet 20 issues (presumably speak in a way that you agree). In fact here you prove my point about your rigidity and inability to see the differences in Dems and Reps since you go on to tell me that in large caps that Dems don't speak even to 3 or 4 of your pet issues. You can't find one Democratic Congressmen or recent Presidential candidate or current Presidential hopeful that speaks to 3 or 4 your issues?  That is unbelieveable. You previous statements consistently say the Ralph Nader line that is no difference in Democrats and Republicans. That is not only untrue, its a hasty generalization.  I suspect it is borne out of frustration. I am frustrated too, but you don't see me making sweeping generalizations.

Try adressing my POV before putting words in my mouth and making up another straw man and arguing it like you've been doing all day. My guess is you're an urban liberal professional who hasn't spoken to a real so-called "red-state" values person in her life, and you presume all that disagree with you are either rigid purists or stupid hicks.

Here you are stealing one of my lines. Imitation is the sincerist form of flattery I suppose. For the record, I grew up in the deep south: Mississippi, Alabama and Georiga. I have also lived in California. I have lived urban, rural and suburban. I know more than a few red state value voters. I've lived, worked and shared a few beers with them most of my life.

I did address your POV. You just didn't like what I saw. I didn't like what  I saw either.

I don't presume that all who disagree with me are rigid purists or hicks. I let their statemtents speak for themselves. Don't blame me if the attitude you exhibit (if my preferred candidate doesn't win, I take my toys and go home) makes you look like a rigid ideologue. That's hardly my fault.

by molly bloom 2006-03-24 02:09PM | 0 recs
Change won't happen at all

Unless you are committed and hold your ground.  The lessor of two evils doesn't cut it around here.

by aiko 2006-03-24 06:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Change won't happen at all

Amen.

by redstar66 2006-03-24 10:34AM | 0 recs
1 step at a time.

Throw the GOP out first. Then, if and as necessary throw out Democrats who are GOP lite.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't fight in the primaries for the candidate you feel would be best. If you think Cegalis is better than Ducksworth, then fight like hell for Cegalis. Love you for fighting for what you believe in.

But its over now, and Ducksworth is better, even if only marginally, than the GOP position.

BTW do you really think Al Gore would have invaded Iraq had he been president? Do you really believe Hillary, if left to her own devices,  would have invaded Iraq if she were president. (this is not an endorsement of Hillary)?  You and I may despise her positioning on Iraq, but I doubt she would have invaded Iraq were she president.

Do you really think Al Gore or any other Democrat would have nominated Alito or Roberts? I don't.

Do you really think  Al Gore or any other Democrat would skew the tax code for the upper 1%? I don't.

Which Party is more likely to move towards universal health care?

Which Party is more likely to move towards alternative fuels?

I can go on and on.

While I am at it, do you really think Democrats would lock someone up without trial or evidence a la Bush?

Do you really think Democrats would endorse torture as did Bush?

Is your name Ralph Nader?

Change is not going to happen overnight. The GOP's march to control didn't start in 2000. It started in 1964 with Goldwater (arguably it started in1952 with the Eisenhower Taft fight). If you want to change things, you better be prepared for a long fight. Otherwise you are spitting into the wind and you might as well be Ralph Nader for all the effectiveness you are going to have.

by molly bloom 2006-03-23 01:42PM | 0 recs
Re: 1 step at a time.

And btw, you can ask rhetorically which party is more likely to do this and that and claim your party is on my side, but the fact is your party hasn't done jack in 30 years, not one frickin piece of significant progressive legislation since Nixon was president, so at a certain point, lefties get off the train. Why? We hear plenty of talk, but no action. None.

End of day, your party has to start delivering, and it hasn't. It isn't even moving in that direction. So your rhetoric ends up being every bit as hollow as when the last guys, first in '96, then in '98, then in '00, then in '02, then in '04 and now in '06, were spouting it.

by redstar66 2006-03-23 06:10PM | 0 recs
So you favor

Bush locking up people without evidence and without trial. AND you think the current crop of Democrats would do that too. FURTHER you think changing control of congress or even one branch of congress would have Zero effect on Bush's unconstitutional actions, by at the very least investigating and exposing them and chaning the national dialogue on the subject.

The only thing more hollow than my rhetoric is the rhetoric of folks like you. What have you accomplished since Nixon? Sitting out elections?

Please correct me if I am wrong, but your position is: If my guy doesn't win the primary, then I sit out the general election, cause Democrats who aren't my Democrats suck.  

As for the Democratic party not passing any progressive legislation since Nixon...

1. that's not true, e.g. FMLA
2. You do need to figure some factors into that. Such as control of congress and and executive branch, the Democrats have only controlled both for about 6 years during that time.  During that 6 year span, neither President had an FDR mandate.

Do you have any knowledge of history and knowledge of how government works? Didn't you learn anything from Ralph Nader's 2000 debacle? Or do you really think Al Gore would be no different than Bush?

Do you know why the GOP gets its agenda passed? Because at its roots, its people understand the need to stick together and vote their people in. Once in power they nibble at the edges and push the dialogue further and further to the right and between a monumental failure in 1964 and 2006, they have succeded.

Everybody wants it all RIGHT now. Ain't gonna happen. You want change, you work for a lifetime and if you are lucky, you will see the fruits of your labor before you die.

FDR's mandate didn't happen overnight. It was the result of people like you and me pushing and agitating for change for 50 years coupled with a national disaster (1932 - 50 years puts you into the last guilded age).  Sorry if it doesn't work fast enough for you.

by molly bloom 2006-03-24 02:58AM | 0 recs
Re: So you favor

"So you favor Bush locking up people without evidence and without trial."

When did you stop beating your kids? Same type of question from you to me. Your question is loaded with logical phallacies to say the least.

"FURTHER you think changing control of congress or even one branch of congress would have Zero effect on Bush's unconstitutional actions, by at the very least investigating and exposing them and chaning the national dialogue on the subject."

Your guys sure did a great job when they had the senate.

"What have you accomplished since Nixon? Sitting out elections?"

I don't sit them all out. And the ones I have sat out I've sometimes worked for the Green candidate. And in my state, the DFL has become quite weak and has begun to lose seats at the municipal level to Greens.

One other thing I have accomplished? Not being complicit with the crap your Vichy Dems have gifted the country.

"that's not true, e.g. FMLA (is progressive legislation"

No it's not. It would be if that leave were at least partially compensated, but it is not. Try getting? Oh yeah, that's right, you probably only get 2 weeks vacation to the UK, no time to check out how the rest of the industrialized world - those parts which have had a functioning left - live eh?

Did you know Leon Blum's Popular Front government delivered 4 weeks paid vacation to French workers in 1936? Francois Mitterand upped that to 5 weeks in the early 80's, while the institution of the 35-hour week under the Jospin government has translated into even more paid time off for many workers.

What have your guys "accomplished" then, you were saying?

"You do need to figure some factors into that. Such as control of congress and and executive branch, the Democrats have only controlled both for about 6 years during that time.  During that 6 year span, neither President had an FDR mandate."

I dunno, the GOP has only controlled all three for 5 of those, splitting with the Dems much o the rest of the time, but they seem to have gotten a lot done. Sounds to me like you're full of excuses.

"Do you have any knowledge of history and knowledge of how government works?"

Here we go with the Dem insider patronizing tone. And you guys wonder why you're doing so poorply? BA in PoliSci from an American institution, Masters in Political Philosophy from a french one. I know my history and I know my political institutions, in fact so well that I can objectively say that the Dem. Party. Sucks.

"Everybody wants it all RIGHT now. Ain't gonna happen. You want change, you work for a lifetime and if you are lucky, you will see the fruits of your labor before you die."

