There's Something Happening Here

I supported Ned Lamont, and I have supported him since February, for one reason.  He would be a great Senator, and our country desperately needs greatness again.  Jane points that out again tonight after this article came out on the front page of the Washington Post on Ned Lamont.  

There's something happening that people in DC still don't get.  No one trusts the insiders anymore.  Why?  Because they are no longer trustworthy.  Witness this article by Adam Nagourney, which profiles Senator Schumer and Congressman Emanuel.  It's just, well, bad.  It's boring.  It discusses politics as if there are no stakes, as if it's merely a parlour game played for the entertainment of wealthy elites.

What we're doing on the blogs is different, which might be why bloggers are trusted by their readers.  I was privileged to be one of the first bloggers to meet Lamont, and I'm overjoyed to hear the following:

The excitement around your candidacy has been fueled in large part by bloggers, much the same way as was Howard Dean's presidential run. How has that dynamic affected your efforts?

I'm very appreciative of the blogs. I'm coming at this race as a bit of an outsider, with not high name recognition, and who cares passionately about the issues, but when I talk to the mainstream media, it's all about process and money and delegates. It was the blogs who said, "Hey, there are compelling issues out there, and let's see how Lamont stands."Whatever the blogs' reputation, they opened the door to more serious discourse than the mainstream media did.

That is exactly what I saw in New Jersey as well.  Blogs, far from being fever swamps, are discussing ideas and policy in a way that far surpasses the cynicism of the media cartel.  Bloggers and the people who read and comment on them connect politics to our lives, even if there is sometimes vulgarity or a certain rawness to our expressive medium.  We're filling a demand for normalcy in politics, for anti-elitist open discussion.  And now the new politicians like Lamont who are actually providing real political leadership are like catnip to us, and as a result we're becoming a very powerful megaphone for them.  Lamont doesn't have to ask anyone to 'get his message out'.  He simply has certain values, and because his values are our values, we're talking about about and supporting him.  With no TV in the way.

Which brings me back to a certain sense of, well, freshness in the air.  There's something changing, new winds in our political system, and we're all a part of it.  It's called hope, idealism, or maybe just plain honor.  You see, I blog because while I am a pessimist, I am also an idealist.  I believe in the power of ideas, in the healing power of discourse, and in the ability of all of us to work towards our own sense of community and personal responsibility.  Ultimately, America is what we make of it, and all of us, by reading this blog, by participating in door-knocks, or even by the simple act of declaring oneself responsible for what one's country does instead of being a passive consumer of other's royal actions, are becoming better citizens.  

Ned Lamont is going to be a fantastic Senator.  I'm proud of all of our work, together, in putting him on the path to getting there.  And that's why you should give.  Not because he needs the money, though he does.  But because this is an investment in yourself.  This is an investment in what it means to be a citizen, to take action, to affect the country and the world, and to let hope triumph over apathy and cynicism.

You'll be proud of yourself if you give. And if you're near Connecticut, sign up to volunteer. This is our country, our party, and our America.  And we're taking it back.

Tags: Connecticut, Joe Lieberman, Ned Lamont (all tags)

Comments

26 Comments

All right, I'll bite

I know nothing worth knowing about Lamont, so I'll not comment on him.

But - when I read

There's something changing, new winds in our political system, and we're all a part of it.  It's called hope, idealism, or maybe just plain honor.

I can only foresee tears before bedtime.

One of the great merits of the US political system is that the main parties are non-ideological. They're vote-getting machines; what they have of a program is a bare minimum designed to satisfy the limited appetite of the average voter for policy considerations.

If a single party could once have encompassed both Joe Guffey and Pappy O'Daniel, ideology is clearly no object.

MCs vote their interests (which may or may not coincide with those of their constituents); log-rolling is not unheard of (the classic being the Hells Canyon deal to advance the 1957 Civil Rights Bill). Sincerity is widely faked.

American politics (politics anywhere) functions under a Gresham's Law whereby venal motives drive out altruistic ones. (The widespread union opposition back in 1938 to the minimum wage provisions of the FLSA may surprise some, for instance.)

