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July 06, 2006

Know that the Waters Around You Have Changed

There is a battle going on for the soul of the Democratic party.   The nature of that battle has gotten clearer and clearer to me over the last few days.  Maybe it was the guitar player singing Bob Dylan tunes last night at the tavern I was at with some fellow bloggers.  Or the patriotic stirrings that seeped into my unconscious between romping with the kids,  eating grilled burgers,  talking with beloved family and watching fireworks over the fourth.   I have been thinking about lot about what is going on, specifically with the Democrats.  The Republicans are pretty hopeless.  The Democratic Party is what we have to work with to take our country back. 

I have been paying attention to the build-up and follow-up to this evening's debate between Senator Lieberman and his Democratic opponent, Ned Lamont, favorite of the netroots.  Kos has a list of the Senators who have said they will support whoever wins the Connecticut primary, the savvy Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama amongst them, and the Senators who have said that they will support Lieberman, even if he is running against the winner of the Democratic primary, including Chuck Shumer of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee.  The Democratic establishment, the people most reluctant to give their power and influence, are on the defensive.  They have all sorts of reasons I'm sure.  Barbara Boxer, is inexplicably supporting Joe.   It's not cut and dried as to ideology.  But it is cut and dried as to who gets how important it is.   

This has to be a come-to-Jesus moment for the Democratic Party folks in Connecticut and, as Markos keeps saying, one for traditional Democratic establishment folks around the country. We mean business.  We are asking for democracy in the Democratic Party, asking for clarity that the winner of a Democratic primary will indeed be the person who gets the full support of the Party.  We like Ned and we don't particularly like Joe but there is more to it.  We don't want our own Diebold problem.

In this state, we have issues of transparency and competence in the Party.  I have been reading emails that have been sent around to Party members regarding concern about decisions or perhaps non-decisions made at the Convention in Yakima.  I was not at the convention but I did hear that some were frustrated at the lack of time that challengers to Cantwell received and, more uniformly,  that the discussion on the platform was not handled well.  It was terminated too early for some and took way too long for others.  There is concern about the immigration plank and possibly about the choice plank.  More importantly, there is concern about the process that the Party used to wrap up loose ends and make decisions.   Some folks would like to set it all aside for now in favor of concentrating on the upcoming elections.  Others are concerned that decisions are not being made in the ways they were represented to be made.  Some just want to try to figure out how to do it better in 2008, others want to begin the transparency now, clarifying what needs to happen now and taking the time to really prepare for the next time around. 

As far as I can tell, everyone is being respectful in their communications.  But it is a tremendously important issue and one that should probably  be aired out more.  The way that the Party deals with this, and particularly with the new people coming in with energy and a sense of doing things efficiently and effectively, will determine how relevant it is in the future.

Posted by Lynn Allen on July 6, 2006 at 10:19 PM in Inside Baseball | Permalink


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