This "work heroically for the outside possibility of peanuts" meme popular with insider conservative Dems when they've run out of other BS to say to lefties who are sick of the party's garbage is quite patronizing.

And false.

I am French as well as American, and as a PS voter, I've seen real accomplishments in my lifetime. Why? Because the PS gets things done, unlike the worhtless Dems.

Try your crap on some other rube why don't you?

by redstar66 2006-03-24 03:22AM | 0 recs
I'm no insider

We are arguing tactics and strategy, not positions on political issues. I doubt very much you have a position on an issue where I don't agree with you or I am not to the left of you. I assure I am not a centrist Democrat or conservative Democrat.

I would have thought as a polticial science major you would understand the difference between tactics, strategy and positions on political issues.  

As for

"So you favor Bush locking up people without evidence and without trial." When did you stop beating your kids? Same type of question from you to me

Please spend some time studying logic, argument and debate, you are not very good at it.  

No its not the same type of question. When did you stop beating your wife is a question which leaves  you with a set of Hobsen's choices. There are only two answers neither of which is good, if you are foolish enough to answer it.

My pointing out the practical effect of your position (if my candidate doesn't win the primary I pick my toys and go home) right now is a vote for Bush to continue his ways, is at worst, a strawman argument, not a Hobsen's choice type question.

However, it is not a strawman argument in that I didn't materially twist your position, I just pointed out the logical effect of your position in a very inflamatory way, namely as said, sitting out an election because your preferred candidate didn't win right now is a vote for Bush to continue his ways. Don't like it? Tough shit. I don't have time for nicities. The Donkey, as the Rev. Al Sharpton said, sometimes needs a 2 x 4 upside the head to get their attention, and I don't care which faction you are in, DLC, or full blown progressive like me or you (notice how I don't challenge your bona fides as a progressive because you don't agree with me on tactics and strategies).

I was a history major, so yes I am familar with Blum. I am also familar with our government, how it works and how governing in a democracy works. Apparantly you are the first poli sci major I ever met who isn't.

As for whether FMLA is progressive enough for you, no FMLA at all is worse. I have a family that has made use of it, so perhaps I see it differently than you. I hope you never have to make use of it. Would it have been better if we got paid during that unfortunate time? You bet. But losing the job would have been worse.

I never argued that the Democratic party is the world's greatest political party and that every Democratic politician is great. I'd be the first to tell you otherwise. That's not the logic of my position either. Wanting to lawfully stop Bush, I am willing to vote for any politican who opposes Bush who has a chance of winning. I will not vote for anyone who doesn't have a chance. That means, right now, I am going to vote Democratic, because the last time a 3rd party won big enough to become a major party was in 1860. The odds don't favor a 3rd party at this time.

The usual result of 3rd party movements  in the US is it benefits the major party who was "out" e.g. Bull Moose party in 1912, George Wallace's American party in 1968, Ross Perot's Reform party in 1992 (arguable) and the Green Party in 2000. But since you are a Poli Sci major with a knowlege of history, I don't need to tell you that, do I?

Returning to the election of 2006,  I will  vote for any politican who has a chance of winning so we can put the breaks on the GOP and Bush. There being no other political party in my area that has a chance of winning, I will vote for Ron Klein, Democrat over Clay Shaw, Republican. Do I think Ron Klein is great? No. Is he better than Shaw? You bet. Would a Democratic majority in Congress mean John Conyers and Waxman would have chairmenships and the power of subpoenas? You bet (am I tired of this Rummy rhetorical impersonation? No way! That was injecting humor into this, in case you missed it).

I appreciate your passion for the progressive cause and candidates (I'm being serious, not patronizing), but I have a serioous quarrel with your tactics and strategy right now. The US Consitution means something to me. I have taken oaths (seriously) in 3 different states to uphold it. I spent a great deal of my life studying it. George W. Bush is the worst goddam president ever and he is abusing our Constitution. He must be stopped (by lawful means Alberto) and that means voting Democratic whether you like it or not.  

Now I have to go to work, so I may not respond to you for 8 or more hours if a response is necessary.

by molly bloom 2006-03-24 04:22AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm no insider

I stand corrected, I think, in impugning your lefty credentials.

As for logical fallacies, you are not the only one in a hurry and playing loose. I was simply pointing out that you were engaging in one, egregiously, one Dems like to throw at lefties who rightfully think the Dems suck, and throwing another one right back your way. I'm glad to see you concur with my assessment of your logic, though strawman is not the one I think you are fundamentally committing, questionable cause is. I see you've bought into the Dem schtick on the matter. As it happens, I voted Gore, but nice try.

I'm glad you know a bit about French history. My own politics came of age in France, and while America began its love affair with retrograde economic and social policies in the 1980's, in France we were busy consolidating human rights and human gains, as the old Labour tune goes. Those human gains begun in 1789, burnished progressively through the 1930's, and in the post-war period re-initiated in '68 and furthered in the '80's and '90's.

When the left came to power the last time in France, the first things we did were raise the minimum wage 10%, raise household allowances (allocations familiales) 25% and other direct subsidies to working families and the poor similarly. What do Democrats do?

We abolished capital punishment. Clinton put to death the mentally handicapped and extended the federal reach of capital punishment. We put into effect not just an inheritance tax, but a tax on great wealth. Democrats help the GOP weaken and eliminate progressive taxes like the inheritance tax, hell, many Dems use the GOP lingo to describe it ("death tax"). We nationalised key industries to make sure that the people's interests were served by the means of production. Dems help the GOP subsidise the owners of those means at the taxpayer's expense. We lowered the work week first to 39 then to 335 hours. We added a fifth week of paid holiday (Blum's government in '36 getting us to 4 previously). We decriminalized homosexuality and began to move towards full rights to all citizens. We put gender pay equity into law. We instituted the RMI and built and/or refurbished public housing so no one who didn't choose to went homeless or hungry. All of this on top of existing rights we inherited FROM THE CONSERVATIVES - access to quality health care, reasonable unemployment and re-insertion insurance, paid medical leave, right to organize, legalized abortion, man the list goes on.

What have your Dems done? Next to nothing, which in many ways is worse than nothing.

So don't tell me I'm being naïve about political possibilities. You're the one being naïve - there's a reason the Dems don't accomplish anything, and I'll give you a hint - it's because their primary corporate sponsors and related hand-wringing rich white "liberal" benefactors don't want them to. You want to be a tool, hey, be my guest, but don't call me naïve, I know damn well the history of the struggle, and how it was squelched in the US. (Hint - which party threw Debs in jail? Yup, yours.) You may be much more up on the mechanics of US government, but you clearly are way behind in your knowledge of the history, both ancient and contemporary, of our movement.

"As for whether FMLA is progressive enough for you, no FMLA at all is worse. I have a family that has made use of it, so perhaps I see it differently than you. I hope you never have to make use of it. Would it have been better if we got paid during that unfortunate time? You bet. But losing the job would have been worse. "
Not sure about that. Do you really think Orrin Hatch would co-sponsor a bill which actually protected workers who needed protection? I don't think so. That you we fortunate enough to use it is great, and I too have had to take leave to care for my oldest boy, who passed away 7 years ago of cancer, but FMLA had nothing to do with it.
FMLA simply makes sure professional workers  with cushy jobs get their jobs back. This is great. But it does nothing for the working mom and dad living paycheck to paycheck whose boy get leukemia. They have to go to work while their boy or girl is in hospital. Why? Because who else is going to pay the heating bills, the rent, the food ? Where else is the health insurance going to come from.
In this respect, I'm not so sure having no FMLA is worse than having it, for having it lets white middle-class liberals think they've actually accomplished something for the least of their brothers, when practically speaking, they haven't. All they've done is gotten another entitlement for themselves to which the truly needy have no real access.
"The US Consitution means something to me."

