The Rural Story Is Not About Mudcat
by Nick Stump, Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 09:52:55 AM EDT
Matt Stoller has spent a couple of days talking about Mudcat Saunders. Mudcat, as we all know, came out on the Time Magazine blog and angered the progressive blogoshere by speaking harshly about the "elites" of the Democratic Party. I'm not sure he was talking about the bloggers, but that's how everyone took it, for the rest of the day and yesterday, a lot of bloggers have been taking Mudcat to task for talking about the elephant in the room.
Mudcat is not the issue here. If we're gonna talk about the real issues, let's talk about the new rural voter poll that [http://www.ruralstrategies.org]came out with this week.
This new poll says rural voters are continuing their move back toward the Democratic party. Some of us who are concerned with rural issues have been watching this movement since 2004. The move has been slow, but as the war rolls on with no end in sight and the rural economy remains stagnant, rural Americans are leaving the Republican party.
I believe this is the best opportunity we've had in years to really grow the party and we should be talking about this good news and quit talking about Mudcat. Mudcat is a very smart progressive political operative and he helped us take the Senate back with the Webb victory. I sometimes think Mudcat could use a translator, but what he's talking about is the fact that progressives are not invested or interested in rural issues. I think that's a fair assessment. Rural Americans have been ignored by both parties and it's time for a change.
I've been surprised how many progressive bloggers see this historic opportunity to pick up rural votes as bad news. Worse, keeping this story focused on Mudcat keeps progressives from learning about the problems facing rural America. As long as we keep repeating the old tired stereotypes about rural people, nothing will be solved or gained.
The truth is, we need rural votes to win in 2008. Some progressives might not like it, but without rural votes, we lose. This country can't afford 8 more years of this sort of leadership in the White House and we need a veto-proof Congress. Our answer lies with rural voters and as distasteful and this information might be to some, this poll is good and the numbers hold up.
I urge all of you to go to the Rural Strategies website and check this poll out. While you're there look at all the other work this fine organization is doing.