Sunday, August 06, 2006

Real Change Involves the GOP

With luck, CT will have a more responsive Senator come November, and the Dems will have a new team player who will be more reliable on party-line votes. I agree with Josh Marshall that the Rubicon for Holy Joe was saying he was setting himself up to run as an independent if defeated in the primary. This sent the twin messages of A) I think I'm going to lose and B) I'm not committed to the party. A senior senator is hard to dump, but a disloyal loser has nothing to stand on.

Now, how about the netroots doing something constructive for a change? Instead of throwing themselves into trashing other Democrats (and let's be clear, the Kossack aligned blogs would cheerfully greet another generation of Republican rule if it meant keeping "DLC" candidates out of office), why not take on the big guns, the GOP?

There's this little race coming up in California here in San Diego, pitting Brian Bilbray (R - Lobbyist) against Francine Busby (D - Liberal) in a competitive rematch for Duke Cunningham's old seat. How about putting as much energy and noise into that match up, which actually works towards changing the balance of power in the Congress, as into the symbolic but not that legislatively important CT senate race? Of course, taking over Cunningham's seat would be symbolic as well, and would give the pundits something to chew on for months afterwards. Francine is a strong liberal, too, so what's not to like? It's a real race, one where the makeup of the district is the opposite from CT, with a Republican majority, but more moderate than not and worried over corruption and international entanglements.

In short, the only way that real change - in power and in policy - is going to change is by taking on the GOP directly. This means real political work, like motivating the sizable (and growing) Dem minorities in allegedly safe GOP districts. 2,000 votes. That's what would have sent Francine to DC. I still can't believe that the wider left blogosphere didn't see the PR value in seizing the Cunningham's seat. What better message to send about the K Street payola racket than back the seat of one of their more rapacious practitioners?

The netroots left has ably demonstrated that they can savage their own party. Now let's see if they can defeat real political opponents. That takes a little more effort, and actually standing up for a candidate.


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