I think it's part of the problem. In France, we've had five Republics since the Revolution. You've had but one. And it's not because it is such a good constitution, it is simply a testament too how enduringly conservative America is, as evidenced by BOTH of its parties. Some would say retrograde - I certainly would - given how long it's been since any real change has been effected in the US.

But the other part of the problem is your party, which squelches the left, disrespects it, ignores it, insults it, and then at election time starts hectoring it to vote for your lot, who supposedly will protect us from the big bad GOP. Guess what - you're doing a terrible job. And have been doing so even while in the majority.

"He (Dubya) must be stopped (by lawful means Alberto) and that means voting Democratic whether you like it or not."

This comment is very telling. What animates many Dems is simply hatred of Dubya. You don't really stand for anything which helps working folks, you simply hate Bush. You won't do anything for us, you'll simply protect us from Bush.

How long do you think lefties will continue to buy into your protection racket? (Hint: the fact you haven't protected anybody lately should give you all a clue). Chomsky endorse Hillary in '08? I ain't holding my breath, if you get my meaning.

He is indeed the Worst. President. Ever. But the Democrats. Really. Suck.  Haven't done a goddamn meaningful thing federally since the Clean Air act was signed into law by the hated Richard Nixon, a man who governed demonstrably to the left of the current hero of Dems everywhere, Bill Clinton.

We will overcome. But what many Dems don't understand is that it isn't just the GOP we need to overcome. The party of Clinton, Biden, Lieberman, Feinstein, Schumer and Casey is also a party we need to overcome.

It will get worse before it gets better.

by redstar66 2006-03-24 06:00AM | 0 recs
Lunch break

You make a lot of assumptons- and you know what that means...

Dubious Assumption #1
The mere fact that I did not write a historical thesis on the progressive movement in France v. the progressive movement in the US, does not correlate that I know nothing about it or denigrate it as an achievement or would not like to incorporate much of it as US policy.

How you made that leap is beyond me.

You do recognize the US system of government differs significantly from the French, I hope?

Dubious Assumption #2
My Dems? I said I would be the first to state that the Democratic Party and its politicians is far from perfect. I am not going to go point by point as by and large I think the Democratic has  frequently failed to advance the progressive agenda when it has had the opportunity to do so. Again you seem to be saying I uncritically support the Democratic Party.  

Speaking of Vichy- That is a hoot. You do understand who the Vichy were- FRENCH COllABORATORS with the Nazi's. HELLLO!

Now, objectively,  what's worse, being a collaberator with the Nazi's or being a collaberator with the GOP? Bad example on your part. Try again. And BTW, stories of the heroic French resistance are overblown. Too many sat on their hands when action was needed, but everybody was a memeber of the resistance after the war was over.

So much for the greatness of the progressive movement in France. Oh, I know, it must have been more important to attack French politicans as not being sufficiently progressive rather than prioritze and do something about Hitler (that is a snark- in case you missed it- but one with a point).

Dubious Assumption #3
My support of the US Constituion (or alternatively the US Constitution itself) is part of the problem. Again do you understand the fundamental differences between the US system and the French parlimetary sytem?

Dubious Assumption #4
My only ideoloy is hatred of Bush? Now who's reapeating GOP talking points! Good God this is quite ignorant of you and based upon no evidence other than my ability to prioritze issues.

The first and immediate problem is stopping Bush. Churchill, who was not progressive, made a valid point, that if Hitler invaded hell, he would at least give the Devil a favorable mention in the commons. If that means making common cause with some Democrats I don't favor so be it.

Dubious Assumption #5
It will have to get worse before it gets better. That the stupidist goddamn statement I ever heard. Do you even realize that the people who would be hurt the worst "if things must get worse before they get better" would be the very working folk that you chide me about not doing anything about? Do you even know any working folks or are they  just a social demographic that your ideology protects? Is what you know about working class what you read in Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich?

My folks were working class, I grew up working class. Ever done manual labor for wages? I have.  Ever sat down for a meal/beer with working class folks? Somehow I suspect not.

Spare me your sanctimonious bullshit. Learn to prioritize.

by molly bloom 2006-03-24 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Lunch break

You know nothing of me, where I've been, what I've been doing and how I got to be doing it. So spare me your presumptions. But for your 411, I don't have to read Ehrenrich to know how working poor live in the US. (But unlike most liberal white middle class Dems, I actually do my part to do something about it, have carried a union card, and have worked plenty of menial jobs to feed my family, and if you choose not to believe this, it's all the same to me.)

Most of the sanctimonious bullshit I hear comes from Dems who claim Bush is Hitler, like you just did, and harp on lefties like me, blaming us for how fucked up the US is rather than your party's deep inadequacies. Bush is not Hitler, he's a two-bit dictator of limited vision. Bad for America sure, but not a homocidal maniac. You are perhaps aware of the cardinal rule of left blogostan, I presume? The one where "he who invokes Naziism and Hitler admits the intellectual bankruptcy of his position?

This is partucularly true of your utterly ridiculous non sequitur about Vichy France. Nice red herring, much fury, signifying nothing. Is this all you have, intellectually?

Anyhow, if Bush is Hitler, the Dems are for the most part Mussolini. So cry me a river, I doubt Churchill would be recommending Mussolini to the commons, nor your putzes. Look at Lieberman for goodness! But it doesn't surprise me a putative "progressive" Democrat can cite Churchill without blushing.

"Do you even realize that the people who would be hurt the worst "if things must get worse before they get better" would be the very working folk that you chide me about not doing anything about?"

Again, are you even aware how tough it is for a single mother struggling to get off welfare in post-Clintonian welfare reform world? Have you ever seen single moms and their kids at the Dorothy Day Center waiting for a hot meal before going back to the shelter? It doesn't seem so, or you wouldn't make such a big mistake about my statement as you just have.

For the people your party no longer cares about, primarily because they don't vote as reliably as soccer moms and because they have not money for the Schumer and Rahm dog and pony show, it already has gotten much worse - your party helped make it so, sometimes actively, sometimes simply by passively watching the GOP do the damage. I don't wish these folks to suffer, but from my (experienced) vantage point, I'm not sure what the bipartisan political class for which you apologize could do more to make them suffer. Welfare reform. Bankruptcy reform. Regressive taxation. Chronically underfunded low-income housing. The list goes on. No, your lot can't really stand by and watch the least of our brother get fucked any more than he already has been.

When I say things have to get worse before they get better, I mean the white middle class is going to have to suffer for things to change. Then and only then will the needle move.

That you can't see this betrays a level of class-consciousness which underlines why you simply "don't get it".

But you can keep shitting on people trying to speak up and stick up for human rights and human gain for all if it pleases you. We know where you're coming from.

Just another variant on the "pragmatist" theme, with a little progressive-speak spin. But we are what we do, and that makes your party less than admirable.

by redstar66 2006-03-24 11:43AM | 0 recs
Rigid Ideology

You are the one, my friend. who made the comparison to Hitler, when you made the comparison to Vichy French.

One other thing I have accomplished? Not being complicit with the crap your Vichy Dems have gifted the country.

Must be nice to only remember that which suits you.

I have been a single mother on welfare though I concede that was many years ago.  

But it doesn't surprise me a putative "progressive" Democrat can cite Churchill without blushing.

I can also quote Mao "a jouney of a 1000 miles begins with but a single step" without blushing. Is that more to the liking of your rigid ideloogy?

You keep confusing tactics and strategy with political positions. Really odd behavoir for a poli sci major. Again, I defy you to tell me a position on the issues where I don't agree with you or are further to the left than you. What I am not is a Neo Stalinist.

