I can assure you that the diary I was going to post today was a treasure of erudition, snark and insight, and would have redirected the political discourse in this nation to a higher plane. But screw that – I’ll post it tonight. This is more important:
DARCY BURNER NEEDS OUR HELP.
I’m glad to see kos has FP’ed his request. This here’s my small part.
I live in L.A. Why the F should I care about Darcy Burner, who’s running in WA-08?
Because Darcy is the real deal.
I had the pleasure of meeting Darcy for the first time last summer at YearlyKos. Here’s the snippet I wrote about her back then:
. . . I got to shake the hand of the Future President of the United States, Darcy Burner (h/t to maeve, who tipped me off to Darcy’s destiny) . . .
I have since had the chance to meet her once more, and to chat with her for several minutes.
I met Darcy Burner for the second time last night.
It was pretty exciting, meeting a future president. If you have to ask why I would say that, why, then, you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Darcy Burner.
Darcy is running for Congress in Washington’s 8th District against Republican incumbent Dave Reichert.
The first time I met Darcy was at YearlyKos last summer. Kossack maeve raved to me about this woman I had to meet – maeve assured me that she was going to be president someday. I was afraid of what would happen if I ran into maeve again and hadn’t managed to meet Darcy, so I tracked her down.
Darcy and I exchanged only a few words in a crowded, noisy bar/restaurant in Chicago, where she had ventured with some other Kossacks/constituents, but I was immediately struck by her directness and complete lack of "veneer," as some would say. She has that ability shared by the greatest politicians of putting you at ease and making you feel as if you are the only person in the room. She is approachable and engaging. And teh smart.
Even at that brief encounter, I sensed that here was a person who would do in politics whatever she put her mind to.
That was the first time I met Darcy Burner.
I was fortunate enough last night to attend a little fundraising event organized by hekebolos and Courage Campaign’s Rick Jacobs [and dday - duhhh!; sorry, dday, my bad! - o.h.], among others, in Los Angeles. Darcy was the featured guest at the event; two other netroots congressional candidates, Ron Shepston of CA-42 and Mary Pallant of CA-24, also attended.
Darcy told the story of how she came to be involved in politics: In 2003, around the time her son was born, her brother was being shipped off to Iraq. Darcy thought about the state of the country and the state of the world, and realized that no matter what choices she might make for her son as he grew up, unless a dramatic change took place in the direction the nation was heading - well, she did not like her choices.
So, as she likes to say, she did what any responsible American parent would do: she decided to run for Congress.
She started with zero name recognition, but ran a textbook campaign and almost toppled Republican incumbent Reichert.
Although Darcy came up short in her 2006 bid - but only by a little; five voters per precinct, to be exact, as she will remind you - she put a very big scare into the Republican Party. So much of a scare, in fact, that George Bush and Karl Rove both have visited Darcy's district in an effort to raise money for Reichert. (She also will remind you, with a smile, that when an online counter-fundraiser was held last fall to offset the Bush $1,000-a-plate event for Reichert, 3200 donors contributed $123,000,
possiblyoutraising the president himself.)
The Republicans have good reason to fear Darcy. She is truly formidable. She is smart, funny, personable, smart, down-to-earth, disarming, humble, smart, compassionate, self-effacing and smart.
Even though Darcy lost her congressional bid in 2006, she was excited by the fact that the Democrats had taken control of both houses of Congress. She looked forward to a rapid end to the occupation of Iraq, given that so much Democratic rhetoric in the election campaign had been about their intention to make that happen.
But once the 110th Congress had been in session for a few months and it became evident that, in fact, the Democratic majority lacked the political will to actually bring an end to the illegal occupation, Darcy, in her customary way, decided to take matters into her own hands.
She came to realize that the Democrats, despite their good intentions, lacked an actual plan to end the occupation; none had ever been put forth by the majority party. Darcy, possessing the logical mind of the computer geek that she is, correctly reasoned that the without such a plan the likelihood of an end to the occupation was extremely remote at best.
