Progressive Strategy Notes

If you live in the Philadelphia area, please join me in supporting Anne Dicker on April 29th. No matter where you live, please join me in celebrating the netroots by participating in the fifty-state canvass on April 29th.

Back on Thursday, commenter fwiffo asked an important question:Yeah, of course Casey will win

So Casey can beat the most wingnutty senator in the nation. Big whoop. Santorum is about as popular as ketchup flavored ice cream. A trained poodle could beat him at this point.

We're running a primary challenge against Lieberman, but we're supposed to line up in support of somebody even more conservative in PA for a seat that should be an easy pick-up. Why? This isn't Nebraska. I understand he's a popular politician, but isn't there anyone else credible? Are there really no progressives in the whole state that could beat Senator Man-on-dog?

The "he'll be a vote for majority leader Reid" argument is bullshit, because a) so would any other Democrat we run, and b) so is Joe Lieberman.

We've got a Democratic leaning state with a massively unpopular incumbent, yet it's unreasonable to want to fill that seat with a progressive. I guess I just don't understand. This is a very good question, and it deserves an answer. Here is mine:
1. Generals vs. Primaries
Yes, I am supporting Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary in Connecticut, as I also supported Ciro Rodriguez in the primary in TX-28, as I support Jon Tester in the Senate primary in Montana, as I have called for progressives to run against incumbents in IL-12 and CA-20, and as I have called for progressives to be supported in primaries such as IL-06, TN-09, and HI-02. In this vein, neither I, nor any other blogosphere leader I know of, is arguing that we should fall behind Casey in the primary. In fact, at my ward committee endorsement meeting this Thursday, I will be pushing for Chuck Pennacchio. As a progressive Democrat, it is entirely within my rights to support progressive alternatives to conservative Democratic incumbents / favorites. I think we should run these primary challenges in order to push the party to the left. However, I also think that these challenges should be restricted to party primaries, and not extended into general elections. If progressive split with the Democratic Party, they actually push the party to the right, just as a theocon split with Republicans would push Republicans to the left (if the left wing leaves, then there is no left wing at all). Further, it is a lot more difficult to wield influence over an organization in which you are not an active member than an organization where you are an active member. Still further, splitting the progressive vote will only result in more conservative victories in general elections. Run progressive challenges in primaries, not in general elections.

2. Voting versus Activism
The next distinction I would like to make is between voting for someone and working for someone. Since I cannot imagine a situation in a federal election where the Republican nominee is more progressive than the Democratic nominee, or a situation where a third party can ever wield significant influence in DC, I believe that voting Democratic in the general is always required. However, beyond voting, no progressive activist should ever be expected to donate money, canvass, GOTV, or otherwise engage in activism for a candidate in whom the activist does not believe. Your time and your resources are precious to you, and you should distribute them as you see fit. If, for example, you do not want to be an activist for Casey in the general election, that is your business. Personally, as a Democratic committeeperson, I believe I have an obligation to GOTV for the entire Democratic slate. However, that is my business, not yours. If you don't want to work for Casey in the general because you can't support some of his positions, I bear you no ill will.

3. Political Parties and Political Advocacy Organizations.
The third distinction I would like to make is between political parties and political advocacy organizations. Even if you cannot bring yourself to work for a given Democratic candidate, you should always be able to bring yourself to work toward building vessels of progressive power not directly associated with any political party. I believe that one of the most short sighted maneuvers many progressive activists often make when they grow too disgusted with the Democratic Party for words is to turn to a non-major political party, as though political parties are the only vessels of political power in this country. The Green Party, no matter how progressive it may be, will never be a major source of political influence in America due to our first-past the post electoral system. However, many progressive organizations not directly affiliated with the Democratic Party already do wield a significant amount of political power: PIRG, the netroots, People for the American Way, Democracy for America, the ACLU, the NAACP, many unions, many environmental organizations, etc. My suggestion to any progressive activist too disgusted with the Democratic Party for words would be to work with local and national progressive organizations, or even help build new ones. I just can't stomach it when so-called progressive "activists" in Philadelphia claim they will sit on their hands in 2006 because of Casey and Rendell, when there are so many emerging local progressive organizations they can work with: Neighborhood Networks, Philadelphians Against Santorum, the local netroots scene, Philly for Change, and others. I can understand not working for someone like Casey, but how is staying home and doing nothing will do nothing to build progressive power. Support and work with progressive organizations that are neither political parties nor something you find too conservative. That will build political power for progressives, not sitting home.

****

So, that is the strategy I propose. Keep progressive electoral challenges restricted to Democratic primaries. Always vote Democrat in the general election, but only offer your activism to candidates in whom you truly believe. Perhaps most importantly, always work to build progressive infrastructure that is separate from electoral politics altogether. It is in keeping with these principles that I can urge you to vote for Bob Casey in the general election, and donate to Ned Lamont in the primary election.

As a final note, I would like to say that obviously, barring something truly spectacular, Bob Casey Jr. will win the Pennsylvania Democratic Senatorial primary in a landslide. That neither Pennacchio nor Sandals ever emerged as a serious threat to Casey in the primary is demonstrative of the sorry state of progressives in the state of Pennsylvania. If anything, this should serve (and I think it has) as a wake up call to progressives in my home state that we have a lot of work to do and a lot of progressive infrastructure to build to make sure that this never happens again. If Lamont does better in Connecticut, then that is because the situation for progressives in Connecticut is better than it is in Pennsylvania. There are a variety of reasons why that is the case, and I know that situation will never change as long as you decide to stay home and do nothing. If you live in Philly, the first line of action I suggest would be to help out Anne Dicker in her run for State Representative. A victory for Anne will really shake up the local powers-that-be. Also, no matter where you live, you can donate and volunteer for Jon Tester and Ned Lamont over at the combined netroots page, as both candidates are progressives running in important primaries against conservative Democrats. Further, you can participate in the fifty-state canvass next Saturday. Whatever you do, do not just stay at home. An activist's work is never done.

Tags: Activism, Democrats, fifty state strategy, Ideology, Primary Elections (all tags)

Comments

83 Comments

Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Your second point is right on. That's exactly how I feel about Casey - I will vote for him in November, but I won't do a damn thing else outside of that. Of course, as per my previous diary, I still think there's a fair chance Casey will lose this race somehow.

by PsiFighter37 2006-04-23 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

"If Lamont does better in Connecticut, then that is because the situation for progressives in Connecticut is better for progressives than it is in Pennsylvania."

