Reprinted from The Nation
The California Democratic Party speaks with an loud voice in national politics. It is, by any reasonable measure, the biggest party in the biggest state in the nation.
And it is a well-organized, forward-looking organization that since the 1950s has had a tradition of delivering vital messages from the base to national Democratic leaders. Indeed, in the 1960s, California Democrats were among the first and loudest critics of President Lyndon Johnson's decision to expand the war in Vietnam. They were not merely opposed to the war; they were worried, wisely, that committing resources, governing energy and political capital to an unwise and unnecessary war would undermine the ability of an otherwise popular Democratic president to deliver on his ambitious domestic agenda.
With their history and their heft in mind, it is reasonable to say that when California Democrats take a strong stand on a contentious issues, it matters -- both as a signal with regard to popular sentiment within the party and as an indicator of the issues that could cause political headaches for a Democratic president.
So what does the California Democratic Party have to say about the global conflict that many believe could be for Barack Obama's presidency what Vietnam was for Lyndon Johnson's?
"End the U.S. Occupation and Air War in Afghanistan."