HAPPY THIRD ANNUAL BLOGOSPHERE DAY!
Who was the mythological king who railed at the sea waves in a vain attempt to hold them back? King Canute? Karl Rove, backed up by BushCheney, will have to do better if he's going to prevent a building Democratic tsunami from sweeping dozens of Republicans out of office in November. Voters have had it with the Iraq war, the high gasoline prices, the unfair economic policies... and they have finally connected the dots to Bush and the rubber stamp congress. According to Sunday's Washington Post "we could see a national tide in November that will sweep the Democrats back into the majority. Virtually every public opinion measure points to a Category 4 or 5 hurricane gathering. Bush's job-approval rating is below 40 percent, and congressional job approval is more than 10 percentage points lower. Only a quarter of the electorate thinks the country is moving in the right direction, and voters are unhappy with the economy under Bush. Finally, Democrats hold a double-digit lead as the party the public trusts to do a better job of tackling the nation's problems and the party it would like to see controlling Congress."
The worst thing concerned citizens could do about this is to leave it to the careerist Beltway Insiders to work out. They are venal, self-serving and utterly incompetent. Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer could do a lot more for the GOP than King Canute and Karl Rove combined. Their power-crazed incumbent-protection committees, respectively the DCCC and the DSCC, are incapable of strategic thinking and are thoroughly dependent of professional consultants who have never been right about anything... ever.
Citizens who really want a change need to take matters into their own hands. I want to announce today that Down With Tyranny, Firedoglake and Crooks and Liars have officially combined our individual Act Blue pages into The Blue America Communities, the 5th biggest Act Blue page in the U.S. Our purpose: to elect grassroots progressives and populists to Congress. Frankly, I hope every Republican is defeated-- remember, the best Republican is worse than the worst Democrat-- but fighting that battle isn't the job we have set out to accomplish. If you didn't read David Sirota's brilliant new book, HOSTILE TAKE OVER, you ought to. Sirota is uncompromising in pointing out how most of the careerist political class are nothing but high priced hookers for Big Business. Are the Republicans worse? Sure. But give slimy Democrats like Emanuel a shot at power for a few years and watch the tables turn.
No, we're not trying to elect any Democrat anywhere to anything-- though it's not a bad goal; we're trying to find under the radar progressives and populists, supported by grassroots Democrats like ourselves. These are men and women who are running because they believe they can make America better. And these are men and women who get no help whatsoever from Emanuel's DCCC. If you've been reading DWT you should know the story of Jerry McNerney-- a grassroots hero fighting a lonely battle against one of the worst Republican monstrosities in the entire Congress, Richard "Let's Sell the National Parks" Pombo. After McNerney thrashed Emanuel's handpicked corporate shill in the primary, a poll showed that he is already preferred by voters in his San Joaquin Valley district (CA-11) over Pombo. But, still smarting from having been told by mere Democratic voters that they will pick their own candidates, Emanuel reacted with all his foul and contemptible wrath, vowing to watch McNerney's campaign starve for cash and sink (while he continues to fight against other grassroots Democrats in primary races around the country).
That's where we come in. Blue America Communities, with your help, is supporting candidates like Jerry McNerney, like Donna Edwards, like Ned Lamont, like Coleen Rowley, Rick Penberthy, Jon Tester, Larry Kissell, John Laesch... men and women of vision and integrity and brimming with ideas and energy to re-focus America away from Wall Street values and back towards Main Street values.
Our candidates know that hatred is not a family value-- and that love is. Weak people hate; strong people love. Hopefully you already know that every Saturday at 11 AM (PST)/2 PM back East, we get together with a candidate live at Firedoglake and get to know her or him. A few weeks ago we helped Rick Penberthy produce and mail out over 10,000 postcards. Monday morning I got an e-mail from Coleen Rowley telling me that she would be able to buy 60,000 bookmarks to hand out to voters in MN-02 with the money we raised for her.
Right now we are putting together an ambitious plan to turn several red districts blue by assisting capable and superior candidates who have everything going for them and just need the financial help to get out their messages. Over the past month or so my friend Bob Brigham has explained the tradition of Blogosphere Day-- today-- to me.
The first Blogosphere Day was in 2004 when the blogging community catapulted Ginny Schrader's campaign into the national spotlight by raising her a great deal of money in one day. A year later, the blogging community did the same thing-- in an even bigger way-- for Paul Hackett, bringing in over $100,000 in a day of concentrated fundraising.
Last year when we raised the $100,000 for Paul Hackett, it was for a Special Election in one district, very concentrated. Today is vastly different. Again, look at the folks on our new ACT BLUE Page. At the top of the list you'll see Ned Lamont. He's not a poor man, like so many of our candidates, but he is up against a $19 million war chest supplied to one of the worst corporate whores in the U.S. Senate, beloved of Big Pharma, Big Insurance and Banking Interests, Defense Contractors, Credit Card companies, HMOs... everyone who seeks special legislation to allow them to blatantly rip off American consumers. Lieberman is the whore who is always willing to make the rip-offs look bi-partisan. Bush, McCain and the entire Republican hierarchy would rather have Lieberman in the Senate than a Republican. They know they can always depend on him when they need him and he gives them and their corporate partners cover and, more than anyone, he helps confuse voters so that they don't understand the differences between Republicans and Democrats. Today Ned will match, dollar for dollar out of his own money every single Act Blue contribution that comes in.
On the other extreme, look at a candidate like Coleen Rowley. She's running for a seat against another corporate whore, John Kline, who is being supported by Big Oil and Big Pharma as a reward for selling out his constituents at every turn. He's loaded. She's a retired FBI agent. Of the $4,721 she's raised on Act Blue, almost $4,000 came from the communities who participate in Firedoglake, Crooks and Liars and Down With Tyranny. Coleen's district, like John Laesch's, Rick Penberthy's, Larry Kissell's are areas where radio spots go for "a dollar a holler." A little bit of money goes a very long way for these candidates. Except for Ned, none of the Blue America candidates live in expensive media markets.
It's hard for me to ask people to reach into their pockets and contribute money to political candidates. All I can tell you is that every single candidate on the list got a contribution from me to start the ball rolling. And I'll vouch for each and every one of them being a dependable progressive who will not go to Washington and sell us out the first time a lobbyist mentions a golf trip to Scotland. Please help us create some momentum for our candidates today and give what you can afford. If every daily reader of the 3 blogs gave $10 today we could probably deliver 10 congressmen and congresswomen that the DCCC isn't even aware of!
Anyway, the first 100 people who donate today on the new Blue America ACT BLUE Page will get a nice fresh new CD. I have lots of Bob Dylan CDs, lots of Neil Young CDs, plenty of Son Volt CDs... all sorts of goodies-- no stiffs. (If you don't want a CD, just add one cent to your contribution.) The offer is good from 12 Midnight East Coast (right now) to 12 Midnight tomorrow (West Coast; so you get an extra 3 hours!)