It's hard to forget that the acme of idealism in the US was the period before and during the Civil War. Which was not a total cure for the disease, but has at least kept the Republic from emulating those European idealists whose implementation of their ideals led to tens of millions of deaths in the 20th century.

They say that the cure for love is marriage. I reckon the cure for Dem idealism will be winning one or both houses in November.

Never bright confident morning again...

by skeptic06 2006-04-29 07:00PM | 0 recs
No mas...

"It discusses politics as if there are no stakes, as if it's merely a parlour game played for the entertainment of wealthy elites."

I'm sorry, but I can't take this statement seriously from Stoller.  I've been reading this cite for a while, and while I generally enjoy the commentary, that of Stoller leaves me dumbfounded.  After all the wild-eyed posting backing up hopeless candidates in PA, railing against "establishment" backed candidates in IL and elsewhere, and blasting the likes of Chuck Schumer et. al, all that I see is a wannabee kingmaker whose pissed off that no one is signing on. The parlour games of non-wealthy elites are no more entertaining than are those of the wealthy elites.

by derekcare 2006-04-29 09:32PM | 0 recs
Re: No mas...

The parlour games of non-wealthy elites are no more entertaining than are those of the wealthy elites.

Nice. Very nice line. And totally deserved.

Great a guy as Ned Lamont seems to be, of course he's every bit as much a "wealthy elite" as anyone in Washington, DC, probably far more so (certainly more so than Joe Lieberman is). It's very hard to read a line like that written in support of a Greenwich-living, trust-funded, prep-school going guy like Lamont. Good as his intentions might be (and I suspect they are), I really don't see any evidence that his sincerity isn't faked, as opposed to other politicians. And much as we all disagree with Lieberman on foreign policy, I do think the very least you can say about him is that he says what he believes.

Funny. Rather like W himself, we seem to be slipping into this world where if we dislike one thing about someone, we have to dislike everything. And vice-versa with someone we like. It's pure evil versus pure good.

Back in the real world, people are complicated, and secondary impacts tend to become very important (such as wasting our money and time on a hopeless campaign to beat a never-been-beaten Democrat with a 10:1 cash advantage who has been running statewide for 25 years.)

by ColoDem 2006-04-30 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: All right, I'll bite

Both you and Stoller assume incorrectly that Schumer and Rahm are cynics. They aren't. They are dlc ideologues. They have an agenda just like left.  They just pretend there agenda is pragmatic.  

by Dameocrat 2006-04-29 11:30PM | 0 recs
Re: All right, I'll bite

Hah! That's so wrong it's actually funny. Do you know anything at all about Emanuel or Schumer, or are you just riffing and having fun? In case you're interested, both are firmly on the left side of the Democratic caucus. But I guess you aren't interested.

by ColoDem 2006-04-30 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: All right, I'll bite

Was support for the war in Iraq something that folks "firmly on the left side of the Democratic caucus" took lightly?

Somehow I think not.

by Redmond 2006-04-30 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: There's Something Happening Here

Matt,

Cheerful post, thanks.   Imagine the state of our political culture without the Internet--  it's too horrible to contemplate.  You would have had no venue to publish what you just wrote, and we wouldn't have the opportunity to read it.

The entrenched political and economic interests are going to do everything they can to minimize our access to this medium, so we had better be ready for the fight.   And the Democrats ought to have the issue of a free and open Internet at the top of their platform.

by global yokel 2006-04-29 08:11PM | 0 recs
Re: There's Something Happening Here

It paints them as altogether blecky and dictatorial, not mention wrong headed and just wrong, but this isn't triangulation. This is actually an ideological battle, as I have demonstrated in my post.  This is about Iraq.

by Dameocrat 2006-04-29 11:28PM | 0 recs
With genuine respect,

I still need to bring up these questions:  

Under what imaginable circumstances would a Senate Democratic minority without Senator Lieberman be better than a Senate Democratic majority with him?
Under what imaginable circumstances would a House Democratic minority without Rahm Emmanuel be better than a House Democratic majority with him?

