But then there are the lying republicrat faux Democrats, like Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Hillary Clinton and Diane Feinstein. We absolutely must get candidates on the primary ballots to run against these losers. It's not just that they side with the Republicans. We let them represent themselves as Democrats, when really, they are corporate globalists, loyal to non US party, just parked conveniently in the Democratic party because that's where it's most convenient. But it's not good enough.
We need to identify real Democrats, preferably progressives who stand for the issues that really represent what the "radical middle" want-- out of Iraq, separation of church and state, clean elections, paper ballots, the end of unrestrained globalism (no more WTO, NAFTA and CAFTA) single payor health care for all, better protections for the environment and for workers, a balanced budget, no torture or endless imprisonment by the US, upholding of constitutional rights, upholding of women's rights, rational treatment of science and research, including stem cell research. Now the right wing nutjobs on the radio and their moron minions will call these issues liberal extremism. That's total BS. These issues are dead center American. But the Feinsteins and Liebermans in the senate and house who are destroying the name of the Democratic party are selling out to globalists and big corporations.
In every state, progressives-- Democrats, Greens, whichever parties-- should be looking for and identifying candidates who can run in the Democratic primaries, who can run against the DLC republicrat sellout democrats who have failed the Democratic party. We need to get progressive organizations to support these candidates-- to go out with petitions so the candidates are placed on the ballot. They don't have to win, though they may. But the process is the important part. Throughout the US, there are good-old-boy people running the Democratic party-- cynical, jaded, too-often compromising, leaders who don't get what the Democratic party is all about. It is time to kick a lot of them out. Their tired ideas of how to win races is no longer working. Their leadership is failing the people of the Democratic party. We see it manifested in Washington when hack politicians try simple-minded ideas-- ideas that are based on weakness and unnecessary compromises-- like running anti-abortion democratic candidates, or running Iraq veterans when great candidates have already declared. This shortsighted stupidity deserves to be removed from the party. By going through the process of identifying candidates, getting petitions signed to get them on the ballot and canvassing for them, against the turncoat democrat incumbents, against the DLC "annointed" conservative candidates. Just the process of getting organized will galvanize the progressive energies, the progressive activism in your community, in your state. It will develop, in the process, leaders, hard workers, experienced new activists. It will identify people with incredible strengths and resources who are even potential candidates. You know this happened in 2003-2004, during the run-up to the Kerry Bush race. Even if you lose, you will send a strong message and teach an expensive lesson to the Democratic party insiders that they don't get to make all the rules anymore. They don't get to sell out to corporations and lobbyists.
While you are at it, make sure you field a strong progressive candidate for the Secretary of State. That's the office in most states which is charged with running elections, selecting election technology, etc. It's become a key position that the right wing has used, in the hands of enemies of democracy Katherine Harris and Ken Blackwell to corrupt and steal elections.
Don't expect it to be easy. These right wing Democrats can be just as corrupt, dishonest and sleazy as the real corrupt, dishonest and sleazy real Republicans. They will cheat, hold secret ballot votes, stuff ballot boxes for county endorsements, lie, steal-- just like their counterparts who are out-of-the-closet Republicans.
I just got off the phone with one candidate who went into a county endorsement meeting. He was told that, based on the votes and discussions heard by precinct committeepeople who were voting, that he should have been a shoe-in, but the count was fixed. Even so, he took just short of 50% of the vote. Expect this to happen all over the country. The good-old-boys will be the ones counting the votes. They'll stuff the ballot box with "absentee" and "proxy" ballots.
It will happen in the coming weeks as old-time, old power Democratic neanderthals use all their connections, insider power and access to controls to hold on to control.
But this year, they will face something new-- a fresh, vigorous, tough, committed group of progressives who won't sit back and let them run their losing show anymore. We will make some gains and will experience plenty of losses, but at the end of the election cycle, we will have seen battle and we will have drawn political blood. We will have let the backstabber DLC republicrats know that they are not going to get their way easy or cheap and we will have shown our strength. And that strength is just developing. It will continue to grow. Some campaigns may actually win. Others may force the candidates to tow the progressive line, to commit to policies that we progressives support.
If we get this right, the DNC will change it's relationship to the grassroots.
One thing we also need to watch out for is the media's interloping in our politics. They did it bigtime in the presidential primaries, doing all they could to sabotage Howard Dean. We need to let all Democratic voters know about the alternative, progressive media-- we need to let them know that the mainstream networks and newspapers are no longer looking out for their interests (except for a handful of journalists who are bucking the trend.) We need to help them learn to use the web to get their news and we need to do it soon, before the government and the big corporations do what the military is doing, blocking access to progressive media sites. Before we know it, the biggest corporations will start making it harder to send mass emails. Oh, they're doing that, aren't they, or about to, at AOL and Yahoo? I can't understand why any supporter of the free internet would have an AOL account anymore, or give any money to Yahoo, or help yahoo's revenues by using their search engine. Before we know it, libraries and schools will have certain sites blocked. If we don't turn the tide in congress, it's not a matter of if, but when.
So, crank up your engines and get even more angry, more active, and start recruiting all the people who you worked with in 2004 on the Kerry campaign. And don't just sit back and let the Democratic fatcats annoint who you will vote for. Get out there and kick out the fatcats. Take over. Remember, all politics is local. Half of success is just showing up. Show up locally and you WILL make a difference.