I've Had Enough

If there is a political ad that speaks to me, it is this spot from Blue America PAC on behalf of Marcy Winograd's campaign down in the CA-36. I have certainly had enough. The right holds no monopoly on anger, they just get the media coverage. We need to better channel our discontent and elect true progressives to office. I hope Marcy Winograd and Bill Halter in his Senate bid do pull out victories in their upcoming primaries.

The Los Angeles Times has more on the race in the CA-36.

The candidate, trailed by a volunteer, is knocking on doors in Mar Vista — down Beethoven Street, across Lucille Avenue, along Greenwood Avenue and on. The June 8 election is just weeks away. There is much ground to cover.

"I'm Marcy Winograd, and I'm running for Congress," she says, over and over again. Her blue jacket is spotted with rain. "I'm a grass-roots Democrat who believes in jobs and bringing our troops home."

Winograd is challenging Rep. Jane Harman, a wealthy eight-term incumbent, in the Democratic primary for the 36th Congressional District. Her Marina del Rey campaign headquarters buzzes with activity. Volunteers man phones. Tables are stacked with slick mailers exhorting voters to "imagine sending a teacher, anti-war leader, and healthcare champion to Washington to be your voice in Congress."

Though it is unusual for a sitting member of Congress to face a robust primary challenge, Winograd has taken on Harman before; she ran against her on an antiwar platform in 2006 and won nearly 38% of the vote.

Allan Hoffenblum, whose California Target Book handicaps races in the Golden State, calls the contest "an ideological battle for the soul of the Democratic Party" — a liberal challenger taking on a more conservative incumbent.

"If it was an open seat, she very well could be a real contender," Hoffenblum said. "But against a well-known, well-funded incumbent, it would be a real shocker" if Winograd won. "It's not the suburbs of San Francisco."

Still, Winograd is forcing Harman to work "a bit more than she might like to be working on her reelection," said political scientist Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a senior fellow at USC. "It would be nice if [Harman] could just hang out in Washington….But she's been around. If someone can move an incumbent to do that, that's OK."

Winograd cofounded the Los Angeles chapter of Progressive Democrats of America. She has been endorsed by the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace workers, United Teachers of Los Angeles and Democracy for America. Actor Ed Asner has taped messages on her behalf.

"I will put Your Street before Wall Street," her website declares, front and center. "Jane Harman votes for Wall Street."

Until recently, Harman has largely ignored her challengers. The three political mailers she has sent to voters so far make no mention of Winograd or the other Democrat on the ballot, manufacturing operations engineer David C. Moore.

I'm pretty tired of waging "an ideological battle for the soul of the Democratic Party." There has to be a better way.

Tags: Marcy Winograd, CA-36, Bill Halter, Arkansas Senate Race, progressive politics (all tags)

Comments

12 Comments

What are you still doing here?

I thought you were done with the Democratic party.  If you are, then its primaries are of no concern to you.  (One of the reasona I hate the idea of blanket primiaries:  why should someone who isn't willing to identify as a member of the party...a very low standard of commitment...be able to vote in the party's primary?  Can I have a vote on what your family has for dinner or chooses to go for vacation?)

 

by InigoMontoya 2010-06-01 07:56PM | 1 recs
RE: What are you still doing here?

What are you still doing here? Long time no see.

by desmoinesdem 2010-06-01 10:36PM | 0 recs
RE: What are you still doing here?

Hey, DMD.   I've been reading religiously, haven't had a lot of impulse to post, or even comment.  Not pappy with how things are going but vastly prefer the current to the alternative.   I, for one, would be happy to see the tea baggers become the face of the GOP for the next few cycles...would make a lot of Democratic lives a lot easier, imo.  But I wish there was a more vigorous, proactive, engaged leadership style out of the White House.  Imnsvho, outsiders, like Obama and Jimmy Carter, tend to have grand delusions about how they can change the system...better to have an idea of how to use the system to their own ends and make a hard impact as quickly as possible.

Happy that DADT looks like it's going to be rolled back.  Cautiously optimistic on the economic front.  Happy HCR passed, unhappy about the lack of sufficient cost control measures that will have to be addressed.


That's it in a nutshell.

 

by InigoMontoya 2010-06-02 12:09AM | 0 recs
Tired

I feel your exhaustion. I know we're all tired.

But I have been claiming for a long time now that voting is just one part of the solution. It also requires the least amount of effort, right after giving money online (#2) and blogging* (#1).

Where is the large scale social activism? I am hard pressed to think of one period of profound change in this country that wasn't accompanied by social activism. I think of integration the Civil Rights marchers and the firehoses and the dogs, the boycotts, beatings and the murder.

But social activism requires effort and courage. People are angry, but I get the impression they aren't there yet.

* No offense to you or I.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-06-01 08:21PM | 1 recs
If wishes were donkeys

There has to be a better way.