These are the key question for progressives right now. The majority determines control of the committees.  As we have seen with Net Neutrality, most of the key work in Congress is done at the committee level, where chairmen hold significant power over what bills will come up and their final form.

By the way, John Dingell, who  supports net neutrality, would become chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee ( which has  primary jurisdiction over this issue) if the Democrats win.

If we were on the verge of a definite sweep, we could afford to be more picky.  If it looked like we were on the edge of winning a 55-45 majority in the Senate, it might make sense to have an ideological litmus test for our candidates.

But we are going to have to fight tooth and nail to pick up six seats to get a Senate majority, and over thirty to pick up a House majority. We can't afford to throw away the power of incumbency in any election, because we will not have any progress without a change in majority in at least one of the Houses of Congress.

No less a progressive than Saul Alinsky (famous organizer, author of Rules for Radicals http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul_Alinsk y) complained that progressives had come to believe that "compromise" was a dirty word.  But if you have nothing, ask for 100%, and get 50%, you are a hell of a lot better off than you were to begin with, and you are in better shape for the next fight.

We're progressives because we care about the state of the country and the world, and particularly for the neediest among us.  They want us to have a dignified loss that won't help them

They need us to win that will make things better, even it takes with compromise.

Any Democratic majority would be better than what we have now.  Only a Democratic majority will perform oversight and investigation into the abuses of this investigation.  If the committees shift:

John Conyers, the most prominent Democrat involved in investigating the Downing Street Memo would become Chairman of the  House Judiciary committee, which initiates the impeachment process.

The Senate Judiciary Committee would be chaired by Pat Leahy, who has a long history of fighting for civil rights and liberties. In addition, Russ Feingold, who has called of Bush's censure, would be the Chairman of  the Subcommittee on  the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights.

These changes alone are worth accepting a couple of candidates we don't agree with. But there would be far more changes

If you look at the 2005 vote ratings published by the liberal Americans for Democratic Action, (the percentage given is a key measure used by the National Journal and project Vote-Smart to show how liberal an elected official is), you can see what a flip in control in Congress would do at the committee level (modified from my last post of this, which included only the Senate.)

SENATE COMMITTEES

Agriculture Committee:
Control would go From: Saxby Chambliss,  ADA 2005 rating 5%      
Chambliss defeated Senator Max Cleland by smearing the triple-amputee Vietnam Veteran as a friend of terrorism because he didn't enthusiastically support the rush to war.
To: Tom Harkin,  ADA 2005 rating 100%      

Appropriations
Arguably the most powerful committee in the Senate; since it controls all spending

From: Thad Cochran, ADA 2005 rating 0%
To: Robert Byrd, ADA 2005 rating 95%      
One of the most passionate defenders of the Constitution, opposed the war.

Armed Services
From: John Warner, ADA 2005 rating 10%      
To: Carl Levin ADA 2005 rating 100%      
Levin  opposed the war.

Banking
From: Richard Shelby, ADA 2005 rating 10%
To: (most likely)Christopher J. Dodd, ADA 2005 rating 100%

Budget
From: Judd Gregg, ADA 2005 rating 5%
To: Kent Conrad,  ADA 2005 rating 85%
Conrad opposed the war

Commerce
From: Ted Stevens, ADA 2005 rating 5%      
Stevens is one of the strongest supporters for drilling in ANWR, also famously refused to make oil executives swear to tell the truth at energy hearings.
To: Daniel K. Inouye, ADA 2005 rating 90%      
Inouye stood up to Oliver North during Iran-Contra, opposed the war, and has a Medal of Honor.

Energy and Natural Resources
From: Pete V. Domenici, ADA 2005 rating 15%
To: Jeff Bingaman, ADA 2005 rating 95%      
Bingamen opposed the war

Environment and Public Works
From: James M. Inhofe, ADA 2005 rating 5%
To: (most likely)Max Baucus, ADA 2005 rating 90%

Finance
From: Charles Grassley, ADA 2005 rating 5%
To:Max Baucus, ADA 2005 rating 90%

Foreign Relations
From:  Richard G. Lugar, ADA 2005 rating 10%
To:  Joseph R. Biden, ADA 2005 rating 100%
Note: Russ Feingold would chair the Africa Subcommittee, which would give him jurisdiction over Darfour policy.

Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
From:  Michael B. Enzi, ADA 2005 rating 10%
To:  Edward M. Kennedy, ADA 2005 rating 95%
Kennedy opposed the war

Homeland Security
From: Susan M. Collins, ADA 2005 rating 65%
To: Joseph I. Lieberman, ADA 2005 rating 80%
One chairmanship for him is a fair price for getting all the others listed.

Judiciary
From: Arlen Specter ADA 2005 rating 45%
To: Patrick J. Leahy, ADA 2005 rating 100%
Leahy opposed the war and is a constant fighter for civil rights.

Note, Russ Feingold, who has called of Bush's censure, would be the Chairman of  the Subcommittee on  the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights.

Rules
From: Trent Lott, ADA 2005 rating 5%
To: Chris Dodd, ADA 2005 rating 100%

Small Business
From: Olympia J. Snowe, ADA 2005 rating 65%
To: John F. Kerry, ADA 2005 rating 100%

Veterans Affairs
From: Larry E. Craig, ADA 2005 rating 15%
To: Daniel Akaka, 95%
Akaka opposed the war

Intelligence
From: Pat Roberts, ADA 2005 rating 0%
To: John D. Rockefeller, ADA 2005 rating 100%

HOUSE COMMITTEES

Agriculture:
From: Bob Goodlatte, ADA 2005 Rating 5%
To: Collin C. Peterson, 65%

Appropriations
Arguably the most powerful committee in the House; since it controls all spending.  Look at the difference:
From : Jerry Lewis 0%
To: David R. Obey, 100% !!

Obey voted against the war

Armed Services
From: Duncan Hunter, California, Chairman 5%
To: Ike Skelton, Missouri, Ranking Member 75%

Budget
From: Jim Nussle 5%
To: John Spratt 90%

Education and the Workforce
From: Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, Chairman, 0%
To: George Miller 100%
Miller voted against the war

Energy & Commerce
Another top committee, it arguably has more jurisdiction than any committee other than Appropriations, which controls spending (above), and Rules which decide the procedure for every vote in the House (below)

From: Joe Barton, Texas 0%
To: John D. Dingell, Michigan 95%
Congressman Dingell is the most senior member of the House, and has been fighting for national health care his entire career.
Dingell voted against the war
He supports net neutrality, and would become chaiman of the comittty with primary jurisdiction over this issue

Financial Services
From:  Michael G. Oxley 0%
To: Barney Frank  100%
Frank voted against the war

Government Reform
From: Chris Shays 55%
To: Henry Waxman 100%
Waxman is a supporter of Net Neutrality

Homeland Security
From: Peter King 0%
To: Bennie Thompson 95%
Thompson voted against the war.

House Administration
From: Rep. Vernon Ehlers 15%
To: Juanita Millender-McDonald 90%
Millender-McDonald voted against the war

International Relations
Current Chairman Retiring

From (most likely): James A. Leach 75%
To: Tom Lantos 95%

Judiciary
All impeachment proceeding must start from this committee

From: Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. 0%
To: John Conyers, Jr. 95%
Conyers opposed the war

Rep Sensenbrenner famously tuned off the microphones when Rep Conyers attempted to ask questions about the Downing Street memo during a hearing.  Rep Conyers then scheduled an open non-official meeting to keep up pressure on the issue.

Resources
From: Richard Pombo 0%
No friend to the environment

To: Nick J. Rahall,II 90%
Rahall opposed the war

Rules
Very powerful committee, it determines the procedure for every vote in the House, including what amendments will be in order.  The Chair of this Committee is considered part of the leadership of the House.

