Sunday, January 04, 2009


The progressive movement has gained all of this strength over the last 4-8 years based on power yielded in opposition to the traditional Democratic Party establishment. Progressives must continue to hold the Democratic Party accountable. It was shooting fish in a barrel because Democrats kept losing, so arguments were easy to formulate.

But now that Democrats are winning, it might be increasingly tricky to sustain vigilance in efforts to reform the party through primary contests. Will the Left have the stomach for internal battles or will progressives capitulate to calls for Party unity?

Some progressive bloggers have been up in arms over the possibility that Caroline Kennedy might be appointed Senator from New York, but the debate hasn't particularly galvanized the grassroots. Not only do voters have no power in a Senate appointment, but the arguments against Caroline Kennedy have tended to focus on abstract concepts of nepotism instead of qualms related to actual policy or political tactic. The objections of folks like Bowers, Kos, and Harman haven't hinted at any kind of plan of action. IMO, the whole controversy has been a fairly shallow and short-sighted snipefest that has gotten way more attention that it has deserved because of the celebrity of Kennedy, the cult of New York, and the post-election news lull.

This, on the other hand, will be a much more useful and important test of progressive movement theory.

Watch the Virginia governor's race very closely.

This year is a relatively uneventful election cycle but Virginia will be the most important flash point. That's not a wantom prediction, it's a sure thing.

McAuliffe represents everything about the Democratic Party that I have worked to change. I will not support him for Governor of Virginia under any circumstances. I suspect that others are already working on articulate posts describing McAuliffe's practical and symbolic significance.

1 comment:

oyster said...

Couldn't agree more. McAuliffe is grodie.