That and the fact that Lamont is much more credible (ie very wealthy) than Pennacchio or Sandals.

by Fran for Dean 2006-04-23 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

That is simply a very sound and well-reasoned argument, Chris, and that is one of the main reasons I have come to admire your political philosophy so much. Thanks!

by bruorton 2006-04-23 02:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

I question the premise here -- other than abortion (which is a much more complicated issue than the language of "pro-choice" versus "pro-life" describes) what about Casey makes him "more conservative" than Lieberman?

by desmoulins 2006-04-23 02:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Second that sentiment.  I'd like to hear why he's a conservative.

by TL 2006-04-25 05:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

This is very well put. As angry as I tend to get about the candidates the dem party chooses to run in the general elections, (Kerry being one of the BEST examples ever), I go ahead and pull the lever for the dems every time because I know I can choose to work within the system to change the people who get selected.

Sometimes you have to hold your nose when you touch "VOTE."

by daninvirginia 2006-04-23 03:06PM | 0 recs
Another difference

Casey will acutually listen to the voters of Pennsylvania, no matter where they stand on hot button issues, while Santorum only listens to those who donate money to his campaign

by jkfp2004 2006-04-23 04:57PM | 0 recs
Excellent points Chris

Your point's one and two are resource allocation, and are spot on. We progressives have limited resources; we must target these resources carefully. This is why I'm supporting Lamont with my hard earned money. I agree we have a moral duty to push the party into the progressive sphere.

Your third point is much more transient however. While many "liberal" advocacy groups are indeed worth supporting, there is a roll of the dice here. This is evident from the Sierra Club's and NARAL's recent endorsements. No real clear path of progressivism. With limited resources, our weeding is harder than ever (and must be more careful than ever).

I would like to add a clear brand of progressives.  I know Chris, you have argued that we have clear choices as progressives and we should not pander to the soft middle third. But I really think this is a definition question. Conservatives vote against, Independents vote for and against, Progressives vote for. This is, by and large, a truth that must be addressed. I look forward to Texeira's and Halpin's upcoming article in the American Prospect. We must have a platform to vote FOR in November.

by Citizen80203 2006-04-23 03:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Excellent points Chris

I'm quite pissed at NARAL right now.  The are starting to just look like they don't know what they are doing.  First the Langevin endorsement, then the goddamn pathetic showing during the Alito hearings*, and now this.  

*which I find pretty unforgivable--they had six years to prepare for one single thing, and they screw it up.

by Valatan 2006-04-23 05:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Also, Santorum isn't hideously unpopular. His approval is still 39%, and no, not any Democrat could beat him. Did you see any of the Santorum vs. Pennacchio polls?

Casey may not be the most liberal choice, but he is probably the strongest if we're going by polls. Rendell would have had a tough battle. Hoeffel would have been a slight underdog. Even Hafer would have had a tough fight ahead. Casey however has been leading for over a year now. That doesn't mean he's a shoo-in, but it makes Pennsylvania a strong possibility for a pickup instead of a really tough slog like Missouri, Ohio, Minnesota, New Jersey...

by Ament Stone of California 2006-04-23 03:29PM | 0 recs
What I wrote in another thread

Comments of Casey Bashers:

"I will not vote for Bob Casey Jr. this fall if he is the Democratic nominee, and if the progressive circles I travel in are any indication, there are a lot of Pennsylvanians who, while wanting desparately to send Rick Santorum packing, aren't desparate enough to vote for a candidate like Casey, who many of us consider to be Santorum's Democratic counter-part. How ironic if it ends up that head-in-the-sand Democrats end up re-electing an unpopular Rick Santorum to the United States Senate."

snip

" I will actively campaign for a write in vote for anyone else.

I'm also part of the reality based community, but my reality is long-term:  I'm willing to accept 6 more years of Santorum if I know that in the next election, particularly if Casey is defeated, that we'll get a real Democratic candidate"

snip

" will not oppose a Casey candidacy, but neither will I support it, and neither will I vote for the man.  By all means vote for him if you are so inclined, but be aware that there are a lot of like-minded progressive Democrats who are going to sit this one out if the choice is between Santorum and Casey.  You ought to respect that choice, and you ought to worry about it as well.  At the very least you should urge Casey to reach out to people like me.  So far he has made zero effort to do that. "

snip

"Re: It should be added... (none / 0)

Santorum is good for the Democrats because he is so nuts"
---------------------------------------- ---------

It's because of people like this that progressives and liberals will always be a minority in this country. I have said it on Kos and other blogs. People like these folks are the reasons why the left will NEVER have the power that the right has today.

The reason I say this is obvious. These people have 50 million reasons as to why they won't vote for Casey in the general election. But if this were just about Casey and Santorum that would be one thing. The issue runs deeper than that.

These folks just have a reason every two years as to why they can't support Democrats as the polls. Substitute Casey with another Democrat in another state who isn't running on a fringe left, out-of-the-mainstream, Cynthia McKinney, Michael Moore, or Dennis Kuchinich platform; and you will get the same old "I won't vote" or "I have to vote my concsicence crap". No Democrat is ever perfect for them.

This group of "progressives" are "regressives". They have impossible litmus tests, can't be satisfied with anyone unless the candidate is running a platform that will only succeed in the dark blue precincts of the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Bevery Hills, Berkeley, or San Francisco. They will only support a candidate who is running on a platform that is viable only in districts that are 60-75% Democratic. Even if the person is running in a moderate blue, light blue, neutral, light dred, moderately red, or dark red state, they will have their "reasons" as to why they can't support the Democratic nominee.

As I have said on Kos numerous times this group of "regressives"--they aren't "progressive", since the word has progress in its root, and these people are not for progress--would rather lose than win. For some sick reason they prefer political marginalization. They take some perverse pride in it. This group of reggressives only believes in engaging in symbolic "protests" that no one hears, cares, or listens to. They would rather lose than win. They have some perverse "martyrdom complex". Actually getting into office and accomplishing something isn't important to them.

