More AND Better Democrats, Get It?

No, clearly they don't.

RenaF has a rec'd diary over at DailyKos that has the transcript of the CNN report on Accountability Now PAC, which desmoinesdem covered earlier. The report features both Markos and Jane talking about the importance of holding Democrats accountable with the threat of a primary challenge. As Markos says:

If you're an elected official and you're representing your constituents, you have nothing to fear.

And Jane:

A healthy primary market within the Democratic party - we think it's good for the people and we think it's good for the party.

But take a look at how Jessica Yellin ends the report:

Wolf, this is just a headache the Democrats do not need.

It's interesting, we're demonized for being partisan, but the second we advocate actually going after Democrats, it's framed as a sort of Democratic infighting. We just can't win.

Of course, the media are not the only ones who can't wrap their minds around it. For years, I've been seen by friends and family alike as a partisan Democrat who will simply vote for whomever has a D next to his or her name. Well, sure, as I tell people plainly, I will support any Democrat over any Republican every time. But they need only look at my passionate advocacy for Ned Lamont over Joe Lieberman to understand that replacing Republicans with Democrats is only half of the equation. I'll support a Democrat over a Republican, yes, but I'll also support a better Democrat over a bad Democrat every time as well. And now that our majorities are as comfortable as they are, particularly in the House, this is precisely the sort of next step our movement needs to take.

It's called accountability, folks; it's called democracy. Look into it.

Tags: accountability now, more and better Democrats (all tags)

Comments

17 Comments

Re: More AND Better Democrats, Get It?

Don't want the headache, Dems? Don't side with the corporations over your constituents.

You also shouldn't hit yourself in the head with a hammer.

Common sense advice, either way.

by judybrowni 2009-02-26 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: More AND Better Democrats, Get It?

Maybe we should start a PAC for the media. Cause we sure could use an more intelligent media.

by Charles Lemos 2009-02-26 02:56PM | 0 recs
Makes sense to me.

As long as they make allowances for districts.

In some districts, a right of center dem is the best we're going to get.

by Bush Bites 2009-02-26 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Makes sense to me.

Markos has always said (and repeated it again today) that the representatives should vote with their district.  A democratic representative that is in a +9 republican district is not going to be expected to vote with us much of the time...  We're not the club for growth here... I doubt Markos wil want to primary someone like that... He gets very mad at people who are in liberal districts but vote like republicans.  Those are the people who will be targeted.

by LordMike 2009-02-26 04:25PM | 0 recs
There aren't many of them though

Who do we have? Lipinski, Tanner, who else?

by DTOzone 2009-02-26 05:00PM | 0 recs
Re: More AND Better Democrats, Get It?

I agree that some Democrats should be fair game for a primary.   But I think some activists have idiotic expectations and standards of who should be primaried.

We take glee when the Club for Growth challenges some perfectly acceptable Republican (from the Republican point of view) office holders...we should not commit the mirror image mistake of challenging perfectly acceptable (from the Democratic point of view) mainstream Democrats.

by InigoMontoya 2009-02-26 03:41PM | 0 recs
Depends on who we're looking at the primary

and why.

Sure primarying Lieberman made sense in strongly Democratic anti-war Connecticut and would've worked out had Lieberman not run as an Independent, but if we think we're helping the party by primarying people like Travis Childers or Heath Shuler, we're being ridiculous. Kos says you have nothing to fear if you're representing your constituents...that's what Shuler and Childers are doing, representing their constituents, who just happened to have a warped view of the world.

Now if we change the minds of their constituents, then it's a different story.  

by DTOzone 2009-02-26 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Depends on who we're looking at the primary

If you know Markos, he has always said that democrats in conservative districts should be left alone.  But, Schuler is not out of the woods.  His district voted for Obama and he has no excuse for basically never voting with our caucus, like ever.  He's got to be the worst of the blue dogs, since he doesn't even pretend to be a democrat...

by LordMike 2009-02-26 04:27PM | 0 recs
Obama didn't win NC-11

He lost it 52%-47%, and he does vote with us on environmental issues

by DTOzone 2009-02-26 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: More AND Better Democrats, Get It?

by nycdem 2009-02-26 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: More AND Better Democrats, Get It?

Its about strengthening the brand.  The Democratic Party has had very weak branding as opposed to the Republicans. The Democratic Party has let itself be defined for years by the Republicans.

The Republicans can define themselves in a couple of words, tax cuts.  The Democratic should be also associated with a few words, as the party of the little guy.  But the Republicans have defined the Democrats as the elite that tax and spend.

Just this evening Chris Matthews stopped Darryl Issa from using Democrat Party.  This is great.  Republicans have been using that to diminish the Democratic Brand since Reagan.

The on Accountability Now PAC is also a great start.  We have to hold our politicians to progressive standards.  Our only opportunity is during a primary.  FDR once said that "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."

by nycdem 2009-02-26 04:35PM | 0 recs
Re: More AND Better Democrats, Get It?

