Why the Democrats Don't Have A Farm Team for the Future

Earlier today in a reply to a post by Kos, I lamented the tendency for so many to see Congressional Seats as 'local seats'. They aren't in my book. Period. They are, in my book, Federal Seats that need to be filled with the most experienced people possible.

The 'Netroots' Candidates has consistently lost merely because they may have had the right ideas and politicies....even the best support within the Grassroots. But they had no idea how to Campaign, fundraise, organize etc. But everyone focuses on Federal, Federal, Federal...and we have no Farm Team training the real Federal Candidates of the Future.

Here's my post from earlier...see what you think:

A congressional seat isn't local.

That's a Federal seat with 435 of the most powerful people in the US.
  • Being on the School Board is local.

  • Being on the Water District is local

  • Being on the City Council is local

more on the flip

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The Price of John McCain

Oh, the myths about John McCain. To much of the media, he's a political superhero, an incorruptible war hero and a crusading government reformer. The myth of McCain is so powerful that Nora Ephron is convinced that there's no man in America who wouldn't vote for him. (Speaking personally, I can confirm that there's at least one, and, call me crazy, but I don't think Matt's a big fan, either.)

Obviously, like Ephron, we here at MyDD take a bit more of a realistic view of McCain. This morning, Roy Temple goes pretty far in helping to do away with the McCain mythology by digging some interesting information out of story in the LA Times. At Google, there are 345 matches for the search "John McCain""campaign finance reformer". I seriously doubt very many of them mention the fact that McCain's selling access for $100,000-plus campaign checks for his friend Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In seeking to reach his goal, Schwarzenegger is offering large donors personal access. Invitations to a March 20 dinner in Beverly Hills offer "head table seating with the governor" for two and six photos of couples with the governor for those who contribute at least $100,000 to his reelection campaign and the state GOP. The dinner's star speaker is Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a champion of campaign finance reform. ...

An aide to McCain, meanwhile, denied that the Arizona senator's plan to appear at a Schwarzenegger fundraiser was awkward. McCain, who is weighing another presidential bid in 2008, has been collecting political chits around the country by helping candidates raise money under state rules that are far more lax than the restrictions on federal campaigns.

How this explanation from McCain's aide is supposed to make him look better is beyond me. Essentially, he's saying that McCain isn't selling himself for the money, but rather for the support of the Governor of one of the largest states in the union. Either you believe in campaign finance reform and clean elections or you don't. Actions speak louder than words here. McCain can say whatever he wants about reform, but as long as he takes part in this kind of blatant auctioning off of democracy, it means nothing.

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Shifting the Polls

To follow up on Matt's post about the impact a single $100,000 ad buy had on the polling in Rhode Island, I would say there are implications here that extend even further than New England. Earlier this week, I called polling about the 2008 race "horribly useless." The latest 2008 poll numbers from Gallup confirmed that opinion.

With more than two years until the 2008 presidential election, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton remains the front-runner for the Democratic nomination amidst a field of relatively well-established political figures. Her lead includes a better than two-to-one margin over Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry among Democratic registered voters (39% to 15%), according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Feb. 9-12. Essentially tied with Kerry are former Vice President Al Gore and former Sen. John Edwards, receiving 13% and 12% support respectively. ...

The Republican contest is more competitive by comparison. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain lead a closely contested race among Republican registered voters. Giuliani has a five percentage-point edge over McCain, 33% to 28%, which is within the poll's margin of error. The remaining GOP candidates (mostly lesser-known names) register in the single digits.

It's not that these polls are that poorly conducted or are statistically screwy. It's just that, at this early stage in the 2008 election cycle, not even being sure who's running yet, these numbers are little more than indicators of name recognition. And while I don't think that our netroots straw polls should be representative of traditional polling, Gallup didn't even ask about such obvious candidates as Russ Feingold or Wes Clark. It is worth noting that on the Democratic side, 1% volunteered Feingold as their choice. Likewise, 1% of Republicans volunteered Condoleezza Rice.

