Friday, August 25, 2006

The End of Progressive, Single-Issue Advocacy

The End of Progressive, Single-Issue Advocacy: The case for Loebsack

Fantastic post at MyDD that explains exactly why we need to elect Dave Loebsack. While it's about a Pennsylvania race and not our own, the arguments apply identically; you could search and replace "Fitzpatrick" with "Leach."

...Considering that every single Republican in Congress will vote to continue the current majority leadership and committee chairs, it would follow that the only acceptable strategic path for the LCV to pursue in order to pass legislation favorable to its agenda would be to create a Democratic majority in Congress. Were they to do so, according to their own scorecards they would have a congressional leadership that agrees with the LCV 92.8% of the time, instead of one that disagrees with them 94.5% of the time. They would also have committee chairs that agree with them 78.5% of the time instead of committee chairs who disagree with them 98% of the time. Clearly, considering the way Congress works, and according to their own scorecards, a Democratic majority is the only path toward significant amounts of legislation favorable to the LCV agenda.

(But) because advocacy groups cling to the antiquated, New Deal era notion of non-partisanship, they fail to see that the only way they can accomplish a legislative agenda in Washington that fits with their principles would be to become partisan Democrats.

The LCV gives Fitzpatrick a score of 61, which for a Republican is extraordinarily high. (NOTE: Leach 56%.) However, even with his score, Fitzpatrick had a better rating than only 32 of 202 Democrats. Basically, Fitzpatrick was marginally better than the most conservative Democrats in the country. (NOTE: Yes, I know Boswell is one of them.) Almost all of these districts are more red than PA-08. While I am not defending the way those individual Democrats voted, I seriously doubt that there is a single challenger to any of those Democrats who would vote better than the sitting Democrat votes.

Even though a Democratic Congress would be far better according to the LCV than a Republican congress, even though all Republican members of Congress vote to support the leadership of that Congress, even though there isn't a congressional district in the country where the Republican nominee would vote better or even as well as the Democratic nominee, even though Patrick Murphy would vote better than Fitzpatrick, even though Fitzpatrick didn't really vote all that well, and even though Fitzpatrick's warchest is filled with the money of Republicans who received a score of uner 10 according to the LCV, the LCV is going to endorse Fitzpatrick.

These days, the entire single-issue, non-partisan, progressive advocacy organization infrastructure in Washington, D.C. has become a pathetic farce that has no impact on either elections or the issue areas for which they advocate. None of these organizations have accomplished a single progressive legislative victory at the national level since Republicans have held the trifecta. Their advocacy on behalf of "moderate" Republicans has gotten them nowhere, except that it keep Republicans in power and hard-right conservatives in charge of legislation concerning their relevant advocacy areas.

The progressive members of these organizations need to leave and form new organizations that will work with one another and support both the progressive movement and the Democratic Party wholeheartedly. These days, that is the only way someone can successful advocate for a progressive issue area. The old ways are done for the forseeable future.

Before I get trashed because Boswell's score is lower than Leach's, read the whole article. It's all about committee chairs and party control. And Boswell's not running against Leach, he's running against Lamberti.

The League of Conservation Voters has not endorsed a candidate yet in IA-02, but has endorsed Leach the last four cycles in a row. As long as groups like this insist on clinging to a chipped veneer of non-partisanship, they will continue to look for token Republicans to endorse.

I don't want to be represented by a token Republican. I want to be represented by a real Democrat. And that's just one reason to vote for Dave Loebsack.

Chet's in town tomorrow: 11:00 a.m., North Central Junior High, 180 E. Forevergreen Road, North Liberty.

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