On the whole Tammy Duckworth thing

You know I was listening to Christine Cegelis on Laura Flanders' show last night and she said that her and her people, the organization of volunteers that her campaign excited and built up were not going to go work for Duckworth, but instead they are going to go and help local progressive candidates not backed by the establishment. I think they are doing the right thing. Duckworth has the establishment support they obviously just expect people to vote for her anyway.

Yes, Democrats and progressives will have to probably vote for Duckworth in Illinois' sixth congressional district but volunteer for her? Why? Get passionate for her? Why? And it's not so much about Duckworth but rather about the Democratic establishment who backed her and railroaded Cegelis. They should have stayed out of the primary. If you want to know who that establishment is, well, it starts with Obama, Durbin, Clinton, the DCCC, and goes on to others. They still swear by the top down structure where they dictate to the people and expect them to follow, that's just un-democratic. They treat people who are the voters and most of the time their base like sheep. Things like support for a candidate and issues should flow from the bottom up and not from the top down. Sadly, this reminds me of what the Democratic establishment did to Dean in the 2004 presidential primaries. Dean got us to rally behind Kerry because Bush is the evil one, but I'm getting tired of rallying behind other people.

In 2004, I remember someone in Westchester County, NY saying after Dean dropped out that  "they'll vote for Kerry but work for change". I know now what the words truly mean.

Oh here's another idea Rahm Emanuel the chairman of the DCCC is knicknamed "Rahmbo" and he sent a rotting fish to a pollster once. I think everyone in the grassroots who disagreed with what he did in this Illinois primary should send plastic fish to the offices of the DCCC in protest.

Tags: Barack Obama, Christine Cegelis, dccc, Dick Durbin, Hillary Clinton, rahm emanuel, Tammy Duckworth (all tags)



Re: On the whole Tammy Duckworth thing

I think you have it right -- vote for the Dem in the general, no matter what (at least for now); but commit to work for change.  What we really have here is "establishment" vs. outsiders, and against committed progressives.  We gotta pragmatic in the short term, but we cannot sacrifice our idealism nor our progressive values, and the only way to do that is to work towards electing REAL progressives and getting the "establishment" bums out.

Here's one group of Democrats that are working for progressive values and towards a progressive majority http://www.progressivemajority.org/

by bedobe 2006-03-26 02:38PM | 0 recs
Re: On the whole Tammy Duckworth thing

Thank You for the comment you should see how they are beating up on me over at Kos LOL. And the thing is Tammy Duckworth is a fine candidate and I'd tell people that they should vote for her, but to expend energy for her campaign and volunteer after what the DCCC, Clinton, Obama, Durbin and others did by intervening in the primary? No.

There are plenty of progressive Democrats in that state who deserve the volunteer support.

by JasonGooljar 2006-03-26 02:55PM | 0 recs
Re: On the whole Tammy Duckworth thing

It's understandable that over at DailyKos they would be beating up on you -- at the moment the partisan grassroots is focused on just winning one national election, that's all.  And, add to that, the whole Fighting Dems angle that's pushed over there even harder than it is pushed here, and I can see how the partisan squads would come after anyone that even appears remotely critical of the party (they figure, at the moment we just gotta be united, no matter what).

Now, I think that this mentality is shortsighted, and that this is why a grassroots, populist progressive movement will have a hard time taking root in our country; because the establishment is quite good at co-opting our energy and focus.  That's why progressives cannot loose sight of our principles, nor of the real goal: to change the political landscape where progressivism/liberalism is at the center of what's perceived as the "conventional wisdom" of the moment.  And, the only way to do that is by getting committed progressives/liberals elected to office.

Of course, again, in the near term, if the progressive candidate has been defeated in the Dem primary, come the general, we should all vote for the Dem in the ticket -- at least for now.  The current Dem establishment has failed us; therefore, we must buy some insurance against a similar failure in the future -- electing progressives is the only insurance that we have.

by bedobe 2006-03-26 03:22PM | 0 recs
Re: On the whole Tammy Duckworth thing

I agree completely-- and not just in Cegelis' case. Rahm Emanuel is no less an enemy of democratic values than is Tom DeLay. Progressives need to use the Democratic Party to fight fascism from the Republicans but significant parts of the Democratic Party are nearly as dangerous. I'll vote for their candidates but when it comes to passion, money, volunteering... there are plenty of progressives who need the help.

by DownWithTyranny 2006-03-26 03:10PM | 0 recs
give me a break

I'm no fan of Rahm Emanuel, but to say he's no less and enemy of democratic values than is Tom DeLay? That's stupid.