From: David Dreier 0%
To: Louise Slaughter  95%
Slaughter opposed the war

Science
From: Hon. Sherwood L. Boehlert 30
To: Bart Gordon 90%
Bart Gordon supports Net Neutrality

Small Business
From: Donald Manzullo (IL)  0%
To: Nydia Velazquez (NY)  100%
Velazquez  voted against the war.

Standards and Official Conduct (Ethics)
From: Doc Hastings 5%
Protector of Tom DeLay

To: Howard L. Berman 90%

Transportation and Infrastructure
Covers all Highway and Transit legislation

From: Don Young 5%
To: James L. Oberstar 90%
Oberstar opposed the war

One of the biggest supporters of public transportation in the House

Veterans Affairs
From: Steve Buyer 0%
To: Lane Evans, Ranking Member 100%
Evans opposed the war

Ways and Means
All tax legislation in the House is controlled by this committee

From: Bill Thomas 15
To: Charles B. Rangel 100
Rangel opposed the war

Intelligence
From: Peter Hoekstra 0%
To: Jane Harman 70%

by Mudshark 2006-04-29 11:54PM | 0 recs
It's an expectations thing...

I agree that, if the Dems want to win a majority in one or both houses in November, they can't be picky about which candidates states and CDs return.

Let me open one or two other factors, though:

First, Dem leadership is not in great shape; consider whether it would suit the GOP book for the Dems to win in 06, allowing them the space to be a miserable failure and the GOP the space to jettison baggage and present a new face in 08.

(I'm not saying that that's right: I'm just saying, consider the possibility.)

Second, who says that ranking members automatically take the chair of their committees on a change of control? (I've looked high and low and failed to find an online copy of the caucus rules. But I'd doubt whether the succession was automatic.)

Third, experience has shown that the Dem MCs include a significant number willing to help out the GOP on corporate welfare bills when they're a few votes short. Even with a GOP trifecta, contributions from the likes of insurance and defense industries are running around 60:40.

The ADA scores are therefore misleading on an epic scale as indications of the difference in outcome of Dem control rather than GOP control of the 110th.

Fourth, a Dem-controlled 110th would be facing a veto machine. (As even so focussed a leader as Gingrich found, that's hard to buck.)

But it would also face a GOP minority more than eager to lick its wounds and use all the tricks in the book (that's a pretty big and intricate book, boy!) to harry the Dems at every turn.

You rightly say

But if you have nothing, ask for 100%, and get 50%, you are a hell of a lot better off than you were to begin with, and you are in better shape for the next fight.

But the tenor of your recitation of ADA scores is to suggest that a change of control would bring some sort of clean break from the current production of corporate welfare laws.

Snowball's chance in hell.

Even if the Dems score a trifecta in 08 (most unlikely), the chances for a lefty agenda are not good.

Passing something as basic as UHC, even absent a veto threat and with Dem 60-40 majorities in each house, would be a long shot.

And if the Dem leadership succeeds in getting its base all fired up in 06 and 08, only to lead to disillusionment when things don't change much - that's unlikely to be good for the long term.

Part of leadership is to regulate expectations. Expectation of a Dem victory in one or both houses in 06 is well founded.

Expectation of any dramatic change resulting therefrom is not.

by skeptic06 2006-04-30 05:42AM | 0 recs
Re: It's an expectations thing...

I understand that we are not going to get all we want.  I also understand that this is not a bad thing, as long as we are moving forward.  Any Democratic majority would be a step forward.

While committee chairs are not automatically given to the most senior members, it is very, very rare that they are not.  The switches I outlined are practically guaranteed.

I don't understand how working for a winnable change to a more progressive Congress, even it it is not a liberal dream, can be interpreted as a bad thing.  We can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

by Mudshark 2006-04-30 09:27AM | 0 recs
We're actually pretty much on the same page...

My dudgeon (now thankfully past!) was triggered by Matt's somewhere over the rainbow druthering, not your conclusions: I could have been clearer on that...

I'm not suggesting that the Dem leadership take a dive in November - if only because I doubt that they (or, to be frank, anyone) could make it look good.

