If you are one of those Democrats like me who is completely fed up with the inside-the-Beltway party hacks who continue to lose elections because they have no spine and no vision, listen closely to a little something you can do this week to rap the knuckles of the Democratic Party machine.The whole thing is here.
Two years ago, Christine Cegelis took 44 percent from Henry Hyde, the arch conservative congressman and Congressional father of the anti-choice movement, in the suburban Chicago-area 6th District in Illinois. Her race pushed Hyde to announce he would retire. Cegelis, supported by a broad grass-roots network, decided immediately to run for the seat in 2006.
Rather than line up behind a candidate who was poised to capture the district, the Beltway Democrats recruited a primary opponent to take on Cegelis. Why? Because Cegelis is precisely the kind of progressive candidate the Beltway Democrats are afraid of: she is a progressive, anti-war, pro-choice, pro-renewable energy, pro-universal health care and opposes NAFTA-like trade deals. She's called for a quick and safe withdrawal of troops. ***
Arrayed on Cegelis' side are, among others, Progressive Democrats of America, Democracy for America and the machinists union (which represents tens of thousands of United employees who have been screwed by the very pro-business policies promoted by the Beltway Democrats). At a recent rally in the district, 150 activists packed a hall, ready to hit the streets and go door-to-door to talk to voters.
As Molly Ivins writes in the recent issue of The Progressive, "Mah fellow progressives, now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of the party. I don't know about you, but I have had it with the D.C. Democrats, had it with the DLC Democrats, had it with every calculating, equivocating, triangulating, straddling, hair-splitting son of a bitch up there, and that includes Hillary Rodham Clinton."
That is precisely what this race is about. With a week left, a little help for Cegelis from every person thirsting for a vibrant party will go a long way to answering the question: will the progressive movement stand up to the Beltway Democrats who will continue to lose elections because they have no vision for our country?
And you can "stand up to the Beltway Democrats" here.