The fact that you have problems with a mere quotation from a source you deem politically incorrect suggests you are quite the rigid ideologue. A petty tyrant. A Neo Stalinist.

but you can keep shitting on people trying to speak up and stick up for human rights and human gain for all if it pleases you. We know where you're coming from.

Again I am not stopping you nor am I trying to squlch you from speaking up for human rights and human gain. I applaud that, though I have to admit you come accross as someone who reads about the poverty, not someone with real world experience with it. I suspect it is your rigidity that makes you seem so naive.

One thing I have noticed, is that you are quite selective in your choice of quotes and you have some sort of need to make sure you paint me as something that I am not, something that no one who knows me would recognize- to paint me as a conservative.

It is  fundamentally dishonest on your part. The way you jumped all over my rejoinder to your Vichy Dem statement also suggests you don't look before you leap. Neither of these character traits you are exhibiting are admirable and I trust it is only a momentary lapse.

My point remains-  when the primary is done, a conservative Democrat is still better than a conservative Republican (there being no liberal Republicans any more).

Your intellectual inability to see that or to distingush Republicans from Democrats says a lot. One difference between us, I have the elementary ability to compare and contrast and to see differences as well as similarities. You don't. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

by molly bloom 2006-03-24 01:35PM | 0 recs
sorry molly but

I have been down this road many many times and I will no longer just vote the party line or the party ticket just because he is the worst president ever.

i am willing to lose in order to get real change in the party--real change is what i want.  

The dems left me high and dry one time too many.  When they were too cowardly to oppose the war and cowered under the bush bullshit they hurt me and they hurt america.  

I will never forget the feeling of being told over and over that I was unpatriotic when I opposed the war and my dems in DC did nothing to counter that talking point.  Nothing. they failed and I am not in a forgiving mood.

the special interests, the consultants, the money, the status quo, the inside the beltway know it alls, the 'i only want to win' mentality,

I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE.

by aiko 2006-03-24 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

I agree, the national party should pony up the 75k. We cannot afford to discourage ANYONE in the base and the party has to show this by action.

The only way to victory in November is the GOTV. The only way the base can exert its power and ensure victory is to get active at the precinct level. Last night I attended the Denver caucus and volunteered for the precinct committee and became a county delegate. I will now start the organizing at the precinct level for the GOTV in November. We have to get active where the firefights will occur; this is where all election battles are won.
 

by Citizen80203 2006-03-22 06:45AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Primaries are not general elections.

We need to get out NOW and frame the debate in IL=06.  

Duckworth needs to have her first piece on the street by Sat at the latest.  First info out there is gonna set the table.  She needs to be the table-setter.

by dataguy 2006-03-22 06:45AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Then let her buy some volunteers to win her seat.  I am too exhausted to help, and all my money went to Cegelis.

by illinois062006 2006-03-22 06:53AM | 0 recs
Fuck her

and Rahmbo and Dumbkin. She's part of the problem and I hope class warfare comes, nothing would be more needed or refreshing!

by Kankakee Voice 2006-03-22 07:12AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Chris, I appreciate your concern.  I think there definitely is a disconnect between the national Democratic Party and the grassroots and local party organizations.  The DC Democratic Org wants to win elections and would support very liberal candidates if they thought they would win.  They made a calculation in IL-06 that they needed someone with Duckworth's resume in order to win this district that went to Bush in 2004.  They may very well have miscalculated on both the strength of Cegelis' support and the assumption of the support that Duckworth would get.  However, I wouldn't make broad assumptions about the entire Democratic Party project when it comes to the November elections based on this one district's dynamics.

For all the criticism he gets when he does pit one of his chosen candidates against a more grassroots one, Rahm Emmanuel wants to get the Democrats back as the majority party in November.  His candidate recruitment, overall, has been excellent.  More seats are in play than expected because of Rahm's focus on recruiting quality candidates -- and there are numerous examples (The most recent being the excellent choice to challenge JD Hayworth in AZ).  I don't have a problem with him recruiting Duckworth if he truly believed that she had the best chance to win in November.  However, I do wish he then would have let the district have a more open, hands-off electoral process in the weeks leading up to the election.

So what do we do?  The battle between DC and the local Democrats I think is one of pragmatism versus ideology.  The locals want progressives, generally.  DCCCers want candidates who can win and don't focus on ideology.

My view is that this is really a choice between who you want for Speaker:  Nancy Pelosi or Dennis Hastert.  In the House the Majority Party's leadership controls the agenda and determines what gets debated, and in what form.  A freshman member of the House has very little power.  The most important vote they cast is their first one -- for Speaker.  I am more than willing to accept conservative Dems as candidates because, in the end, they will make Pelosi Speaker which will then bring a progressive agenda to the House floor, at least to some degree.

To that end people should support who they want to support in the primaries... that is what the democratic process is about and I believe most Duckworth supporters would have gotten on board the Cegelis bandwagon had she won.  But this is not one of those elections where we can afford to vote solely out of ideological principle.  This one is about having a check, ANY check on this amoral White House and its activities.  So I am supporting any candidate who will vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker once it gets past the primaries, and I hope others do as well.  If you are so angry at the DC Dems that you don't want to vote for their candidates in November, so be it, but I would rather not consider those Nader-like consequences.

by Ian in DC 2006-03-22 06:47AM | 0 recs
Kool Aid anyone?

Ian, you and pelosi and rahm can fantasize until the cows come home...oops, i forgot,  there aren't any cows in dc.  

By the by, out here in the hinterlands we are not voting for pelosi and if we win the first thing we will do is throw her out.

by aiko 2006-03-22 06:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Kool Aid anyone?

Aiko... I don't know what YOU are drinking, but if the Dems take over the House there is NO Dem candidate that would not vote for her for Speaker.  The "hinterlands" don't vote for Speaker, elected members of the House do.

by Ian in DC 2006-03-22 07:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Kool Aid anyone?

Watch out you folks inside the beltway.  Here in the netroots she ain't got no support.  Her idea of an opposition party is to kiss their ass.

that's what you all do : kiss each other's ass.

by aiko 2006-03-22 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Kool Aid anyone?

Well, that might not be true (Gene Taylor of Mississippi cast a protest vote for John Murtha for Speaker last year). But if anything, we may have to compromise to replace Pelosi with a moderate if we do win the House.

by bobdoleisevil 2006-03-22 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Kool Aid anyone?

I know that you are new here but you don't rate someone a 1 if you disagree.  if you disagree say so.  1s are for loudmouth fools who are disrepecting the space.

by aiko 2006-03-23 02:54AM | 0 recs
IT ONLY

2 years. Let Roskham win, what's the difference? Oh yea, besides being a Corporcrate he's a Theocrat. Gee. Would I rather have no job and global warming, or jesus????

by Kankakee Voice 2006-03-22 07:15AM | 0 recs
what's needed is commitment no compromise

Time for a reframe:

I didn't follow this election but before I read your post I had reviewed the results and my first thought was:

Wow we came close.  The netroots candidate did great.  Shit, we could have won.  We could have have gotten 1000 more votes with a little better strategy and a bit more money.  Pretty impressive and lots to be hopeful about.

Forget about DC.  Be prepared to lose.  Plan on it if necessary.  But don't give an inch.  

We have be willing to lose and we have to stay in til the bitter end. To win a revolution requires commitment.

Nobody believes our candidates aren't as good as theirs....its all based on a make believe electability.  Well we are proving that we are just a bit shy in that department and with a little help we would be over the top.

