Here at Irregular Times, we’ve spent much of the last year and a half reporting on the astonishing spinelessness of the Democratic Party leadership in the U.S. Congress. They were brought to majority power in both houses on the 2008 crest of a wave of American liberal enthusiasm, volunteering, and donations, but once they got that majority power, the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate proceeded to work against the very change
At first, Democratic voters were appalled that we were pointing out the failures of and betrayals by the Democratic congressional leadership. Just give them more time, we were urged. Now, only a few die hards persist in the delusion that the Democratic Party leadership is committed to progressive change. Most Democrats simply feel disheartened. They realize now that they were toyed with by a bunch of politicians who never intended to follow through on the liberal agenda they promised.
But what can Democratic voters do? Who has the guts to take on the craven Democratic leadership in Congress?
Andrew Gall does.
This week, Andrew Gall is standing toe to toe against one of the most powerful Democrats in the House of Representatives: Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi’s top lieutenant. Steny Hoyer has been at the core of the efforts to block liberal legislation in Congress. Hoyer has pushed for a right-leaning agenda, in an idiotic strategy of beginning negotiations with Republicans by offering extreme policy concessions as an opening move. The Republicans never took these offers. Instead, they took advantage of the Democrats’ weakness, hammering away with a strength that Hoyer and his allies never could summon. Even with a minority position, the Republicans have walked all over Hoyer and the other Democratic leaders.
Hoyer, for his part, hasn’t admitted his mistakes. Instead, he has shown open disdain for the ideals of the very liberal activists who made his rise to power possible in the first place.
Andrew Gall won’t take this abuse lying down. He’s challenging Steny Hoyer for the Democratic nomination in Maryland’s 5th congressional district in this coming week’s primary. Gall has this to say about his campaign to unseat Hoyer:
“I’m tired of special interests overrunning my government. I’m tired of candidates that choose political expedience over what is just, and I refuse to do nothing. Having a D next to your name isn’t enough. In fact, the letter beside your name doesn’t matter at all; it’s what you do that matters. Do you stand up for the voiceless, do you stand up for those less fortunate, or do you turn your back on those that really need you for sake of political convenience?
Democrats: Maybe you’re sick and tired of being lied to by your party’s leadership, but don’t make the mistake of saying that politicians are all the same until you’ve taken a good look at Andrew Gall.
Gall’s chances of defeating an incumbent party leader with strong corporate backing aren’t great, but he deserves a standing ovation for giving it his best shot.