Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sherrod Brown Meeting

By SusanD

This morning about fifteen of us met with Sherrod Brown. The meeting was semi-moderated by the Chair of our county Dems. I say semi, because he really didn't have much to do with directing the proceedings.

Nobody else wanted to go first, so I started off by asking Sherrod about the report in Mother Jones that Henry Waxman had emailed Hackett's donor asking them to redirect their support and money to Brown. Brown was unapologetic in affirming that he asked Waxman for his help.

Sherrod Brown insists that Schumer has given him no help toward his campaign. He discounts the pressure Hackett received from Schumer and Reid, and insists that Hackett dropped out because of his lagging poll numbers and fund-raising.

Brown insisted that neither he nor his staff spread the rumors about Hackett. Brown said that the rumors were told to him by Dan Lucas, but that he told Lucas not to repeat the rumors....that his campaign would not be run that way.

Brown was completely unaware of the other races where the DSCC and DCCC have meddled in the primaries. I told him about Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania. I explained to him that we were not angry at *him*, but at the DSCC and DCCC. I told him I felt they'd presented us with a Catch-22. If we vote for him it affirms their meddling in state politics. If we don't vote for him we lose a progressive in office. His response, to paraphrase slightly, was "Well, you live in Ohio and you know what you have to do."

Even while acknowledging the grievous shortcomings in the Democrats currently in office, the bottom line for both Brown and the Party Chair seemed to be the usual "The Democratic Party uber alles".

Brown is well aware of our anger, though he seems to think it affects far fewer people than it actually does. He is concerned enough about it that he felt a need to come to Dayton and justify himself. But I had a strong feeling that they do not understand our anger in a visceral way. It's as if our anger is a foreign language they do not understand and have no wish to study.

Judging from what I heard it appears that they do not see our anger as any indication that the Democratic Party needs to do business in a more democratic way, or change at all. They see our anger as something we can, and should, put aside "for the good of the Party".

The meeting wasn't held to address our anger. It was held to try to corral our votes. It was damage control, pure and simple.

And it left me feeling very empty.

Susan D.

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