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Is it about acting Blue?

Congratulations and thanks are to be given to MoveOn, True Majority, and Democracy for America for facilitating the anti-war vigils of two nights ago. Even the Republican Party is now standing up and taking notice of the popular opposition to the Iraq War, thanks to demonstrations like these.

However, it is important for progressive activists to now ask themselves – are these organizations the backbone of the movement we seek to create? Some activist citizens, especially those who are members of Democracy for America, seem to operate this way, taking emails from these organizations as their primary calls to action. When the organization needs support, they are there to provide it, trusting that if the organization promotes a cause, it must be worth their attention.

Unfortunately, some of these progressive activist organizations sometimes ask us to support causes that do more to promote the interests of the establishment Democrats than to further the progressive cause. MoveOn, for example, is asking its members to support the re-election campaign of Senator Bill Nelson, who is one of the most conservative Democrats in the United States Senate. MoveOn also wants us to help fund the senatorial campaign of Bob Casey, a pro-lifer with Republican ties, in spite of the fact that there is a solid progressive candidate for the Democratic Party nomination, Chuck Pennachio.

Then there’s ActBlue, an organization that seems to think that so long as a candidate is a Democrat, they’re worth supporting. ActBlue is asking us to support the re-election campaign of Representative Stephanie Herseth, who supported the invasion of Iraq and has been a longtime supporter of Republican schemes to increase the tax burden on working Americans while giving special tax favors to the rich. ActBlue also wants us to support the re-election of Representative James Matheson, who earns just a 15 percent progressive score on our legislative scorecard – half of his regressive conservative score.

I’m glad that organizations like ActBlue and MoveOn exist, but I’m not about to become a tool of these organizations, supporting any Democrat simply because of party loyalty. I know the importance of taking back the Congress in 2006, but the way that the Democratic Party will prevail in next year’s elections is by strongly and consistently promoting a progressive alternative vision for America, not by changing its tune to suit the convenience of politically-connected insiders in each congressional district. We progressive activists need to be well-informed enough on our own to turn the tables on these activist networks and use the organizations as tools for our agenda of liberty and humanity.

Keep sending us those emails, but we’ll only get a MoveOn when the cause is one that we can be proud of.

4 comments to Is it about acting Blue?

  • Bravo! I’ve long felt that MoveOn was too closely aligned with the Democratic Party. This shuold come as no surprise. The group was founded as a pro-Bill Clinton action committee during the impeachment brouhaha, and in many ways (can you say “NAFTA”?) Clinton was more Republican Lite than progressive Democrat.

    We progressives need to use our own judgment in choosing which campaigns and actions to support.

  • Tom

    But this is how the Republicans win – they split up the Democratic party into all these different factions and then point out that we’re not consistent (or progressive for that matter). Then the Democratic Party can’t get organized enough behind any one candidate and the Republicans get the seat. I’m not for many of the Democratic incumbents, especially those who are too conservative. Some of them will at least listen and consider a progressive action or two, but the Republicans have been hogtied by the right wing bullies in their party and have the more or less constant Congressional voting support (as bad as it is). It’s not going to be easy electing progressive candidates. They’ll need a lot of support and i’m not sure they can win on just the one-issue (get out of Iraq) strategy.

  • randy ray haugen

    anyone who thinks democrats are the way to beat the bushies better think again. if they truly represent progressive ideals, they sure don’t dare to let it be known. look what happened to howard dean. he was trashed by his own party. imagine what karl rove would have done to him in a national campaign. i would rather be trounced at the polls than to have to whitewash my views so as to get middle-of-the-road voters. if you are not pissed off enough to vote these bastards out of office then you might as well go along with the milk toast democrats saying: yeah, the war is wrong, but…
    i say shake it up to the point where you hear either: way to go, bro!
    or: where the hell are you coming from?
    i want to be as far from the republinazis as i can get. get it?

  • randy ray haugen

    can you say “third party, please”?

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