The netroots and the progressive movement have as much of an ownership claim to the Democratic Party as anyone else. We follow the rules, and we have provided an absolutely enormous amount of support to the party. As we work to move into the infrastructure of the party, LieberDems and "New Dems" alike do everything they can to distance themselves from they party. Lieberman's actions following the primary, as well as the actions of those Democrats who continue to support him, make it clear that it is in fact the Lieberman-Tauscher-DLC types view the party, its rules, and its members as a convenience to be easily tossed aside when they interfere with a personal path to power. This is our party as much as it is theirs. Hell, by now it is more our party than it is theirs. Lieberman and his supporters have become the new Naderites in our midst.
The probable Lamont loss is starting to sink in. And, as you can probably tell, it calls attention to the fact that while they were successful in the primaries in that one race, that doesn't put them in the mainstream of the Democratic party. So we get talk about "ownership" ... and rationalization of how much more mainstream the Netroots crown is that Lieberman.
Not particularly convincing, is it?
Even worse, as Tom Maguire points out, many of the Democrats who may win House seats come from the other side of the Democrat family than the Netroots crowd:
The Times explains that Democrats have recruited gun-wavin', Bible-thumpin' pro-lifers to run for Congress to help them pick up a majority. Hey, it may work and there is nothing wrong with winning. However, it will hardly be possible to interpret Democratic success as a mandate for their well-concealed agenda.
Yes, if they are successful in taking the House on Nov. 7th, it appears much of that success will go to conservative Democrats. Hardly what Bowers, et. al, were hoping for.
And, of course, as the Times points out about just such a conservative Democratic candidate:
But if candidates like Mr. [Heath] Shuler [D-NC] do help the Democrats gain majority control of Congress, it could come at a political price, which may include tensions in the party between its new centrists and its more liberal political base.
Well it certainly won't make the Netroots crowd happy.
More from Bowers:
That alone means it will be our victory more than it will be theirs. Any Democrat who works to distance himself or herself from the Democratic Party cannot claim responsibility for a Democratic Party victory. That should be obvious enough. It should be just as obvious that I will never be kicked out of this party by those who view it as a personal convenience rather than as a necessary and vital form of solidarity. We need a broad coalition in order to govern, and neither conservatives nor progressive will ever be thoroughly purged from a Democratic governing coalition. Nor should they be, considering our nation's diversity and historical tolerance for dissent. To keep the coalition together, we need to do three things. First, we all must have an ownership stake. Second, we must all agree to act within mutually agreed upon rules to resolve intra-coalition conflicts. Third, we have to all be working for each other, despite our differences.[emphasis mine]
I love the logic behind the first emphasized line. I can only assume, given the end of the last paragraph being about Lieberman, that Bowers is talking about him there. Who targeted whom? Who drove who away from the party by claiming he no longer represented it or its values? It wasn't Joe Lieberman. Stealing something and claiming its yours now doesn't make it so.
The last emphasized portion I can only imagine comes from the realization that those who were doing the purging (that would be Netroots) now stand the chance of being purged themselves, given how the election may finally fall (with a decidedly more conservative tilt than they wish). It's a plea now that they've failed in their purge: "Can't we all just get along?"
When we are told that we are driving the party off a cliff, it becomes clear that whoever made that comment it is not working for everyone in the coalition. That person is distancing herself form the party, as we move closer toward it. That alone means it will never be her victory more than it will be ours, no matter what numbers she cites. You can't run against / from X and then claim you catalyzed X's victory (well, maybe you can, considering the frequent illogic of our national political discourse). It also becomes clear that that person has less of an ownership stake, and is less willing to follow party rules if they don't suit her. She isn't willing to make the sacrifices that will allow us to govern together—she only wants to govern for herself and with a few of her friends. When a person like that rises to prominence in the party, that person becomes destructive to the party as a whole.
This was a howl. If you disagree with Netroots, you are distancing yourself from the party, because, you see, Netroots is the party (speaking of illogic). Except dramatic indications (the Lamont debacle) are it isn't. In fact, as charged, it may indeed be engaged in driving the party off a cliff, and if not that, at least sideswiping a few trees and damaging it.
Notice that in all of this, the party and it's rules are of primary importance and must be followed to the letter. Not once in that portion of the paragraph does Bowers ever talk about the good of the nation. Party, party, party.
That's why I was on board with Lamont from before he even announced. Lieberman's Nader-like trashing of the Democratic Party for personal gain was a long-term pattern in his behavior. Iraq and his refusal to accept primary results are just some of the latest examples of that behavior.