They should clearly be trying to win. All I'm doing is to point out some angles (there are a good many others) that the more wised-up folks (including MyDDers, natch!) should (by me) be pondering well in advance.

If, as now seems better than even money, the Dems do win at least one house in November, it's going to be a revelation, whatever happens.

But, I'd say, for now the motto for them, as well as for us, is Be Prepared.

by skeptic06 2006-04-30 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: With genuine respect,

I reject your premise that a Lamont win in the primary somehow weakens our chances to take back the Senate.

If Lamont wins in the primary, he should be able to win in the general.  His name at the top of the ticket will also greatly aid the efforts of Chris Murphy, Jou Courtney, and Diane Farrell to defeat the incumbent Repub. reps.  All Joe does is give cover to Shays et. al. and reinforce the idea that there is nothing wrong with supporting the war and/or republicans.

by elihuben 2006-04-30 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: With genuine respect,

Maybe Lamont can win, and maybe not.

But that's not my point.

I am unhappy with a lot of Senator Lieberman's positions.  If we were on the verge of a huge victory, I might support a primary challenge.

But we are approaching what may be a very thin victory. We can't afford to throw away any advantage, and incumbency is a very powerful advantage.

Further, the primary challenge is indicative of a trend in the progressive world of attempting to purge the Democratic party of "impure" officials.

But this is putting the cart before the horse. Consolidating our position in the minority won't move our policies forward.  

I'll admit, a huge ideological battle might advance progressive positions in the long term.  It certainly did for conservative principles while the Republicans were in the minority.

However, if we are going to pursue a long-term strategy, we have to ask the following questions:

How many more US soldiers and Iraqis are we willing to let die while we pursue ideological perfection?  We can only investigate the war from the majority.

How much more incompetence in the face of natural disasters are we willing to let slide while we wait to become political saints?  We can only investigate incompetent policies and unqualified appointees from the majority.

How much more environmental destruction are we willing to accept while we wait for every Democrat to get a perfect score from conservation groups?  Corporate money influences both parties, but the Democrats never proposed anything as outrageous as the "Clear Skies Initiative" or the "Healthy Forest Initiative".

Further, if we blow a majority by one or two seats in the House or Senate because if internal fighting, we won't be credible with the voters for years to come.  The Republicans want to divide and conquer us, let's not do the job for them.

The people we say we are fighting for car less about a  victory for progressives than a victory for progress.  We need to take the most progress we can get, and any Democratic majority will give us more progress than any Democratic minority.

by Mudshark 2006-04-30 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: With genuine respect,

I understand the math lesson, but politics is not only about math and amassing a majority.  Too often politicians act as if nothing matters but survival, and let's leave policy for a time when we aren't fundraising. I agree that in a "toss-up" state or district, we have to be careful and "conservative" in the sense that we have to think twice and more before tossing out a moderate shoo-in for a more progressive with not as great a chance to win, at least in the circumstance where we are the overall minority and are trying to gain the majority.  It is questionable, however, how much a fiercely-fought primary contest will damage an incumbent Democrat, whose task, after all, in trying to appear moderate is made easier by an attack from the left.

But there is a special case or two out there: the 36th Congressional District in California, with incumbent Jane Harman running against insurgent progressive Marcy Winograd is the perfect example.  It is a safe seat that went 60-40 for Kerry.  Harman still talks as if she was running in 2000, when she barely squeaked past the Republican.  But since that race, the Dems have rewritten the district to add liberal Dems and subtract conservative Republicans, and this year the Republicans are running a nonentity (Brian Gibson) who apparently is known more for assiduous napping than being a strong candidate or a capable politician.  So this is the perfect storm to ace out Harman, the warmongering, pro-defense contractor senior Dem on the Intel committee who fell asleep (not literally that we know of, but clearly in the sense of saying and doing nothing) during briefings on domestic spying, who voted for the anti-consumer bankruptcy bill and for the Patriot Act.  Only now that she is facing a serious challenge is she making noises about an Iraq "exit strategy" and claiming that she is unhappy with the domestic wiretapping that escaped her notice until the NY Times belatedly exposed it.  

