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In the end, the senate leadership "did the right thing", but does it matter?

For the last six months I have watched the senate leaders such as Max Baucus and Harry Reid dithered and stonewalled, stonewalled and dithered on health care reform. Until the last month or so, Reid was quite iffy about supporting the public option, and even when he did, he made very little effort to rein in the Blue Dogs.

Baucus fought it all the way, then grudgingly says he'll support it (by opposing a filibuster, I still don't think his vote is guaranteed).

Now, let us assume for the sake of argument that they bill passes, and a moderately acceptable reform bill is sent to Obama's desk and signed into law.

The question is, do we give the leadership and the Blue Dog contingent a free pass in 2010 because the "got the bill passed", or do we say, "Screw you guys! You don't get credit for passing health care reform when you would only do it at gun point. Primary challengers for everyone!"

My view on this is to remember the lesson of Joe Lieberman and primary their asses. We need real Democrats, not Vichy Democrats who spend so much time providing aid and comfort to Republicans that we have to expend massive efforts (calls, emails, faxes, TV ads, protests and blogspace) in order to undue the damage and/or FORCE them back into the fold.

And yes, while it is possible we could lose a seat to a primaried incumbent, better a real Republican than a Lieberman Democrat.

Originally posted to For the Sake of Argument on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 02:01 PM PDT.


Do we primary Reid, Baucus, Conrad, Nelson, et al in 2010?

41%24 votes
24%14 votes
34%20 votes

| 58 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  In a sense a republican is better than Lieberman (3+ / 0-)

    Because a republican is a known quantity, a predictable no-vote. you know they stand for nothing.

    Lieberman? you may get the false impression that you can rely on him and that's when he screws you from behind.

    Gender neutral marriage. NOW.

    by Montreal Progressive on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 02:12:55 PM PDT

    •  AND, the republican won't caucus with the dems- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Montreal Progressive

      In effect being the repub's spy in the room.  AND it frees up some chairmanships (sp?) that in a PERFECT world should go to better, progressive dems who actually care about & work for the dem agenda.

      "I think if aliens came down from space and killed everybody, they would spare Radiohead and make them play every night" - stevethemod87

      by DemandTruth on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 03:55:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It'll be really hard to primary any of them... (8+ / 0-) this point.

    For starters, of the four you mention, only one (Reid) is actually up for re-election in 2010.  It's hard to primary someone in 2010 who isn't up for re-election until 2012 or 2014.

    As for Reid, given his name recognition and entrenched power, it'd be difficult if not impossible to mount a legitimate primary challenge starting now for a primary that's less than eight months away at this point.

    Call Congress and demand 2 Senators, 1 VOTING Rep, and full home rule for DC citizens. Anything less is un-American.

    by mistersite on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 02:13:11 PM PDT

  •  Baucus was re-elected in '08. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Go well through life"-Me (As far as I know)

    by MTmofo on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 02:25:33 PM PDT

  •  I am disgusted with the entire party (0+ / 0-)

    There are enough corporate tools in our party that it is beginning to look like no real reform can be passed. Corporations control the wealth in our country, and thus they control Washington. This entire country is screwed if the corporations keep control. They will bleed the US dry and then move on.

    •  maybe you should wait to see (4+ / 0-)

      the final score of the game. We are in the 7th inning right now.  Game is not over.

      •  Today has been disheartening (0+ / 0-)

        First Lieberman shows his true colors for the thousandth time. Now some whip count came out of the House showing that fewer than 200 Democratic congresspeople will vote for a Medicare +5 HCR plan. It gets to the point where it seems nothing can be done in this country without corporate consent.

        •  In 2003, when I joined the reality based (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          community here, the consensus opinion was that it would take until the election of 2016 in order to aceive a progressive takeover of Congress.  Why?  Because we would need two full election cycles for every seat in the Senate to effectively mount successful challenges to the entrenched corporatist controlled incumbents, be they DEM or GOP.

          Two full election cycles takes twelve years.  Capice?  We're halfway there.

          Now stop this instant gratification bullshit and recognize this is a protracted war for the soul of this country, and not a single battle.  Sheesh.  Think about 2003 and how far we've come.  There will be setbacks and there will be heartbreaks, and yes, some people who might have been saved will die.  If you don't know that, and don't want to endure it, then I suggest you volunteer at a hospice, or tutor inner-city kids, or some other worthwhile activity.  Political activism is not for idealists or pansies.

          "Never let up. Crush bigotry and greed."

          by LouisMartin on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 03:44:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Reid takes care of his local politics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    so he's not worth primarying.

    For the most part, the netroots cannot take out any incumbent Democrat by themselves (I can count possible exceptions to this on one hand) without any buy-in from progressive infrastructure (e.g. labor, enviros, etc.) You're not going to get buy-in for a Reid challenge unless he's caught with a dead girl or a live boy or some major scandal. And those progressive groups are weak in precisely the states where moderate/conservative Dems are (e.g. the Dakotas, AR, etc.)

    Baucus is likely to retire in 2014.

    Ben Nelson is about as progressive as we'll get in Nebraska, and because of the Obama investment in NE last year, it might be better for us that Obama and Ben Nelson have a decent (if not always honky dory) relationship.

    Conrad's not going anywhere either.

  •  Let's not ask or answer this question until (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    this health care plays out.  Except to say fail will be primaried.

  •  Focus on the low-hanging fruit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LouisMartin, Losty

    There's no question that there should be a certain number of Democrats who get primaried in 2010.  I'm pretty much to the point where I think our Congressional caucus should be run like Jack Welch ran GE -- fire the worst ten percent each cycle.  

    There should be a set of criteria over who gets the chop.  For example:

    1. first and foremost, a crummy, DINO, Republican-friendly voting record on core issues of financial importance to ordinary working people
    1. netroots activity in the district/state
    1. potential primary opponents
    1. ability for primary opponents to raise money
    1. voting record out of touch with the district

    As you'll see, viability of potential primary candidates is quite important, more so than the viability of the incumbent.  It's nice to have an incumbent DINO or Republican with crappy fundraising numbers, but remember Wellstone beat Boschwitz in a GENERAL from a 6-1 disadvantage in money.

  •  Kick it up a notch. (0+ / 0-)

    For those who feel the need for change, there should be enough Progressive votes in the Senate to do a complete change-out in the leadership positions---from Majority Leader on down.

    New Session = New Stuff !!!

    The only good freeper is the one found at the bottom of an ocean....

    by Liberal Panzer on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 04:51:18 PM PDT

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