Thursday, January 19, 2006

Primary Colors: Why Not Black And Blue?

I had a bit of my optimism restored Thursday night, and I may actually have renewed faith that the Democratic Party can be reformed. I met Mark Wilson who is running for a U.S. Senate seat here in Washington State, challenging the seat currently held by Maria Cantwell. Wilson is a true progressive with an agenda that speaks to my best hopes for the future of our country, something Ms. Cantwell wouldn’t recognize if it bought her dinner and took her dancing. I was invited to sit in-studio for Thursday's live broadcast of Moral Politics and Mr. Wilson was the featured guest. I was impressed not only by his position on the issues, out of Iraq now, end the war on drugs, repeal the Patriot Act, end corporate welfare, but I was most struck by his candid nature and ability to speak so easily to the issues I believe the American people, red or blue, care most about. There is nothing timid about Mark Wilson, and he is exactly what this state and this country needs. The bonus is, he already looks like a Senator! Not in that cheesy Linsey Graham, Bob Ney, preacher hair way, but dapper like Russ Feingold and Barack Obama.

Three weeks ago I went in search of any information I could find on a possible challenge to Cantwell’s disappointing leadership, but I came up empty handed. Perhaps this is a sign that my research skills are slipping, but I think it illustrates just how difficult it is to break past the Democratic Party machinery and change it from the inside. Why shouldn’t all challengers have equal footing within the state party apparatus? Why not list our choices on the state party website like a menu of options? When the primaries are reduced to automatic support for the most “electable” candidate before an effective challenge can even be mounted, we are left with compromised candidates that stake out the middle ground with a vengeance to the detriment of the party and the country. We as voters must be willing to throw caution to the wind and cast a vote for what we want rather than accepting what is consistently the lesser of two evils. As the Democrats keep saying, “We deserve better.”

Who cares if a contentious primary leaves the winner a little bloodied? If they can’t win the practice match, they’re not ready for the game. If there is any hope of saving the Democratic Party (a possibility I only marginally entertain, but want deperately to believe in) it must be tackled in the primaries. Terry McAuliffe rammed John Kerry down our throats because he sold the party on the idea that “electability” took precedence over everything else. How did that work out for us? In retrospect, progressives and liberals realize that sticking to our guns and voting for Dennis Kucinich or Howard Dean would have been the better choice. Perhaps we would have lost anyway, but we would have lost with our integrity in tact and with a message and a candidate we could have been proud of.

Casting a vote for the “good of the party” is an idea that has firmly taken hold, but voting for the frontrunner, the “electable” candidate, the best shot at victory has led us to this point, in the minority and saddled with leaders that lack progressive ideals, let alone a core set of principles worth fighting for. Kerry folded when he should have raised the stakes. There were too many questions and literally unbelievable vote tallies in Ohio and Florida, yet despite his vow to fight it to the bitter end, he caved and left the Greens and the Libertarians to do the heavy lifting of challenging fraudulent election results. We chose Kerry because we were told he could win, but until our elections are made fair and open, the greater consideration is who has the backbone to stand up and scream, “FOUL!” I am happy to report that Mr. Wilson also spoke directly to this issue, calling Maria Cantwell’s failure to join the Congressional Black Caucus in challenging the electoral votes from Ohio, a squandered opportunity to lead. He’s very diplomatic.

In 1996, I was working for a progressive non-profit and Adam Smith was running for a Congressional seat here in Washington State. He came to plead his case in order to gain our help and support and I kid you not, he stood up and sold himself as “acceptable”. If I remember correctly, he joked that his slogan should be “Adam Smith, he’s alright”. The sad part was, we backed him, and that was when we had a Democrat in the White House and control of Congress. Adam won his seat and the Democrats learned that being okay was good enough to win. Ten years down the line we have lost the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. It’s hard not to think that our low standards played a significant role in our fall from grace. Okay won’t cut it anymore.

If the choice is between losing by 48% to 52% (get used to those numbers because the electronic voting machines and vote counters love to spit them out) with an acceptable candidate or losing 40% to 60% with a principled, progressive candidate I can be proud of, I know which choice I’ll make. Continuing to lower our expectations will only lead us further down the road to obscurity. Democrats are marginalized now, but just wait, if we continue on dropping our ideals along the side of the road, we’ll be obsolete in no time. That is unless we take a stand in the primaries and vote our best hopes rather than our worst fears. I know that’s what I’ll be doing come primary season when I happily mark my ballot for Mark Wilson, the next U.S. Senator from the great state of Washington. If your research skills are better than mine, you may be able to find a Mark Wilson in your state too. Go ahead, give it a shot.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Jonathan said...

I am among the group who supported Kerry at least partly because I thought he had the best chance of unseating Bush. When he gave up so easily in the face of what appeared then to be significant voter disenfranchisement in Ohio, Florida, and elsewhere I felt deeply betrayed. Hindsight is 20/20 and it appears now that the will of the voters was not represented by the official election results.

Didn’t Kerry say he would concede for the sake of the nation? I was convinced then, and am even more convinced now, that throwing in the towel was contrary to fighting for what is right for this nation. I will never forgive Kerry for doing that.