Our candidates may not win in 2006 but if we hold together--keep doing what we are doing--we win eventually.  Shit Christine almost did!

by aiko 2006-03-22 06:49AM | 0 recs
Re: what's needed is commitment no compromise

But the netroots did not support Cegelis.  This is part of the problem.  They were told to not support her by DC interests.

by illinois062006 2006-03-22 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: what's needed is commitment no compromise

Funny, no one told me not to support her.  I didn't see Rahm coming on any blogs and saying, "Back off Cegalis!  Go Duckworth!"

The netroots are not some monolith that you can tell anything, and in some ways that is part of the problem and part of the benfit of it.  At times when the netroots get riled up they can be VERY effective, but much of the time the momentum is not generated and candidates like Cegalis don't get much.

But ask yourself why Cegalis didn't get netroots support.  Is it because Washington forbade the netroots from participating, or is it because Cegalis and her supporters did not make the case well enough to get the support?

by nathan 2006-03-22 07:23AM | 0 recs
Re: what's needed is commitment no compromise

Maybe no one told you not to support her, but Rahm definitely went thru his platinum Rolodex & told the monied individuals & PACs to hold off on the check-writing.  All the major donors showed up for the Chicago & Clinton fundraisers.

Everything was done to get Cegelis to withdraw from the ballot.  Obama even called her & asked her to get off the ballot.  Almost none of the other vets running for Congress get any notice.  They've received the typical hyperbole.

Rahm didn't have to hit the blogs for Duckworth.  He let the free MSM do the work for him.  The campaign PR contractors did his work with the robocalling & glossy over-the-top, trivial mailers.

It's about the money:  millionaires & people with their own millionaire network need only apply.

What happened in IL-06 is happening everywhere.  The difference is that the Cegelis supporters refused to back down, got very public, & let everyone know that this "political business as usual" has nothing to do with true democracy.  This is about buying a congressional seat.

by Philosophe Forum 2006-03-23 12:57PM | 0 recs
my gut tells me

Voters aren't happy with the folks in office right now. Period. Attempts to control local races by national figures won't help the way they would if we all felt good about their actions in DC.

After votes on Alito, Patriot Act, MBNA Enrichment Act, et. al. are cast, I'm left scratching my head about strategy here. WTF? Why wasn't there resounding support for Murtha and Feingold by the party leaders? Why should I believe they have my back any more than they have their colleagues'?

Building from the ground up makes a lot more sense to me right now -- with the additional support of the powers-that-be we might be able to turn around some victories.

by musicsleuth 2006-03-22 06:50AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Here's my prediction:

Progressive turnout for Duckworth will be low and she will lose.  I would even say she deserves to lose since the only reason why she's in the race is to win, not push a progressive agenda.

When voters go to the polls, most don't vote against something, they vote for.  What is Duckworth for and spare me the Democratic constituency checklist.

by dayspring 2006-03-22 06:50AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

I'd suggest that this is exactly what the DLC and the establishment Democracts want--for the grass/netroots to be nothing mre than voting fodder at election time.  As career polticians and operatives, they want to maintain power, and the grass/netroots are AS MUCH a threat to that power as the Republicans

by justinh 2006-03-22 06:53AM | 0 recs
Learn the lesson

A few months ago, I floated the idea of the netroots getting behind Cegalis full-force to a few other bloggers, but after we had all heard pretty much the same stories on how Duckworth was going to cruise, we agreed it probably wasn't a very good idea. Better to focus our resources elsewhere.

Learn the lesson. In an instance like this the conventional wisdom cannot and should not trump your own perceptions. Learn the lessons. The sources (and their opinions) which caused you to step back were wrong. Weigh their record the next time you hear their opinions.

After working with one of our state's great Democratic lions to support and elect a statewide candidate who had then lost badly in a three way primary (an absolutely brilliant candidate - endorsed by all of the state's major papers based on his sterling qualifications - the conventional wisdom said he had it in the bag) I recall telling my mentor, "Well, senator, it's obvious that neither one of us knows shit about politics." He laughed.

Sometimes you get surprised by what transpires - and you hope you learn a lesson for the next one.

by Michael Bersin 2006-03-22 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

What the hell does the DLC have to do with this? I really don't get people's obsession with the DLC.  

Duckworth won, and Michael in Chicago, I am sorry that your candidate came so close and lost but that's politics.  Don't take your ball and go home like Hackett. 44% is low, but the turn out was like 21K voters, that is extremely low.  

Such a low turnout benefits grassroots folks and liberal activists.  Turnout in a the general will be much higher because of the gubinatorial election in IL and Duckworth will get more moderate voters than Cegelis ever could have.

I was pissed that every DC publication mentioned Duckworth and never even said that she had primary opposition.  Duckworth's story sounds compelling: a blackhawk pilot who lost her legs in the war, then turned around and helped fellow vets at Walter Reed.  Maybe she isn't from the district.

Military people always have trouble about where they are "from" since they get moved around so much or at sea so they never really have a home.  

This will take a while for the wound to heal for some in blogosphere (Cegelis' blogosphere support was not like Hacket's in the special or even the primary BTW), but that's why the general is so far away.  I trust Cegelis supporters will support Dickworth in the fall and help her win this seat from an ex-DeLay staffer.

by DaveB 2006-03-22 07:06AM | 0 recs
grammar counts

Believe me, whatever group of rag-tag GOTV activists Cegalis had in this election, using their theocon grassroots, the Republican machine will more than match that nationwide in 2006.

Either drop the comma after grassroots or restate the second clause "the Republican machine, using their theocon grassroots, will more than match that nationwide in 2006." Otherwise, you're saying that Cegelis's rag-tag grassroots activists were theocons and we know they're not theocons.

by KevStar 2006-03-22 07:11AM | 0 recs
Proper word choice counts ...

That was a punctuation error, not a grammatical one.

by nathan 2006-03-22 07:24AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Wow. Y'all really can make a mountain out of a molehill when you want to. There is no significance to an extremely low turnout primary election in the middle of March. None. The fact that Duckworth didn't win by a larger margin says nothing about the Party's ability to beat Republicans in November. It's apples and oranges.

What a bunch of self-absorbed hand-wringers we are. Duckworth isn't the "establishment" candidate and Cegelis wasn't the "netroots" candidates. At least not as far as the voters in the district see it. They were just two candidates with very similar points of view, and one got a few more votes than the other. Why do you insist on creating this oppositional situation where we're "fightin' the man"? My God, this isn't 1968, and you're full of yourself.

by ColoDem 2006-03-22 07:27AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

My friend you are apparently blind to what happened in this race.

by Andrew C White 2006-03-22 07:47AM | 0 recs
You obviously know

nothing about the district, the race or each candidates views and values - or lack of them. Do some research.

by Kankakee Voice 2006-03-22 07:55AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Looking at the results, I think turnout was just really, really, low. The weather in Illinois stunk. Lots of challengers did better than expected: Claypool, Cegelis, Eisendrath ... Oberweis put up a better showing than polls showed. In a normal turnout primary, I think Duckworth would have taken 55-60% of the vote, perhaps more. Still lots of loyalty to Christine, but it wouldn't have looked so close.

We should also all be incredibly impressed with Cegelis's GOTV operation. And she deserves something where she can gain stature for building the grassroots Democratic party in a place where people thought the party couldn't exist. But Duckworth is still going to be a great candidate when it comes to the general.

by niq 2006-03-22 07:28AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

She deserved not to be undercut by the Democratic Party establishment. That is what she deserved.

by Andrew C White 2006-03-22 07:46AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

The turnout was low and probably played better to Christine but even if everyone in the district voted Duckworth would never have gotten over 50%

by Delver Rootnose 2006-03-22 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Looking at the results, I think turnout was just really, really, low.

