No Dollars for Democrats

I started my own little boycott, by not donating to any Federal State or local Democratic candidates or organization like the DCCC until we get health care reform passed. I have been telling that to any group that calls and have called the DNC and NCDP and told them my reasons why.

Many of us worked our tails off in 2008 to elect a Democrat to the White House and a Democrat majority to the Congress. If these guys can't deliver on our key issue why are we supporting them? We did our part, now it is time for them to do theirs.


I have a different plan

I'm restricting contributions to individual Democrats with clear and strong progressive commitments. I'd do the same for Republicans, except there are none with those commitments. How screwed up is that?

I'm of two minds on this

I am equally disgusted by our Democratic majority's inability (or lack of desire) to bring about needed change. And I'm even more disgusted with the race for money, and how we seem to cherish, above all other skills or traits, a candidate's ability to raise funds for campaigning. The real issues, and solutions for those issues, get lost in that scramble.

But God bless us, we've got an extremely important election coming up in about nine months, and failure to compete with Republicans could leave millions of Americans vulnerable to the backwards thinking and empathically barren Republican approach to governing. You throw in this recent Supreme Court decision and the Right's status as the "preferred" party amongst corporate spenders, and you get an ominous dark cloud on the horizon that is not going to blow away on its own.

In the absence of a different (and preferably "smarter") defense against the growing Republican threat, pulling the rug out from under the DSCC and DCCC machines can have but one inevitable result: A return to the state of affairs during the early Bush years. If we're lucky...

Progressives can still support individual candidates

and should.

Also, there are rumors of progressive PACs being formed to steer around business as usual. Seems worth a try to me.

Definition of insanity

We had a extremely important race in 2008 and we delivered. What have we gotten for it? Yes things will get worse if we loose control of the Congress, but so far I can't see things getting better if we maintain control in 2010. If they can't get it done now with the solid majority in both houses, what make you think they can get it done with one or two more votes in Congress?

There has been some excellent writing lately on how the Republicans have been effective in holding together their blocks in the Senate and Congress by actually acting like a real political party. If a Senator or Congressman deviates from the party line, he gets punished by getting serious opposition in a Primary and loosing funding. That R next to a candidate's name really means something now. You can't say the same about Democratic candidates. If we don't hold our elected officials feet to the fire by serious threats of withholding funding or running Primary candidates we are just going to keep seeing embarrassments like we saw after the Massachusetts special election.

Most Dems just want the health care issue to go away fast

That "Thlop, thlop, thlop" you hear in the distance is the sound of Democrat spines dissolving into jelly. Most of the Democrats in the U.S. House (and about a dozen of those in the Senate) now just want this healthcare issue to GO AWAY, as quickly as possible, because the voters have only 9 months left to forget about it before November.

There are 10 Congressional Districts in Massachusetts. All are occupied by progressive Democrats. The closest race in 2008 was Barney Frank, and he won with 68% of the vote. Yet Scott Brown won there, mainly by opposing the Democrats' healthcare proposals ("reform" to supporters, "rationing" to opponents).

In a normal year, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in MA wins with about 2/3 of the vote. But Scott Brown managed to capture 30% of the votes that would normally go to the Democrat, to win the seat by a 52%-to-47% margin, and he did it mainly by his promise to oppose the healthcare bill.

Most of the other Democrats in Congress are calculating their chances of survival in November if THEY lose 30% of the voters who normally vote for THEM, and they are understandably scared. If healthcare is still a hot issue in November, the Republicans will probably take control of the U.S. House for the first time since 2006. (The only reason the Senate is not also in jeopardy is that only 15 Democratic seats are up this year, and the Republicans need to pick up 10 seats to take control, which is highly unlikely.)

A very reasonable approach.

I think that Cutter's proposed approach is a very reasonable one, with James' refinement. Tell the DSCC and the DCCC that they'll get our contributions this year only AFTER health reform legislation is passed.

Tell Democratic Congressional office-holders that the only federal candidates getting our contributions are incumbents who voted for reform and who continue to call for its passage now, and challengers who have and express support for passage.

Scharrison's concern is one that I might normally share, if this were not a pivotal moment on what I consider the most important social justice issue of this generation. Let the DSCC and DCCC get the feedback to Congressional leadership that the money train is being hindered by Congressional spinelessness. Political survival (which sadly includes fundraising capacity) is the only language which some of them speak.

This is the fully legitimate usage of what political leverage we have. No histrionics. Not a threat. Just a promise.

Let's spread the word about this idea. Call it the Health Care Now Pledge.

Dan Besse