CINDY SHEEHAN WANTS TO PRIMARY NANCY PELOSI-- GOOD THING?
I had a few e-mails this week from a friend-- I'm not sure if the messages were supposed to private or not, so let me forego mentioning his name. He had been a very progressive Democratic candidate for Congress twice against a rubber stamp Republican. I had been looking forward to supporting him again next year. But he told me he decided not to run again. He's fed up with the Democratic Party and he feels they can't be cured from inside. He asked me if Blue America would still support him if he ran as an independent. I told him that the Blue America community likes him a lot and that we'd have him on for a chat and people would make up their own minds. So far I'm not impressed with the middle-of-the-road Democrat who is looking to get into the race.
At the same time I noticed that another frustrated Democrat looks like she may jump into an electoral campaign. Cindy Sheehan announced to day that she may challenge Nancy Pelosi unless he allows impeachment back onto the table. Cindy is giving her two weeks-- 'til July 23.
"Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership," Sheehan told The Associated Press. "We hired them to bring an end to the war. I'm not too far from San Francisco, so it wouldn't be too big of a move for me. I would give her a run for her money."
Like my friend, she decided to leave the Democratic Party because they haven't delivered on promises they made during the campaign. Other progressive heroes have decided to not give up on the Democrats and to try again. One of our favorite candidates from last year, John Laesch, just took some time off to get married and, back from his honeymoon, he's fighting again. He just posted a blog over at Kos. Blue America has endorsed him again-- as we have Donna Edwards (just yesterday, who is trying to take down a corrupt and reactionary Democratic Insider, Al Wynn), Charlie Brown, Eric Massa, Angie Paccione and Victoria Wulsin, all progressives who came close to dislodging rubber stamp Republicans last November and who we would like to see in DC to help the good guys.
I understand-- as anyone who reads this blog surely knows-- Cindy's frustration. Too bad she-- or like-minded Democrats-- don't run against reactionaries whose voting records, unlike Pelosi's, support the Republican agenda. There are Democrats in very red districts who vote with the Republicans and were they to lose a primary to a moderate, the moderate might lose to a far right Republican. Or maybe not. But the districts that I'm interested in are blue districts with reactionary Democrats. That's where we need primaries. Or how about challenges to the really bad leaders like Steny Hoyer and Rahm Emanuel, the very worst of the Democratic Party? If either of them is defeated by a progressive, the progressive would win the general election hands down.
For the hell of it, here's a list of the Democratic House members with the 50 worst voting records. Each has earned a primary but the ones in bold are in Democratic districts where a moderate or a progressive would win the general if the incumbent were defeated in the primary. The list is in order of how bad they are, the first being the Democrat who most frequently votes with the GOP to support Bush's toxic agenda:
Gene Taylor (MS)- solid Republican district
Bud Cramer (AL)- solid Republican district
Dan Boren (OK)- solid Republican district
Collin Peterson (MN)- Republican district
Ike Skelton (MO)- solid Republican district
Allen Boyd (FL)- Republican leaning district
Mike McIntyre (NC)- Republican district
John Tanner (TN)- Democratic leaning district
Jim Marshall (GA)- solid Republican district
Jim Matheson (UT)- solid Republican district
Tim Holden (PA)- Republican district
Lincoln Davis (TN)- Republican district
Solomon Ortiz (TX)- Republican leaning district
Charlie Melancon (LA)- Republican district
John Barrow (GA)- Democratic district
John Murtha (PA)- Democratic district
Henry Cuellar (TX)- Democratic leaning district
Chet Edwards (TX)- solid Republican district
Bart Gordon (TN)- Republican district
Leonard Boswell (IA)- Democratic leaning district
Alan Mollohan (WV)- Republican district
Marion Berry (AR)- Democratic leaning district
Jim Cooper (TN)- Democratic district
Heath Shuler (NC)- Republican district
Sanford Bishop (GA)- toss-up district
Jerry Costello (IL)- Democratic district
Joe Donnelly (IN)- Republican district
Michael Doyle (PA)- solid Democratic district
Jason Altmire (PA)- Republican district
Stephanie Herseth (SD)- Republican district
Earl Pomeroy (ND)- Republican district
Baron Hill (IN)- Republican district
Silvestre Reyes (TX)- solid Democratic district
Nick Lampson (TX)- solid Republican district
Brad Ellsworth (IN)- Republican district
Rick Boucher (VA)- Republican district
Melissa Bean (IL)- Republican district
Adam Smith (WA)- Democratic district
Jim Costa (CA)- Democratic district
Dennis Cardoza (CA)- Democratic district
Jane Harman (CA)- solid Democratic district
Nick Rahall (WV)- Democratic leaning district
David Scott (GA)- solid Democratic district
John Spratt (SC)- Republican district
Ruben Hinojosa (TX)- Republican leaning district
Gene Green (TX)- Democratic district
Dennis Moore (KS)- Republican district
Bob Etheridge (NC)- Republican district
Vic Snyder (AR)- toss-up district
Paul Kanjorski (PA)- Democratic district
And one last note: if you want to contribute to primaries against reactionary Democrats, think about donating some money to the Blue America PAC.