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Shoving the Overton window left

Good.

Not sure about Lord Kos doing the polling -- can Kos be trusted not to purge the results? -- but Hamsher and Greenwald have fought the good fight (modulo some peccadillos in the primariez, which we've all moved on from anyhow).

One question:

The mission statement reads:

[T]o use primaries to hold incumbents to account for voting with corporate interests instead of their constituents.

I take it, then, that holding an incumbent President to account is not within project scope, given that Presidents don't vote?*

NOTE Although Biden, as the potentially tie-breaking vote in the Senate, could be held to account.

UPDATE Pacific John's reaction:

The problem with this net-centric project is identical to other Netroots failings, it does not enfranchise most Democrats, and like in the primary, is likely to oppose groups that are not well represented online: minorities, women, the working class. It's entirely likely Accountability Now will find itself opposing the majority of liberals and the majority of Democrats. It's also likely that they will support "progressives," who are more conservative on economic issues than a district's voters are. (I could suggest that they cede FISA, universal health care, electoral reform and college loans right out of the gate, but that would be mean).

As Michael Lind repeatedly points out, the country is both more economically progressive and socially moderate than Democratic elite are. The tactic of primarying can be highly successful if Accountability Now overlaps the economic sensibilities of moderate districts, but anti-Democratic if it picks fights over minor cultural signals.

All this is to point out the obvious, working class Americans, by far the majority of the country, do not have an organic leadership class. Women and minorities are underrepresented.

While the Netroots has empowered itself and opened up the Democratic Party to high tech populism, it excludes the majority, a majority that we must realize, has more at stake than do the comfortable members of the Netroots demographic.

That's true. I'd still rather have this in place than not. We just have to pull even more left.

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Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

At least not enough to get past "let's wait and see."

The problem with the peccadillos is that I don't really trust them not to recur, not without some acknowledgement and apologia (rather than continued defense of same) as to methodology. I'm over the pie fight aspect, but that is not the same as taking on faith that a conceptually good idea will mean a practically good result achieved by sound methods.

Submitted by lambert on

The semi-irony of "peccadillos" was really a set up for slamming the "which incumbent" question home.

We'll see! Hope, but verify.

Submitted by lambert on

Sorry about that. "Semi" because although they both were a bit squishy in the primaries, Greenwald did and is doing stellar work on Constitutional issues, and Hamsher caught fire, finally, on Social Security (unlike WKJM), so good for them. I don't want to relitigate all that. So I pivoted off to the central issue, which is will they hold Obama accountable. And with both Greenwald and Hamsher (via Plame) having made their bones on issues of executive power and overreach, I think we can expect some conflict there. Or, possibly, not.

Submitted by lambert on

Thanks

Dykester's picture
Submitted by Dykester on

Be sure to read the comment by anna shane to his post. I think she hits the issue spot on. Education and understanding are key. When we understand how our individual and community interests coincide with those of complete strangers who live in other parts of the country, then it's a little easier to embrace more progressive and liberal candidates and policy positions.

We need to start with the basics: every person in our country is entitled to food, clothing, shelter, education, health care.* Everything else that divides us from each other is simply a red herring. When the majority of Americans embrace the rights of each of us to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", then our differences will make us that strong, vibrant melting pot which stands as a beacon of freedom to the world. Until then, we remain small clutches of fearful people who see our differences as reason to strike out against each other.

*I would add hope to that list, because I think each of us has to be able to dream, to reach towards what we see to make that concrete for all. But I omit it from this list because it is not concrete enough for many who see the world as limited, i.e., increasing what you get necessarily decreases what I get.