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It wasn't a bad idea for Labor groups to pour money into a primary challenge to Blanche Lincoln.

The following "talking points" are in bullet point format because I frankly don't have the time to write a prosaic diary today.

Helps Bill Halter to be a standard bearer for Arkansas progressives.

Creates lasting infrastructure in a state that is a home to a former President and one of the largest companies in the world, Walmart.

Gives us a template for reaching rural communities hit hard by the recession.

Pushes business to fight for seats that would have been ceded to a corporatist.

Puts pressure on Lincoln to earn votes.

Reminds me of Obama pushing Clinton.  Even if he hadn't won the nomination in 2008, his post-partisan message, clearly defined values, and outstanding new media and voter registration work created lasting change in our political process.  Obama helped rewrite the playbook, change the whole field, and end some of the game-playing.

Final note - kudos to Ben Tribbett, Jane Hamsher, and Glenn Greenwald for challenging Arkansans and all Americans to rethink what it means to be a Democrat.

Originally posted to Benintn on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:02 AM PDT.


Wasted money?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

    by Benintn on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:02:57 AM PDT

    •  It's a worthwhile effort... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ruff Limblog

      we almost had it, right?(I know that it only counts in horseshoes) but it isn't as if we spent the money and he was down by twenty the whole time.
      Lincoln had to sweat it...I don't think that's a bad thing.
      I wish they all had to.

      "You do *not* 'motherfuck' the National Guard." --Toni Bernette, Esq.

      by chicating on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:28:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bill Halter should run as an independent (0+ / 0-)

    Blame me. Not only did I vote for Barack, I volunteered for his sorry ass.

    by That Korean Guy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:04:38 AM PDT

    •  I disagree - that would split the vote. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Frankly, I think Lincoln should drop out and endorse Halter, even after winning last night.  She has so totally alienated her base ... she might as well become Joe Lieberman.

      Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

      by Benintn on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:12:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  doesn't matter (0+ / 0-)

        lincoln's NOT winning anyway.  and there is no way lincoln's dropping out so that halter can run.  the best scenario right now is for halter to run as an independent.  not only will he still get half of the democrats' votes, he could also take votes from independents and republicans.  

        Blame me. Not only did I vote for Barack, I volunteered for his sorry ass.

        by That Korean Guy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:17:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not sure I agree with the title (0+ / 0-)

    Though I do with some of the points...

    But - now that it's over - can we dispense the 'Halter as the standard bearer for progressives' thinking?

    A decent case can certainly be made that Halter was left of Lincoln - but come on, people... Halter's main claim to being a progressive was not being Blanche Lincoln.  Halter ran a smart campaign - he knew his allies were in a tough primary, so he made every effort to stay on those ally's good sides... but his 'support' for progressive issues was much more of the 'Blanche is against it' rather than 'I'm for it' type.

    Now hey - maybe this experience brings about a conversion.   I was a Deaniac in 2004 - and remain one to this day - but anyone working that election that bothered to read Dean's platform or pay attention to his 4 terms in the VT Gov's mansion knew damn well it was more his feisty "Stop being embarrassed about being Democrats" (and Iraq) that won him progressive support.

    Dean has certainly become much more of a progressive than he was in 2004 - and kudos to him for that - but I have seen precious little from Bill Halter that convinces me he more than a 'marriage of convenience' progressive.   I'm not saying that like it's some great sin - like I said, it was the smart move...

    But - with the election over, can we now dispense with the wishcasting?

    I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

    by zonk on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:03:38 AM PDT

    •  Good point. (0+ / 0-)

      I agree that Halter's not Howard Dean, or Glenn Greenwald, or Jane Hamsher, or Markos, or any other far-to-the-left person.  I agree that Lincoln, strategically, tried to paing Halter as being more liberal than he is/was/will be.

      Having said that, Arkansans can now say that they have someone who's run a statewide, family-friendly, jobs-focused, pro-labor campaign that focused on helping average working Arkansans.  I'm not sure Mark Pryor can claim that.  Blanche Lincoln certainly cannot.

      I agree with your point about Howard Dean, but Dean lost just like Halter did.

      Is there anything specific about Halter's campaign platform that you feel is "not left enough"?

      Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

      by Benintn on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 12:59:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I guess (0+ / 0-)

        The only item I know of where Halter staked out a stated position left of Lincoln was on the public option...

        He was pretty noncommittal on EFCA.  He has zero I can find on LGBT issues.  His environmental stances seem pretty run-of-the-mill "I'm pro environment".

        I'm not slamming Halter - I nominally supported him and I wish he were the nominee.

        I'm just saying people took one issue where Halter found an effective wedge against Lincoln (the public option) and then sort of built a progressive house of cards around it.

        I don't blame Halter or progressives for doing that - that's politics.   I'm just saying that, now that the primary is history, not really much point in knighting Halter as a progressive.

        I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

        by zonk on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:47:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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