Sunday, November 04, 2007

More Democrats, BETTER Democrats.

This post is about the latter part of that slogan. Given that this is primary season, we need to be thinking about replacing some of the more egregious "pre-emptive capitulationists" within the Democratic ranks. (Maybe they aren't capitulating to the Bush administration- maybe they actually agree with the Bush administration, in which case the need to defeat them is all the more pressing.)

In Maryland, there is a Congressperson named Al Wynn. He is a Democrat, but his voting record leaves an enormous amount to be desired from a progressive standpoint:
People within Wynn's district often cite a number of poor votes on Wynn's part for their dissatisfaction. These include his votes for the Terri Schiavo legislation, his support of the Bush/Cheney Energy Policy, his vote for the Bankruptcy Bill, his vote to repeal the Estate Tax, his lack of support for net neutrality, and his vote to gut the Endangered Species Act. [See the campaign's Halloween You Tube ad, Al Wynn's Scary Votes]

And of course his vote to support the Iraq War resolution.

Yuck! That's quite a spate pro-Republicanism. Fortunately, there is a progressive candidate running against him in the primary: Donna Edwards (no relation to the Presidential candidate (at least as far as I know)):
Donna Edwards has been endorsed by numerous progressive and labor organizations and there's a big campaign in the progressive blogosphere to get her elected. I've contributed a small amount to her campaign and I encourage you to do so as well. It sends a message to the Democratic leadership that they need to take progressive causes seriously, and it may help get a real progressive elected to congress. Donna Edwards came within 3,000 votes of winning the primary before the 2006 election, so we have a very good shot at winning this. Unfortunately, the forces of the Democratic establishment are not on our side on this:

Ouch. Nancy Pelosi is supporting this guy, despite the opportunity to have him replaced with a more reliable progressive ally. She had a fund raising event for him tonight. There it is: the incumbency protections racket in black and white. That just means we have to work harder. This blogospheric fundraising campaign is a direct response to Pelosi's backing of Al Wynn. (As of this post, it has raised $176,548: not bad for a bunch of leftist mouse-clickers.)

But wait, you're thinking, maybe Pelosi is being a shrewd leader, protecting a flawed Democrat to keep the seat in her party's hands. Well, considering that the district is 77% Democratic, that can hardly be an excuse. Yes, we have to tolerate a lot of anti-progressive votes from the likes of Ben Nelson, but he's a Democratic Senator from Nebraska, so we'll take what we can get. (Still, it's annoying that he doesn't identify himself as a Democrat on the front page of his website. This seems to be the case with numerous senators of both parties. Pathetic, in my opinion.). But this is a solidly blue district, and there's no such excuse.

Just fighting Republicans won't end the occupation of Iraq or turn this country around. The Democratic party is very sick and needs some people powered medicine badly. Fortunately, there are things we can do to help. There is always something we can do. Apathy and disengagement are for wimps.


Anonymous Bill in Minneapolis said...

Zac, thanks for bringing this to my attention. Give yourself credit for being the catalist for my $100 contribution to Donna.

6:22 PM, November 04, 2007  
Blogger Zachary Drake said...

Yay! I think this kind of thing is a good thing for me to write about on this blog, because a lot of my readers are well informed, but don't obsessively keep track of things that are going on in the progressive blogosphere. A lot of what I write about people can find out from the New York Times, but the Donna Edwards primary challenge isn't the sort of thing that gets a lot of mainstream media attention. And yet it's exactly the sort of thing we need to know about if we're going to reform the Democratic party and make it a real vehicle for progressive values.

8:14 PM, November 05, 2007  

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