And this is where she and the Democratic incumbents parted ways: She was thinking rationally; they were thinking politically.
Which is why the Democratic majority in Congress has never had the courage to put forth a specific, sensible plan to end the illegal occupation of Iraq.
But Darcy – a Democratic challenger to an incumbent Republican – does have the courage.
Which is why she decided to write a plan – it seemed the obvious thing to do, as obvious as her decision to run for Congress. In her usual, sensible way, she consulted with some of the top minds available regarding the occupation of Iraq, including retired General Paul Eaton. She brainstormed and consulted and discussed and pondered. And then she sat down to write.
The result of her work is A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, a 36-page manifesto that lays out in detail the "how" of extricating the United States from the morass that it has created for itself in Iraq.
Our plan will:
- End U.S. Military Action in Iraq
- Use U.S. diplomatic power
- Address humanitarian concerns
- Restore our Constitution
- Restore our military
- Restore independence to the media
- Create a new, U.S.-centered energy policy
If you haven’t read it, you should.
So far, 54 Democratic congressional candidates have shown the courage to endorse The Plan, including Ron Shepston and Mary Pallant.
These people are serious about getting the United States out of Iraq.
They have the courage of their convictions.
And they have The Plan.
And we have Darcy.
I feel really good about that.
In the conversation that gloriana and I had with Darcy, she told us how she was taking a different approach with this, her second campaign: She said she told her staffers that they needed to be comfortable with ambiguity, that she fully expected them to try 12 things and not be surprised to see 10 of those fail – and then to run like crazy with the two that worked until they found something better.
She is, in other words, willing to think, act and vote outside the box.
Thanks for any help you can send to Darcy’s campaign.
UPDATE: Wow, what a great response. Thanks to everyone for helping out a true netroots hero in her time of greatest need.
Lots of feedback in the comments (sorry – I had to run off to attend to some business). First, discocarp links to a horsesass.org posting wherein Darcy requests donations to your local humane society, in honor of her family cat, Charlotte, who was lost in the fire.
Darcy on FISA:
Darcy on her Responsible Plan to End the War:
But I have to agree with my friend shayera, whose favorite Darcy video is this one, wherein she gets some personal makeover assistance from Montana’s freshman Sen. Jon Tester, heh:
UPDATE 3: According to kos about 25 minutes ago, around $50,000 had been raised so far today for Darcy’s campaign – remember, the original goal was a total of $150,000 for the month! Strong work! Let’s keep going!
UPDATE 4: More than $65,000 raised so far! Thank you to everyone for your compassion and generosity.
Thanks also to mcjoan in the comments: Several people had inquired about making donations to Darcy's family - rather than to the campaign - to help with rebuilding expenses, etc. mcjoan notes
She can't accept it, legally
They are not accepting private donations at all. Insurance will help rebuild her home.
It's wonderful that people want to help her family and her personally, rather than just her campaign, but they can't accept personal donations.
She's asked that any charitable donations go to people's local humane societies or animal shelters, in memory of their cat who was lost in the fire, or to the Washington State Firefighters Benevolent Society, which helps people who are really destitute after fires.
And, I couldn't help but thinking of this well-know Zen poem by Masahide as I went about my business today, reflecting on Darcy's perspective on what was lost and what gained:
Barn's burnt down -
I can see the moon.
UPDATE 5: Woo-HOOO!! It looks like we're halfway to the goal of raising $150,000 for Darcy's July! When we began the day, Darcy's total on ActBlue was around $250,000; as of this moment (about 11:20 p.m. PDT), she's at $325,426, for a total just from today of nearly $75,000. Awesome! I am so proud of this community. Thanks to everyone for having Darcy's back and - since she's not merely a Better Democrat but one of The Best Democrats - by extension, having the nation's back.
I'm going to bed now. Thanks again, everyone. My thoughts go out to Darcy and her family, looking forward to tomorrow, a whole new day.