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"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi.

So how will the Democratic Party become more progressive, more left wing, and more courageous if all the progressive and left wing people leave it?

We have two parties in this country.  Don't be picky.  More beneath the fold.

  Let's live in the real world here for a second.  We have two parties in this country.  One leftist (theoretically) and one rightist.  One for us, and one for them.  One for the poor, one for the rich.  One for the voiceless, one for the thugs.  One for the have-nots, one for the have-mores.

  Third parties can work great on the scale of towns or sometimes states, or if they are dominated by a single personality (like Nader or Perot).  I'm not hating on the Green Party, my friend's mom ran for governor as the Green Party and she would have been a kick-ass governor.  I even gave her some cash.  But she didn't have a chance in hell of actually winning.  The entire point of her campaign was to highlight the deficiencies of the Democratic and Republican candidates and to try to change the system from the outside.  Her best-case scenario was to get to debate them and force them to make some promises they didn't want to make.

  Now lets imagine if Ned Lamont in Connecticut, or Chuck Pennacchio in Pennsylvania, or any other Democrat facing a more conservative primary contest, had said "Screw the Democratic Party, they don't fight for me!  I'm running as an Independent!"  Pennacchio probably would have raised $4 in funding and Casey wouldn't really have to distinguish himself at all from Santorum, except by the letter after his name.  Lamont (if he runs and I hope he does) wouldn't have a chance in hell in beating Lieberman in an open election.

  The Democratic Party is a big tent party.  There is room for disagreement.  Disagreement and dissent, even within parties, is normal, vital, and democratic.  As much as I dislike him, there is room for Joe Lieberman as a Democrat because although I can't think of anything he's good for, I'm sure we agree on some issues.  Maybe our tent isn't big enough for Zell Miller, but if you post on, it probably is big enough for you too.

  If you truly believe in progressive causes, like the right to privacy/abortion, the right to life of people regardless of their ethnicity, the responsibility to ensure that our grandkids have air to breathe and water to drink, then not only should you remain in the Democratic Party, but YOU MUST.  The Democratic Party is the most effective mechanism to effect those changes you wish to see on the world.

  It is one thing to, as my friend's mom did, try to change the system from outside in an election that means comparatively little (in the gubernatorial election, the Dems controlled the House and Senate by something like a 6:1 ratio).  But this country is on the brink.  All it takes is one more terrorist attack, or an attempted assassination (whether real or staged) or some nutcase with a nuke, or a spike in oil prices leading to a recession, and we could be looking at a police state.  In that situation, would you rather have a Democratic government, or a Republican one?  The choice is yours.

  Alot of people have said that they aren't going to give money to anybody who voted for cloture on Alito.  Guess what?  Grow up.  If Ben Nelson faces a serious challenge from some nutcase fundamentalist preacher, you can bet your ass I will give him my support.  Critics can cry "but the lesser of two evils is still evil!" all they want, but I will defend our tent!

  Mao said politics is war without bloodshed.  You don't always get to pick and choose your allies.

Originally posted to a517dogg on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:27 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  no, it's not. (none)
    Allies are people who believe what you do so you stand together, not people who do what they want, then turn around and ask for more money and our votes anyway because apparently they're not as bad as the other guy. You can give what you want, and not expect anything in return if you want. I believe my Senators and Reps work for me, not the other way around. They have forgotten that, obviously. We're their bosses. And if someone's running for office, they need to interview, and demonstrate that they're worthy of our time, vote, and money.

    Show me the belief in any progressive causes shown in the past 5 years. They've been running away from progressive causes. They've been trying desperately to come off as "tough" as Bush. Well, fuck that--running to the right is not what progressives do. And it's not what allies of progressives do. And it's not what people who believe in the promise of America do. One of my senators--Hillary--spent more time on that asinine asinine flag-burning thing than she ever did fighting Alito, and that's true of all of them--even those who voted the right way. That's not an ally. That's not what an ally does. That's not how an ally behaves, if they truly believe the same things.

    Sometimes the enemy of my enemy is not my friend, after all.

    •  its not about friendship (none)
      it's about fighting for common goals.  Yes, Hilary was pretty stupid about the flag-burning thing, and the Grand Theft Auto thing, etc.  But come on, you want an ideological copy of yourself in office?  Then you're going to have to run yourself.

      It's not about believing in the same things.  Right now, it's about fighting back against Bush and trying to limit the damage he does until Democrats can control Congress and impeach him.  A bunch of Senators today decided the best way to do that was to let Alito slip through and 'save their ammo'.  I disagree with that, but that doesn't mean I'm damning them to hell.

      And right now, it's not about having allies of progressives.  It's about having allies on particular causes.  We lost the Alito cause.  But we're WINNING on the NSA spying cause because we have alot of allies on that.  We're also winning on the Iraq war.  You think Murtha is a progressive?  No, but he's our ally right now on one particular cause, and he's a pretty big ally, too.  That's how we have to use the enemy of our enemies.

      We can win or lose individual battles, but right now it's about the whole country, not about Alito and only Alito.

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