The poll numbers show that the voters are unhappy with Congress. Republicans get slightly lower support but neither gets above 40% support. Maybe that is a sign that the difference between the two parties is too small. And the democrats clearly have moved closer to the center than the republicans have. Maybe the voters, in some areas anyway, are looking for a clearer alternative. Would we do better in the general election if the “can they win” issue was not considered in the primaries? I don’t know. But after being so let down by Kerry I’m willing to vote my values in the primaries and see what happens.

3:04 AM  
Anonymous roberta kelly said...

Every government elected representative knows our primary US economy is military weaponry. The number is staggering, 90%!

The Bush Crime Family is the primary 'architect' responsible for developing our "military economy".

Once the Vietnam War ended, we in America believed that our government finally got it and we were proud to be Americans, the 60s revolution worked and we were back on track to become a nation of 'semi-enlightened' peoples.

It was fraud in broad daylight and Mr. Ronald Reagan was its author.

He expanded the military and he did it because it was/is big business and since WWI the US discovered just how big . . . we could own entire countries - their peoples, resources both natural and otherwise, and we were GODS. The contracts to those who create all kinds of military "assets" and therefore bring in huge revenues for the country were expanded and poof, instant prosperity. Does the sound 'Bo~ei~ng' (say it loud and fast) ring any bells?

This economy in the United States of America is the bonding glue for the entire economy of the world. We stuck every other group of peoples together with us, in our insane joint plan ("full spectrum dominance") which was actually developed early in our life as a nation, by our ugly twin, the UK.

Australia is now about as pathetic as anyone could hope to believe and this is after being one of the greatest of peoples because of their genuine true "democracy".

But Kerry Packer, Rupert Murdock and a few other rotten apples (Tony Blair, et al), plus our very own USA, spoiled the entirety of Australia.

". . In the mid-19th century, the Australian press was one of the liveliest and bravest in the world; today, dominated by the marketing empires of Murdoch, Packer and Fairfax, it is little more than a voice of Australia's political elite and of Bush's Washington."

Just where have we not planted our military to be Sycophants?

Think about it for just a moment or two and it will enlighten us fully to the fact that our economy has "sold us down the river" by taking everything that was basically human and outsourcing it in some form or another and all the while our military/weaponry economy is what keeps us alive.

Well, not quite. There is the fact that we allow the international banks to decide that they can print money without attaching it to any kind of "standard" and then loan it at exorbitant interest rates to us so we can REPAY in triple and quadruple numbers.

Sick, sick, sick.

John Kerry is a military man and every one we shall see jockeying for position to "lead" cannot be anything but pro-military or they know this economy shall collapse and with our economy as the Titanic sinking, the other economies sink as well.

But the other economies are working diligently to detach from our insane economy and leaders. And, it will not be much longer that the global economy can hold this giant, bloated, dead cash cow, afloat.

Military weaponry depends 100% on oil and now every oil rich country knows it. The US is NOT oil rich.

We are no longer the global super power and as it is with every fantasy, once we realize it as such we can either understand it was just an illusion/delusion; or, we can entertain the superstition that it was/is real.

Pay attention to the stock market and as it continues to worsen, with the dollar becoming valueless because that is EXACTLY what the value is ~ LESS and less and less and other countries (e.g. China, no longer investing in US debt) ~ the writing is more than on the wall, it is everywhere.

Is anyone really paying attention to how much of a panic is going on, the bold selling off of stocks, by way of Martha Stewart "insider" tips, in the heart of Washington?

Bush & Co. is the end of an Era and the rattling of sabers over Iran is an exercise in futility: "They have their own Black Witch who they send to scare . . . and she is impressively schooled and even speaks fluent Russian, but she does not intimidate". Putin.

Russia, Iran, China, et al have all joined against the US and they "lie ultimately where the prize is".

Oil.

Welcome to the new world order.

7:46 AM  
Anonymous rkelly said...

Every one of the politicians who voted for the war knew the truth and it is all about the almighty dollar that is getting ready to crash, one way or another, whether we like it or not.

www.financialsense.com/editorials/petrov/2006
/0120.html

My gut tells me from reading this article that our REAL new Commander in Cheese, Ben Bernanke, SHALL create hyper-inflation. This means to me, that our long & short term interest rates will drop into the low percentages. These morons have learned nothing, really, but they did learn interest rate hikes do NOT work ~ raising interest rates into staggering upward numbers ~ can't do this, because we have far too much debt in every which way.

No matter how we look at the problem it is a very real one and the US is facing a genuine "dark night of the soul" with respect to our choices.

Flooding the market nationally and globally with US dollars which have no value, can definitely create a global economic predicament.

For us in the US, it is beyond the word predicament.

A quick inventory of everything we do every moment of the day, to prepare a checklist of how to become an instant conservationist in every respect, gives new meaning to the world important.

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Roberta said...

The Military is 90% of our economy.

(Sorry for the obfuscation, didn't mean it to be so.)

Respectfully . . . just do the math. 90% military ~ unable to flourish and grow ~ and this equals . . . ?

10:12 AM  

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