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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Summer of Reform, DLC Candidates Spanked

"We deplore this purge effort because Joe Lieberman
is an outstanding and respected U.S. Senator. [...]
We need more, not fewer, people with Joe Lieberman's
character in the Democratic Party."
- Democratic Leadership Council

Yesterday, Montana Democrats had a chance to send another Joe Lieberman to the U.S. Senate. John Morrison was a DLC poster boy using the DLC playbook. Morrison had been elected statewide twice and raised $1.4 million to populist Jon Tester's $700K. Morrison had everything going for him except for the fact his campaign sucked because it was running a DLC campaign. The final results were a 25% pt. LANDSLIDE:
Jon Tester (D) - 60.84%
John Morrison (DLC) - 35.41%
When all of the votes are finished being counted, it appears Tester may have received more votes* than DLC U.S. Senator Max Baucus received -- running unopposed -- in the last mid-term election!

In California, DLC poster boy Steve Westly wasted $34,500,000 of his own money to try and buy the gubernatorial nomination but lost to Phil Angelides who had the DLC take him off their list last year. Last summer, Kos wrote:
Democrats have a choice to make -- stand with the DLC, or stand with the grassroots and netroots of the party. It's interesting that Democrats with a strong sense of self -- those who truly know what they stand for and are unafraid to say so -- are those least interested in the DLC's snake oil. Obama twice had to demand the DLC take him off their list. California's Phil Angelides -- the next governor of the Golden State given Ahnold's spectacular collapse -- also demanded to be taken off their list. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who's anti-war floor speech made the internet rounds last year, also demanded to be taken off their list. Western Democrats in Montana -- blood red territory -- have shown no interest in cozying up with the DLC.
He was right and yesterday's election proved it. The Summer of Reform is now heading to Connecticut where Ned Lamont is going to give the DLC their third statewide primary loss of the season when he holds Joe Lieberman accountable. Sirota says:

There are a lot of lessons to learn from this primary. First and foremost, when Democrats take strong positions and courageously stand up to the powers that be, they are rewarded. In the era of money-drenched, consultant-dominated politics, voters are desperate for authenticity - and the best way to show you are authentic is to reject the prepackaged talking points from corporate-funded Washington front-groups like the Democratic Leadership Council and actually stand with ordinary people out here in the heartland.

Secondly, the era of television advertising totally and completely dominating politics is over, at least in primaries in smaller states. In such races, candidates can meet almost everyone who is going to cast a vote. That means retail politics, field, free media, online organizing and word of mouth become priceless. Early on in this primary, I praised Tester in the American Prospect for seriously embracing the netroots and painting a contrast between himself, the outsider, and his opponent, more of an insider. Over the course of the next many months, he took that to the next level.

This means that in the future, as the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party (and by extension against the hostile takeover of our government by Big Money interests) rages on between populists and elitists, small-state primaries are going to be the high-profile battlegrounds where our side - the small "d" democrats in the Democratic Party - are going to crash the gates.

Finally, to those who derided Brian Schweitzer's way of running campaigns in 2004 and labeled him as a fluke, Tester's victory puts that to rest. Schweitzer, as we see, was the sharp tip of the spear, ripping through the thin veneer that Democratic Party insiders have clung to through election loss after election loss after election loss. Schweitzer - and now Tester (the guy who carried Schweitzer's agenda through the legislature) - are showing those in their state and throughout the nation that the way to really be a political leader is to reject the D.C. insiders who preach caution; ignore the naysayers who seek to turn politics into bland ad campaigns for soap; and embrace an in-your-face politics that tells people you are dead serious about cleaning up our government.

I am a Fighting Democrat and I am not alone!

*With 15 precincts and provisional ballots left to be counted, Tester stands at 64,464. In 2002, Baucus received 66,713 votes.

1 comment:

Kris Schultz said...

Don't forget about Senator Akaka!

Ed Case is challenging Senator Akaka in Hawaii, and this scenario fits right in with the progressive vs. DLCer arguments. Ed Case is Democrat in name only, and Akaka has a solid record supporting progressive causes, especially when one thinks about Iraq.
Lemme give you a few examples.
Akaka opposes the war in Iraq, and wants troop withdrawl. Case follows Bush's bungling strategy on the war and wants to stay the course.
Akaka opposes torture in Guantanamo, and Case supports Rummy and Cheney's crazed "interrogations".
Akaka opposes the Patriot act. Not Case, who's yet again with Bush/Cheney/Rummy.
Akaka needs our support!