I understand not wanting to spend your money and energy on Duckworth--it's a free country. I'm not going to be busting my butt for my own Congressman Leonard Boswell. But to compare any Democrat to the toxic Tom DeLay is outrageous.

I do appreciate that you are voting for our candidates. Given the clear and present danger posed by GOP rule, now is the time for everyone to become a yellow-dog Democrat. I would seriously vote for any Democrat running in any congressional district against any Republican. The bottom line is getting to 218, which would mean real power (subpeona and otherwise) for people like Conyers and Dingell.

by desmoinesdem 2006-03-26 05:46PM | 0 recs
I don't think this about being a yellow dog Dem

This debate fascinates me, but I don't think it is about over being a Yellow Dog Dem. The question seems to center on what happens in addition to voting Dem. I think the debate is whether the congressional race is the most effective place for those who will be volunteering their time for Democrats in one office or another.

by blogswarm 2006-03-26 06:19PM | 0 recs
volunteers can pick their battles, but

don't justify this by comparing Rahm Emanuel to Tom DeLay. That is just ridiculous.

We all make choices in how to spend our time. Me, I'll probably focus my volunteer efforts this year on fundraising for Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa and helping various candidates for the Iowa Senate and House. We desperately need to win back one or both chambers.

I am not crazy about Congressman Leonard Boswell and am not likely to be excited about the Dem gubernatorial nominee (my guy Ed Fallon will probably not get the nomination). So, I'll be volunteering elsewhere.

What I object to is not volunteers deciding to focus on someone other than Duckworth, but the unhinged rhetoric that has been coming from some Cegelis supporters. There was hardball politics, and Cegelis was unfortunately on the receiving end. This is news in the Chicago area? It's not the greatest tragedy ever to befall American democracy, and it's not anything to be compared to Tom DeLay. Republican rule poses a genuine threat to American democracy.

by desmoinesdem 2006-03-26 07:35PM | 0 recs
Re: volunteers can pick their battles, but

I didn't compare Emanuel to DeLay, if I would have it would have been to mention that I lack respect for both instead of a claim of that they are equally evil.

You'll focus on Planned Parenthood, state house and senate while having no problem with, "volunteers deciding to focus on someone other than Duckworth". This is what fascinates me and is something I think we should discuss. I want to understand this dynamic, because I think it has moved a great deal so far this year. The top-down model of telling people they need to fall in line is colliding with an increased sophistication driving by a greater access to knowledge and a longer term approach as people realize that Democrats' problems are not limited to being in the minority.

I think the battle between out of touch DC Democrats and grassroots Democrats is one the biggest problem in our Party. I want to better understand the dynamics of what is going on and telling people they need to volunteer for the nominee is a way to cover up the problem without dealing with it. You didn't say that, but talked about "unhinged rhetoric" in a manner that I think some of us are talking past each other.

Something is happening that I want to better understand.

by blogswarm 2006-03-26 07:55PM | 0 recs
Re: On the whole Tammy Duckworth thing

Just so.

What ever happened to the idea that a political party has to earn the support of the people?

by Feh 2006-03-26 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: On the whole Tammy Duckworth thing

"Yes, Democrats and progressives will have to probably vote for Duckworth in Illinois' sixth congressional district"


Gee, don't sound so excited.

by v2aggie2 2006-03-26 05:13PM | 0 recs
Referendum on the Republicans -- Not the DCCC!

I'm completely sympathetic to arguments that if you don't particularly like one Democratic candidate, you should go out and find another.

If that's what you're saying, fine.

But it's important to keep in mind that the election everywhere -- even in IL-06 -- is a referendum on the Republicans and not the DCCC!

by patachon 2006-03-27 10:27AM | 0 recs


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