The Dem Party is a Leaky Boat… But it’s our Leaky Boat
There was a caller yesterday that was in deep despair about the hold conserva-dems exercise over our Democratic Party. It was by no means the first time I’ve heard such frustration and hopelessness from a caller. It makes me think that there are a lot of progressives out there that probably need one or more of the following three things: a reality check, a metaphor, and a plan.
First the reality check. Friends, we all need to get a grip and realize that the political news is not all bad. We actually did ok in this year’s primaries – we stopped Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, and we put the fear of her progressive constituents into Blanch Lincoln and her DLC supporters. That’s a good start for a movement that is just now starting to think and act in terms of challenging it’s own party leadership. We will be back.
Which leads me to the metaphor that I think should guide us. For those progressives who are in despair I want to offer a metaphor to help us understand the challenges that face us. As I see it, having the Democrats as our political party is like being stuck on a leaky ship, and on that leaky ship we must do two things at same time to succeed and safely make it to shore. We must keep bailing to keep the ship afloat – that means making sure we don’t lose too many congressional and senate seats this fall. At same time, we need to work on fixing the holes responsible for the leaks – that means working to replace conserva-dem each and every time, whenever they face primaries.
Which leads me to a plan for a medium term course of action. Friends, we need to learn how to think beyond a six-month time horizon, and in particular, we need to start planning now for 2012 primaries. I recommend that everyone check the progressivepunch.org website and check their index to see how your own and neighboring congress members and senators rate in relation to the normal leanings of their district/state. If you have a conserva-dem in your area that rates a 1 or 2 on the progressive punch index then start organizing now to replace them with a real progressive in the next. Even if that conserva-dem’s primary is two or four years away, now is the time to start raising money and recruiting a progressive challenger.
With regard to the senate, I’ve already checked the progressive punch index against the list of senators up for reelection in 2012 and come up with a list DLC conserva-dem’s that I call “The Feckless Four.” These are four Democratic senators that rate the lowest score on the index, a one on the 1 to 5 scale. We should challenge these four senators hard in the 2012 primaries and replace them with progressives. The Feckless Four are: senator Tom Carper (D-DE), senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and senator Ben Nelson (D-NE). They all need to go, and we need to start organizing right now to mount primary challenges to the Feckless Four in 2012.
We’ve got our marching orders, so lets get to it!