I've come to this conclusion after debating with those regressives here, at DKos, and at DU. They don't want to change. And it is unfortunate, but sometimes I think the system already has priced them in. They are that 5% on both sides that is never happy with any of the major party candidates. And frankly I think it would be dumb if Casey and other Democrats rushed after this 5% if meant alienating themselves from the other 95% of the elctorate. I say this out of frustration because nothing seems to satisfy these people beyond the unrealistic.

Frankly, over and over again, it is the same old tired arguments. I "can't vote for this Democrat" because of his vote on this or that "issue". They want to have a reason to cause a Democrat to lose. For if a Democrat actually won these folks could not self-righteous and arrogantly come to boards like this one and say that "we sent a message". What would these people do if a Democrat ACTUALLY won an election?

It boggles the mind. These folks are like small children. They would rather have someone in this seat who supports their issues 0-20% of the time (Santorum) because they can't get someone in there who supports their issues 90-100% (Pennachio). Thus they would rather punish the candidate who supports their issues 60-80% of the time (Casey) because they can't get their way. This is really stupid and illogical. I guess that they would rather regress even further because the perfect is beyond reach.

I sincerely hope--and I say this out of frustration more than anything else--that Casey wins without the support of the people I higlighted above. The same goes for other less-than-perfect Democrats running in light blue to dark red states, especially Melissa Bean. For frankly, if Casey and Bean win without them, then perhaps this group of regressives will realize that they are a fringe minority and that they are deluded about their importance. Then maybe Democrats won't be afraid of them either and no one on boards like this one will care when they whine and moan about any and all Democratic candidates who aren't Cynthia McKinney.

While I disagree, Chris, with your vote for Chuck, I at least appreciate the fact that you are supporting and will volunteer for Casey in the general election. I appreciate that you at least understand what is at stake here.

But I really have to ask you and the others this one point. Why did Chuck run for the US Senate when he HAS NEVER HELD ANY LOCAL OFFICE IN PA? Why didn't Chuck first run for something local and build up a credible record so that when the next vacancy opens up--probably in 2010 should Arlen Specter retire--he could be competetive and perhaps get support from the much-maligned "establishment" here?

Chuck is from Bucks County, correct? The county's local officeholders are all Republicans, right? Why didn't Chuck run for State Rep, State Senate, or even against Mike Fitzpatrick in PA-8? Perhaps then he could have gotten more "establishment" support and even won. Then he could have had a network of volunteers, support in the Philadelphia suburbs, and credibility. Maybe then he could have run for the US Senate.

Chuck is a joke of a candidate. He is polling in the single digits. Someone said that a few central committees were "supportive of Chuck". Maybe that is true, but keep in mind that Mike Miles won the CO Party Convention. He still lost the primary badly to Salazar two years ago. If PA really wanted Chuck he would be faring better. If most non-far-left, Centre City, normal, Philadelphia Democrats in PA were unhappy with Casey, Chuck and Sandals would be faring better. They would get more support than simply a few posters on boards like this. The truth is, when I think about it, the discontent for Casey is not as high as some of the fringe leftists here would like it to be.

I sympathize with some of Chuck's issues. I don't agree with all of Casey's views, but I would rather have him than Santorum in office. I'm not stupid and self-righteous like many of the regressives here. And having Santorum in that position for six years would cause more damage. I disagree with the poster who stated that "Santorum is good for Democrats becuase he is nuts". He is bad and will hurt many of the causes that the regressives hold so dear.

For the truth is that, six years ago, the Naderites claimed that having Bush would lead to massive "awakening of the unwashed massses." They predicted that because "things had to get worse before they get better", there would be a massive awakening among the ordinary people that would lead to a large "mea culpa", sending everyone running back to Nader and the Greens for repetence. Reality check: it's 2006 and the Greens are lucky to elect anyone beyond city council. So that argument is crap. There is never going to be this massive "proletarian" backlash that these people expect.

The far right tolerates Republicans in blue states like Arlen Specter, Lincoln Chaffee, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Chris Shays, Nancy Johnson, and Ed Simmons even though they are pro-choice. With the exception of the Club for Growth the conservative right knows that a Tom DeLay-style conservative could not win in blue states. Unlike the regressives they actually want to win.

But honestly your post is good, Chris. It's unforuntate, though, that the message will be lost on the regressives who post here. They want to find a way to cause a Democrat to lose or they would not have their mission in life.

by jiacinto 2006-04-23 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: What I wrote in another thread

Bob Casey is not just some mainstream dem with a minor flaw.  He is a religious zealot unwilling to recognize women's rights to privacy, religious freedom, and reproductive freedoms.  Now maybe in your world, that ain't hay, but in mine that is the makings for a giant backlash coming from the passive aggressive voter types who will explode when Roe goes down with the help of your successful dems.  Maybe the green predicted wrong on Nader, by I srongly believe unprincipled so-called dems like yourself will destroy the parties chances for true recognition with your inability to recognize trival from extremely important principles.  

by NG 2006-04-23 04:05PM | 0 recs
You see that's the problem

"He is a religious zealot unwilling to recognize women's rights to privacy, religious freedom, and reproductive freedoms."

How do you ever expect to change the minds of voters when you call people with the opposite point of view "zealots, who don't recogonize freedom?"  There IS room for pro-life Democrats in this party, because unlike Republicans, pro-life Democrats actually care about the fetus after it is born.

by jkfp2004 2006-04-23 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: You see that's the problem

I'm sorry but that is a non-comforting, non-persuasive agrument for giving up ones reproductive freedoms to satisfy other peoples' religious hangups!

by NG 2006-04-23 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: You see that's the problem

I musta missed the better option that you had or the explanation of why politics has to be "comforting".

Here is reality: both Santorum and Casey are anti-choice. Hold your breath until you turn blue and it won't help. You will instead participate in a "backlash" like the one that destroyed Mark Green and turned over NYC to the republicans for 8 years.

by flyoverperson 2006-04-23 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: You see that's the problem

I'm curious - why exactly do you consider Casey a religious zealot?  Is that based purely off of the fact that he's anti-choice?  If so, you do realize that you're calling roughly 50% (as the country is almost perfectly divided on the abortion issue)of the country religious zealots?