Nope. There isn't. Gain control of the Democratic Party or live in the wilderness.

by Zeno 2010-06-01 08:38PM | 2 recs
Blogging is over-rated

It's heresey but true nonetheless:  blogging is overrated.   The act of blogging itself is seen as a mark of Virtue.  Hogwash.   Just as word processors didn't turn people with ballpoint pens into writers, a blog doesn't make something someone writes worth reading or effective in shaping opinion or steering action.

Sturgeon's Law says that 95 percent of everything is crap.   Blogs illustrate the point.

 

by InigoMontoya 2010-06-01 09:40PM | 0 recs
I don't think it's a great ad

If they want Winograd to win they need to raise her name recognition as well as make a case against Harman.

by desmoinesdem 2010-06-01 10:37PM | 1 recs
RE: I don't think it's a great ad

Via Digby, Harman is already running negative ads. It looks like she is scared. Low turnout primary plus anti-incumbent fervor plus the fact that Winograd run nearly 40% of the vote the last time around. I think we have a shot.

by bay of arizona 2010-06-02 08:09AM | 0 recs
Umm...

We all get tired.  When progress is slow or nonexistent, we especially get tired of discussing the same things.  Sometimes it's time to take a break, and get a rest.  Sometimes it's time to stop discussing and do some of the more hands-on work, which gives new perspective and can even revitalize a person's spirit.

You know better than we where you're at, and what you need to do.  But a battle for the soul -- or I'd rather say, for influence in the Democratic Party is what we've got on our hands, and what we come here to talk about.  Working through how you feel might help all of us who feel tired and pissed at some point; saying "the hell with you all and your struggle" will probably not win you a lot of supporters here.

Look, I'm bummed about the elections in Colombia and the state of the US too, and I'd guess you're even more so.  But figure out what you're doing next -- even if it's taking a sabbath away from it all -- before you spend down all your credibility as a poster here.

by bruorton 2010-06-02 10:58AM | 0 recs
Everything will be just fine....

....once Redstate gets only real Republicans into office and MyDD gets only real Democrats into office.

by QTG 2010-06-02 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Mr. Lemos and Fellow Purists

Over these many decades I have witnessed invective from every side of the political spectrum. 

I have witnessed the rise of Ronald Reagan, from an addlepated film star elevated to "great communicator" status not merely by a stultified media, but by a long-starved for glory GOP Right Wing, desperate to derail all things connected with FDR.

I witnessed the purists in the Democratic Party, disgusted with compromises on their progressive ideals, but absolutely clueless of the political process. 

Thus, the late great Teddy Kennedy, probably the nation's most accomplished Senator, could not stomach a compromise with President Nixon, and the result was, for all of Teddy's great championing of it, in fact a postponement of any National Health Care Reform for four decades.

Thus, too many Democrats have blasphemed LBJ.  Yet, this "Master of the Senate," by way of his glad-hands and back-room deals with anything but progressive purists, achieved the most significant pieces of social legislation since the Great Depression.

I witnessed the Democratic Party in the wilderness of national presidential cycles (discounting the Jimmy Carter win in 1976, an aberration in the aftermath of Watergate) for a quarter century until Bill Clinton came to power.

Yet too many Democrats gave him no credit at all.  He won, thought they, concurring with their GOP counterparts, because Ross Perot entered the fray.  Yet the concrete facts reveal that all Perot truly achieved was to prevent an outright majority by Clinton in what was certainly a change election year.

In fact, Bill Clinton taught the Democrats how to win--and how to govern.  Indeed, the Democrats lost the Congress in 1994, because in matters from health care legislation to budgetary acts, Clinton's agenda was every bit as ambitious then as President Barack Obama's would be fifteen years later--but the Clintons, with no love ever from either press or pundits (unlike President Obama), much less from his Democratic hard-core "base," was unrelentingly vilified.

Yes, Bill Clinton asked the supreme sacrifice from his own Party in 1994--the knowledge that in passing a budget which would ensure prosperity in peacetime for the remainder of the decade, it would likely cost his nominal fellow Democrats their congressional power because of the intensity of that vilification.

Today it is a great irony that Bill and Hillary's only child is about to marry the son of the then congressional representative whose vote was the deciding one in the passage of that landmark budget deal; a lady whom the GOP pegged then as looking at her own political grave.  I like to believe that there is a majesty to the irony; the children of practical politicians coming together as life partners.

Charles Lemos is a brilliant writer and a most perspicacious analyst.  I, as a reviled Clintonite, indeed have always much admired the great passion of the progressives in the Democratic Party. 

