Progressives, as unhappy as we are about the health care capitulation, are at the most crucial point of the long term strategy for success.
Let's face it - progressives got sold out. As Keith Olberman said, "No single payer? No sale. No public option? No sale. No Medicare buy-in? No sale." Throw in goodies to big Pharma and the insurance company bailout and it's a merrier Christmas in GOPville than Progressiveland. That means now is the time to rally around the Democratic Party.
Look at the landscape- the GOP is tacking to the hard right, posed to put their most extreme into the Congress for years to come. And they will be successful, not becuase their ideas are better, but because the Democrats are fractured.
So I propose a two-part strategy:
- Rally with the party. Spend lots of money on ads of a single issue: The GOP lost. They aren't even in the game in health care. Reid and Pelosi were giving away the store and every single Republican didn't take it. Think of what that cost their district/state. Think of how they could have improved the popular bill but didn't. The fact is the GOP lost and it's time to put them out of their misery. They want the President to fail, not to do their job.
- Start a new party. Get the R2K folks to start polling "Generic Democrat" vs. "Generic Progressive" vs. Generic Republican in every district. Get proud Progressives to officially join the Progressive party. I think there's a certain doctor who would make an excellent strategic and vocal leader. Oh sure, not much will change for most of the country- on the outside. The Progressives will still caucus with the Democrats. But think of it... if the GOP is reduced to a third place finish in many parts of the nation, that will be devistating. Also, in the more conservative parts, by offering a Progressive, we might be able to help the conservative Democrat beat the GOP. The goal would be to have as many Progressives as Republicans.
And say what you want about the sell out DINOs, but if we can shift the debate to ALWAYS be Progressive vs. Blue Dog, then the GOP will get shut out for good. Then, and only then will true progressive ideas like single-payer even GET to the table.
I believe this is our best course to electing more and better Democrats. And let's hope that strategy could change to more and better Progressives.