Look, I agree with you about abortion and I really wish that Casey was pro-choice.  However, the guy is affirmatively in favor of family planning initiatives and access to contraception.  That alone makes him significantly better than Santorum on reproductive issues generally, and in my mind at least makes his unfortunate anti-choice views a bit more defensible.

Honestly, if the "pro-life" movement at large was in favor of responsible sex-education outreach and family planning I think that we'd be talking a lot less about abortion...  

by HSTruman 2006-04-24 06:01AM | 0 recs
Calling a spade a spade

It is not wrong to call a reglious zealot a religious zealot. What's wrong is being a religious zealot and attempting to impose your narrow religous beliefs on other Americans. It is just as wrong to be an Anti-abortion Relgious Zealot in the Democratic Party as it is to be an Anti-abortion Religious Zealot in the Republican Party.

by Gary Boatwright 2006-04-23 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling a spade a spade

Being pro-life doesn't make you a relgious zealot, and frankly I'm sick people saying that.  I am not a religous person at all yet I don't agree with 100% of the pro-choice platform.  Demeaning pro-life voters and candidates does nothing for our party or for your cause.

by jkfp2004 2006-04-23 07:44PM | 0 recs
Very true

For example, one could be an atheist and anti-abortion, if one believed a fetus was a person and killing it was murder.  The two belief systems (being non-religious and anti-abortion) are not incompatible or inconsistant.

by Geotpf 2006-04-24 02:21AM | 0 recs
"Unprincipled" my ass

This place is becoming a left-wing Freeperville. Anybody who is not completely liberal is "unprincipled", because no person could possibly hold genuine beliefs that differ from yours. This soap-box, self-righteous, "I know what's right for you" attitude that permeates MyDD and DailyKos is exactly why the Democrats are the minority party today. The GOP has taken this "Hollywood liberal elitism" and amplified it and parodied it to such an extreme that every Democrat running for office in every corner of the country is smeared with it by their opponent.

by OfficeOfLife 2006-04-23 11:23PM | 0 recs
Re: What I wrote in another thread

Hey,

I just wanted to say that you've summed up my feelings on this whole establishment v blogosphere feud in one elegant post.  I read about the latest Republican idiocies and I think, finally, we'll start winning again- and then I check out MyDD and you have fanatics expressing hope that Casey will lose, "so the Beltway Dems get the message" or some such nonsense.  Even the supposedly "pragmatic" people are are justifying not canvassing, donating, or volunteering for Casey.  It's depressing in the extreme.

So anyway, I never had an account before, but I created one for the sole purpose of being able to tell you that.  I know it feels like you're the only sane person in the madhouse, but there are others here who hate Republicans just as much as the whackos- and we're silently nodding in agreement with you.

Rock on.

by Philosofy101 2006-04-23 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: What I wrote in another thread

Great post.  I think the so-called 'regressives' largely lack patience and/or a sense of history.  Policial and cultural change is necessarily slow in this country; attitudes towards a given topic generally take at least one generation to move, usually longer.  My guess is that the people who are "sick and tired of the crappy candidates the Democrats keep sending" to them were not casting votes in, say, 1980 (or in my case, 84, 88, or 92 either!)  I'm hardly advocating resting on the laurels of liberal accomplishments over the past twenty years, but to throw up one's arms in exasperation and behave in ways that provide aid and comfort to our political enemies is not principled but shortsighted.  Compromise is part of democracy.

by alydar 2006-04-23 04:39PM | 0 recs
You can't compromise your principles

There is no room for compromise with religious zealots who wish to impose their narrow Anti-abortion beliefs on the rest of us. Bob Casey is not an acceptable choice for Senator from Pennsylvania.

by Gary Boatwright 2006-04-23 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: You can't compromise your principles

What do you mean that "you can't compromise your principles"? All of us here in America live on blood soaked land stolen in genocide, on wealth extracted under the lash from slaves and under debt peonage from the poor. What the fuck do you purer-than-snow "progressives" think happens on this planet?

by flyoverperson 2006-04-23 06:36PM | 0 recs
That's exactly what some are planning to do

There are several ways of compromising progressive principles.  One is to hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils.  A worse one is to help, actively or passively, the GOP retain control of Congress.

Because as bad as you seem to think Bob Casey is, he'll vote for a Democratic leader of the Senate.  and that does far more to promote progressive principles, including a woman's right to choose, than a protest vote against Bob Casey.

by jonweasel 2006-04-24 06:11AM | 0 recs
Re: What I wrote in another thread

Nice.  You complain about progressives marginalizing the views of others by calling names, and repeating the term 'regressives' over and over again, and then blame us for crushing our own movement.

Perhaps some of the blame lies in those very, very prominent Democratic leaders (e.g. Casey, H. Clinton, Lieberman) who blindly accept the Repubican viewpoint of the progressive left, and then contrast themselves with it, thus building upon the foundational viewpoints that the republicans have built up regarding the progressive left.  Note that you really talk about noone above beyond a simple generalization.  You give no specific examples of behavior (certainly you weren't talking about Chris' original, quite cogent post, as he explicitly instructs people to always vote democratic, and if they don't like a specific candidate, to go and support other things that will help build a progressive infrastructre, AND, indirectly, help the dems win.  He also clearly indicates that a Pennacio victory is quite unlikely)

Additionally, you make the claim that the far right tolerates moderate republicans like Chaffee and snowe, etc.  First, those republicans are in very democratic states.  None of these represent states that Bush carried.  Pennsylvania is a state that Kerry carried, and if one of these people were from one of the states that bush carried relatively closely, such as OH, MO or whatnot, they would NOT be tolerated.  Remember when they almost took Spector out?  And he represented a BLUE state.  

As far as why people are upset about Casey, it's not "just" abortion (and considering the pathetic showing of the party during the fucking Alito cloture vote, to marginalise the importance of a potential Senators' vote on abortion is pretty obnoxious to me, and once again, what fucking reason would Casey POSSIBLY have for coming out in favor of Alito while the thing was still under delibertion.  What did he gain by stabbing the dems in the back with that?), it'll be pretty much ever social issue that we are sacrificing in Casey.  Maybe he'll hold the line with economic issues.  But I can be sure that he'll be on MTP every weekend talking about violence on TV and the dems ignoring 'values voters' and all of that shit.  

