Wed
Feb 15 2006
12:34 pm

...and the Democratic Party in particular.

UPDATE: Here's another example. And here's a call to action.

Thomas Nephew's picture

Thanks for mentioning the Pennacchio campaign!

Mind if I trackback this to the factesque site?
R. Neal's picture

Feel free, thanks. (I don't

Feel free, thanks. (I don't have the trackback stuff enabled for this site or I would.)

Thomas Nephew's picture

Done. When/if it's important

Done. When/if it's important there's always the Wizbang standalone trackback thing (google it, I think), plus the joy of using that site for good, not evil. Laughing

Thanks again. 

Andy Axel's picture

This is happening, albeit on

This is happening, albeit on a different scale, here in TN.

Kurita is getting no support from the state party in her primary bid. None. Traditionally, they shouldn't be aligned with any particular candidate, but that's how it's gone down. TNDP executive director Jim Hester is Ford's campaign chair.

But, to be fair, they're falling in line with the DSCC on this one.

This is a transcript of a speech given by Chuck Schumer at a private party. (link)

"Let me tell you one other thing we did. We are no longer letting Democrats get in a circle and shoot each other. I was just in Tennessee with Harry and with (...) and we have a primary and I stood up there Harold Ford is running and he can become the first African-American elected in the south to the Senate since reconstruction which would be a great thing for America. There is this young woman whose... not so young... but a nice woman running against him but everyone says she is going to attack him."

"...(unintelligible) we are going to intervene if anyone one democrat attacks another, we're doing that in states where there are primaries. We can't afford to do it anymore. This always happens in the primaries, we would throw up the cards and see where they landed. No more, we are finding the best candidate in every one of the seats where a Republican is vulnerable."

So, here you have the reason why Ford is the presumptive nominee over Kurita: rather than letting voters decide, the DSCC thinks that they know best on how to choose a state's candidates.

This is the same DSCC who lost control of the Senate and whose strategic architects are the same folks who lost the last two presidential elections, by the way.

D'ya think that Chuck Schumer knows what's best for Tennessee? Well, he certainly thinks that he does. Here, eat your broccoli.

Whether you like HFJ or not isn't quite the issue here (I don't, but I've gone on at ridiculous length about that). The issue is that the vetting process of the primaries is intended to allow the voters to determine who they think would best represent them. And, fact of the matter is, I don't think the DC Democrats know shit about winning elections. At the very least, they've demonstrated zero competence at it lately. They can blame Nader* all they want for 2000, and they can go on an on about how the vote was rigged in 2004, and both points have merit -- but the solution, at least as I see it, is getting the grassroots engaged in the process and getting them excited about candidates, not this Stalinist "eat your broccoli" strategy.

* You reap what you sow. Purging progressives from the party forces them to go somewhere.

____________________________

If we heard mortar shells, we'd cuss more in our songs and cut down on guitar solos

SayUncle's picture

And in TN, chuckles may be

And in TN, chuckles may be the kiss of death in terms of actually winning. Sort of a problem with the Dems is that their candidates who would be more likely to win the general can't win the primaries.

---
SayUncle
Can't we all just get a long gun?

Andy Axel's picture

...their candidates who

...their candidates who would be more likely to win the general can't win the primaries.

No doubt. And it's a real drag for the grassroots; folks like DFA who has been out their busting their ass trying to do organizing statewide, and reform-minded and progressive Democrats doing what they can to revitalize and reinvigorate the constituencies which make up the Democratic coalition here.

I realize what they're trying to do here. This is all about "dry powder" and reserving money for the general elections. They don't want Ford out spending money fending off Kurita when they're going to be forced to spend even more money defeating the Republican (despite the fact that the GOP is, by all indications, going to duke it out until the primary).

Yet, they also want dogs that they can keep on the porch, and they want to reward their "own." Kurita probably doesn't have a relationship with Chuck Schumer, so she's somewhere on Square Zero as far as the DC crowd is concerned.

Smacks of desperation to me, though. If Ford is such a great candidate, then what do they have to worry about? Why go to absurd lengths to deep-six popular/populist candidates, if they're so confident that they've picked the right people? Isn't part of the primary process also the demonstration that they're ready for a fight, and are battle-hardened, tested, and ready to go? Doesn't it allow the partisan faithful to determine what qualities they want in a leader, and allows that candidate to define and refine those leadership skills? And doesn't it help to build up a go-to bench for other leadership positions in the future? We'll never have viable candidates statewide if we're just told "this is your only option." It discourages work, it demotivates the grassroots, it excludes people from the process.

What Schumer and Rahm Emanuel propose is nothing more than a patronage system and it's just as corruptible.

They did this sort of calculation with Kerry, too. They figured he was the best guy out of the pack, one with military cred, experience, and with relationships to all the big players. All that crap about how Dean was a retread of McGovern came from the Democratic leadership.

If this is the formula going into 2008, say hello to a battle for the nomination between DSCC insider Joe Biden and DSCC insider Hillary Clinton, and say goodbye to the Presidency for another 8 years.

____________________________

If we heard mortar shells, we'd cuss more in our songs and cut down on guitar solos

Andy Axel's picture

Oh, and P.S.

Oh, and P.S. If what Schumer wants is to avoid circular firing squads, he's sure got a dumbass way of going about it.

Disempowerment = resentment.

eRobin's picture

Hear, hear

Whether you like HFJ or not isn't quite the issue here (I don't, but I've gone on at ridiculous length about that). The issue is that the vetting process of the primaries is intended to allow the voters to determine who they think would best represent them.

  This is how I felt about the Hackett race.  The voters should have decided.  As for the Pennacchio race, I still think the voters should decide but I also think that Casey is an artificial choice made in D.C. by corporate Dems.

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