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Look no further than Kent Conrad and Max Baucus in the current health care debate as an example of why for the DSCC, the Senate.

Yes, I know that even Baucus, Conrad, Lincoln, Bayh etc are better than having a Republican serving from these conservative States, but I'll be damned if I am going to take what I have of my limited money and give it to them at the expense of more deserving liberal and progressive candidates.

Each time I get calls from either the DSCC or DCCC I tell them the same thing - I donate directly to the candidates I choose. I used to donate to the DNC, too but since Howard has gone, I don't do that now. I cannot be sure of the direction of the DNC anymore.

I'm not "a Democrat". But I do support Democratic candidates. To paraphrase Rogers, "I belong to no organized party. I am a democrat."

But that's with a lower case 'd'.

Not just more Democrats; more and better Democrats.

That's an important distinction.

I am a liberal and progressive, before I'm a Democrat. I have yet to give a dollar to an Independent candidate challenging a Democrat, but I do donate to liberals and progressives in Democratic primaries as well to Democrats who 'have no chance of winning' in General Elections. My key qualifiers for who I donate to are their liberal/progressive credentials, and their need. If I were wealthy enough to contribute the maximum to all the of liberal progressive candidates, then I'd consider donating to the national Democratic Party machinery. But short of hitting the lottery, that will never happen. So rather than let others decide for me where my limited contributions go, I'll choose for myself.

The reference points have shifted, and liberals and progressives need to grasp the concept now; things on the ground have changed. Giving your money and time to a national effort [excluding of course POTUS] can be counterproductive.

The Republican Party's days are quickly coming to an end.
The spectacular images of the last few years, from Sarah Palin's entry onto the national stage to the Party takeover by right wing AM talk radio pundits like Rush Limbaugh, lunatics like Glenn Beck and liars like  Newt Gingrich have doomed them to permanent minority status. Republicans are at best now a regional rump Party of the South and Mid West. The leadership of the Republican Party have tied themselves to images of people who carry guns to political events in attempts to intimidate people; they have tied themselves to images of people carrying signs with swastikas on them. They've bolted themselves to raving lunatics.

They are done. It's all over now except the shouting.

The influence of the right wingers and conservatives will continue to be seen in the Senate. Remnants of the worst of the corporatism and right wing thinking will be reflected in Democrats serving from 'Red States', conservative areas. We're seeing it right now with health care; just one example. Many more to come.

The battle for the soul of the Democratic Party is fully joined now; while the House has its share of Blue Dogs, it's more clear that the Senate remains more shifted to the right than the House - the very disproportionate nature of the Senate makes it resistant to change, due to the 6 year cycle of elections and the disproportionate influence of rural States. A small group of Blue Dog Senators from rural States can make or break liberal/progressive ideas and ideals. The health care reform battle is just one example of what is going to be reality for the next few years.

So where I think liberals and progressives need to be concentrating on is influencing the voters in red rural States. It may be even more important than contributing to campaigns. If the liberal blogosphere concentrated as whole on bringing truth and facts to these rural and conservative States, we'd get a lot more traction than we are now. We need to actively commit to long term outreach, education and influence of voters in rural America. Changing their minds will have a direct impact on the politicians who represent these regions.

{I'll expound upon that concept in a later diary}.

Meanwhile, when the phone calls come in from the Democratic national campaign committees, I have to politely say 'sorry, no thanks'.

Part of this pressure for change needs to be directed at Chuck Schumer, Chris Van Hollen, Tim Kaine who are the head of the DSCC, DCCC, and DNC respectively. They need to know that the times they are a changin' and that liberals and progressives are an important part of the Democratic Party. The impression I get is that we liberals and progressives are needed to be cash cows and dutifully show up for the rallies and GOTV, but shut the hell up when it comes time to buckle under.

Sorry Rahm. This is one person who is not going to be a cash cow for Blue Dogs ever again. This is one person who is not going to shut the hell up because the Blue Dogs hold a crucial fulcrum point in a debate like health care.

As to what we can do for push back against Blue Dogs and the lock they have in the Senate - I'll be writing about that a bit later.

Originally posted to Shpilkis M Katz on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 08:08 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If we don't use our political power, it will (17+ / 0-)

    be spent by others. This is one person who is not going to let Blue Dogs and DLC types spend my political power.

    Not another nickel of it.

    Republicans: against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

    by shpilk on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 07:58:18 AM PDT

    •  not another nickel (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, miss SPED

      not another dime
      not  another minute of my time for any conservadems.
      I'm with you. 2010 is an important year to get this message through to the DC crowd as it is a midterm.

      If there is any justice in this world, there will never be an aircraft carrier named after George W. Bush.

      by Drewid on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 08:19:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll spend the time, letting them know what I (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Drewid, miss SPED

        think, and trying to influence to the people the States where they are from.

