Saturday, September 02, 2006

Claire's Lefty Problem

In the race for Missouri's U.S. Senate seat, politicos have been pondering for months about the impact Jim Talent's conservative base will have on the outcome. Are they energized? Will they stay home?

Not much ink or tape has been spent looking at the other side of the aisle.

The political left. Do they hold any sway in the race?

It's unclear how many die-hard liberals there are in Southwest Missouri. But in interviews over the last week with several self-described "liberals and progressives," it's clear the political left is not happy with Claire McCaskill.

It begins with the war and the President and trickles on from there.

"I know a lot of progressives have already decided to withhold monetary and physical contributions towards her campaign because of the impeachment issue and other issues," said Robert Brantley, who unsuccessfully ran in the Democratic primary for the #137th legislative seat.

Brantley has been disappointed since the spring when he asked McCaskill whether she would work to impeach the President, if elected. She said she wouldn't.

"We need to stop voting for the lesser of evils and start working towards those that are good," Brantley said.

Aurora "progressive" Virgil Alley said he has given Democrats money before, but not this time. "I'm a progressive before I'm a Democrat. She'll get my vote over Talent. But I won't spend no shoeleather or give her any money because of the Iraq war," Alley said.

Alley wants McCaskill to renounce the decision to go to war and call for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops. "She should be working with progressives. I'm afraid she's going to be another Hillary Clinton. I wish she'd be more like Barbara Boxer," Alley said.

"I want her to say she opposes the war in Iraq, period. She hasn't said that. I can't bring myself to do nothing but give her my vote."

Arthur Hodge, who lost to Jamie Schoolcraft in the #139th Democratic primary, is so angry he has left the Democratic party. "I'm not satisfied with the leaders in the Democratic party in the state of Missouri, period. I think they are the Dixicrats. So I've changed parties," Hodge said.

Hodge said he will become a Republican, even though he doesn't necessarily agree with them on many issues. "I'll find out if the Republicans can become my new home. The Democratic party wasn't."

Still, Hodge said he will hold his nose and vote for McCaskill, but refuses to work for her.

While the overall number of progressives that are upset with McCaskill and the Democratic party in Southwest Missouri may be minimal, it's worth at least pointing out how angry the far left is right now. Still, most said they will still vote for her. And votes are what count. But are there others out there in greater numbers that won't vote?

Brantley, who many see as the Progressive leader in the area, said he won't do anything to hurt McCaskill's candidacy because he does not have a viable alternative.

"If there was a viable alternative for McCaskill or Talent, I would do everything I could for him or her. I also have to live with the Democrats after the race, no matter what happens," Brantley said.

"We are too weak to take the party head on over McCaskill or any other power plays," Brantley said.

Brantley added that Democrats who are veterans have quietly decided not to go out of their way for McCaskill either.

"Her veterans bill of rights is a complete joke. My understanding is that we already had rights and previous agreements with the government about our future health and well being."

Brantley confirms to us that he is fighting mad, and that he's just getting started.

How mad the left is about a "middle of the road Democrat" as their U.S. Senate nominee is, well . . . to be determined.


St. Louis Oracle said...

There is another choice for progressives: Lydia Lewis, the Progressive Party nominee for US Senator. Lydia is for immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, and she favors impeachment of Bush and Cheney. She also takes predictably progressive stands on other issues, favoring universal health care, publicly financed elections, environmental protection, and renegotiation of free trade treaties.

Lydia has agreed to take part in the Missouri Press Association candidate forum for US Senate candidates at Lake of the Ozarks later this month. KY3 needs to invite her (and also Libertarian senate nominee Frank Gilmour) to its senate shindig in October.

Rev Chris M Fluharty said...

KY3 never will. They are like all the other media outlets, they ignore almost completely the other candidates. At least David puts them on here, that is better then nothing. But as fo debates it will never happen. MPA was great in 04 when they had everybody and I am glad to see them keep that trend. Some of these parties have the real soultions, they just can't get that message out. Far left and far right will always be ignored because we are seen as "crazy" At least that is what Brian Lewis called me. So unless you are a weak minded, middle of the road, won't take a stand on anything, moderate, you will never get elected in this neck of the woods.

Betty B. said...

I am a Claire supporter, and I note that your analysis did not include comments or insight from anyone who is actively working for and donating money to her campaign.

The best way to punish George Bush and his disastrous administration is to elect a Democratic majority to the Senate and the House. Only then do we have any chance of undoing the damage of the last six years.

It's ridiculous to suppose that one can agree with 100% of a candidate's views, 95% should be enough. Obviously, these two primary losers do not speak for those of us who are seeking to bring integrity, balance and accountability back to Washington.

Claire has been a dedicated public servant, and will be a superlative Senator. I'm getting out my checkbook right now. Where do I pick up my yard sign and bumper sticker?

The Claire McCaskill office in Springfield is located at 3010 E. Sunshine,Springfield, MO 65804, and the phone number is 417-887-1773, for those who want to volunteer their time.

The Libertarian Guy said...

Fluharty - remember, KY3 *did* offer to do a three-way Republican 134th District candidate debate... so, it is doable, to have more than two people in ANY debate. It's not like their camera equipment can only film two people at the same time...

As for Brantley - if I were a Dem, I'd vote for him.

ProgressiveVet said...

As we move around and talk to people, read the blogs, and in general participate in the routine communication of this mid term election year, there seems to be a lot of confusion about what a Progressive actually is. So what the heck is a Progressive anyway? Its not something that seems to be a specific thing like a Republican, or a Democrat, or a Greenie, or what have you, because… a Progressive can actually be any of those. So how do you recognize a Progressive if you see one?

