On Reaching For 60

Bumped. You guys rock. New Goal! - Todd

Goal ThermometerIs it true, as some suggest, that shooting for 60 Democrats in the Senate and shooting to elect "Better Democrats" are mutually exclusive goals? Sure, one might argue that expending resources to elect red state Dem Ronnie Musgrove takes away from the important task of electing true progressive Jeff Merkley, but that formulation, it seems to me, ignores a couple things.

First of all is the idea that we can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Yes, I get that there are limited resources, but as our progressive infrastructure grows and, thanks especially to the presidential race this year, as the online progressive donor base grows, I firmly believe we can have our More and Better Democrats cake and eat it too (yeah, mixed metaphors!)

But it ignores something else as well, which is the psychological impact of 60 seats in the Senate, the psychological impact of winning 30 more seats in the House and the psychological impact of a 300+ electoral vote landslide at the presidential level. It all adds up to a Democratic wave that allows President Obama not only to claim a mandate, but to embolden him to follow through on it. In other words, the more Democrats there are, the better a Democrat President Obama will be.

In his recent MoveOn.org fundraising ask, Al Franken expounded on this:

Here's why this is so important. When Republicans tried to privatize Social Security back in 2005, they ran both houses of Congress and the White House--but they lost. The same thing happened to us with health care reform in 1993.

Now, they were wrong on Social Security, and we were right on health care. But the fact is, big change--for better or worse--takes big majorities and big mandates.

In fact, in the last century, there have been just a couple of truly transformative elections: 1964, when a Democratic landslide paved the way for Medicare, and 1932, when a Democratic landslide opened the door for the New Deal (and enraged generations of right-wingers by creating Social Security in the first place).

That's what we need in 2008: Not just a majority, but a landslide.

So, will you help us deliver 60 votes in the Senate and create a working progressive majority for Barack Obama by donating to our Road To 60 ActBlue page by midnight tonight? On Saturday I set a goal of 120 donors by tonight, which you guys have already reached, so, our new goal -- which isn't nearly as pretty since it's not a multiple of 60 -- is 130 total donors or 10 more by midnight tonight.

Update [2008-9-30 19:21:39 by Todd Beeton]:Three down, Seven to goSeven down, three to go! You guys rock! We got up to 131132 136 donors. Still some time before midnight so let's try to make it to 140.

Update [2008-10-1 0:15:0 by Todd Beeton]:Nice work everyone. Thanks for helping us reach our goal!

Tags: Road to 60 (all tags)



Re: On Reaching For 60

Just contributed $750 to see Al and Al at the DFL Founders' day dinner on Saturday.

by lojasmo 2008-09-30 02:34PM | 0 recs
go eat some arugula

j/k you are far better than me

by semiquaver 2008-09-30 03:21PM | 0 recs
Re: On Reaching For 60

Wow, and sounds like fun.  Gave to Obama again today (dribs and drabs) and to Act Blue tonight.  My personal economy is getting kind of shaky with this but it's worth it.

by mady 2008-09-30 07:28PM | 0 recs
Re: On Reaching For 60

Before I joined the Merkley staff, I was one of those bloggers constantly screaming about the Senate. I really believed that we have to increase our numbers if we want to pass UHC, which is one of my biggest issues.

I really appreciate how MYDD has taken up this cause and are spending their time trying to get to 60 Dems in the Senate. It will make a world of difference if we can get there.

I also want to send a BIG THANK YOU to MYDD on behalf of Jeff and the whole campaign for helping Merkley compete with Smith. Here in Oregon we have just 17 days until ballots drop, so these next few weeks are even more important than most realize.

by Sarah Lane 2008-09-30 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: On Reaching For 60

Tonight I am donating to Jeff Merkley and Kay Hagan.

by RandyMI 2008-09-30 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: On Reaching For 60

thanks, Randy!

by Todd Beeton 2008-09-30 03:24PM | 0 recs
Re: On Reaching For 60

Lou Dobbs is running a ridiculous right winger poll tonight.  Take a minute to go add your vote at http://loudobbs.tv.cnn.com/ (the poll is in the lower right column.   Don't let the wingnuts have their propoganda point!

by tominstl 2008-09-30 03:17PM | 0 recs
just voted

Yes     65%    4252
No      35%    2326
Total Votes: 6578

they're smart enough to check IPs instead of cookies to prevent ballot stuffing, apparently

by semiquaver 2008-09-30 03:43PM | 0 recs

projects a most likely outcome of 5-6 seats gain, with the chance of hitting 60 about 10% until recently.  Now it is about 15%.  The financial crisis hopefully will push hard on Hagan-Dole and Franken-Coleman.

by semiquaver 2008-09-30 03:38PM | 0 recs
Learn from experience

Not to be a wet blanket, but Zell Miller, Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson and similar Dems should remind us that reaching the magic number of 60 Dems in Congress doesn't guarantee Dem success on critical issues like health care reform.

Republicans know who our DINO Dems are in the Senate and will waste no time in bringing pressure to bear on critical votes.

IMHO, don't count on them and, unless Dem leadership gets some real commitment from them, don't waste money on getting more of them elected to office.

by Betsy McCall 2008-09-30 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Learn from experience

how about this standard: is he or she better than the Republican alternative?

by Todd Beeton 2008-09-30 05:59PM | 0 recs
Only if there's a stong Dem Senate leader

who can whip the votes needed on key votes.  There's no benefit in spending money to elect Dems to the Senate who will only vote with the GOP when they get there.

by Betsy McCall 2008-09-30 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Do we really know who will?

Franken won't.

by lojasmo 2008-09-30 07:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Only if there's a stong Dem Senate leader

which is another argument for NUMBERS. the smaller the Republican minority, the less often Dems will want to vote with them. they're impotent.

by Todd Beeton 2008-10-01 12:36AM | 0 recs
Sean Oxendine wrote a piece

as to why it's so hard for dems to govern in Congress; I won't link to him because he's a pub (I'll leave that to Jerome) but it's a good read as to how the big-tent philosophy creates serious governing issues in the Congress if you can find the article.

His point is that it's incredibly difficult to manage a caucus with as divergent views as Dan Boren and Barbara Lee.  The difference between a Boren and a Lee is much greater than the difference in the pub caucus between Chris Shays and Mike Pence.  

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-30 07:21PM | 0 recs
I would LOVE to donate

but I don't get paid until Friday.

by kevin22262 2008-09-30 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: On Reaching For 60

i just gave to Jeff Merkley and Al Franken, for their progressive stance on marriage equality. those are the kind of senators i want in this country. small donations, but it feels good (to think i was the ink that x'ed out 131 and gave life to 132!).

by politburro 2008-09-30 08:02PM | 0 recs
Re: On Reaching For 60

Just gave $10 to Musgrove. I figure it will be 3 of Musgrove, Franken, Lunsford, Allen, and maybe Martin that will get us to 60 without Lieberman.

by Progressive America 2008-09-30 08:02PM | 0 recs


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