MORE AND BETTER DEMOCRATS
Barry Welsh, one of the good ones-- and worth 3 Blue Dogs easy
Indiana was 3 for 3-- 3 freshmen Democrats elected, 3 freshmen Democrats who vote just the way the Republicans they replaced would have voted on issue after issue after issue. Last year Rahm Emanuel Insiders shoved 3 right of center marginal Democrats down Indiana's throat: Baron Hill, Joe Donnelly and Brad Ellsworth. Blue America made no endorsements in these races. Gretchen Clearwater, our candidate to oppose far right reactionary Mike Sodrel, was beaten in the Democratic primary by a less far right reactionary, ex- and future congressman Baron Hill. Hill has turned out to be as awful as we expected, voting with Bush at nearly every opportunity, yesterday's FISA authorization being just the latest assault on Democratic (and American) values and ideals.
His two clones, Brad Ellsworth and Joe Donnelly, have been exactly as horrible, voting against the Democrats on almost every issue that separates Democrats from Republicans, progressives from reactionaries. In 2008 there is a race in Indiana shaping up that will be very different from the lesser of two evils type races in most Indiana districts. Progressive, values-oriented minister Barry Welsh is challenging right-wing extremist loon Mike Pence again. This time, though, Barry, could actually beat him. And I'd take one Barry Welsh for a trio of traitors like Hill, Ellsworth and Donnelly any day of the week. Barry will be the live Blue America guest at Firedoglake on Saturday, September 1. (I'll remind you closer to the day.)
All across the country there are true blue Democratic progressives challenging the reactionary establishment. In some cases, it is a real Democrat like Donna Edwards going up against a corrupt Establishment thug like Al Wynn, or a proven progressive incumbent like Memphis' Steve Cohen being challenged by the reactionary Harold Ford Machine. Some of our best Blue America candidates, from Angie Paccione, John Laesch and Vic Wulsin to Darcy Burner are being challenged by opportunistic and establishment Democrats in primaries. Yesterday 41 Democrats abandoned America to vote for Bush-Cheney fascism. Read John Laesch's take on the FISA debacle if you want to understand the difference between the real deal and some quasi-Republican.
If someone were to define me as a political candidate, the best label might be "economic populist and progressive." My primary opponent chose to call himself a Blue Dog Dem. In the Daily Herald:
Foster said he’d be a blue dog Democrat, a coalition of moderate and conservative mostly Southern lawmakers. Rep. Melissa Bean of Barrington is one of them.
"There’s not much they’re pushing for I don’t agree with," Foster said.
It seems to me that there is only one common thread that links blue dogs-– they cave to fear and conversely, there is only one common thread that links progressives-– they’ve got the stones to stand up for what is right.
A Blue Dog will cave and vote to give Bush unchecked war powers in Iraq and the authority to spy on Americans.
The Progressive Caucus voted against the "blank check," standing up to Bush and saying, "no." Many progressives voted against the Patriot Act and a growing majority support de-funding the Iraq occupation.
A Blue Dog will hem and haw over an uncomfortable issue like immigration or in my opponent’s case, just endorse Newt Gingrich’s plan for a national ID card for immigrant workers.
I on the other hand have the guts to tell the "right" that we have a challenging task ahead and you may not agree with my position, but comprehensive immigration is the only reasonable approach to handling this challenging issue. I also delve into a conversation about NAFTA because unfair trade agreements have left Mexico with 28% unemployment. That is a lot of people looking for work north of the border and at the end of the day it is all about big businesses looking for cheap labor.
The Inside the Beltway Democrats, don't care if they wind up with a Blue Dog who votes for the toxic Republican agenda-- just as long as they vote to organize Congress with the Democrats in charge. For ideals and principles and for good government, for values, you have to seek out the John Laeschs, Barry Welshs, Donna Edwardses. Those are the real Democrats, not these turds.
A couple of weeks ago, Blue America followers had a chance to meet Darcy Burner, one of our brightest and most passionate candidates. She's challenging Bush rubber stamp Dave Reichert in Washington's 8th CD, just east of Seattle. But reactionary quasi-Democrats are running an ex-Republican, Rodney Tom, who like Foster, would have loved to have been the 44th Democrat to kiss Bush's ass on FISA. Today over at FDL, Pach has a great video clip-- from where the title of this post comes-- that shows how Darcy answers reactionary Democrats who vote with Republicans. I highly recommend you hit this link and take a look at what Darcy and Pac have to say. And right underneath it is a post by Phoenix Woman worth reading too.
UPDATE-- AN ANTIDOTE TO FUTURE FISA SELLOUTS: DEFEAT MARY LANDRIEU
The Democrats' most vulnerable incumbent is reactionary Mary Landrieu (LA) who has worked very hard to earn the contempt of progressives for years. The Republicans are likely to go after her with all their might. Let them. Progressives should let her go down to defeat, the same way we let the treacherous DLC congressman Harold Ford defeat himself in Tennessee last year. Last year we won a majority in the Senate without Ford and we're better off without Ford. We'd be better off without Landrieu as well. She isn't a Democrat except on the day she votes on organizing the Senate. There is no way to teach Democrats to vote in the interests of the grassroots unless the grassroots stand up and let them know there is a price to pay for perfidy.
Today's Washington Post published an editorial worth reading: Warrantless Surrender-- Congress Is Stampeded Into Another Compromise of Americans' Rights. "The Democratic-led Congress, more concerned with protecting its political backside than with safeguarding the privacy of American citizens, left town early yesterday after caving in to administration demands that it allow warrantless surveillance of the phone calls and e-mails of American citizens, with scant judicial supervision and no reporting to Congress about how many communications are being intercepted. To call this legislation ill-considered is to give it too much credit: It was scarcely considered at all. Instead, it was strong-armed through both chambers by an administration that seized the opportunity to write its warrantless wiretapping program into law-- or, more precisely, to write it out from under any real legal restrictions."
FDL is more brutal in exposing the paucity of credible leadership among the Democrats. "We are a nation represented by sheep."