And Winograd (my spouse) has loyal Dem credentials, having been a Dem of the Year in LA in 2004, doing all she could and more for party success, running a Santa Monica HQ, registering Dems in Florida, Nevada, and California, and rousing the troops for the sad Kerry campaign and for local Dems.  This is the dream race of not having to hold your nose and vote the lesser of evils, and again, if Harman wishes, she can pose as the moderate if she truly believes that's a winning strategy.  Since what Harman has in fact been doing is swerving left, she is herself proving that her district has moved in that direction.  But after 6 terms of being a fake progressive, Harman will not be able to change stripes persuasively, so Winograd has a solid chance of defeating Harman, and there is no way this seat is going to change from "D" to "R".  In fact, the 36th has been living under the yoke of a DINO, and Winograd would free the district from that fate.

by budlawman 2006-05-01 09:39PM | 0 recs
Re: There's Something Happening Here

I don't see how a primary challenge causes a democratic minority, unless Lieberman runs an independent suicide campaign.

by Dameocrat 2006-04-30 12:19AM | 0 recs
Even if he does

He'll probably draw more votes from Republicans than Democrats.

by Jim in Chicago 2006-04-30 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: There's Something Happening Here

Simple. A challenge to Lieberman causes him to spend his millions on defending himself, rather than supporting his fellow CT Dems, which he has been doing for years. Second, a competitive Fall general, which is what we'd have with Lamont as our guy but wouldn't if Lieberman is, takes attention away from the Farrell of the world and gives CT Repubs some reason to turn out. Bad news all around.

Sorry. You can't spin it. Trying to take our Lieberman is fine if that's what you want to do, but you can't deny that it would hurt our chances of winning back the House and/or Senate.

by ColoDem 2006-04-30 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: There's Something Happening Here

Except that he's not, nor has he been, spending money on down ticket candidates from what I keep reading. He has also not been supporting his fellow Dems. That's what this is all about.

by bruh21 2006-04-30 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: There's Something Happening Here

Well said. I relate. I still don't know what will happen on the long arc...mankind has been pulling the same old bullshit for over five thousand years...but I feel the wave of awakening even since 9/11. Sometimes it feels to slow for me, when I see the truth NOW. But some signs are encouraging. Thank you for the lift today.

by akhenaten 2006-04-30 04:44AM | 0 recs
Re: There's Something Happening Here

History is not on your side. The liberal, progressive, or whatever the catch phrase of the era is gets the support of the idealistic, hopeful or naive. Then the party machine rolls right over them:

Eugene McCarthy
John Anderson
Howard Dean
Paul Tsongas
...
(Even Teddy Roosevelt in his second attempt)

I'm not suggesting giving up the fight for real reform. Perhaps the internet will really make a difference this time.

by rdf 2006-04-30 05:36AM | 0 recs
I almost gagged

I certainly didn't read the rest of the article.

Schumer: "In the past, if you were a big shot in the Democratic caucus, you got a couple of million bucks," he said. "No more."

He went on, as he sought to assure his audience that their checks would not be squandered, to recount the strict conditions he set with senators and candidates alike.

"We'll give you money, but you have to hire a campaign manager, a finance director and a communications director who we approve," Mr. Schumer said. "They have to toe the line."

Yes that is EXACTLY what this party needs. Toeing the line to Washington insiders who have led us to defeat after defeat. I'll be giving money this cycle but I can guaranteee you not a single nickle will pass through the hands of these two.

Reread that statement. It is not enough that you are a good Democrat, that you promise to stand by leadership in the hard points even if it pinches, you don't even get a free choice in who you hire to be your communications director. Aren't we working to get rid of the K-Street Project and not to replicate it?

There is no excuse to direct campaign contributions through central party congressional organizations. None. Identify those candidates that deserve your money and donate direct. Chuck Shumer wants to take your money, package it up with conditions of his own choosing, and then take credit. Well, sorry they will have to pry my Visa card from my cold dead hands before I send any money to these clowns.