And seeing the Rhode Island polling shift based on one ad buy really proves the point that these 2008 numbers are not likely to be even remotely representative of the standings a year from now. While candidates are certainly getting out on the ground in New Hampshire and Iowa, the general American public has no idea who might run in 2008, beyond having some vague idea that John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, and John Kerry will be somewhere in the mix. Granted, Matt Brown's appeal in Rhode Island has much to do with his platform. But that will be the case for the 2008 underdogs as well, once they start making their case to the American people.

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Hillary CAN and WILL Win Arkansas

The latest SurveyUSA poll shows more Arkansas voters prefer Senator Hillary Clinton to their governor for President in 2008. Voters overwhelmingly picked Senator Clinton in the SurveyUSA telephone poll. If the election were held today 52% of Arkansas voters would vote for Senator Clinton for President and only 43% for Huckabee.

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Who will the Republicans choose to run against them in 2008?

There are rumors of a Hillary run for 2008.  Some say she has that magic "electability" thing.  

Wake up.  The Republicans want Hillary Clinton to run; that's why Bush said she would be a "formidable" opponent.  They know they can beat her.  And she won't make too much of a fuss when they spin the propaganda against her and rig the election machinery to bring her down.  She plays by their rules.  

It's time the Democrats stop letting the Republicans choose their candidates for them.  "Electability"?  That's just the scale a spineless Democrat uses to measure a candidate's willingness to bow under the pressure of the Republican talking points.  The Republicans will talk.  It seems the more they fear a candidate, the more they pull out the stops to smear that candidate, so I suggest a new scale to use in choosing the Democratic candidate--the smear scale.  If the Republicans put most of their efforts into bad-mouthing a candidate, then that's our guy.  They tend to go after truth-tellers, like Al Gore and Howard Dean.  Republicans don't like too many facts obscuring their agenda; that's why they got rid of the Fairness Doctrine.  

Big money is doing the talking.  Big money owns the media and the Republican Party; the Republican party is the party of rule by the corporations for the corporations.  Big money uses the flag and Jesus--"God bless America"--as its official logos to legitimize itself.  Democrats used to stand for rule by the people for the people, but, with Washington awash in money, they too have leaned to the other side, the fascist, big money side.  

As in fascism, the big corporations now have a strangle hold on our government, and they know how to use all the tools at their disposal to control the people.  They are good at using propaganda to instill fear (of terrorists and a punishing god) and hate (of gays, Muslims, Frenchmen, Democrats, etc.)  Big money's front men, Bush, Cheney, et al, use that propaganda to rouse the rabble into angry, flag-waving, cross-bearing, attacks on gays, Muslims, Frenchman, Democrats, etc.  As Bush said, they have to keep repeating things in order to "catapult the propaganda." Sometimes the truth does slip out.

Liberals need to choose their candidates and vote based on integrity.  Who is it that is best at truth-telling?  Gore and Dean are truth-tellers.  They are the candidates chosen by the people for the people.  Gore won the popular vote--and the election--in 2001; Dean had huge popular support and would have done well in 2004, but the DNC joined the Republicans in smearing him for fear that he did not have "electability." The DNC thought Kerry had "electability."

After Dean was taken down by our own side, Dean's popular support joined into a wider push against Bush.  But we were no match against Republican chicanery; the election was too thoroughly rigged.  Kerry won.  But Kerry was held by the money machine in Washington; he didn't even put up a fight for the little guy, even with the overwhelming evidence of fraud and voter intimidation in Ohio.  But Kerry had "electability."

Since the Republicans have big money, big media propaganda, and big corporation, rigged election machinery on their side, it doesn't make sense to play according to their "electability" rules.  We liberals need to keep coming at them with plain-spoken facts.  Facts to Republicans are like water to the Wicked Witch of the West in Oz.  "I'm melting, I'm melting." 

We need a truth-teller, like Gore or Dean, for 2008.  Ignore that noise in your ear telling you to look for "electability." It's just Republicans "catapulting" their propaganda.

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