Is that the case?  I remember a post by michael in chicago where he said that the Cegelis campaign was pushing for 12k votes and that if they got that they thought it would put them over the top.  They got 13k, so obviously they turned out who they thought they would.  I think they thought that Scott would do better and draw more votes from Duckworth, but I can't see where the turnout was much lower than expected.

by Jay 2006-03-23 01:13AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

And another thing. If I were an intern sitting in the bowels of the RNC and were trying to come up with some clever ways to undermine Democrats, I would post something very similar to this, Chris. What the Hell are you thinking?

by ColoDem 2006-03-22 07:29AM | 0 recs
ohhhhhhh

it's the be verwwy, verwwwy quiet logic, the enemy will hear you. Like they won't think of any of this themselves, they are better at mudslinging and finding vulnerabilities than we are.

by Kankakee Voice 2006-03-22 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

you people really worry too much about every single thing.  Democratic candidates, in spite of their Washington Leadership, will most likely do well this fall.

As for talk about "revving" up the Democratic base, I think many "activists" underestimate the desire in the country just to have a government that solve problems effectively.

by d 2006-03-22 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

How are prowar democrats and and pro bankruptcy bill democrats going to do this? Please explain?

by Dameocrat 2006-03-22 08:44AM | 0 recs
why don't you learn form winners?

While you're in the area why not call Ginny Peters of Fairfax County Democratic Committee and ask how we transformed Fairfax from Republican to solid Democratic?

by Alice Marshall 2006-03-22 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: why don't you learn form winners?

Demographic changes were one of the main forces behind changing Fairfax county from Republican to Democratic (not that I'm trying to minimize Peters's contributions)

by bobdoleisevil 2006-03-22 08:06AM | 0 recs
bunk

sure there have been changes. but in 1993 when Dems swept Arlington County and lost the rest of the state including Fairfax County there were no significant demographic differences between Arlington and Fairfax.

Fairfax changed because the local committee recommitted to a grassroots approach and we won. There are a lot of lessons here and it is incredible how determined people are to ignore them.

by Alice Marshall 2006-03-22 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

The DCCC apologists have arrived.  I prefer to attend to other tasks, lest my beautiful mind becomes debased by their insipid pronouncements.

by illinois062006 2006-03-22 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

One thing you have to remember is that Illinois, particularly the Chicago suburbs has had a noticable shift from being solidly Republican to a secure Democratic state.  The problem for Dem challengers in primaries is that many voters like me registered as Republicans years ago back when they actually offered up candidates worth voting for.  Changing party affiliations is somewhat difficult and I never changed mine, mostly so I could vote for whoever was running against Phil Crane and keep the wingnuts out of the state legislature.

My guess to what happened was that a very high percentage of the Dem primary voters in the district have been registered as Dems for years, and they are more familiar and loyal to Cegelis.  But I still think that Duckworth has a much stronger chance of winning in the election than Cegelis as she will draw a much stronger slice of the independent vote, particularly women.  Rightly or wrongly, Cegelis portrays an image of "another Chicago Democrat" like Jane Byrne or Daley, and these don't always sell well in the burbs.  Women who have played in a "man's game" like business (Melissa Bean) or the military (Duckworth) will sell much better.

And although the suburbs are the home of Willow Creek Church, there is also a significant pushback against the most conservative elements of the right wing agenda.  Gun control is popular and public schools are very strongly supported.  The typical Republican playbook wrapping yourself and the flag and preaching doesn't carry as much weight here, and I think Duckworth has a good chance of pulling in veteran's votes - especially those over 50 years old.  And her chances are better than Cegalis.

by sublime33 2006-03-22 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Gotta love trolls showing up the day after the election with their first comment on how Duckworth really will be a strong candidate.

by blogswarm 2006-03-22 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

You musn't be a real Illinois voter, or you would know that we don't register with a party here.  We declare our party affiliation at the polls on primary election day, so that people who are self-identified Republicans could have taken Democratic primary ballots yesterday and voted for Duckworth, which likely happened.

Duckworth hasn't distinguished herself as fundamentally different from the Republicans, on choice, or CAFTA, to name two examples.  Cegelis would have provided 6th District voters with a clear choice.  Roskam will likely keep this seat R.

by rayspace 2006-03-22 10:06AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

"You musn't be a real Illinois voter, or you would know that we don't register with a party here.  We declare our party affiliation at the polls on primary election day"

That is EXACTLY correct.

by AustinMayor 2006-03-23 05:19PM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

If you think Cegelis played as "just another Chicago Dem", then you've not been on this planet.

The Daleys were big contributors to Duckworth.

by Feh 2006-03-22 03:16PM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Hey if I was trying to discourage you from supporting Cegelis's negative "she's a carpetbagger stealing my nomination" campaign I'd tell ya it's a foregone conclusion too.

As for the free media most of what I saw always came back around to the "controversy" of Tammy getting institutional Democratic support. That was the gist of the Cegelis campaign and damaging to Duckworth. Believe me I heard it going door to door in Wheaton, Glen Ellyn and Bloomingdale. Not so much in Villa Park.

This primary was an odd circumstance because Duckworth couldn't declare until she left active military service in December. In the few short months she had to play catch up the DCCC and the rest of the bigwigs had to go all out to get her the name recognition she needed or just forget about it. They made their decision and backed it up. The whole situation lent itself to hard feelings from the Cegelis camp which are wholey understandable. There will be other elections and offices for Cegelis if she's interested but this time in this race because of the necessity to take back Congress it just wasn't in the cards for her. We needed the strongest candidate we could get and the powers that be are right, that's Duckworth. Most primaries won't be this contentious unless the netroots insists on backing alternative slates just for the sake of opposing the party or visa versa. Then we'd have a real problem.

I think the first thing we can do is stop trying to permanently split party activists into insider and outsider camps. Give party leaders a little credit where it is due. In most cases they are party leaders because they've won elections and we've all voted for them. They are not the enemy even if they don't do what we want the way we want all the time. If we're going to push candidates from the ground up they'd better be well rounded, well qualified and in the end winners. But I warn you, get a few candidates elected and what does that make you? The party insiders.

by markg8 2006-03-22 08:11AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Is this what gets you and Rahm hard?

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/videos/bunny_ tapdancer.html

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

by illinois062006 2006-03-23 04:46AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Actually, Duckworth declared several days before she requested her release from active duty. (Note that she was released at her own request, not because her tour of duty was automatically up.)Although I don't fully understand the situation -- because it has never been explained -- it's not entirely obvious why the same thing couldn't have been done in September or October. The way the timing was handled creates the impression that Emanuel et al. deliberately went out of their way to create a fight with the grassroots. Or else they really, seriously believed the grassroots didn't matter -- and this in a district that the Republicans have dominated for decades, at every level from Congress to coroner, through their superb grassroots organization.

As you note, Duckworth didn't declare until December -- barely 10 days before the final, drop-dead filing deadline. The timing left Cegelis people no alternative but to fight back as hard as we could. But we know that the decision to run Duckworth was made in September. What if she had declared at that time? And immediately reached out to Cegelis and her supporters, asking them to join her in working toward victory this November? I obviously can't speak for Christine (yes, after 2-1/2 years we are on a first-name basis), but I suspect something could have been worked out. As an individual, Duckworth is an attractive candidate. And the combined strengths of the two campaigns would have been awesome. But because of the way things were handled, that didn't happen.

I'm perfectly willing to work for Duckworth if her campaign truly wants me. Maybe they do -- I have a feeling the past three months have taught them something. But if not, there are a couple of General Assembly candidates in that area who could use some help.

Bill Thomasson

by Bill Thomasson 2006-03-23 08:51AM | 0 recs
Cegelis - Cegalis - Symbolic

It's Cegelis. With no 'a'.

