So where do we go from here?

Three things are weighing on my mind today, 21 days after Ed Fallon lost his primary bid against Leonard Boswell.

One – Boswell, of course, voted with the rest of the Blue Dogs to help pass the FISA bill with its amnesties for telcos that helped the government spy on its' citizens.  (No link – if you don't know about it, how the hell did you end up at Bleeding Heartland?)

Two – Kos basically let the primary winners and incumbents know that when the Democratic Party has a firmer control 2010, those who vote against the progressive agenda will be challenged, and electorate willing, tossed.  Their FISA vote will be remembered.

Three – but, Dennis Perrin gives a counter-argument of sorts – we're fools for thinking the means for our seizure of the government will be the Democratic Party.  The Democratic party simply has happened to have the right people to bend to the will of outside political opinions.

In fact, much of the early civil rights movement was supported by communists and other radicals, while the early feminist arguments were made by anarchists like Emma Goldman. In these cases, the Dems, who were very slow to embrace either concept, were pressured by highly energized and politicized segments of the population. These activists didn't sit at computers, blogging about their personal concerns, hoping that the powers-that-be would be swayed by their posts and links; they organized, educated, marched, got clubbed, gassed, and arrested. They had decades of agitation behind them. They had independent political groups supporting them. They had spokespeople who made the case forcefully and eloquently.

Oddly enough, Dennis writes the real zinger earlier in the article.

One can speak of various alternatives, from grassroots organizing to self-education to politicizing the despised and forgotten, and if your suggestions don't end with voting for Better Democrats, most liberals will dismiss you as unserious. It must always come back to the mule team, regardless of what the Dems actually do or inevitably stand for. As I've said before, the vast majority of libs, especially those who blog, cannot and do not want to see a future where the Dems cease to exist. Hence their bottomless masochism, and their insistence that you join in.

It's easy this time to talk about electing Democrats.  The independents want change and are willing to go with the obvious route to change – the Democratic Party.  Those on the left and those in the Democratic Party are riding the wave and looking forward to the power that they're likely to achieve in November.

In 2010, the real bloodletting will erupt. That's when the various factions inside and outside Democratic Party will begin the real purity eliminations.

Meanwhile, those willing to be the adoring Boswells for the various powers & principalities that currently run the Union, still need to have their asses thrown out along the powers-that-be.

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  • Kos talks a good game

    but he did absolutely nothing for Ed Fallon, and neither did any of the other DKos front-pagers.

    That’s despite the fact that Kos has written many times that primary challenges are about the only weapon we have against corporate Dems.

    I still have not heard a good explanation for why DKos front-pagers sat out the IA-03 primary (just speculation).

    I would love to see someone else step up to challenge Boswell in a 2010 primary, but I can’t think of any likely suspects–can you?

    If Boswell retires, we’ll have a battle on our hands to get a decent progressive through the IA-03 primary as well. The money will be behind one or more corporate-friendly Dems.

    • Not Matt McCoy

      Okay, so I wasn’t the only one whom noticed that.  The IA-03 race was simply not at all a concern by most.  And the last-minute 6-days-before-the-end-of-primary charge of progressive money groups into the race was welcome, but MUCH much too late.

      I haven’t heard external speculation on all of these factors, just my own internal.  It has to do with why Matt McCoy despises Fallon, and that McCoy’s public dislike is echoed by most of the Des Moines and Iowa establishment.

      Ironically – if Boswell retires, scuttlebutt is that McCoy would be one of the top candidates to replace him.  And while McCoy has social positions I like, McCoy is also about as in the pocket of corporate interests as one can get.

      I wish I had a name to suggest!

      • the speculation I've heard

        is nothing I couldn’t have come up with on my own–queasiness about getting behind someone who supported Nader in 2000, fear that Fallon would lose the primary and make the netroots lose face (Mark Pera didn’t do well in his primary earlier this year), fear that Fallon might not be able to hold the district in the general.

