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  1. Dorothy and the land of Oz indeed. Well said Brad.

    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 intrenched 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
    irrelivant as the Gone, Over and Past party of Bush/Cheney et al.

    The key is to get Politicians out of the fundraising 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 intrenched 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

    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.


  2. Don (whoever you are)

    That was a ponderous, sensational and inaccurate retort that does prove one thing – you are a gatekeeper of the Walled Garden with a lot to lose. Your version of history is wildly preposterous but hey that is what makes America great – freedom of speech.

    Thanks for sharing and welcome to the future – where the modern Progressive Movement, not your ancient allusions, is leading the way forward with Big Ideas and even Bigger Action.


    Brad Parker

  3. Between 1994 and 2006, the multibillion dollar, Democratic Leadership Council-led Democratic Party lost both houses of Congress, the White House, and consequently the Supreme Court — all three branches of the Federal government. You can throw in a whole bunch of state houses to that mix, including ours in California.

    Ummm… Brad. At what point did the DLC run the Democratic party? I’ll answer that for you – never.

    But if you want to persist in the progressive fantasy that they drove the party into the ground in the 1990s, explain these:

    * In 1938, Republicans gained 81 House seats running against Franklin Roosevelt. Again In the mid-term election of 1942, the Democrats lost 44 seats in the House of Representatives. DLC-free.

    * Progressives ran a third party candidate against Harry Truman in 1948 – almost thowing the election to the GOP.

    * Progressives protested the nomination of JFK and attempted to block the nomination on the convention floor.

    * After progressives showed their asses on national TV in 1968, Middle American ran away from the Democratic party in droves, leading to the loss of the White House in ’68.

    * Progressives got their desired presidential candidate in ’72, leading to an embarassing landslide loss to Richard Nixon.

    * Because progressives so weakened the imagage of the Democratic party, we could only squeak out a small win in ’76 against a Watergate-weakened GOP.

    * Progressives fueled Ted Kennedy’s Quixotic run for the Democratic nomination in ’80, causing a major rift that was carried to the convention floor that summer long after it was impossible for Kennedy to secure the nomination. The melee witnessed that summer at the DNC convention helped Carter lose that election.

    The Democratic party lost 5 of 6 presidential elections between ’68 and ’92 BEFORE the DLC helped Bill Clinton get elected.

    The Democratic party lost the senate in ’82 several years before the DLC was even created.

    The Democratic party suffered a slow net erosion of House seats starting in 1968 and continuing until 2006 (when, by the way, DLCer Rahm Emanuel recruited centrist Democrats and won the House back).

    Want to talk about 1994? Tell me what you know about Rubbergate, southern gerrymandering, dozens of Democratic congressional retirements, and the first big mobilization of the Christian Right.

    Want to talk about 1994? Tell me what you know about a President who tried to appease Progressives with unpopular measures like health care, gay rights, and gun control leading up to the 1994 mid-terms.

    No doubt most of this is news to you. Since you’re not going to read of these things on DailyKOS or Huffington Post, you may not even believe them.

    But if you persist on naively blaming the DLC for the losses in 1994, then you must credit them for winning the White House in ’92 and ’96. You must credit them for winning House seats in ’96 and 2000 and the popular presidential vote in 2000. You must credit them for getting the most votes of any Democrat in history in 2004. You must credit them for winning back the house in 2006 (16 new House members – half of the seats won – joined the DLC) and you must not only credit them with further House and Senate wins in 2008 (13 more Congressional DLC members and 4 DLC Senate members) but you must also credit them for nurturing Barack Obama’s ideology. “Audacity of Hope” read like a DLC policy manual and he just recently proclaimed that he was, indeed, a New Democrat.

    But all that aside, Brad, any political writer worth their weight in printer ink knows politics runs in cycles. Democrats lost in the early 2000s because they could not gain traction on issues of national security (thank you, progressives, for giving the party of FDR, Truman, and Kennedy such a bad reputation on military matters.)

    And Republicans lost in 2006 and 2008 because independent voters who’d voted GOP since 2000 broke our way.

    Brad – learn some political history!


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