Sunday, August 17, 2008

If you can volunteer or vote in WA-08, you can help make Tuesday's primary election a significant step toward sending Darcy Burner to Congress


by Ken

It's a tricky business this, the whole matter of trying to size up political candidates to guess what kind of officeholders they'd be if they actually made it. There's nothing scientific about it. As far as I can tell, the only thing you can do is gather all the information you can, and if the omens augur well, give it your best shot -- and if you succeed, watch carefully to see what happens.

Because, as I always try to remind myself and anyone who'll listen, you never know about people until they're in a position to show who they really are. Among my progressive brothers and sisters, there is always serious hand-wringing when a candidate who accepted their help eagerly with all indications of shared views turns out not to share those views at all -- or maybe not so much. The classic case for BlueAmerica is Chris Carney of PA-10.

All you can do at that point is learn from your mistakes. Cut loose from the person who turns out not to be what you thought or hoped, and if necessary work to defeat him/her, all the while learning ways of detecting what you may have missed in evaluating future hopefuls.

All of which is a prelude to saying that I haven't encountered many prospective first-time members of the House of Representatives who give me as much cause for hope as Darcy Burner, who's challenging Bush rubber-stamper Dave Reichert in WA-08. Unlike Howie, I don't deal directly with candidates. All I have to go by is what I read and hear from and about them. And when I hear Darcy talk about key issues that matter to me, I hear real conviction coupled with a real sense of what it's going to take to accomplish the goal. When Darcy talks about organizing and expanding a genuine progressive bloc in Congress, I tend to forget that she isn't already there, that she has yet to be elected.

Darcy’s Five Principles

Darcy has articulated five principles that will guide her decisions when she is in Congress. She says that people can pretty much figure out how she will vote on any issues based on these principles:

1. Government should treat everyone fairly.
2. Hard work should be rewarded.
3. Government should stay out of people's private lives.
4. We should keep our promises.
5. We should leave our children a better world than the one we found.
[from the Darcy Burner for Congress website]

The signs are incredibly good. Both fund-raising and polling are extremely encouraging, and all indications are that Reichert is running scared. (Darcy even survived the blow of a fire that destroyed her family home and pretty much everything in it. She took a bit of time off, then returned to the campaign.)

This Tuesday, because of quirks in Washington state's election laws, there is what's being described as a preview of the November election. Since candidates in Washington do not run by party affiliation, there is a so-called "blanket" primary, from which the top two candidates -- normally a Democrat and a Republican -- move on to the general election. Essentially, this means that on Tuesday Darcy and Reichert will face each other on the same ballot for the first time in this year's rematch of the 2006 election, in which he defeated her narrowly.

Of course it doesn't really mean anything. Both leading candidates are assured of places on the ballot in November. Yet there's a psychological edge at stake -- a psychological edge that could turn practical when it comes to things like fund-raising. If Darcy finishes first, the media will notice, and potential donors will notice.

The problem is that turnout for such an election would normally be quite low, since after all it really doesn't mean anything. So the campaign is trying to do a maximum get-out-the-vote effort, for which it is eager for volunteers. If you might be able to pitch in, check out the volunteer page on the campaign website. (My guess is they wouldn't turn away contributions either, which you can do on the BlueAmerica website.) And of course if you live in the district, or know anyone who does, don't forget that every vote counts.

I could be wrong about Darcy, of course. But if she turns out to be the kind of congresswoman I'm hoping, one who combines strong progressive vision with a roll-up-her-sleeves attitude and a passion for the nuts and bolts of getting things done, she could be a real force in Congress for a long time to come. A decisive win on Tuesday could be a powerful step toward that goal.

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At 6:34 PM, Blogger Richard Taylor said...

Any potential concerns I had about Darcy were immediately put to rest when I saw the picture of her after the fire, wearing her Stop the War t-shirt written in tech speak.

Worked for me!

At 6:43 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Nice, D!

As with so many other things, I think Darcy means business when it comes to stopping the war. And I don't think she cares who doesn't like it -- I think she's really prepared to stand up to what passes for Democratic "leadership" in the House.


At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a silly, ignorant blog premise. If tyranny comes to America it will be a variant of socialism just as Naziism, Fascism and Communism all were. All different gradations of government control over industry and people that you truly ignorant children espouse. The closest thing we have had to tyranny in the US, and it was awfully close at points, was the first great "progressive", Woodrow Wilson, and it has been Democrats like Maxine Waters and others who have called for seizing control of the oil industry,ala Hugo Chavez, and pretty much your entire party that wants to seize control of the health industry.

It is not conservative patriots who love the founding fathers principles of limited government for their brilliance that you need fear, it is the liberals who want to give more and more and more power to the government over every aspect of society, the economy and our lives.

It is not love of country that you need fear, it is love of POWER, and giving more power to the government is an entirely "progressive"/liberal ideology.

By the way, environmentalism and socialized medicine were two of Hitlers biggest planks too!

You stupid, ignorant children!

At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darcy is the real deal -- I've met and chatted with her twice at the DailyKos conventions, and given her $75 so far this cycle.

From upstate New York.

I came here to see to find out when the polls close, and if results will be up here quickly.


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