But, barring a miricale on the part of his primary opponents, we are stuck with him.  If I were a PA voter, he'd have my vote in the general.  But I sure as hell wouldn't be voting for him, and my dollars are better spent contributing to candidates that I don't find disgusting (and who aren't necessarily super-left wing McKinney types, which is NOT what I'm advocating).  

So that was a little ranty, and I'm sorry, but the general point still stands.  When will conservative dems stop smearing the progressive left?  

*note that I could have used a smear word instead of "conservative" or "moderate" dems, but I didn't.  

by Valatan 2006-04-23 05:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

I would prefer a moderate Democrat run for the senate seat and not a conservative one like Casey.

by SensibleDemocrat 2006-04-23 03:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

I would prefer to be rich, handsome and powerful as well but I must play the hand life has dealt me and we must do that in politics as well!

by politics64 2006-04-23 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Middle Class Entitlement Syndrome strikes again.

by flyoverperson 2006-04-23 06:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Casey isn't a "conservative" Democrat.  In fact, he's in lock-step with a large portion of the states' democratic voters.  The reality is that there are an awful lot of blue collar, pro-gun, pro-labor, socially conservative Democrats in Pennsylvania.  You don't have to agree with those folks, but it's not actually a horrible thing if the Senator they elect does.  Other than abortion, how is Casey "conservative?"  I've asked that a bunch of times and have yet to hear a response that cites any evidence.  

by HSTruman 2006-04-24 06:10AM | 0 recs
So would I

But if given a choice between voting against a pro-life candidate and voting for Democratic control of Congress, I'll take the second one every time.  That's how you promote progressive principles.

by jonweasel 2006-04-24 06:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

The comparison between Casey and Lieberman is ridiculous. Progressives in PA disagree with Casey on one issue: abortion. Meanwhile in CT, progressives disagree with Lieberman because of the millions of ways in which he's supported George W. Bush. Casey will not be a supporter of blindly continuing the Iraq war and will be a voice for accountability unilke Lieberman. Thus, I find it justifiable to run a primary challenge against someone who is Democrat in name only, and I embrace the idea of Bob Casey joining the Democrats in the senate even if he disagrees with progressives on just one important issue. I swear! Progressives talk about building a majority and then I read a post like this and I think they're arguing more for ideological purity within the Democratic party. If posts attacking our own just like this one are still going up in November I don't expect us to win back Congress.

by Richie 2006-04-23 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Bob Casey is wrong on a number of potent social issues. It is just as proper to oppose Casey as it is to oppose Lieberman. Since when does a religious zealot get a free pass by putting a (D) after their name?

by Gary Boatwright 2006-04-23 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Free pass? Casey is for increasing the minimum wage, against "free trade" labor union destruction, against drilling ANWR, and for actual care of Veterans rather than yellow ribbons. But another 6 years of Santorum is better than that in what way?

by flyoverperson 2006-04-23 06:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Doesn't Bob Casey hold a 'stay the course' position on Iraq?

by Mary Mary 2006-04-24 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Yes, Casey wants to 'stay the course' in Iraq, and in the first debate he reiterated that he's opposed to any timetable for withdrawal, like that put forward by Jack Murtha.

Casey is/was also FOR:
-Keeping the nuclear strike option on the table for Iran
-Congressional meddling in the Terry Schiavo case
-Capital punishment
-Patriot Act extension
-Taking the same PAC money Santorum does
-Alito and Roberts
-Bush/NSA's warrant-less wiretap program
-Amendment to ban flag burning

Casey is/was AGAINST:
-Stem cell research
-Universal health care
-Living wage legislation
-Any ban on assault weapons
Oh yeah, and
-A woman's right to choose (said Roe v Wade was 'wrongly decided')

Maybe those are the views of a mainstream Democrat in Pennsylvania, but I'd say then Chris' point is well-taken that progressives have a lot of work to do!

By the by, Chris, to me it seems odd that early in your post you say you'll be pushing for Chuck Pennacchio at your ward meeting, and then you end your post with a shout-out for your readers to go donate to out-of-staters Lamont and Tester -- but not to Chuck.  Just seems like a lot of the bigger progressive blogs have lost the strength of their convictions in this race.  I mean, it is just the primary -- if Casey is such a lock to win, wouldn't the primary be the time for progressives to at least send him a message that we're here?

by seaweasel 2006-04-24 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Regarding Anne Dicker --I would also like to note that she is having a fundraiser tomorrow night (Apr 24) from 7-9 at campaign hq.  Details here.

by ThomasAllen 2006-04-23 04:03PM | 0 recs
There is more than one election going on in Nov

There are a variety of reasons why that is the case, and I know that situation will never change as long as you decide to stay home and do nothing.

There will be many races on the ballot come November, so even if one can't muster the stomach to vote in the Casey-Santorum contest (should Casey be the nominee of the dem party), one could still come out and vote in other contests that have acceptable candidates!  

Personally speaking, I could never vote for Young Casey and sleep at nights, but I have other races that I need to try and make a difference in.  Yup, I'm one of those idiot, selfish progressives, but I know what I truly believe in.  Do most others here?

by NG 2006-04-23 04:17PM | 0 recs
Utter Arrogance
"I know what I truly believe in. Do most others here?"

And to think that sometimes I am convicned that I am the most arrogant person on this blog. Claiming that anyone who doesn't act or vote like you don't know what they believe in. Excuse me while I vomit.
by Chris Bowers 2006-04-23 04:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Utter Arrogance

Claiming that anyone who doesn't act or vote like you don't know what they believe in.

It is not a claim, but a legitimate question.  I could find many pro-life voters/bloggers in the right wing, but I sure did not expect to find them here!  Oh, they are not here!  Well that's good, then why the heck are we supporting a religious extremist like Casey who cannot see the MANY freedoms expressed for everyone in being pro-choice?

by NG 2006-04-23 04:30PM | 0 recs
I think abortion is wrong

but her choice is none of the government's buisness.  Does that mean I am a sellout or a DINO?  It may come as a shock to you but a lot of people just plain disagree with you when it comes to abortion and anyone on the issue who thinks that there isn't room for debate on the issue is fooling themselves.

by jkfp2004 2006-04-23 04:35PM | 0 recs
Re: I think abortion is wrong

Abortion for you is wrong, and pro-choice advocates will never force you to have one. Now isn't that enough for you, or must you force everyone to act like life begins when you think it does.  Do all women now have to conform to your religious ideas everywhere?  Is that progressive thinking nowadays?

by NG 2006-04-23 04:40PM | 0 recs
Actually

I am not a religous person.  Please don't make assumptions about my faith or why I support a certain issue.

by jkfp2004 2006-04-23 04:54PM | 0 recs
Re: I think abortion is wrong

If I was drawing up an example of how NOT to make an argument for being pro-choice, your statements would provide an excellent template.  

