So yesterday the kerfuffle du jour was to vote or not to vote for Bob Kerrey which of course led to a bigger of discussion of whether or not to vote for "bad" Democrats. Which then of course leads into the discussion of what is the goal of this site, and how it relates to the Democratic Party and I read some very opposing views on that. Well, this morning I was listening to yeserday's The Majority Report with Sam Seder, and he happened to be running an interview that he did with Markos at Netroots Nation last week and I found it very helpful and interesting. I have directly quoted key points, but I don't have time to transcribe the whole conversation. It is in the members only segment so you have to join to hear it, but it is a great show so there is no risk there. ;)
Seder starts off by talking about NN and how it has evolved over the years from Yearly Kos, both similarities and differences. This leads to a discussion of DailyKos and what it's mission is and it's goals are, which leads to a discussion of voting for and supporting Democrats, both good and bad.
Seder asked where our leverage is if we vote for someone that in turn goes to Washington and votes against our best interests in some cases and John Tester as an example is discussed.
On a realistic standpoint, Jon Tester represents Montana and he's going up for reelection in a presidential year where Republican turnout will be maximized, so he's doing what he thinks is necessary to win.He then talks about how the site's mission has evolved from more democrats to more and better democrats, which we have heard him say before and completely makes sense, but he fleshed it out a bit which I think is helpful:
There are places where we'll do the best we can. I mean I'm not going to sit there and raise money for Joe Donnelly in Indiana, but I hope he wins because that would get us one seat closer to retaining the majority. On the other hand, there are places where either by primary or by selectively targeting states we can get better democrats. So we have a finite number of dollars we can raise for Senate races, why not Elizabeth Warren who's going to be a rockstar progressive or, you know, the way we did for Al Franken in Minnesota a couple years ago. There's people that we know are going to be solid because there is a history there. We are being more saavy in how and where we target knowing that the party is going to care of the blue dog types, but we can take care of the progressives that need all the help they can get.Seder asked him if his perspective on the Democratic party being an effective vehicle for progressive ideals has changed. Markos said, no not at all, it is the only vehicle we have. If there was another realistic alternative, he would jump at it, but there isn't. He also said that he strongly favors primaries in all cases, even the most progressive candidates because it is like a job review and holds candidates accountable for there actions.
There is then an interesting discussion of the tea party and Wisconsin.
Finally, he asks Markos "what do you say to people that say you are giving up all of your power if you vote for them and they are not giving you what you want?"
I point to 2010. Progressives sat home. We sat it out. Did things get better? No.
Seder agreed that "we did not see things move to the left" and more discussion ensues regarding staying home and withholding your vote and its repercussions.
Bad democrats are still better than the best republicans.