Classic rationalization that again can't see beyond the limits of the party. Not everything comes down to party politics. The primary purpose of any party should be what is best for the nation. Not every issue is an ideological or partisan issue. Not every member marches in lockstep. Those are all good things, not bad. They tend to grow statesmen instead of party hacks.
After his, "we have to all be working for each other, despite our differences", Bowers says he's glad he ran Lieberman out because of those difference.
Anyway, read it all. It's an interesting ramble with which, I'm sure, a psychiatrist or psychologist would have a field day. If the Dems take the House due to Blue Dog Dems, it will indeed be interesting to see how willing the Netroots crowd are to actually work with them "despite their differences".
So much CW bull****, it’s hard to know where to start.
that while they were successful in the primaries in that one race, that doesn’t put them in the mainstream of the Democratic party.
Markos started talking about Jon Tester in 2004. He won his primary over a DLC hack and is well on his way to beating Conrad Burns in Montana.
Is Tester a liberal? Not according to any checklist. He doesn’t certainly doesn’t have a liberal rep. He’s not popular in Montana because of his liberal image, he’s popular because he looks like a farmer. He’s a netroots hero, and he posts diaries on DKos regularly. What he is **not** is a wishy-washy, compromised hack. What he **is** is authentic, and an unapologetic democrat. What he does not do is parrot Republican talking points.
The "netroots" is *funding* and providing staff, buzz, and networking to most of these conservative democrats you mention - in nevada, idaho, kansas, and a variety of other places. I could fill this page with links, if it was worth my time. So, this:
it will indeed be interesting to see how willing the Netroots crowd are to actually work with them "despite their differences".
is rather spectacularly ill-informed, because the conservative democrats and the netroots are already working hand-in-glove to create the upcoming house landslide.
It’s a plea now that they’ve failed in their purge: "Can’t we all just get along?"
Please see above for the idiocy of this POV. For the 100,000’th time, there is no purge. The netroots were motivated to challenge Lieberman in a primary because he did the Democratic party and image immesurable harm by getting on fox news and spouting republican talking points. Doesn’t matter whether you believe it or not - a majority of Democrats did in his home state. Lieberman is going to win in connecticut, narrowly, on Republican votes - which tells you exactly which party his actions have been benefitting for some time.
Conservative Democrats are not harming the party, so there is neither interest nor motivation to force them out. As empirical evidence amply demonstrates, the netroots crowd is the prime force behind getting them in in the first place.
All the rest of this c*ap here is conservative anti-advice. It’s advice designed to fill the MSM and reproduce until Democrats are suckered or intimidated into falling in with it, to their short and long-term electoral disaster. Conservative anti-advice suggests that perhaps the Democratic party should purge its angry activists and hard-line organizations, while the Club for Growth has made it its business to eliminate moderate republicans by the tenfold, and its founder, Mr. Nordquist is today, one of the central players in the DC republican elite.
Of course Republicans want the Democrats to purge the party of all the people who are willing to stand up and fight. When those people are gone, and we’re left with wishy-washy clown centrists in the Michael Dukakis mold, or open Republican-admirers like Joe Lieberman, the Repubs will face no further reistance in crafting policy or winning elections.
Can somebody tell me what the Constitution has to say about political parties? Because my recollection is that a Senator for the State of X is supposed to represent the people of that State, not the fraction of a fraction of a fraction of them that it takes to get a Party’s nomination. Is there any actual Constitutional basis to political parties, or are they just a convenient method of labelling to spare the voters all that effort of actually finding out what they’re voting for?
Because my recollection is that a Senator for the State of X is supposed to represent the people of that State, not the fraction of a fraction of a fraction of them that it takes to get a Party’s nomination.
That’s the way it used to be but a constitutional amendment made their selection popular and thus removed it from the realm of the state (and a protection of the state’s power and authority) and gave it to the ’people’, which, in reality, means the parties.
The House and Senate retain Republican majorities, just barely.
The Republicans are shocked that they did as poorly as the did. They start rethinking their big spending ways since polls now indicate a majority of people view big government as the problem.
Some conservative Democrats win in their races, and then there are enough actual conservatives to get some real change going in Congress.
We all live happily ever after, because Bush does get a mental health bill pushed through which mandates screening for all union employees and those on state assistance. (Yeah it benefits big pharm companies, but they make enough that prescriptions go down for everyone.)
You’re going to remember saying this next Wednesday, right?
I’m down for it, landslide being an inherently subjective term and all offering no possibility of being "wrong" in a factual way. A week from now, you can b*tch at me about how it wasn’t enough seats to be a landslide, and we’ll call each other some names. Sounds like fun.
You planning to remember your Michael Steele Victory prediction?