Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Wayne Williams, commenting on "The Walled Garden: Fading Away at the California Democratic Party," by Brad Parker. Wayne writes:
"Those of us who have watched the machinations of the party leadership parade before us as if they are Progressives, then turn their backs on Clean Money and the long litany mentioned in your write up, have so much to account for and yet offer so little in the process of empowering the Progressive cause. With the rare exception of Kristine Pelosi and the members of the Platform committee…our ideas have taken years to sink in, and when they do, they get watered down more often than not.
The bottom line is that being a Progressive is about removing barriers, opening doors and exchanging ideas, not living in fear of losing or protecting our turf.
To this point, the DSCC is protecting its turf by underfunding or not funding Progressive Democrats across the state when they do run for office in close races, especially in so called red districts… even with these districts are turning purple or blue.
An there is little consciousness paid to the reality that the Democratic Party overall is shrinking as Decline to States are growing. Seems to me, the only reason this party is holding some semblance of power at this time is because the other side is so blown apart by their failed ideologies that have brought down our economic system and our place in the world. Let me also say that I believe strongly that this party would be in tatters as well if Obama had not spent his time speaking in a manner that inspired people to come out and vote. Whether he will accomplish what people thought they think he meant, with the massive resistance of the Blue Dogs and the Clintonites hoping for a downfall in 4 years is not beyond consideration or concern.
All the while the real idea people in this party, we Progressives, will never achieve our place at the table as long as the Rules are set to limit our size, 1/3 electeds, 1/3 selecteds will always leave the 1/3 of us fighting for little more than speaking time.
They say, hey, you can run for office, but against an entrenched incumbent Democrat, good luck with the primary endorsement process…. remember the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3? Not going to happen… the system inside the party is not a democracy, it is rigged.
Yes there have been breakthroughs, but don’t be fooled, the walls are up and they won’t come down until money is removed from the political game.
This party must change and change now or forever decline until it is as irrelevant as the Gone, Over and Past party of Bush/Cheney et al.
The key is to get Politicians out of the fund raising game so they can do the jobs we elect them to do, and if they don’t do it, the party must not be in a position to keep them in place with a rigged DSCC and corporate funding from the likes of AT&T and others.
We must open up the political process to candidates who are not wealthy, or don’t have big money contributors, but are good people with good ideas.
We must fight pay to play politics, parties and government if we are going to stop the entrenched or special interests from destroying our Democracy as they came so close to doing in the past few years.
Now Progressives have altered the thinking of the party over the past 5 years, but we can not get the leadership and electeds to even read the damn Platform, what is with that?
The message to us should be clear. IT IS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY, THE PARTY IS A BUSINESS (remember what Art said… exactly that) SO WE ARE WASTING OUR TIME UNTIL THE MONEY AND TOP DOWN CONTROL IS REMOVED FROM THE GAME. WE HAVE COME AS FAR AS THEY WILL LET US.
Yes Toto, it does seem like a big risk to support Fair Elections that are publicly funded, but then, if you like were we are headed without being a party true to its Progressive ideas, then you have to ask yourself. Why are you here?
Obama has brought us the opportunity for change, yet even he has back peddled on key issues (Privacy, Iraq timetable), but we have our hopes up that we will see positive things happen anyway. I know I do… but it isn’t going to happen in this party in this state until this leadership is more reflective of the people with ideas instead of the pragmatism of winning the next election without a solid foundation of those ideas.
When the public hears the truth they respond, when they hear nothing, they lose interest. That is where we are now when this party is not a party of ideas but of business as usual.
The alternative to top down, special interest control of our party, and our government at all levels is Fair Elections (Clean Money).
If you do not make it a reality, you are turning your back on the people in favor of the powerful.
Where will you stand?
I, for one will stand with the truth, that low voter turn out, apathy and ignorance on the part of the majority of the public can only be reversed when the party and its structure change. As of now, I don’t see it happening. Oh they may say they support change, even say they think we have good ideas they support, but then they do NOTHING! If you don’t vote, you support the failure continuing, if you don’t act, you support the status quo.
Now, The California Fair Elections Act is coming in June 2010. If this party does not get behind it with all its public, financial and idealist support, then this party will no longer be worthy of the publics trust.
And I for one, will not be around to see it melt away for lack of backbone. I will not stand around watching the Progressive Caucus be divided by those who do not share our ideas. Let them wake up, or wallow in the stagnation they have sat with for failing to stand up, speak up and vote!
Thank you Brad for making this party clear for all to see. Thank you Brad and Ahjamu for providing the framework for change in the Progressive Plan. That you Brad for all your efforts to reach out, yet stay true to the Progressive ideas. Now again you speak the truth… The Walled Garden must be destroyed if ideas are to allow us to save ourselves and save this Democratic Party.
Thanks for listening and I’ll be at the Convention… watching what is said, and what is done. I’m not holding my breath, because sometimes power needs to run its course before it dies.
When the positive ideas of collaboration, participation and transparency bring positive results, that is when everything changes.