Although I have always believed him brilliant, still, I believe that a more seasoned President Obama on taking office would have become the next FDR.  It is why I, like millions of my fellow Democrats, cast our 2008 votes for Hillary Clinton.  We felt that the collective experiences of Hillary and Bill, both in responding to the Right Wing pundits, press and politicos, as well as their collective knowledge of how not to proceed when in the Executive Mansion, made them second to none in their ability to cope with the supreme travails of contempoary America and the larger world.

Hillary was every bit as popular with Democratic voters in 2008 as was now President Barack Obama.  At best, the contest came to a draw, but now President Obama and his forces under Democratic Party Chairperson Dr. Howard Dean, knew how to better utilize procedure.  In the end, the Clintons were troopers and played their roles on his behalf, and the result was a marriage of two hugely popular movements common in their opposition to many years of Right Wing tyranny and a 2008 election rout strongly in favor of Democrats.

But this victory could not have been achieved without Clintonites in strong numbers on election day in 2008.  It was not solely a victory for progressive purists, but rather a coalition victory with a common enemy to thwart.

Sadly, the purists have not accepted this fact, nor ever shall.  What should have been a certain senatorial seat in Massachusetts in the aftermath of the death of Teddy Kennedy went to a rather obscure GOP candidate not merely because of the campaign folly of his rival, but rather because the Obama base itself wasn't sufficiently motivated.  Just as that base hasn't been sufficiently motivated in elections elsewhere, both before the Massachusetts congressional special election, and since.

Progressives are wont to point out that the third of the electorate defining themselves as independents have been disgruntled, and their movement away from Democratic candidates has been the main cause in those losses.

In fact, the sense of "a pox on both your houses" proclaimed by Mr. Lemos and so many others on the progressive side has become infectious.  If one keeps pointing to all that hasn't been accomplished rather than to all that has, is it any wonder that one's real political enemies seize on that sense of disgust and anomie?

The amazing aspect of the Clintons is the fact that they survive, time and again, remaining relevant when other more vaulted political figures became ultimately relegated to the darker corridors of history.

For all of the invective hurled upon them, politicans of all peruasions repeatedly turn to them time and again, seeking and valuing their consultation.  Bill Clinton is presumed to be a scoundrel; yet his Clinton Global Initative has done more good in more places over the entire globe than the entire history of the Nobel Peace Prize Foundation.

Bill is considered unworthy of a Nobel Peace Prize, yet his CGI has superseded the work of Jimmy Carter, Albert Gore, and Barack Obama combined--the three other major Democratic politicians of the past half century, each of whom the Nobel Foundation thought most deserving of a Peace Prize.  Progressives scoff; Bill Clinton is much to self-aggrandizing, so they say.  And as if his fellow Democratic leaders before and since have not been self-aggrandizing

And progressives deride Bill Clinton when he is asked by President Obama to dissuade a senatorial candidate in Pennsylvania; as if, the one seeking to dissaude that candidate is somehow himself not sullied.  Of course this whole matter was ever a silly politically-motivated cheap shot, inasmuch as American Presidents of all parties have been in the act of dissauding politicians from their own aisles since George Washington himself.

President Obama is also a very practical politician.  He would not be President were he not; thus the political machine to which he himself is indebted has as its core many a seasoned Clinton pol.  That seasoned core may be derided, but ultimately that group, and not the purists, succeeded by their practical applications in passing landmark legislation this past year.

What an extraordinary couple is Bill and Hillary Clinton.  They have survived it all.  And they presided over the last years of sustained American peace and prosperity.  Politicans Right and Left then and now have mocked them morally and have mocked their marriage together.  Yet they are still standing and still togther, whereas so many many of those politicians who have mocked them have gone the way of their own personal scandals, many ending in divorces, some with bitter and lasting consequences.

James Carville is derided.  Praytell, is this because, by profession he is a political consultant, who does what he needs to do on behalf of whomever employs his services, be they Right or Left-leaning, or anywhere in-between? He is scum, we are told.  But then why not argue that all political consultants are scum, inasmuch as they prostitute their knowledge for capital gain?

Again, I admire the passion of the progressives; pure and forthright and noble, and unsullied as are so many of the rest of us.  But in keeping to the purity of their ideals, I pray that Mr. Lemos and his many adherents do not relegate the rest of us to another quarter century in the political wilderness. 

For if they truly cannot understand just how profound are the differences between a presidency under Bill Clinton and that under George Walker Bush, then they are beyond hope.  As is the hope for the future of the United States and the larger world.

by lambros 2010-06-02 01:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Did'st you see me with that sword? I was most skilled was I not?

Prithee tell me good sir, wherefore did'st you come by such a fine manner of  expression? 'Tis quite refreshing, I do say. Notwithstanding your most admirable chastisements of those purists which gummeth up the works so handily, I must hasten to point out that the revulsion from awarding the most worthy non-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize was fathered by the emergence of the legendary clenis.

by QTG 2010-06-02 01:36PM | 0 recs

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