Tweet "As welcome as a Republican departure might be, the Democrats continue to show themselves a less-than-inspiring alternative."
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"While I would most heartily welcome a sweeping defeat for the Republicans in the coming midterm election as well as in 2008, therefore, I would also like to see the Democrats persuaded to work a little harder at proving themselves an alternative that progressives can take seriously. One very useful example of such persuasion, I think, is the punishment dealt conservative Democrat Joe Lieberman by progressives in Connecticut. Another might be the threat of a progressive voter migration to third parties such as the Greens, or "selective" voting rather than voting strictly along lines of party loyalty. For example, while I plan in the November 2006 election to vote for my Democratic US Representative, Barbara Lee, on the basis of her solidly progressive voting record in Congress, I will be voting against conservative Democrat Dianne Feinstein for the Senate in favor of her Green Party challenger, Todd Chretien. I don’t expect Chretien to actually beat Feinstein, but I do think that a large number of angry progressive votes against her would be a good thing for Feinstein to see.
"The Democratic leadership needs, I think, some firm encouragement to spend a little less time pandering to conservatives and a little more time listening to the concerns of progressives whose votes they also need. We already have one conservative party in America; we don’t need two. In particular, they should be pressed to explain precisely what change we can expect to see from them in terms of actually narrowing the gap between rich and poor both nationally and globally, and in terms of a more just American policy on the Middle East and around the world.
"Given such persuasion, perhaps we can avoid simply exchanging an elephant’s butt for a jackass.