        If Boswell retires, there will be a free-for-all. I don’t think McCoy would have the inside track.

        Some big money will be behind Geri Huser, the developers’ dream candidate.

        Andrea (Andy) McGuire also has plenty of good connections.

        My hunch is that John Norris would throw his hat in the ring.

        I’ve heard speculation about other names too–maybe Frank Cownie or Sally Pedersen would give it a shot.

        It seems unlikely to me that the Democratic Party establishment would unite behind one person. It’s possible that no candidate would get 35 percent in the primary, meaning that delegates to the third district convention would make the choice.

        • My Money's on Cownie

          I could see the establishment uniting behind Frank Cownie, plus the key Des Moines players and the Register. He’d be the only person floated so far that I could see the stars aligning for.

          The big problem with McCoy and Fallon is their inability to connect with “downstate” voters (to steal a Minneapolis/Illinois term). Cownie, and also perhaps McGwire and Pederson, can pull off the sort of (and I say this with kindness) “aw shucks” charm that Boswell has and Fallon lacks.

          • if someone like John Norris or Andy McGuire

            want to run for Congress, the establishment is not going to unite behind Frank Cownie, in my opinion.

            • Why?

              Norris let the Marshalltown coal plant decision get away from him, which upset a lot of people. Plus there’s no telling how well his connections would still work in 2010, after he’s been cooling his heels on the Power Board for five years.

              McGuire would likely still be on the outs with Gov. Culver in 2010–and Culver carries a lot of weight (figuratively, I mean :p)

              I think what Cownie will have going for him is his connections in the Des Moines business community, with perhaps the support of some of the big-name Des Moines statehouse figures (if he plays his cards right), as well as decent name recognition around Des Moines.

              Something else to consider is that 2010 would be Obama’s first mid-term election, God willing, and history suggests that it might be a tough year for Dems. The establishment might choose the safer candidate–which in Iowa, unfortunately, has usually been the male candidate.

        • Won't be Sally

          Trust me on this – Sally’s family will talk at great length when prompted about how she’s ready to be retired and busy, rather than politically employed and busy.

          So what’s everyone’s impression of John Norris?  Other than the Marshalltown coal plant mentioned down thread?  Is he a progressive to get behind?  I remember the excitement he generated when he ran against Latham in the 4th.  Of course, Selden generated some great excitement too . .

          Becky Greenwald so far has been a Who’s That? in Story County.  I realize Ames makes it Blue, but the surrounding county is quite Red.  When even looking for the nominee’s name – she’s that much a nonentity right now – I hit this interesting article: Bill Meyers to run as an Independent against Greenwald and Latham after coming in 3rd in the 4-way primary.  But this all another subject.

          • I might be able to shed some light on the fourth

            I was William Meyers Story County Captain and was widely involved with many facets of the campaign.

            It came as a complete shock to me when he decided to run as an independant, and I have since left the campaign and am now actively helping Becky Greenwald, who is currently in the capitol (last time I checked) trying to solidify some funds and get some backing.

            She has a big fundraiser in Story County on Saturday, and I am hoping that she will be able to keep raising funds as best she can to combat Latham.

            Ames is definitely Blue, but so is Fort Dodge and she may turn Dallas. Kurt Meyer has also volunteered to help with her campaign and that should bring in a lot of voters from the northern area of the district.

            It is going to be a hard fought campaign and the chips are stacked against us, but everything is in its place for a large upset.

            We could use your help.

            • I really admire you for that

              Believe me I know how hard it is when the candidate that you support in the primary turns out not to be the winner. I’m still working through my own emotions on the presidential stuff.

              I believe that I can help Greenwald take Palo Alto county. It isn’t a big county…but it is rather purple. There are quite a few people here who do not care too much for Latham. The key is name recognition. This election isn’t going to get much media attention, so people won’t hear about her that way. It’s going to have to be from phone calls and literature.