is a MINO--a Majority in Name Only. There are all these Blue Dog types running loose, and neither Obama nor God seems to have a way of getting them into line. Somehow, even while they're effectively decapitated and bleeding to death out their neck, the Republican corpus seems able to keep its components in line. They can get those votes without intraparty dissent in the House, and can get within maybe 3 votes in the Senate. I don't know what their secret is, other than threatening not to support dissenters in upcoming elections, but their Congressional leaders got some kinda mojo on the rank & file.
We don't have anything like that. It's not even a matter of herding cats. It's a matter of herding cats who think they're ocelots. It seems obvious that neither the President nor the leadership can get them with the program on the major legislation that not only defines us as a party, but that lays the groundwork for the resurrection of the nation. THIS IS NOT TOLERABLE. If the Goddam leadership can't break their lips loose from the asses of Corporate America, there is only one force left that can do it.
And we have to start right now. Critical votes, votes that will decide parts of our destiny for much longer than the next generation or two, are coming up. Health care. War or peace. Our energy and environmental future. We can't just sit around and hope for Primary challenges in 2010. We can't wait for public financing to eventually happen and decrease their reliance on deals with the Devil for campaign funding. We have to get their attention right now. To put it into technical terms, we have to scare the living shit out of them.
They need to smell torches burning in the night, and see the glint of fork tines in the flickering light of the flames.
Can we do that? Frankly, I don't know. But I do know that there is nothing more important in national politics right now.
Here are the steps.
1) We identify our blue-dog targets.
2) We let them know precisely what we want
3) We convince them that if they don't do what we want, we will have their heads.
For step 3, each BD's constituents will have a special role of communicating with them, but you don't have to be a constituent. All you have to do is let them know, preferably in writing, exactly what you want on a case by case basis. One letter or fax for each issue. Let them know that you are watching and that, while you cannot vote directly in their election, you will be sending a campaign contribution. It will go to them if they have proved themselves to you, or it will go to a more liberal Primary opponent if they have not. Then people start bombarding the papers with letters to the editor, holding rallies, calling them out wherever they show up in public, and generally making them painfully aware that they are dealing with a wave of united public activism, and the choice is theirs. They can either ride the crest to victory or be smashed beneath it.