        Influencing the people from these rural States to change is the most important thing we can do as a community, as liberals and progressives.

        I have some ideas on how to get that done, too.

        Republicans: against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

        by shpilk on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 08:21:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I just returned the DNC "survey" (which is really (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk, Drewid, miss SPED

        a request for a donation) telling them that I will not be sending any more money to them until most of their members support a more progressive agenda, though I will send money to individual candidates.

  •  I give to individual candidates (10+ / 0-)

    Not only progressives ... I give where I think that the race is close and where the Democrat is clearly the better alternative.

    This requires looking at each race, but heck, I'm a geek!

  •  Blue dogs vary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, miss SPED

    In some districts, it's better a blue dog than a red Republican.  In others, not so much.  

    In this diary I go into some detail on the most conservative Democrats in the House.

    •  I don't see the House as being (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515, malharden, miss SPED

      as crucial now, but that's a good diary about the House. Overall, I'd say Pelosi is doing a better job at keeping the coalition together than Reid as well.

      That's a different angle, too. Reid's leadership is part of the problem in the Senate to a certain degree.

      Republicans: against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

      by shpilk on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 08:19:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, Witholding Support... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oceanstar17

    ...to the DSCC means it's more likely that you won't be represented in the Senate by Paul Hodes but by Kelly Ayotte.  

    Jus' sayin'...

    "The first answer follows the first question asked..." Steve Earle: The Seeker

    by Dana Houle on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 08:13:32 AM PDT

    •  Why? (3+ / 0-)

      When I contribute directly to Hodes it doesn't get diluted.

      Republicans: against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

      by shpilk on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 08:14:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  More bang for the buck if you give directly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk, Drewid, miss SPED

        The Beltway-based party bureaucracy won't get their mitts on your money. Or waste it on consultants. Or direct it to some candidate who will eventually stab you in the back.

        "Some people meditate. I go watch baseball."--Keith Olbermann

        by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 08:58:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Correct. (0+ / 0-)

          I may not agree with every stance Hodes makes [he voted for the F22, for instance], but I'll still support his run for Senate.

          As a fellow musician, I've known Paul for about 20 years. He's a good guy and I'm not so narrow minded I expect him to vote in agreement with me on every issue.

          Republicans: against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

          by shpilk on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 09:22:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  And the difference in floor votes would be....? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miss SPED

      The reason why it is so viable for every Kossack to boycott the Democratic Party on the whole and choose every candidate individually is that the blue dogs will have plenty of money from the corporations and the wealthy. They can get it from them, and siphon contributions from the republicans.

      So no need for this oh, grow up kind of attitude. This is the grown-up option. It also cuts down on diaries reporting how the blue dogs are engineering the failure of Obama, who is already the weakest president of this century.

      skiddly bop doo wow!

      En-ra-HA! En-ra-HA!!!

      by skiddlybop on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 08:18:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, If You Don't Know Anything... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        littlebird33

        ...about Paul Hodes, why comment?  Because your rhetorical question shows you don't know anything about him, and how and why it would make a difference to have him in the Senate.  

        "The first answer follows the first question asked..." Steve Earle: The Seeker

        by Dana Houle on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 08:38:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Um, was referring to blue dogs. (0+ / 0-)

          Thank you.

          skiddly bop doo wow!

          En-ra-HA! En-ra-HA!!!

          by skiddlybop on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 08:47:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then You Responded to the Wrong Comment (0+ / 0-)

            A. I referred specifically to Paul Hodes and the DSCC, not Blue Dogs and the DCCC.
            B. The Blue Dogs are a house caucus, and therefore irrelevant to discussions of the Senate.

            So no, thank you.

            "The first answer follows the first question asked..." Steve Earle: The Seeker

            by Dana Houle on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 08:53:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Evan Bayh would disagree with you (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              littlebird33

              http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/...

              But he's still too afraid to publish the membership list.

              Republicans: against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

              by shpilk on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 09:36:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Please. Everybody knows that the problem here (0+ / 0-)

                is that the Obama White House, meaning Obama and Rahm, have worked over and over with the conservative democrats in both houses of Congress to kill single payer, EFCA, repeal of DADT, DOMA, and now any meaningful public option.

                Obama and the conservative democrats. In both houses. Don't parse one term and act like you are too stupid to know what's going on here.

                Weakest. President. Ever. We are going to have to just make do with the fact that yes, we did elect a black president, but he was too weak to actually do anything that the dead-end Rethugs, a 23% minority, did not let him do.

                Thank you, president obama. Nice playing with you.

                skiddly bop doo wow!

