On Reaching For 60
by Todd Beeton, Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 07:06:09 PM EDT
Is 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 go Seven down, three to go! You guys rock! We got up to 131 132 136 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!