October 17, 2006

Pulling No Punches

For the next 48 hours, Democratic Senators will match all contributions made to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The Democratic National Committee will be helping out by opening a credit line of $5-10 million to give to the DSCC, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is also preparing to take out loans if they should need to in the final weeks of campaigning. The DNC is, as noted at the link, hoping that they can raise that money through donations, but they want to make sure they have it available.

The Democratic party establishment has thrown off uncertainty and self-doubt. They're giving this everything they've got, and then some. And they need us.

I know people who think the small amount they could contribute doesn't matter, but I remember the Dean campaign almost breaking through the media noise, bolstered by an army of people of whom many could only give $5-20 at most. Other people decided that they could give a little time, maybe just a few hours a week, to support a cause important enough that someone without much to spare would make the effort to give what they had. More than just breaking fundraising records, the sight of so many people enthusiastically participating in the political process took a sledgehammer to the gloom-and-doom attitudes that had descended on the various liberal camps after the Iraq war, even snapping people who didn't support Dean out of their blues by getting them to focus on what they could do instead of what they couldn't change. And it changed, hopefully forever but at least for a few cycles, the way Democratic politicians have tried to curry favor ever since. Much more attention has been paid to voter, as opposed to big donor, issues in the time since the 2004 cycle and the corresponding increase in spine has been gratifying to see.

I know people who think the parties are about the same, but I know that a bill to authorize torture and suspend the right to a trial would never have even come to the floor of Congress for a vote under Democratic majorities. There is significant merit in supporting less evil, because we'll never get to support perfection. And, this is key, it's represents an encouraging downward trend in the velocity of evil. It's at least the right direction, and it's still okay to be the people in the back seat afterwards saying, "Are we there yet?"

I know people who think their votes don't matter, but I remember both Florida in 2000 and the governor's race here in Washington State in 2004, races decided on a mere few hundred votes. You never know where that next close race will be, so please vote like it was that important every time.

Help. Do what you can. It counts. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

Posted by natasha at October 17, 2006 08:50 PM | US Politics | Technorati links |

I am doing everything I can to support good Democratic candidates around the nation. I may not be able to vote for them, but my personal contributions do matter, because that money helps them to buy advertising, pay for travel around their districts, print information materials for the district's constituents, etc. I have given more to candidates this year than at any time in my politically-active life (I'm 47 and have been voting since 1978). And over the next three weeks I will continue to support where I can. Darcy Burner, Jerry McNerney, Charlie Brown, Ned Lamont, Jim Webb, Eric Massa Claire McCaskill - these are just a few of the good alternatives to Republican corruption and entrenched power that we have this year.

But I have not, nor will I, give one thin dime to the DSCC in 2006. Their "business model" STINKS. If you believe in real democratic values, you cannot support the political arm that refuses to do everything it can to support Senatorial Democratic nominees. The DSCC's dishonest, behind-the-scenes backstabbing of Ned Lamont cannot be ignored. He is the Democratic Senatorial nominee of Connecticut, and yet the "organization" has done nothing to work for his victory. The party VIPs, like Schumer and Dodd, not to mention the Clintons - in all their triangulating glory - have done little more than pay lip service when it comes to the Connecticut race. Lieberman LOST the Democratic primary. He is undermining the party, and he is now getting all his public support from Republicans. He has stood front and center with Bush on the war, on domestic eavesdropping, on the bankruptcy bill, on Alito, on social security and on the extreme religious agenda that colors eveything the administration stands for.

The DSCC will take your money and only put it into the races WHERE THEY WANT candidates to win - and not necessarily to help YOUR candidates win. They represent the special interest status quo, and until we get meaningful campaign finance reform, please be aware you must make your money work for you. That means contributing directly to those candidates you believe in, because then you know they will get your needed dollars.

Chuck Schumer does not have your best interests at heart. Your favorite 2006 candidate does. Give directly to your candidate.

Posted by: shoephone at October 17, 2006 11:56 PM