How can we reconcile "Better Democrats, period" with the fact that most of us still support the late and lamented 50 state strategy that helped elect a bunch of blue dogs?
I don't see the matter as a simple question.
Believing in democracy, I supported the 50 State Strategy because it took power out of Washington DC, out of the hands of a self-serving party establishment, and enabled local activists to make the party more democratic.
None of this guarantees the election of progressives into office. But it does mean that if Blue Dogs end up getting elected, it's because local voters and activists supported them, not because they were chosen by local party bosses or wise old men in Washington.
This is a big deal to me. Maybe it shouldn't be. But I'm much more willing to accept Joe Manchin's blowout election because it was a choice that West Virginia made, not a decision that party strategists made. Because, if for no other reason, party strategists suck at it.
I'm quite willing to accept that voters will need to pick the best Democrat who can win in a given locale. But that decision should be made by primary voters locally, not the same cast of professional election losers that we never seem to get rid of.
Engaging, and relying upon, local activists is a sound foundation for democracy. The top down hierarchical structure that replaced the 50 state strategy is not. It is too easily corrupted by money, cronyism, and self-dealing. Furthermore, not just because it has "Obama" in its name, it can't get involved in matters like the Wisconsin recalls without dragging Obama's name and the national Democrats into the matter.
A party organized from the bottom up can. Fortunately, Wisconsin has a good one.
There's a diary on the rec list that makes reasonable points about the need for MORE as well as BETTER democrats. But I think that it overlooks the importance of protecting local democracy from out-of-state meddling. If a district is so conservative, they probably don't want Daily Kos getting involved in the first place. While conservadems in blue districts are happy to get primary support from the usual suspects who have had their thumbs on the scales for far too long.
So, the new Kos company line is not incompatible with the best practical Dem getting elected in your district. (Hint: do it yourself.)
My two cents.