The pro-choice majority in this country (which does exist, if barely) includes a healthy percentage of people who affirmatively think abortion is murder (see all the polls on this subject)but don't think that the government should get to decide the issue.  If you really want to alienate that segment go ahead, but the result will be creating a majority that is anti-choice.  

by HSTruman 2006-04-24 06:14AM | 0 recs
Re: I think abortion is wrong

Are we not saying the same exact thing??

by NG 2006-04-24 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Utter Arrogance

What is it with the contempt you've been showing toward posters here lately? Is this how you behave in your ward? If so, you're doing the Dem party no favors.

by Mary Mary 2006-04-24 05:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Utter Arrogance

He's talking about a common problem that's been leading to Democratic losses for decades.  It needs to be discussed and dealt with if the Democrats are going to start winning again.

by jonweasel 2006-04-24 06:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Utter Arrogance

That's a common malady among the hard-line left (and right, for that matter).  It's the same sort of thinking that led to Nader 2000.

None of this is an issue of differences in philosophy -- I would imagine most of us here are ardently pro-choice.  This is an issue of strategy.  And I think you're absolutely right on about this, Chris.

One of the main reasons progressives have been losing over the years has been a clear inability to match a good philosophy with good strategy.  Too often, that good philosophy went along with an attitude of moral purity and conceit, instead.

To your excellent writeup above, I'd add that if you're going to change a party that is in the grips of consultants that get paid and get work win or lose, the last thing you want to do is to try to "teach them a lesson" by helping them lose again.

There is one, and only one, way to work to change the party:  1) push for party electoral success and 2) work to change it from within.

by jonweasel 2006-04-24 06:24AM | 0 recs
Another big difference

Lieberman=DLC, Casey=Not in the DLC

by jkfp2004 2006-04-23 04:19PM | 0 recs
Actually

Casey is the exact opposite of the DLC.  The DLC tends to be socially liberal, and economically moderate/conservative.  Casey is socially moderate/conservative while economically liberal.

by jkfp2004 2006-04-23 04:31PM | 0 recs
Not Groundhog Day *again*?!

Lefties pride themselves (in general) on their being rational and reality-based as opposed to the kooks and snake oil purchasers who cheer for Bush.

(Last time I looked, polls said half of Americans believed the animals literally went in two by two. There's a lot of it about.)

So, I'm a little puzzled why we return again and again to this topic - dressed in various guises, but substantially the same.

There's room for argument at the margins; the quality of particular candidates, temporary circumstances can have an effect.

But fundamentally the question comes down to arithmetic: there is no way that the Dems can get to 218 or 50/51 without a substantial contingent of moderates in the ranks of their MCs.

And, to make those majorities more comfortable, chances are that the marginal few MCs will skew the party a little further to the right.

Unless I'm missing something, this is an iron law of politics under the US Constitution.

I'm curious how liberals might square this particular circle.

by skeptic06 2006-04-23 04:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Groundhog Day *again*?!

Go for the social moderates where it makes sense, such as the south or Nebraska, but PA???   Ridge, Spectre, and Rendell have all won statewide elections and are all pro-choice.  Why the rush to compromise so in a state that could deliver a real progressive candidate on such an important freedom issue if the establishment wanted to get behind the right guy?  

I know Hoeffel could not win against Spectre in the last PA Fed Senate election even with such backing, BUT SPECTRE was PRO-CHOICE!  Hello!

by NG 2006-04-23 04:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Specter "pro-choice" ?

LOL! Have you followed Arlen's senate career? You worry about abortion rights being stripped away by the Supreme Court? Well who do you think helped put
Clarence Thomas, a reliable anti-choice vote, on the court? None other than "pro-choice" Arlen Specter.
Maybe you forgot how he ruthlessly questioned Anita
Hill trying to destroy her credibility.

Who was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Cmte
when Roberts and Alito were nominated? None other than "pro-choice" Arlen Specter. Arlen sure helped derail those two anti-choice nominees didn't he? He did it so well, they are both now on the USSC.

by phillydem 2006-04-24 02:48AM | 0 recs
Pennsylvania is not very blue

The state barley went for Kerry and had a GOP governor for 8 years and has had two GOP senators for 12 years.  I think people forget that in between Pittsburg and Philadelphia lies Alabama.  Also there are more Catholics in PA than in any other state, and a pro-life, pro-union candidate like Casey would fit the state well.

by jkfp2004 2006-04-23 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Pennsylvania is not very blue

It is blue enough if the GOTV effort is put in high gear and if the race has an unpopular Repub in it.  Pro-choice Repubs and dems can and have won statewide elections (Ridge, Rendell, Spectre).

The Time is ripe now to beat Santorum, but he could be beaten just as well or better by a true progressive in PA.  I am not against marginal candidates in reddish states, but PA is and can be true progressive blue, but not if the Dem  establishment doesn't make a real and proper effort.  Why Why Why?

by NG 2006-04-23 04:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Casey is a Conservative Democrat, but he is also the most popular Democrat in the state.  As soon as he decided he wanted to be a senator, there wasn't much any 'progressive' Democrat could do to defeat him in the primary.

So-called "conservative" Democrats still are a large percentage of the party. According to the Pew Poll from a while back, they make up to 1/3 of the party.  It's not a surprise in a blue collar state with a large rural population like Pennsylvania that they would represent a fair number of Democratic voters.

by Adam T 2006-04-23 04:28PM | 0 recs
Casey aside from abortion.

