The Guardian’s Michael Tomasky, has an interesting take on the problem facing Democratic moderates, with whom he classifies Missouri’s Claire McCaskill:
These Democrats, from red or just-barely blue states, are by longstanding habit terrified of associating themselves with anything that is remotely associated with a tax or an expanded government. This is well known.
What’s less well known is the counter-argument. If the president of their party goes down in flames on a major bill, and the Republicans can do a war dance on his (political) grave, whom does that hurt?
It hurts all Democrats, but most of all it hurts the most vulnerable ones – the ones from red or barely-blue states. In other words, them!
Imagine that Obama loses on healthcare. His approval rating sags to 42%. The Republicans stand to make gains in 2010. Where are they going to make them? Not in the navy-blue districts represented by the solons who are certainly going to vote for whatever plan emerges. They’re going to make their gains in the marginal, gettable districts and states.
I think Tomasky nails it as far as McCaskill’s future goes. If threre is a victory dance on the grave of our progressive hopes, and McCaskill helps to lay that grave, I, for one, will say good riddance when she goes.
We tell ourselves that, although McCaskill is not a particularly courageous politician, she is so much better than the alternative. But that only holds true if she is able to deliver on the big issues that we went to the polls and voted for when we voted for this president — and these days that means health care reform that delivers us from the not-so-tender mercies of a predatory medical-industrial complex, and a robust energy policy that will move us away from the brink of ecological disaster — a policy that includes the cap-and-trade provisions that, at this point, seem to leave her babbling nonsense, unable to rebut the simplest Republican lie.
Little victories here and there won’t continue to cut it. If McCaskill wants to retain the progressive base — which is just as essential to keeping her elected office as the swing vote she so aggressively tries to placate — she will have to deliver on the defining issues of this time. And if she does, she can count on energized progressives to fight right along with her — and to fight for her as well.
UMSL Blog said:
I follow McCaskill on twitter. She is a typical American who talks sport as much as policy. Her FISA vote of last summer was the last straw for me. Obama voted the same way. Real leadership there. I am waiting for my key words to appear in ANYTHING she says Peace and Justice.
It’s a shame that we have to say, “well she could be worse.”
I am so tired of that. I want my expectations to be exceeded! I want to wake up one morning and see a headline,
“Missouri Lawmaker Promotes Peace and Justice”, but the odds are so slim.
Time is running out for humanity. We are literally eating this planet. I rarely watch TV, but I watched an episode of Nature last week on KETC. Biologists thought that there were over 100,000 lions in Africa, not, more like 20,000. That’s just an example. Mother Earth will continue even if polluted and barren, and life will evolve and repopulate and this heaven WE are turning into a hell. It will be green and pure once again.
We could stop the destruction, like a drunk saying no to a beer, or a politician saying no to corporate coercion, but that would take brains and guts, commodities this country has marginalized in favor of greed, sloth and stupidity.
This could be a golden age for politicians and civic leaders to make the moves that will insure progress, peace and justice for our descendants. But short money and long talk are winning.
--Blue Girl said:
the easiest thing in the world to do is…nothing.
When it comes time to canvass, maybe I’ll watch a movie. When it comes time to phone bank, maybe I will take my granddaughter to the park. When she asks for money maybe I will go shopping or get a pedicure or a facial.
Lake Lady said:
It still seems so discordent to me…McCaskill’s passionate support of Obama and her recent utterances.
Lake Lady said:
Show Me Progress should consider adding Taylor Marsh to it’s blogroll. She is a former MIssouri girl,raised in Columbia. She is now based in DC and is very interested in foreign relations. Her political analysis is very smart and strong and has a midwest voice.