Jeff Cohen wrote an article about Hillary Clinton Rolling On and whether *netroots* are a paper tiger. His points of argument are 3: First, that what would happen if Clinton got the White House is underestimated, Second, that they don't speak up against these egregious power mongers because they want to be Democratic *team players* and Third, there's no campaign with heart to unite them, ala Dean.
I've wondered the same thing about point 2. Clinton seems to be winning at least a corporate battle due to having the most money, but her stances are terrible (and frankly, nobody should vote for her just because she's a woman; otherwise, why don't we run Condaleeza Rice and vote for HER because she's a woman and black to boot.) And yet why is she not roundly blasted and discarded as a viable candidate for Democratic office? Where are the outspoken leaders that ought to be, rather than embracing her, continually pointing out why her positions are flawed.
I don't belong to any so-called progressive groups, certainly not DailyKOS, because of the group-think, party first attitude, even where the party is dead wrong. I have never understood the adulation for Chet Edwards from *progressive* groups that aren't even in his district, that give him a pass despite his appalling voting record (with the exception of veterans bills).. and why? because he's a *Democrat*. Not just *progressive* groups but I got a mailing from the Democratic party in an adjoining county recently and the woman who writes the newsletter said that, while she doesn't agree with Edwards about a lot of his views, at least he's a Democrat. So... it means nothing that he doesn't uphold the constitution and is one of those who has been actively working to keep the Democrats from passing a bill to get out of Iraq completely. Or that he made sure that Bush doesn't have to come back to Congress to get authorization to attack Iran. Or that he voted for DOMA, voted for the bankruptcy bill, voted for the Patriot Act, against Bernie Sanders Pat Act library amendment, voted for Bush's surveillance bill... I could go on.. but if I wanted to vote for a Republican, that's what I would have done. The ONLY reason I voted for Chet before is that I wanted a Democratic majority that would fight against the amoral corporatism of the Republican party.. but when you have *Democrats* like Edwards in office that prevent even the majority from passing what is right, what does it matter?
My point is this. If you're going to be someone who cares about party, right or wrong, and not principle, then you ought to care whether we have the same lockstep,arm-twisting discipline of the Republican party, that passed CRAP for the last number of years, but did it because of Party Above All. If you DON'T feel that way, then SPEAK UP for principle and speak OUT against the ones that will bring more of the same. Like Hillary Clinton. Or Obama.
In a bit of hyperbole, Eli proclaimed on behalf of grassroots donors who'd given $300 million to Kerry and the Democrats: "Now it's our Party. We bought it, we own it, we're going to take it back." But unlike owners, Netroots leaders today act more like field hands - deferring to other powers the selection of the candidate.
If Clinton coasts to the Democratic nomination without need of Netroots support, the "elite Washington insiders" denounced by Eli will be laughing - ad commissions in hand - all the way to the bank.
And they'll be ridiculing the Netroots as a paper tiger.
That last point dovetails with another thing I have thought about. If no one tells Clinton or Obama, LOOK, I will not VOTE for you because of X, and there's sort of a sign of resignation that No Matter Who the Democrat Is That Gets The Nomination, We'll Vote For Them, then Clinton has won and truly, any movement that is supposed to be pushing true democratic values is... dead.