                En-ra-HA! En-ra-HA!!!

                by skiddlybop on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 10:27:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Riiiiight (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  askew, littlebird33

                  Obama said over and over he wanted the public option as a way to kill it, and also inflict damage on his own political credibility by saying he wanted something and having a very public defeat.

                  Whatever dude.  If you refuse to actually pay attention and live in reality, I guess that's you choice.  

                  "The first answer follows the first question asked..." Steve Earle: The Seeker

                  by Dana Houle on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 12:23:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Rethugs may be the minority (0+ / 0-)

                  but Progressives are not the majority, much as I would like them to be.

                  An economic crisis like this should spur people into action on many fronts, but in reality I think more people are more likely be paralyzed by fear and bury their heads in the sand even further while carrying on about how we "We can't afford it!" Meanwhile they seem oblivious to the fact that we can't afford NOT to do something - I hear the President making that case, but I don't know if enough people can hear him.

                  On the legislative front, I'm not sure what more he can do unless he gets more constituents, and by consequence their Representatives, in the doggie districts to back the public option.

              •  Senate Caucuses are Pointless (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                askew, Newsie8200, littlebird33

                Everyone in the senate is already a free agent, and they don't need to band together to create problems, they often can do it all by themselves.  But an individual's power to influence things unilaterally is at the absolute peak when we're at 59-60, because you need every vote.  If Paul, a mainline liberal from Ohio and possibly someone else join the members running for reelection like Dodd (and also someone voting where now Kennedy and often Byrd are not), the influence of a Ben Nelson or Blanche Lincoln will actually decline, because we would no longer need every single Democratic vote (or a Republican vote or two) to get things past cloture.  If Ben Nelson held out for something nobody wanted to give him and his vote wasn't necessary, it would be easy to call his bluffs.  

                Think what the stimulus bill could have been if we hadn't needed to rely on Specter, Ben Nelson, Snowe and Collins but instead had Paul, an Ohio senator, a Massachusetts liberal and someone else of their ilk.  

                "The first answer follows the first question asked..." Steve Earle: The Seeker

                by Dana Houle on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 12:21:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Frankly, (0+ / 0-)

                  most incumbents in the Senate have no problem getting the money to fund their campaigns. The need to officially label themselves as in the House is much less. Bayh's little group is almost stealth; they don't want the label, they know the potential downside of it.

                  Partially, the other issue here is Baucus being head of the Finance Cmte, the influence he wields is substantial and in this case detrimental.

                  With Collins, Snowe and even Judd Gregg along with a few others, I could see a cobbled together coalition, if Harry Reid was strong enough to buck the tide.

                  And partially of this comes back to Reid's weak leadership. It's a recurring theme.

                  I still favor selectively funding the Democrats who are most likely to hold to what I'd term the liberal/progressive agenda, rather than to bow in supplication when Baucus, Lincoln, Nelson and Conrad and their ilk vote 'our way'. Financial pressure is about the only pressure we have; they certainly will not listen to us.  

                  So I stick by my original premise.

                  What needs to change is the culture in these States which guides the process that gets these types of people elected. This is what Dean was after changing, and it's why he was rejected and he is shunned - he threatened a key part of the power base.

                  Republicans: against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

                  by shpilk on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 06:02:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  DSCC called about two weeks ago (7+ / 0-)

    and I told them politely but firmly that not one more dime would come from me until the Senate got its act together on Health Reform. I have a daughter who has had cancer twice and is now NED. She HAS to have a Public Option. She's only 30. Her life literally depends on her insurance coverage.

    utahgirl

    "I aim to misbehave." - Malcolm Reynolds

    by nio on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 08:28:34 AM PDT

  •  The DSCC (4+ / 0-)

    called me a couple of weeks ago; I said nope.  I'm unhappy with the dems.

    I don't have the same confidence that you do about the repubs being finished.  IMO, if the dems keep screwing up, a repub surge could happen.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 08:31:54 AM PDT

  •  You can still contribute to your candidates.... (6+ / 0-)

    ...just don't go through the DSCC and DCCC.

    Give it directly to your chosen candidates.

  •  Has Tim Kaine gone AWOL? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, miss SPED

    He's made so few public appearances that I expect to see his picture plastered on the back of milk cartons at the local Food Lion.

    "Some people meditate. I go watch baseball."--Keith Olbermann

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 08:55:53 AM PDT

  •  What reason to give to party? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, miss SPED

    I've refused to give to collective Dems since 2004. Wonder if how many of us it would take to get through to them.

    I still ask them to explain the advantage to give to centralized committee and they have never been able to make that case.

  •  I have quietly done the same. I just donate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, miss SPED

    to the candidates and causes of my choice, that way if I'm going to lose, it'll be because I made the wrong choice, not some party boss making it for me.

    When I watched Baucus sitting behind Obama the other day looking as grim as he could possibly look, I was happy that it wasn't my money giving him the opportunity to do that.