Thank You

First, let me say how much I appreciate every single one of you who have been part of this amazing journey. The hours that you put in, the energy and enthusiasm you brought to this campaign, the affection that you showed me, the encouragement, the prayers, and the trust that you placed in me.

It's been an incredible experience - for all of us. The fact that we're all still standing after everything that we've been through together is a miracle in itself.

But the biggest miracle of all is you. Whatever the numbers show, you have won. Some of you didn't even know each other a few months ago. Some of you have never been involved in a political campaign in your life. Some of you felt disenfranchised or ignored or you just had no faith in the political process. Some of you were there two years ago when I ran the first time, and you're still here.

All of you - old friends, new friends, good friends, best friends - all of you proved something over these past many months. You proved that you are a political force to be reckoned with, and anybody who ignores that fact does so at their own peril. You sent a loud and clear message to the Republican Party and to the Democratic Party.

The Republicans had better watch out in November. And the Democrat leadership had better recognize right now that the real future of this Party isn't going to be determined in Chicago or in Springfield or in Washington .

You and everyone else who's been part of this campaign and who voted for me - YOU are the future of the Democratic Party, and you are the best hope that this nation has to reverse all of the wrong directions that we've been going in.

I spoke with Tammy this morning and wished her luck. She's going to need it. Because she's going to be running against the full force and weight of the Republican Party - not just Peter Roskam, but Dick Cheney, George Bush, Karl Rove, Ken Mehlman and every other Republican leader and every Republican dollar they can get their hands on. ... continues...

Christine Cegelis is a class act and someone we want to help advance in the Democratic Party, whatever the role.

by Curt Matlock 2006-03-22 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

by PurityOfEssence 2006-03-22 08:52AM | 0 recs
Can I steal this image?

nt

by Teaser 2006-03-22 01:57PM | 0 recs
Sure!

Thanks for asking.

by PurityOfEssence 2006-03-22 07:37PM | 0 recs
The real story here

isn't the win/loss, but the pathetic turnout. None of the Candiates managed to engage the electorate.

Last time we had a contested Primary for the House seat herein WI 2nd, the 3d place finisher had nearly as many votes as the 3 IL 6th contenders combined.

by benmasel 2006-03-22 09:16AM | 0 recs
Re: The real story here

What you may not realize is that this is an area where, if people want to have a say in their local government, they have to ask for a Republican primary ballot. I've seen people at Cegelis fundraisers who regularly vote Democratic in the general election but still vote in the Republican primary.

We need to build up Democratic ground strength in the district so there's a chance of electing local Democratic candidates and people will take a Democratic ballot to have a voice in choosing them. But the way the Beltway types handled things doesn't help that effort.

by Bill Thomasson 2006-03-23 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Wow, what a suprise.  The Democrats are acting like cats, protecting their own turf at any cost, even if they have to piss on themselves to mark their territory.

Democratic Party infighting is the norm, not the exception.  

Also, Democrats are pathetically devoid of communication skills.  Just ask someone who has tried to participate or interact with their local Democratic chairs. The typical response to inquiries is no response at all.

I have called.  No one is ever there.  I leave messages inquiring about signs/bumper stickers.  I never hear back.  I send e-mails with specific questions asking how I can help.  I either get no response or a form letter asking for money with no indication of how I can volunteer my time to help the cause.  I have even written letters.  Alas, they were never answered.

I gave up.  Kay Bailey Hutchinson is better at answering my letters than most of the Democrats.  Even though I inform her that I will never vote for her in every letter I mail, her office still sends me correspondence about whatever concern I have raised that week.

I will say this though, Nick Lampson seems to have his shit together.  I will be doing my best to get him elected.  Hopefully he will beat Mr. Delay.

So yeah, you should be worried about 2006.  I have not seen any improvement since 2004 in my county.  

by agpc 2006-03-22 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Chris:

You're bang-on. I've been screaming about this for a while: e.g., An Overlong Dissertation on Courage, Strategy, Populism and Respecting the Base and Swing Voters Aren't Necessarily Centrist Voters and the links collected in this.

I'd like to talk; would you please shoot me an email at vichydems@  safe-mail.net (collapse spaces) if you're interested in sharing ideas?

Thanks.

by thersites 2006-03-22 09:33AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

whatever group of rag-tag GOTV activists Cegalis had in this election

Why did you feel it necessary to insult us, Chris?  Rag-tag or not, we almost beat the Chicago/DC party power structure.

We the people will persevere, and we will prevail.  Just like the rag-tag Colonial army that defeated the well-funded, well-trained, well-equipped, and far more numerous British troops.

Because we believe in what we are doing.  We believe in each other and our values, not in some Washington power structure.

We're not finished.  We'll be back.  We will take over.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

by Caro 2006-03-22 10:04AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

"Why did you feel it necessary to insult us, Chris?"

I really have to doubt he was intending to insult you.  

by Politicalhack06 2006-03-22 06:34PM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Doubt all you want.  Chris denigrated our efforts, even as he acknowledged our effectiveness.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

by Caro 2006-03-22 11:35PM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Wow. If you opposed Republicans like you oppose Duckworth, we'd be working to cement a Democratic majority this year, not create one.

Some day, our kids will turn up the television and whisper to us, hoping the government SpyMaster2056 doesn't pick up their voice, "What did you do when the Republicans were grabbing for power?"  Do you want to tell your kid, "I helped hand a swing district to the Republicans, to teach the opposition party not to take us for granted"?

by admiralnaismith 2006-03-22 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Do you want to tell your kid, "I helped hand a swing district to the Republicans, to teach the opposition party not to take us for granted"?

You're assuming that fighting back against so-called New Democrat or DLC candidates will hurt us electorally. The truth is that the centrist/DLCC approach has been LOSING us elections: we lost the Congress during Bill Clinton's first term and never really got it back. Why's that? Maybe because the DLC/DCCC strategy doesn't work, but they keep foisting it on us anyway?

by thersites 2006-03-22 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006
Amen!
   I refuse to work again for the party of Joe Lieberman or Rahm Emanuel.
by Billb08 2006-03-23 06:24AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

"You musn't be a real Illinois voter, or you would know that we don't register with a party here.  We declare our party affiliation at the polls on primary election day, so that people who are self-identified Republicans could have taken Democratic primary ballots yesterday and voted for Duckworth, which likely happened."

I am a real Illinois voter who voted yesterday in the 10th District - should be the 8th but got gerrymandered out.  Gary Skoein territory - a truly scary fellow.  I asked at the poll if I had a choice and they said no, since I was registered as a Republican that is the ballot I had to take.  But at least I got to vote against Oberweis.

by sublime33 2006-03-22 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

If somebody at an Illinois polling place told you that you were a "registered" anything, they were scamming you.
http://www.city-data.com/states/Illinois -Political-parties.html

Too bad you fell for it.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

by Caro 2006-03-22 11:39PM | 0 recs
In the end it is the Candidate not the leadership

At least in general elections in Primaries well that is a diffrent story.

by Liberal 2006-03-22 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

What's broken? That members of the democratic party actually had a primary that was a competition between two candidates? There doesn't need to be a mandate or consensus among the party right now... this is the time for debate within the party.

There were anemic results for Duckworth in the primary in spite of the push from DCrats because there were two actual candidates in the race--a tough decision for many. That's bad? We should be so lucky to have candidates that inspire people to fight for their candidate like that. You are really forgetting the fact that this was a primary election. This is the time for the party to decide on a candidate, not just rubber stamp anyone.

Frankly, the real test is now: all Democrats need to come together to support the candidates who will be on the November ballot. I don't think a close primary is an indication that the rank and file aren't willing to do that.

by dgulbran 2006-03-22 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

There were three candidates in the race.  Lindy Scott got a little less than 20%

by Delver Rootnose 2006-03-22 03:14PM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Put Cegalis' and Scott's votes together and liberals outvoted the machine 57% to 43%.

