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I will no longer be donating to Barack Obama for the forseeable future, though I'm one of his earliest and most vociferous, consistant supporters on Daily Kos. I'm plum broke, and I have neglected my other candidates in critical congressional races.

It's time to put my money where my mouth is. We've lifted Obama up, we need to give him a progressive majority.

Our history is not written in stone.  It is time to bring new history to Oklahoma.  Will you join me, below?

As you may know, I've been an ardent follower of Senator Andrew Rice's diaries, as well as those of his online campaign, bloging at Andrew for Oklahoma.

There's no shortage of passion in this campaign, and we see the traditional media theory that the long-shot challengers lack the "narrative" to be competitive does not hold.

At the age of only 35, Rice is a State Senator in OK's 46th district.  Young? More like an excellent shot at replacing 73 year old Republican incumbent Senator James Inhofe with someone who can grow with the next political generation.

Rice is a fighting progressive. Rice is used to fighting the most merciless and ruthless right wingers. According to wikipedia, during his Senate campaign his: "Republican opponent Joshua Jantz[2] distributed a flyer that called for thorns to be placed around the district and its voters and for their "salvation" and a desire for them to "elect righteous leaders."

Though the Republicans may be tougher out in rural America, they sometimes also stink of desperation.  Jantz couldnt' compete on the issues and treat the district's voters like adults.  He lost.

Now, Andrew Rice is giving James Inhofe his first serious fight in quite some time.

We know Inhofe needs to go.  He is perhaps the single most obstructive person on the planet in terms of reforming industry and policy to deal with climate change.  He is among the most contrary, regressive legislators in the body politic, receiving a 100% rating from the American Conservative Union.  Get rid of the 1 and you get his environmental rating.  

Let's talk viability, you say.  Let's talk about getting real.

Oklahoma is a battleground.  It is not an easy victory, but the most difficult barrier is our own low expectations.

Isn't it a sick self-fulfilling prophecy of low expectations crippling Dems in the Plains?  We're only now starting to build up the infrastructure, through blogs and fundraising, to compete with Republicans.  Victories in Gubernatorial,House and mayoral races in Montana, Idaho, even Utah once seemed just as long-shot, and have come and gone.  In 2006 Virginia, Jim Webb pulled a Senate surprise.  On July 31st, Mason Dixon showed Allen beating Webb 48-32. Rasmussen had Allen pegged as "safe" at 51-41. That was four months before the election, when most Virginians were busy with nonpolitical things. We're still five months from the election this time.

We're also on the edge of a political realignment, one which will become stronger and clearer around late September when the whole country's tuning in. These alignments, often landslides, happen ever 35 years or so. The 1932 election changed this country's party stereotypes for a generation.

And the prime reason for Webb's low numbers? Money and low ID.  Exactly what Senator Rice is working on today.

Let's expand this battle to Oklahoma. OK has some demographics you might not expect, like some of the largest communities of American Indians (over 11% of population) and African Americans (over 8%) in the Plains, certainly larger than neighboring Kansas where Democrat Jim Slattery is only behind Senator Pat Roberts by 12.  Oklahoma has thousands of students enrolled at its universities and colleges. Oklahoma was a leader in women's suffrage 100 years ago.  A bastion for populists and unions.  There were chataquas, and lecture circuits and classical musicians, a tradition not buried considering Oklahoma's arts. Gore Vidal's grandfather, a Democrat, was the first Senator of Oklahoma in 1907, occupying the seat now filled by Tom Coburn, later serving in the seat now filled by Inhofe.  

The GE's waves can reach as far as the southern plains. So what is written in stone?

There are teamsters and receptive farmers and teachers and technicians in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.  We as a party, as a nation haven't taken their votes as seriously as we have others. We've been small minded and afraid, sometimes understandably.

Oklahomans deserve better than Inhofe and McCain-Bush governance.  They need healthcare.  Their excellent pre-kindergarden system must be matched by more and smarter spending per student at the primary, secondary and post-secondary level. All Oklahomans need a voice. Now.

So Andrew has much the same work as Obama and our other Congressional Democrats:

Getting these students, union members, women, African Americans and American Indians to turnout at competitive levels will be key to victory.

Do we believe in the 50 state strategy or not?  Is our faith, our principles, a convenient thing or something which challenges us to be better people?

Today is the last day to contribute to Andrew Rice for the quarter.  So I put my money where my mouth is and gave $10.  I am broke.  From month to month I have nothing to show for working 46, 48, 52 or more hours per week.  I've donated between 75-100 to Obama over a year and a half, but will have to restrict myself to people like Andrew Rice who need our help far more in getting ou there and getting ID for the foreseeable future. My donation is meager, and small. But Andrew's goal is to get 125 donations for the day.

So if he got an average of 20 dollars for that goal, he'd make 2500 today just from us online critters, and that ain't so meager.  That's more money than I've ever earned in a month.  And in a Senate campaign, that's not small potatoes, it's used to bring in more fundraising, boosting profile.

Donate via his website. Please.

Or here's the ActBlue link, as well.

Originally posted to Nulwee on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:03 PM PDT.

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