From what we have seen lately, it will be slow going to bring that change. We have decided we are not going to vote in the primary this time for the presidential nominee, but we will for sure support the nominee in the general election. It is crucial we get a Democrat in the White House this time. The choice on the Republican side is just plain too scary to do otherwise. BUT...that may be the last time we do that.
No, we have not fallen for the theme that this is the most important vote in our lifetime the way we did in 04. However, this will probably be the last time we vote Democratic just to say we did.
Besides, I would like to see the Democrats win the presidency with Howard Dean as chairman. After that...well, who knows.
I was rereading some stuff from notes I took when I was reading Dean's "You Have the Power" from 2004.
He made it clear that the only way to get people to stop voting against Democratic ideals is to "primary them."
"Democrats shouldn't be crossing party lines to help Republican ideology dominate, or breaking ranks to vote for measures like the Medicare prescription bill...."
"In the future there should be consequences for Democrats who do. For one thing, there is no reason not to pose primary challenges to Democratic incumbents who vote with the Republicans on critical Democratic priorities."
He points out how when our conservative Democrats vote with the right wing....it gives ammunition to the moderate Republicans not to have to stand up for things.
"When our own folks vote with Tom DeLay, it means that DeLay, who is not stupid, gets to go to congressional Republicans in moderate districts and tell them he doesn't need their vote to pass his right wing bill because he has enough Democratic votes to win. The "moderate" Republicans can go home and tell their constituents that they "stood up against" Tom DeLay while keeping him in power by voting for him as leader and falling in line with him on not-so-high-profile pieces of legislation.
I'm not trying to purge points of view from Congress. I like the idea of an inclusive party. If our opponents were reasonable people who shared our basic core values about fairness and decency, I'd think that by all means Democrats should have the freedom to vote with them if their consciences prodded them to do so."
And his point there is clear. We are not dealing with reasonable people who share our values.
"We're fighting now for the future of our country and the future of democracy. To vote with the Republicans is to let extremism get the upper hand. In the past, our party's own ideal about inclusiveness kept us from having the necessary tools to fight. We need to toughen up. We can't afford to be divided by members peeling off on issues that touch upon our deeply held beliefs."
We don't need to march in lockstep on every vote. But on critical votes that touch on our key issues, Democrats can not abandon their core values. The history of the twentieth century teaches that we must never compromise with extremists."
His term with the DNC will be up soon. I imagine he will have no shortage of choices. In the back of my mind I hope against hope that he will continue along the lines of working outside the party with DFA or similar groups. It would pay off in so many ways.
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