Chris,

Didn't you admit to flyering for Casey in the 02 primary? Aside from abortion, doesn't Casey fall into line with the party on issues like taxes, healthcare, minimum wage, education, medicare, etc.?  If Casey was against raising the minimum wage and supported Bush's tax cuts but was pro-choice, I don't even think we would be having this discussion right now.

by Matt42 2006-04-23 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Casey aside from abortion.

East Coast bloggers talking to bloggers via the blogsphere? Must be pretty low traffic these days.

by Seldom Seen Smith 2006-04-23 04:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Casey aside from abortion.
At the time, I was working for a union that had endorsed Casey in that primary.
by Chris Bowers 2006-04-23 07:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

"I cannot imagine a situation where the Republican nominee is more progressive than the Democratic nominee"

Oh really?

Joe Lieberman was first elected by defeating a true progressive.

Sounds to me like the defeat of John Hostettler in  Indiana by a Democratic troglodyte will be a net loss to the nation whoever is speaker.

Understand your thinking, Chris, but I don't see how liberals advance anything they care about by voting for baddies.

Your analogy that the more radical rightwingers abandoning the party would push the Republicans to the left is a particularly poor one.  It is the threat of desertion that has led to some of the most regressive and oppressive legislation.

JMO.

by terryhallinan 2006-04-23 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Oh, come on. Brad Ellsworth may be socially moderate, but he's no troglodyte. He would represent his district far better than Hostettler, and would frankly be more in touch with the views of his constituents than somebody more socially liberal. I may not like that, but that's just the way it is.

"Understand your thinking, Chris, but I don't see how liberals advance anything they care about by voting for baddies."

Do you not care about economic issues? Ellsworth and Casey would both have voted against CAFTA. I just don't see how your reasoning makes sense.

by JRyan 2006-04-23 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

"Do you not care about economic issues?"

Absolutely.

That's why I despise Clinton's mandate that has transformed Democrats into trying to appeal to the "suffering middle class" rather than those at the bottom of the heap who they once represented.

The vision of the Democratic Party has become badly distorted with liberals only an inconvenient yapping minority these days dependable only for votes for those who wish them no good.

"I just don't see how your reasoning makes sense."

Get some glasses. :-)

by terryhallinan 2006-04-23 06:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

When was it that the democrats were the party of the true underclass? I musta missed that period in my history classes.

by flyoverperson 2006-04-23 06:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

It was called the FDR period.  You know, when he turned the resources of the nation to lifting the country up from the effects of the global depression by establishing the modern welfare state, which millions of poor and elderly depend on to this day to keep them from dying slowly.  He also initiated a massive public works program to raise the standard of living as a way to alleviate joblessness and stagnation.

Maybe you had the flu during that section of class... though it should have been a LONG section, because of it's importance in American history and the fact that it spanned both the Great Depression and World War II.

FDR was possibly the greatest American president (you could argue for Washington and Lincoln, of course), and definately the gratest Democratic President ever.  He was a champion of the poor, and his efforts have earned the Democrats more than a half-century of votes based on the perception that they stick up for the poor.

by teknofyl 2006-04-23 07:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Oh, the FDR period when as recounted in works like "grapes of wrath" there were none of the ugly compromises and when good guys like Wallace were never replaced by hacks like Truman. Must have been FDR's working class background. Why the way he stuck up for Japanese Americans was astounding.

The point being that FDR was a mixed blessing and that to win in politics, you can't be too particular.

by flyoverperson 2006-04-24 12:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Good, lets now attack FDR and Harry Truman along with current Democrats - excellent.  

FYI, Wallace - although commendable in many respects - also thought that Stalin was a great guy who we really ought to have let take over most of Europe after WWII.  Moreover, while I'm certainly a progressive I'm not sure that lionizing a Democrat who openly courted the communist party while demonizing FDR and the first Democratic President to both call for national health care and openly speak out in favor of civil rights (that would be Truman, on both issues).  

by HSTruman 2006-04-24 06:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

I'm trying to point out that even the sainted FDR was a politician who would have offended our purity caucus.

by flyoverperson 2006-04-24 07:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

I thought you were trying to point out that Democrats have never stood up for the poor...

by teknofyl 2006-04-26 05:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

I never said he was perfect, just that he was the champion of the poor.  That is where Dems got the mantle.

FDR certainly puts all modern presidents to shame in terms of vision and leadership.

by teknofyl 2006-04-26 05:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

I didn't mention Clinton. He has nothing to do with Brad Ellsworth anyway, who I believe is socially conservative and economically populist. When you basically say that there is no difference between Ellsworth and Hostettler, you are totally discounting economic issues. He's running as a moderate democrat, not a Clintonian democrat, and if he is elected he will be a MASSIVE improvement on Hostettler, someone who I honestly think lacks a soul.

by JRyan 2006-04-23 07:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

"When you basically say that there is no difference between Ellsworth and Hostettler"

I didn't say that at all.  I said Ellsworth sounded much worse.

More truthfully I don't know that much about the two but I am sure attracted to a guy who campaigns on a shoestring and isn't beholden to anyone.

What I do know is that I don't like anything Ellsworth says he stands for.  If that's what appeals to the voters, then I don't like them much either. :-)

The purest example of a socially conservative populist was Jesse Helms.  I was quite happy when he decided to become a Republican.

by terryhallinan 2006-04-24 05:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

My God. Hostettler is an ultra-social conservative who wants a supermajority to raise taxes. He voted against the Violence Against Women Act, and is opposed to hate crimes legislation. He argued on behalf of the Ten Commandments people. He believes that abortion and breast cancer are related, and tried to carry a semiautomatic handgun onto a plane. He wants to abolish the Department of Education and all student loan programs, claimed that democrats were waging a war on Christianity, and recently viciously attacked Brad Ellsworth's daughter to get to him. Wikepedia reports that his "largest campaign contributors in the 2003-2004 election cycle are Peabody Energy, Rutledge Oil Co., Heritage Petroleum and Lockheed Martin", all of whose goals he has championed. He voted against any aid for Katrina, but after cyclones devastated his district, he turned around with apparently no shame and demanded aid for his district.

Ellsworth is a sheriff who was twice decorated for heroism in the line of duty, who distinguished himself in the response to the aformentioned cyclones and who created a new drug education program. He stands for "Justice; Fairness; and helping everyday people." He's been a police officer for 25 years, which to me shows dedication to the community.

