flickr image by Eggs&Beer
It may seem counter-intuitive, but some indigenous cultures burn their forests. They do it so that the next season, they will have a better harvest. They face a short term injury to the forest for a longer term gain. Modern cultures also use controlled burns to prevent out of control forest conflagrations.
Perhaps progressives should be thinking along the same lines in terms of incumbent Blue Dog Democrats who will never be primaryable because they are backed by the White House, the DSCC and the DCCC.
It looks like the Democratic party's response to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which unleashed unlimited corporate funds into elections is going to be just about worthless. Not quite. Maybe it will force unions to tell who they're funding. But the loopholes the Dems are allowing are big enough to drive tanks through... and organizations like the NRA, Focus on the Family-- and other orgs with over 500,000 members.
The NY Times reports that Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) said,
""It is not the bill I would have written, but it is better than nothing."
It seems that this is what the Pelosi Reid Congress-- with the behind the scenes active influence of the Obama/Emanuel White House do-- weak, diluted "better than nothing" legislation.
We can expect the same from them on energy and climate change legislation.
How much is better than nothing worth?
A lot of people rationalize that Obama/Biden are better than McCain/Palin. Sure, we've had a lot of better than nothing legislation-- weak, compromised, filled with gaps and loopholes. And we have had a few appointees who were decent. But what a far cry from what could have been accomplished if not for the Blue Dogs AND the White House.
Congress is badly broken. The election process is just about untrustworthy, unfair, un-democratic and sticking us with a status quo that is not meeting the safety, health, and security needs of the American people or the earth.
I've been wondering if it would be better to not vote, not campaign in the next election-- to allow the Republicans to take control of the Congress. Let them-- yeah, they're a little bit worse than the Democrats, but at least you know they're screwing you and sucking the corporate whatever when they vote. Let them re-inherit the economy, the Gulf dead zone, Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe, if we progressives show the better than nothing Democrats they can't depend upon us, they'll pay attention to us. Maybe, if we literally vote out the worst incumbent house Democrats and maybe even some senators, we'll be able to replace them next time around. And maybe, just maybe, Obama, when he's not sucking up to his corporatist contributors, will veto the worst legislation the Republicans put forward. Expect a lot more legislation, because we can be sure that the Democrats will not use the filibuster as effectively as the Republicans.
I am sick of the DSCC putting up big money in primaries for bluedogs who wouldn't win without their help.
I am sick of the big congressional power brokers and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama helping incumbents who routinely screw progressives.
How about allowing Democracy to do its thing and let the people decide? Oh, there's that Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court (changed whores to court.) That kinda screws up democracy too. I'm waiting for a corporation to run for office. I'd actually love to see it happen. Let the Supreme court legalize that. Clarence Thomas would legalize pubic hair voting. He IS the worst supreme court justice in history.
But let's get back to this idea of letting the Republicans win this round. That would mean Nancy Pelosi would lose her majority leader status. That might mean that John Boehner would respond to tea partier calls for Obama's impeachment. I'd like to see that-- not that he necessarily deserves impeachment for the reasons the tea partiers call for-- but Pelosi should have impeached Bush and Obama should have mandated Holder-- so far, IMO, the worst AG in history-- to investigate Bush Cheney. The spineless better-than-nothing Dems might learn a lesson.
I haven't made up my mind about this idea yet. I'd like to hear what others think. But it seems clear to me that the people of Arkansas were unable to dump Blanche Lincoln, an incumbent with no chance of winning, because of the help and funding of Obama, Clinton, the DSCC and corporations. The Republicans will do the job and she will be gone from the Senate. Maybe the same should be done, when the time is ripe, for Mary Landieu, Ben Nelson, most of the bluedog house Democrats, even fake liberals like Barney Frank, who is selling out the American people cutting deals with the finance companies.
Maybe there will be more Chris Dodds, who will see that they can't win and will back out. Maybe there will be more Joe Sestaks, who will heroically stand up to the Democratic leadership.