First of all, a Progressive is someone who is MOST interested in holding leadership accountable for a) wrong doing, and b) conducting themselves according to the will of their constituents rather than ignoring them. A Progressive is generally a person who has become fed up, dissatisfied, ticked off, maybe mad as hell, at what they feel are the ill workings of their previous party affiliation be it Republican or Democrat. The numbers are growing dramatically now nationwide due to the national crisis our country is in with fascist oriented political gangsters on the GOP side and weak kneed Democrats on the other. Progressives are now being born everywhere, everyday. I actually didn’t know what to call myself until about a year ago after employing my own individual voting policy of simply voting anti-incumbent for a few years.

You can recognize a Progressive because of the way they can’t resist standing up and speaking in a straight forward manner about exactly what’s on their mind. They don’t beat around the bush (jeez how I hate typing that word) or participate in the political gamesmanship. We see black and white, and very few gray areas. Subjects are recognized as good or bad, but we do understand compromise within reason. We do not understand why anyone would allow political criminals to run amuck without drawing violations to the very direct attention of their constituents for repairs to be made at the ballot box at first opportunity, and continue the aggressive pursuit to hold the violators accountable in the appropriate processes of impeachment, indictment, conviction, and ultimate gallows hanging. Anything less is not acceptable to a Progressive. We hold this strong opinion because we believe the government has become so full of unethical politicians that a general house cleaning is long past due.

Because the Progressive element is new, and growing quickly, a lot of the old school, “ride the band wagon politicians,” typically Democrats, have begun to use the title, calling themselves Progressive, because it doesn’t have any political baggage yet. It is easily recognized they do this to hide their own “didn’t get much done baggage” in the political fog as best they can. Even some of the more notable national leaders are doing this with Hillary as an easy example. Some of the local Green County Democrats do this as well.

Before people talk about Progressives they need to understand what and who they are talking about. The phonies who use the title need to understand what they actually are first before representing themselves as Progressive… because it is just to easy to expose them with the questions involving what they believe can be done to hold leaders accountable, and what they are willing to do to accomplish that task.

Here’s a Progressive’s interpretation from the average answers received in Green County thus far.

Question: What is the most important issue of all?
Democrat response: Minimum wage, health care, labor issues, social security, there are lots of issues.
Progressive response: Rooting out the criminals, impeachment, hanging the sons of bitches.

Question: Why do you believe your issues as stated is the most important issue?
Democrat response: For the obvious reasons, we need to pursue the resolutions benefiting all Americans.
Progressive response: Accountability, impeachment, convictions, is the most important because if we don’t remove the criminals none of the other issues stand a chance of satisfactory resolution.

Question to Democrat: Do you support accountability to include impeachment?
Democrat response: Ummm… I’ll have to check with the hierarchy to see what the position is.

Question to Progressive: Do you support the issues of minimum wage, health care, etc.
Progressive response: Of course, but unfortunately those issues don’t have a chance to be resolved unless we can accomplish the most important issue of all, holding leaders responsible, and accountable.

It is easy to play with words here, but the bottom line is… Green County Democrats are going to continue failing in the most important national races unless they can learn to start standing up and shouting back nose to nose with the supporters of political thugs. You can’t avoid the major issues like the contrived Iraq War for the sake of profit and oil, and you can’t avoid the hard issues like holding incumbents accountable. If the Democrats avoid talking about those two major items, they aren’t going win. Period, case closed.

Whether we want to admit this to ourselves or not, in our current national crises with criminal leaders, we are already in a civil war, and this very important mid term election will decide the course of the internal war with the right wing for probably the next several years. It is my understanding the Democrats have already given up on the Roy Blunt race, and they are not even supporting the Democrat candidate. Why is that? Did they not do the advance planning to run a viable candidate, or do they just have a defeatist attitude to not even try?

Progressives, like many people, hate negative campaigns, but guess what the GOP is going to do over the next few weeks? We recommend Claire spend some time out behind the barn to get mad enough to start talking about the Iraq War like several of the freshmen House candidates are doing nationwide, and charging forward in those races gathering votes like crazy. The Ozarks, and much of Missouri are very Red neighborhoods, and what is there to lose? (At the Labor Day picnic we heard one of the young democrat candidates say… “Can’t lose what we never had, and we’ll still be here?” Sheesh! Betcha that guy won’t be around next time.).

Accountability? Openly talk about impeachment? Omigod! Run the for hills! Someone is suggesting we go against the hallowed halls of our national mentors… the corporate oriented fascists on the Blue side of the aisle where we can’t tell the difference between a Democrat and a Republican.

Anyway, seriously, as far as we can tell Progressives are the only people around that seem to be making efforts to do anything outside of the local circle of friends. Progressives are demonstrators. Progressives ask the harder questions. Progressives prefer not to waste time just to preach to our own choir, or have a nice party. Accountability is high on the priority list of wishes and wants, and we encourage the Democrats to get mad enough to stand up and start making some noise outside in the hallway and down the street. You can drop all the flyers you want, but if you can’t stand up and talk loud to pound on the table, you are not going to win.

Responsibility and accountability of national leaders are the key words that the general public is listening for, even right here in Red SW MO. The wave has begun nationally, and we hope the Green County folks will understand how to shift up, and start banging on the table. The silly little tricks of robo phones used against local candidates aren’t going to work, and you have to get mad enough to look somebody in the eye and talk louder.

Just for the record, every Progressive I know will be voting pretty much of a straight ticket on the Blue side, just because there is no choice under the circumstances. The lesser of evils in hopeful efforts to evict the supporters of criminals. We wish we could do more to help the Democrat ticket, but at least we can do that for all the good it may do.