Concession is NOT a Strategy
by RDemocrat, Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 04:30:35 PM EDT
I hail from the red area of Western Kentucky as many know. This can have many frustrations in itself as we deal with not only Conservatives in our party who consistently vote Republican while registered Democrats, but we also are forced to deal with many in the national party ridiculing our unfunded efforts and writing us off as Democrats. I am sure many Democrats in other parts of the country feel the same way, ignored and powerless.
To make matters worse, in my own Congressional district many, but not all of the leaders have settled into just conceding our national Congressional seat next time around as they wanted to last time.
One of the reasons they so despised true Progressive Heather Ryan, was that they had settled on a concession strategy for 2008 in a Democratic year. They resented her for not allowing our seat to go uncontested. Those of us who volunteered to help her, and herself to boot knew that the chances she would win were practically none. We just did not believe in conceding our homes and our voices in Washington D.C. without fighting for it.
In the end, we accomplished most of what we wanted to do. In the beginning of the campaign, news stories were telling how Ed Whitfield was trying to decide which Republicans that he believed in running for office were going to be receiving contributions from him. Having a candidate running against him that was actually raising money kept most of that money here, (well what he was not partying away with in Hollywood anyway). When you consider that we were a grassroots campaign with an unknown female candidate in a district never represented by a woman, I was pretty proud of what the campaign accomplished.
Now I would like to share an email with you from a local Democratic "leader" giving me advice on what to do in 2010. I will not give the name, but here is his grand idea:
Below please see hoe Ed Whitfield has done once he was elected to the congress. Just the facts not fiction.
1994 Whitfield 64, 849 and Tom Barlow 62,387, Tom's bid to retain his seat fell a little short.
1996 Whitfield 111,479 and Dennis Null 96,684, good effort by Dennis
1998 Whitfield 95,308 and Tom Barlow 77,402, another effort by Tom.
2000 Whitfield 132,115 and Brian Roy 95,806, a different century and still the same result.
2002 Whitfield 117,600 and Clint Alexander 62,617, big loss to Ed.
2004 Whitfield 175,972 and Bill Cartwright 85,229, biggest loss to ED.
2006 Whitfield 123,618 and Tom Barlow 83,865, different year and same result.
2008 Whitfield 178, 107 and Heather Ryan 98,674, biggest vote against Ed but biggest vote that Ed ever got. Second largest losing margin against Ed. The talk that if she had more money She could have beat ED is stupid.
It is time that we do not waste money running against Ed. Spend money to win other races until Ed changes jobs or retires. That just makes good money management.
Maybe some here would agree with that assessment, but I hope not. I want to say what I strongly believe, the principle that Howard Dean used so successfully at the DNC. The principle that every district and Democrat is worth fighting for. Concession is not a strategy, it is not smart, efficient, or money management. It is cowardice and laziness. It is complacency, and it is unpatriotic. Is is asking thousands of Progressive Democrats in our district to just concede their voice. It is showing the worst possible attitude an American could have towards our Republic.
Every American and Democrat is worth fighting for. Some of us believe in the ideals we espouse enough to take them to our neighbors and try to convince them of the benefits to them personally. Ed Whitfield has been a disaster for the working class families that live in this district and I see the ramifications of his actions upon my friends, my family, and myself personally.
When you look at the fights we must embark on as Democrats, and Progressives this attitude just will not work. We must fight not only for the direction of our country, but when you look at the developments of the last many months we must fight for the direction of our party in fighting for our country.
I am one of many that is disappointed with our party's direction of late. The last thing we can afford to do is concede anything now. Progressives have to fight harder than ever still to see any real change in this country and the forces that have arisen against us are still just as powerful as they were in the last eight years.
That is why I fervently disagree with the point of the email above. I call for any qualified, competent person to step forward and run against Ed Whitfield and they will have my full support if they are willing to fight for a Progressive vision.
We simply have conceded too much of our country and party to back down anymore.