What is your overall opinion of the leadership of your political party?
1. Very favorable 2. Somewhat favorable 3. Somewhat unfavorable 4. Very unfavorable 5. Not familiar 6. Not sure
Nine percent of Democrats held a VERY favorable opinion of the leadership of the Democratic party Leadership. The rest of them held a less than very favorable view.
48% of Democrats hold a somewhat favorable opinion of the Democratic Party Leadership.
43% hold an unfavorable opinion of the Democratic leadership--34% somewhat unfavorable and 9% Very unfavorable.
I don't think it's a big leap to say that 91% of the members of the Democrat party are not very happy with their leaders.
The Republicans are not in much better shape. Almost twice as many republicans appear to be drinking the party Koolaid, with 17% holding very favorable opinioins of the Republican party leadership.
That leaves 83% less than very happy. 50% of Republicans hold a somewhat favorable opinion, 17% hold a somewhat unfavorable and 16%, almost twice the percentage of Democrats, hold a very unfavorable opinion of Republican leaders. That 33% unfavorable total may explain pretty precisely the polls showing 68% of Republicans supporting Bush.
But I write to a progressive, democratic audience, so I'm going to talk about the Democratic party. With 91% of Democrats having a less than very favorable opinion of the Democratic leadership, it's time that they do something about it.
I say the thing to do is reject the favorite picks of the Democratic leadership. Dump the worst of the incumbents, like Joe Lieberman and Jane Harman, and vote for candidates other than the ones the Democratic leadership-- the centrist, DLC Democratic leadership-- is supporting.
I'm not saying to do it mindlessly, but there are some glaring examples. In Pennsylvania, an anti abortion, anti stem cell pro alito candidate-- BOb Casey Junior was "annointed as the candidate to go up against Rick Santorum. Our poll shows that 92% of Democrats support the right of a woman to have an abortion. 94% of Democrats believe that we should be doing embryonic stem cell research.
Yet the Democratic leadership-- Ed Rendell, failed senate candidate Joe Hoeffel and others, joined with National Democratic leaders-- initially Schumer, Reid, Clinton, and later Pelosi, Obama, Kerry and many more to back Casey. Hell, 65% of all Pennsylvanians support a woman's right to an abortion and doing embryonic stem cell research. Yet these "leaders" thought they'd be smart and pick someone who looked like a Republican.
When you're working for candidates, especially ones who are underdogs, not supported by the Democratic party, brag about it.
Say to the people you canvas-- If you're VERY happy with the Democratic party leadership, then vote as they advise. But if you're like the 91% of Democrats who are less than thrilled with the Democratic leadership, then give them a message. Support a different candidate. Support the one who has the clearest stand on the issues, whose stand on the issues looks most like a Democrat."
So here's what you do. When you go to vote in your primary. Send a message to the spineless, misguided leaders of the Democratic party, if they even deserve to be called leaders. Don't vote for their candidates in the primaries.
Send a message to Rahm Emanual and Chuck Schumer that they are on the wrong track. Vote for other candidates, Vote your heart, not for the candidate the Democratic party tells you has the best chance to win. They don't get it. Vote against the incumbent, even if the opponent doesn't have a prayer of winning the primary, just to send a message, and because there's a good chance there are a lot of other Democrats out there who are just as disgusted as you. And before you get to the poll, know who the candidates for local democratic committees are. Do your homework. We can't take back America if we don't take back the Democratic party.
Take this approach and you may just get better leaders while you're at it.