Divided we fall.

by Sitkah 2006-03-22 09:59PM | 0 recs
Don't Worry Be Happy

Hate to rain on your parade.  But Tammy Duckworth was a good candidate.  And the fact that she was endorsed by Obama and Durbin is huge.  It was a great night for Obama.

Yes Cegalis was more progressive, and that was a problem.

And Duckworth could be tougher on Bush on Iraq. But so could Hillary, and she's hardly a Republican plant.

So relax and say an Amen for Tammy Duckworth.

Great job, Tammy.

by skeeters 2006-03-22 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Don't Worry Be Happy

Yeah.  Relax and enjoy being screwed.  Good idea.

Your comments will go a long way toward healing the breach.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

by Caro 2006-03-22 11:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't Worry Be Happy

Unfortunately, Tammy had little to do with her victory.  Curly, Moe, or Larry might have won with all the huge support the national Dems gave Duckworth.  Right now Tammy Duckworth is a creature of Rahm and his centerist, pro-war Democratic Party. She may become more independent, but the odds are against her.

by Billb08 2006-03-23 06:28AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

"The truth is that the centrist/DLCC approach has been LOSING us elections: we lost the Congress during Bill Clinton's first term and never really got it back. Why's that? Maybe because the DLC/DCCC strategy doesn't work, but they keep foisting it on us anyway?"

It is more than the DLCC.  The problem is that homeowners were intimidated to put John Kerry or Al Gore for President signs in their yards but not those for George W. Bush.  The problem is that guys could strut around the office bellering "Bill Clinton is such a jerk and should be run out of office" but those who expect to get a raise or avoid the next round of layoffs keep their mouths shut about George W. Bush.  

The one positive I have noticed is that not only has the pro-Bush sentiment been eerily quiet for the last couple of years, but there is a real office underground of knowing who it is "cool" to talk to about Bush.  Kind of like in college or high school when people were careful who they talked with about drugs.

by sublime33 2006-03-22 11:56AM | 0 recs
Well considering we've all been

wildly optimistic for each of the last few elections, and gotten our heads handed to us each time, perhaps your worry is a good thing.

by Teaser 2006-03-22 12:04PM | 0 recs
Now you fucking get it. About time!!

While the DC dems fight for the ever shrinking mythical moderate/independent voter they keep ignoring that even in a good year only about 65% of registered voters vote and I don't know how many people are not even registered.

Democrats cannot win without addressing the fact that these disaffected voters see no difference between the parties and stop stabbing in the back campaigns like Christine that do show the difference.

by Delver Rootnose 2006-03-22 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Thank you for you honesty in admitting your mistake. It shows that you are MUCH MORE of a man than our soldier cum blogger Markos, who has become too much of an "establishment" wimp to admit he was wrong.

by dabuddy 2006-03-22 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

Duckworth was dragged down by the unpopular Blagojevich.  He won renomination, but he might lose to Topinka who is a popular figure in IL. Blagojevich here in Illinois has Gray Davis like poll numbers here.  His poll numbers are so low there is a crack already in the Black community and Rev James Meeks who is a Dem might run against him as an independent and might split the vote.  As for Duckworth, she might not win because of Blago.

by mleflo2 2006-03-22 05:02PM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

And that is entirely her fault, for she established herself as a Chicago and DC insider.  Cegelis, on the other had, established her independence.  The governor's race would therefore have no bearing, or a minimal bearing, on Christine's campaign.

by illinois062006 2006-03-22 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

There are many aspects to determine a congressional race, I named one and you named one.

by mleflo2 2006-03-24 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

No one in their right mind thought this was going to be a slamdunk.  In fact, most of us thought Christine might actually pull it off.

The wierd thing is, I thought MyDD.com (and the rest of the posse) was going full throttle for Christine.  It was like every day, it'd be something else about her Campaign.  I'm surprised he seems to imply that he was holding back.

Didn't seem so to me.

by patachon 2006-03-22 05:16PM | 0 recs
When does an outsider become an insider?

It was never my impression that the grassroots progressives were supporting Duckworth.  So I'm not sure that you need to be worried about anything. The Democrats will win if the grassroots are behind the candidates.

Instead of thinking that the insider Democrats who shared their insider knowledge with you as being wrong, I'd probably be considering if their strategy worked to get Duckworth elected.

You and other bloggers might want to think about whether you were just powned by the establishment Dems in regards to the Cegelis - Duckworth race.

by Thom K in CA 2006-03-22 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

You and other bloggers might want to think about whether you were just powned by the establishment Dems in regards to the Cegelis - Duckworth race.

Ya' think?

by eRobin 2006-03-22 06:54PM | 0 recs
Blow it out your.....

Hey Chris....For starters, don't call the grassroots "ragtag GOTV activists". Next, you might want to learn how to spell Cegalis' name. And your worried that the party machine can longer squash the grassroots like bugs? Get used to it -- and get on board.

It's too bad you decided to grovel to CW by not helping Cegalis -- you could have really helped the progressive cause you tout.
Instead, you used the same old "electabilty" criterium that helps none but party-line hacks who go on to lose to Republicans.

Why are those who believe themselves to be savvy politicos too often just fools who follow?

by Sitkah 2006-03-22 09:51PM | 0 recs
Chris get a clue

A lot of people are EXTREMELY pissed at the Democratic Party and just because the GOP is collapsing it does not mean that people are going to enthusiastically support and vote for Democrats.

I sure as hell will not.

by leschwartz 2006-03-22 09:57PM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

It is just too bad that you don't understand the monumental cynicism of the Democratic and "progressive" leadership...whatever ideals they once upon a time had - and as a conservative I don't think the ideals were all that great, but they were, at least, ideals - have been subordinated by the mere desire for power and wealth.

If you want to know what kind of Democratic Party you have, think of Gray Davis...he didn't care how much muck he had to toss around back in 2002, as long as he wound up with the political power, it didn't matter how far down in the sewer he wound up.

by Mark Noonan 2006-03-23 12:01AM | 0 recs
Re: I Am Very Worried About 2006

I agree.  This was underbelly politics at its worse, and I would not be surprised if the Cook County votes were quarantined in order to guarantee a win for Rahm's little Duckypuss.

by illinois062006 2006-03-23 04:16AM | 0 recs
Don't forget old school concerns

Um....Chris?  There was a sort of unexpectedly strong snowstorm that day.  Kept turnout real low all across the entire mid and upper part of the state.  So...maybe your concerns are little misplaced?

by Ascender14 2006-03-23 05:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Don't forget old school concerns

You are obviously not from Illinois 06.  There was no snow in the Chicagoland area.

Out of touch, out of bounds.

by illinois062006 2006-03-23 06:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Chris, don't worry, start fighting!

It's not enough to win in November if the party that wins is the current bunch of stealth Iraq war supportin', Bush fearin' global economy lovin' outsourcing, women's right vacilatin', out of control defense spendin' Iran bombin', Palistine bashin' more prison buildin', social security reformin', medicare underfundin' middle of the roadin' Lieberman talkin' Democrats that we got now.

Why work for that?

The fight now is not against Republicans, it's for control of the Democratic Party.  

by Billb08 2006-03-23 05:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Chris, how could you not know...?

You said:
"She [Duckworth] was endorsed by every major union and progressive advocacy organization"

Not True.

  Certainly you must have known that Prog. Dems of Americ (PDA) and Democracy for America (DFA) and the International Machinists (Aircraft maintenance workers) all supported Christine Cegelis and donated $$.  
You would found that out by checking her website.

by Billb08 2006-03-23 06:21AM | 0 recs

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