I had to add 'congressional' to that because it still makes sense to donate to the DNC, which under Dean is spending heavily to build party infrastructure state by state. And who by the way gets a casual (yet typical) side slap. "In the process, they are eclipsing the party's national chairman, Howard Dean, in raising money, shaping races and rattling Republicans."

Not a hint of actual dollar figures still less of expenditures or effectiveness. And this is typical. Bragging about how much you have in the bank (presumedly to drop on last minute TV ads rather than building the party).

"In one sign of how these men have sent waves of worry through Republican circles, Mr. Schumer's committee reported in March that it had $32.1 million in the bank, compared with just $16.5 million in the Republican Senate account. Mr. Emanuel's committee had $23 million, almost the same as the $24.4 million by the Republican Congressional committee."

Boys you don't get evaluated by the size of the sock you have shoved in your pants, in the end push comes to shove and you get measured by performance. I suspect the girls are with me on this one.

by Bruce Webb 2006-04-30 07:44AM | 0 recs
I'd like to believe that "no one trusts...

...the insiders" but after watching people like Kos jump on the Duckworth bandwagon, I can't.

Yesterday, I was talking to someone I respect who supported Duckworth. He freely admitted that she is unquestioningly letting the Washington insiders tell her exactly what to do. He had hoped that she would begin to take control of her own campaign after the primary but sees no evidence that she is. Of course, this came as no suprise to those of us who backed Cegelis. (So Kos is now on record as backing a campaign that is a textbook example of what NOT to do according to his and Jerome's book!)

Regardless of the merits of the two candidates in that race, I think it was a HUGE mistake for so many in the progressive community to play footsie with Rahm Emanuel et al. on this race. All you do is enbolden his ilk and convince those in the middle -- like Barack Obama and Jan Schakowski in this case -- that there is no price to be paid for opposing the progressive activists who fueled their own original campaigns.

by Jim in Chicago 2006-04-30 08:31AM | 0 recs
Lamont does not have $700k

He's already spent much of it. Last I saw he had about $250k in the bank. That's enough for about 3 days on NYC television, maybe 5 or 6 days on Hartford or New Haven.

Lamont needs $5-6 million to even THINK about winning this thing. The campaign (based on when he began raising money) is half over now, with about three months to go. The pressure on Dem donors not to give to him, coming from big liberal Senators who support their colleague as well as the DNC and DSCC, is just getting worse.

So far, the netroots has raised less than $400k. Can you all multiply that by 10?

Sorry dudes. You are SOOOOO going to be let down again. This time, don't blame the World or Chuck Schumer. Blame your leaders for continually leading you down these hopeless paths.

by ColoDem 2006-04-30 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Lamont does not have $700k

What is the point of your post?

Are we to infer from your phrase "...blame YOUR leaders for continually leading you down these hopeless paths..." that our leaders are, in point of fact, not your leaders too?

And if so, are we also to infer that this imaginary WE that you cite are in fact not really Democrats, as would be, presumable, YOUR putative leaders?

Finally, if all of these points are accurate representations of your argument here, and observing your rather extreme contempt for one form of vox populi which happens to make up a fair chunk of the natural Democratic spectrum, is it your hope that such Democratic constituencies at whom you here so dismissively wave your hand simply go elsewhere with their political opinions and enthusiasm? Or do you think such casual contempt as you exhibit here is something that will encourage reform-minded Democrats to toe the line of the not-so-reform-minded DC insiders you appear to admire so?

If the former is your hope, good luck with that general election - the Democrats can ill-afford to alienate ANY of their base and hope to win the coming election, stacked as it is already against them, much less win a mandate which will allow them to acheive anything once in power.

If the latter is your hope, you might best re-acquaint yourself with principles of leadership and of motivation if you hope to go far in politics.

by Redmond 2006-04-30 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: There's Something Happening Here

Like the post.  You refer to significant blogging in New Jersey where progressive ideas and policy are discussed freely.  What sites are you referring to?  I'm aware of BlueJersey.net, which is excellent.  Give me more 411!  

by jerseyverso 2006-05-01 05:55AM | 0 recs

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