I couldn't agree with you more.  We need a good linguist to head up or media strategies and give us a few catch phrases that define us easily and then we need to use them until we are blue in the face. Voters understand small phrases, even if they are doublespeak (which is kinda sad). We need those small phrases to connect with voters because if we don't, they will.

by selfevident 2009-02-27 11:27AM | 0 recs
NY-19: Some people think they get it, and don't...

I'm in NY-19. Progressive John Hall is our Congressman, and he's doing an incredible job representing the District in the House. He came out of nowhere to defeat Rahm Emanuel's, handpicked centrist, Republican-turned-Democrat challenger in 2006.

He's been at the forefront on Energy and Veterans issues (West Point straddles the district to the West, and there's a VA hospital in NY-19) since his first day in D.C. More importantly, he's considered to be one of the more effective members of his class of '06, too.

He's provided lead sponsorship on major legislation passed (energy and vet affairs) in his first term, and he was one of only two Freshmen in the Class of '06 appointed to the chairmanship of a subcommittee: the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Memorials and Benefits. He's viewed as being quite the House wonk when it comes to alternative energy and the environment, in general.

Progressive Punch has these stats on Congressman Hall:

--He's the 3rd most progressive Democrat in a "Swing" district in the U.S.
(Only Oberstar in MN-8 and Bishop in NY-1 did better, in terms of House Members in Swing districts with better Progressive scores.)

--55 members of Congress scored better than Hall with regard to his "Progressive Score" versus his "district's tilt."

--His lifetime overall Progressive score is 95.33%, ranking him 60th in the House. which is 3/100th's of a point less than the most Progressive member of the NY congressional delegation, Jerrold Nadler, who ranked 59th and scored a 95.36% lifetime score.

--Only Nadler (NY-8), Hinchey (NY-22), Velazquez (NY-12) and Clarke (NY-11) have more Progressive lifetime voting records, among incumbent members (excluding those just elected in November, with whom he ties at 100% [see immediately below]) of the New York congressional delegation.

--Hall has a 100% overall Progressive record in this session of Congress.

--On "crucial votes," Hall ranks 125th, and this is a fairly subjective ranking (I might add), among all members of congress, with a 79.57% ranking. (NOTE his "score-versus-tilt ranking, above, before jumping to conclusions about this last stat.)

I don't have the stats, but I believe it's something like a Cook PV of +3 for the Rethugs here.

Another vaguely referenced stat...in the past 80 or 90 years, I believe a Democrat has represented this district for about 6 or 8 of them, give or take...and that includes Hall's two years in office...

Despite all of this, some on the very fringes of the far left in our District are actually voicing thoughts of running someone against him in 2010.

IMHO, that's just totally fucked...

by bobswern 2009-02-26 05:58PM | 0 recs
A primary AGAINST John Hall?

From the LEFT?

I think the district is R+2, Obama won NY-19 51%-48%, which is the same as he won NY-20. If we can get a Democrat likek John Hall elected and reelected in a district Obama got 51% in, we should be kissing the floor.

by DTOzone 2009-02-26 06:24PM | 0 recs
Yes, from the very far left...

...and this is firsthand knowledge. And, I'm freakin' pissed about it, too.

There are legitimate challenges in some districts, then there are people just getting freakin' carried away with themselves...and NY-19 is one place that's an example of the latter as far as the Progressive movement's concerned.

We're talkin' John Hall, the rock 'n roller! The founder of M.U.S.E. A lifetime environmentalist. And, a damn good politician, too.

Hall was too liberal for Rahm-bo! And, now this shit from the far left side of his own backyard.

I really hope folks like Kos have the decency to know where to draw the line...but, I'm truly afraid they won't stand up for people like Hall...IF a handful of folks on the left are dumb enough around here to organize the quintessential circular firing squad...this is so wrong on so many counts...

by bobswern 2009-02-26 07:10PM | 0 recs
Kos was wetting his pants over Jim Webb...

Webb is plenty right on a number of issues compared to Hall, from what I see of his record.

Look, just cause he pisses me off, I'm realistic to realise Ben Nelson is about as left a Democrat as I am going to get in Nebraska...

And, if you are NOT going after him, you shouldn't go after Hall.

by WashStateBlue 2009-02-26 10:03PM | 0 recs
At the risk of pissing off the net-roots

I will give you another example.

It was horrifed when ONCE AGAIN the Netroots put it's muscle behind Darcy Burner in WA district 8.

I said, over and over, she WILL not beat Richert, while a more centerist candidate like Rodney Tom would have.

And, Tom was considering running, but he got steam-rolled by Darcy's financial support, most of which was coming from out of the district.

We could have taken out Sheriff Dave with the right candidate for that district.

This is problem with this strategy.  

Darcy was beloved by just the people who are behing this "Better Democrat" idea...

Problem is, no matter how many times you run her in WA 08, she will lose.

I live on Capital hill, so I get Jim McDermott.

If you live in Bellevue, you better run a candidate that fits that demographic.

by WashStateBlue 2009-02-26 10:14PM | 0 recs

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