Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Accountability, you say...

Well, a recent source of noise amongst Democrats was the public birth of AccountabilityNow, a PAC that seeks to:

[T]target members of Congress who sell out the interests of their constituents in favor of corporations...by empowering the grassroots, Accountability Now will help create the political space needed to enable President Obama to make good on the many progressive policies he campaigned on

It's supported by liberal groups such as MoveOn, SEIU, and company. Their given examples of success in the past include Al Wynn, who lost to Donna Edwards in the 2008 Democratic Primary, and supposed benefit brought through a Marcy Winograd's spirited and unsuccessful challenge to modern Democratic Congressperson Jane Harman. Co-founder Glen Greenwald is quoted as saying "We want to destroy the taboo against challenging politicians from within their own party."

Huh. I think it's natural, when hearing this, to think in terms of "litmus tests". It's natural to think that the directors of the PAC will go after people they don't personally like (sexism in the blogosphere comes to mind). I was baffled by Markos Moulitsas' surprising snarl at Heath Shuler, a Democratic Congressmen heretofore known as "the only guy who could win in that district". Now he's not good enough.

Many people will hear this and think of the job the "Club for Growth" has done in kneecapping Lincoln Chaffee in his uphill climb to retain his Senate seat in 2006, as well as nearly doing in Arlen Specter. Maryland-01 flopped from GOP to Democrat in large part thanks to CoG's meddling -- their victim even campaigned for the Democratic candidate. They have not been a positive for the GOP; on the blue side of the aisle, Joe Lieberman stands as proof of what happens when primary challenges go horribly, horribly wrong.

Not to say that there aren't many Democrats who need reminding what the letter "D" stands for. I'm looking forward to seeing their list of targeted races, which will hopefully consist of burned-out representatives in solid blue states, and not marginals in swing or even red districts. If they stick to New England, the West Coast, and heavily urban areas, they bring value to this party; otherwise, it's just egos speaking louder than brains.

You could, for instance, start with the Bay State's own Stephen Lynch. A guy who doesn't know his district, and couldn't navigate south of 93 with a map. He's great on labor, but horrific on abortion and gay rights. We don't need milquetoast Democrats in the Crazy liberal state. out with him. A good Democrat (Dunkelberger) ran in 2002 and earned 25% of the primary vote...we can do better.

PS: For a CrAzY primary, check out Illinois-05, Rahm Emmanuel's old district. Twelve, count 'em, twelve Democrats are vying for the nomination -- which comes with a quasi-automatic win in the general -- for the job.


Daniel said...

"Sexism in the Blogosphere"- interesting. Need more input, though. The right-wing blogs? Blue Mass Group? Not sure what you mean.

Quriltai said...

Not really...never really noticed too much sexism on BMG. First of all, the political blogosphere is overwhelmingly male. There are notable exceptions -- Digby, some of FDL and Pandagon -- but the online chattering class if still largely a male playground. Unsurprisingly, that perspective is enveloped into the posting.

Secondly, I've just seen some hostility to women in Democratic primaries among the big national fish. Not just the overwhelming and edge-of-sexism crusade against Hillary Clinton (my fifth choice at the outset of the contest), either.