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 09:23:57 AM PDT

  •  This dawned on me today (0+ / 0-)

    but I hope is germane to this diary and not OT -

    If the Dems pass a bill that is health insurance reform rather than health care reform with a public option (even if it is called something else), would you consider supporting a 'primary' for Obama?

    Would progressive Democrats actually support Dr. Dean over the sitting President, and would that mean no DSCC or DCCC donations because those would likely go to Obama, not Dean or another candidate?

    Someone answered a post of mine today with the thought that Dean can always run in 2012. Could he?

    •  No (0+ / 0-)

      A primary challenge against Obama would almost certainly hand the White House to the GOP in 2012.

      •  Why? That doesn't make much sense. (0+ / 0-)

        Plenty of other incumbent Presidents have had primary challenges and went on to strong 2nd terms.

        Republicans: against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

        by shpilk on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 05:52:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Name me one (0+ / 0-)

          I can't think of one in recent times who has. Here are past primary challenges:

          1968 Primary challenges from RFK and other Democrats force LBJ out
          1976 Ford and Reagan fight for the GOP nomination
          1980 Kennedy and Carter fight for the Democratic nomination
          1992 Buchanan and Bush fight for the GOP nomination

          In all four of those primary challenges against an incumbent president the opposing party has won the White House.

    •  Supporting a primary challenge on a single (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miss SPED

      issue is a lost cause, usually doesn't work too well. In extreme cases, it dislodge the incumbent [LBJ/Eugene McCarthy, for example], but HCR is not going to be that clear of an issue anyway.

      That said, I trust Obama's intentions, and do not buy into the spin being offered by some that he intends to [and always did intend to] give up on real sustainable change. I don't care what you call the reform, it will be clear from what makes it through if it's truly in our best interests or serves the money and power lobbies.

      Of course Dean can run in a primary against Obama.
      I might consider voting for him, too if he does. While I trust Obama's intentions, if he cannot deliver on some of the key issues of change he has touted, by 2012 it may be time to try someone else.

      So far I call Barack's record mixed, but it's way too early to make any other judgment. In a year or two, it may be time to consider that.

      Republicans: against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

      by shpilk on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 10:21:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Start at the local level (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miss SPED

    I've said this over and over again; but, if you want better Democrats in red states, start at the very local level. Run candidates for obscure municipal offices that no one cares about. These positions are the the gateway to higher elected office. At at the very local level voters are willing to see past partisan affiliation and are more likely to vote for the person over the party. In turn those candidates can then contend for higher offices.

    That's how the Christian Right took over the GOP. They started running their supporters for very local offices--offices that no one wanted and that weren't glamorous.

    •  Changing the culture in the rural red states (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miss SPED

      is part of this equation.

      The DNC under Howard Dean understood this. Right now, no one inside the Democratic power structure gets this message at all.

      Republicans: against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

      by shpilk on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 10:14:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well Obama did go to Montana and (0+ / 0-)

        to Grand Junction Colorado, a very red part of that state, for his townhalls. So I'm not sure that I agree with that point 100%. If Obama didn't care about the 50 state strategy, why was he in both states?

        Here is one key point as to why many voters in the red states don't like Democrats. They don't like being talked down to or being condescended to. A large part of their resistance to Democrats is the fact that many of them think that those on the east and west coasts thumb their noses at them.

        •  Not enough to have the President show up for (0+ / 0-)

          a one off appearance. Investment needs to be made in the State Party organization, specifically in those red States. The good news for Democrats is that most of these areas have very low media costs.

          Republicans: against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

          by shpilk on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 05:50:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I join.... (0+ / 0-)

    In this boycott. If we can boycott Whole Foods, we can boycott the DCCC and the DSCC for not representing the interests of the majority ideological viewpoint in their own party.

    Not a dime to these guys.

    I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places...arousing and persuading and reproaching you.-Socrates

    by The Navigator on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 10:53:44 AM PDT

  •  Fund primary challenges and independents (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk

    In 2010, my primary efforts will be to defeat dinosaurs. I am perfectly willing to see Dems lose a few seats in blue districts just to get rid of them, In moist cases, 2 years of GOP votes is a small price to pay for getting rid of the dinos.

    Want to send a message to Dem fundraising organizations? Just tell them that in 2010 your money is going to primary challengers against anyone who failed to support single-payer. Regardless of all other issues.

    In 2010 we can make a difference by replacing dinosaurs with modern humans. We should threaten warn these losers now. Vote against single-payer and you ware public enemy #1 and we will come into your district and destroy your career!

    Is it not written "There's a lot goes on we don't get told."? (Lu Tze)

    by MakeChessNotWar on Sun Aug 16, 2009 at 12:49:55 PM PDT

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