I don't know what it is about Ellsworth you don't like, but Hostettler is literally a monster. This district has perhaps the starkest differences between two candidates you will ever find. Saying that Ellsworth would be worse when you admit you don't even know much about the two is the height of ignorance. If you can look at all Hostettler has done in office, then turn around and tell me Ellsworth would be worse, than I don't really know what to say.

by JRyan 2006-04-24 06:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

"socially liberal" is a weird term that sometimes means "if you have enough money, you can float above it".

by flyoverperson 2006-04-24 07:08AM | 0 recs
The difference being...

...that the right wing has, for years, controlled the Party's electoral machinery.  By contrast, Democrats are in the grips of consultants that get paid and get work win or lose.

You don't change such a situation by abandoning the party.  You only change it by working from within.  The election of Howard Dean as party chair was a spectacular example of effective change.

However, Chris is absolutely right: if the Right Wing were to actually abandon the GOP, the GOP would move to the left instantly.  That's just common sense.

by jonweasel 2006-04-24 06:29AM | 0 recs
One wonders

looking at all the people posting why they can not support Casey...

When was the last time they talked to your average blue collar union member?

They might find a different position about this particular candidate.

Must every Democratic candidate support every issue groups' positions?

by Nazgul35 2006-04-23 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: One wonders

Must every group support every democratic candidate, despite how much said candidate bashes everhting that said group believes in?

by Valatan 2006-04-23 06:50PM | 0 recs
I think that is the point of the diary

No?

by Nazgul35 2006-04-24 02:01PM | 0 recs
As Joe Trippi said...

In "The Revolution will not be Televised" Joe Trippi sums up his political philosophy pretty succinctly: support the most progressive candidate that has a chance of winning.

Note the two parts to that philosophy, especially the second part.  And expand it to this: do whatever it takes to move progressive ideas forward.

Many of us are progressives, in large part, because we are trying to make the world a better place, particularly for the most needy in our society. Never compromising may give us a chance to pat ourselves on the back, but it does nothing, absolutely nothing, for the people we want to help.

A democratic Congressional majority composed of the most conservative elements of the party would at least perform oversight and act as check on what may be the worst and most dangerous administration in history. The most progressive Republican majority would never do that.

Of course, a Democratic majority in either chamber of Congress would not be uniformly conservative. In fact, it would put some of the most experienced liberals at the helm of extremely influential committees, where most of the work of Congress is done. John Conyers and Pat Leahy, both dependable progressive, would head up both of the Judiciary committees; John Conyers was the Congressman who demanded official hearings on the Downing Street Memo and went on to hold public hearing on the issue even without the current chairman's support.

Do we want to pass up an opportunity for progress, even if it involves compromise, in favor of a defeat that makes us feel good about our ideological purity?

I hope not.  Because if you start out asking for 100%, compromise and get 50%, you at least have more than you had before and are in a better position to fight for the rest.

Remember the people we are fighting for, and ask if they would rather we loose with dignity or help them through compromise.

by Mudshark 2006-04-23 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Let's agree that a major reason Lieberman is in such trouble is that he does not shirk from stabbing other Democrats in the back.  Have we seen such actions from Casey?  If not, then he does deserve the support of Demcoratic Party voters.  If Lieberman just stopped showing on on Fox News and smearing other Democrats, he could probably fix 80% of his problem. He can't bring himself to do that, so his own hubris is what will bring him down.  His and his staff's call for "civil" discussion is merely a smokescreen to avoid suffering the attacks he's inflicted on other party memmbers for the last ten years.  You should just watch his staffers squeal like stuck pigs when they get called on this.

I don't demand that another member of my party agree with me 100% on issues.  I do demand that they will not smear another member of the party publicly.  

by VizierVic 2006-04-23 08:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Casey openly endorsed Alito while the senate was deliberating on whether or not to confirm him.  I take that as a pretty huge backstab.

by Valatan 2006-04-23 11:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive Strategy Notes

Did he attack the Democrats while doing it?  That's what we're talking about, not his stands on issues.

by jonweasel 2006-04-24 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: where were progressives in 2004?

In Pennsylvania in 2004, the Democrats ran a true progressive candidate, Joe Hoeffel, for senate against Arlen Specter. In fact, Ed Rendell helped clear the primary field for him by asking Charlie Crystle to drop out. Where was the support from the same progressive community that is now complaining about Bob Casey for Hoeffel? I volunteered at Hoeffel's Phila HQ and I can tell you we were still stuffing and sending fundraising letters up until about the last week before the election - that's how short of cash Hoeffel was. Where was the netroots support?

Specter was vulnerable in 2004. He faced a very tough primary against Pat Toomey and had to run right into the arms of Bush and Santorum. Did this energize progressives to flock to help Hoeffel? I sure didn't see it.

I read a lot of posts criticizing Casey for SAYING
he'd've voted for Alito, but Specter, as the Judiciary Cmte chairman, ACTUALLY steered both Roberts and Alito through the nomination process
and voted for each man. Not to mention how Specter
lead the attack on Anita Hill that ultimately got
Clarence Thomas a seat on the court. But evidently
that is ok because Specter's "pro-choice". A good chance to replace a GOP lackey, Specter, with a
true liberal was blown.

Further, do you know we have a true progressive
running for LtGov, Valerie McDonald Roberts, against the conservative Dem incumbent, Catherine
Baker Knoll? Want to support a progressive, here's your chance.

by phillydem 2006-04-24 02:30AM | 0 recs
1st priority: taking back Congress

I don't like Casey very much. I don't like him because he's pro choice, because he refuses to clearly delineate where he would be on a policy preferring safe generalizations, and I also don't like him because is yet another rich elite who is trying to tell me he knows how to represent everyday working people while taking money from many of the same special interest groups that fund Rick Santorum.

However, if Chuck Pennacchio doesn't win the Primary I will vote for Casey over Santorum. A diseased three-legged dog would vote better than Rick. And I would vote for that dog if it could beat him.

The real leverage here comes from Campaigns like Lamont.. If leiberman can be picked off for his aggressive conservatism in Dem clothes, the chances of Democrats like Casey toeing the party line on issues increases exponentially in my opinion.

by TimThe Terrible 2006-04-24 05:57AM | 0 recs

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