At times, it's hard to remember that politics is a lot more than rooting for your favorite party, in the way we cheer on our favorite sports teams - hoping that good will triumph over evil. Unlike professional sports, a major tenet of our government is the idea of democracy, that people can both vote and govern, and provide influence to see their policies and leaders enacted. And for me personally, while I've suffered through the last several election cycles, watching the Republican-dominated majority embarrass themselves and our country, I've done little but rant, complain and vote when asked.
But there remain key issues that are plaguing the Democratic Party that are exposed and analyzed in Crashing the Gate - an insightful piece penned by Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos and Jerome Armstrong of MyDD. The two bloggers change the medium, but not the message, as they pick apart how the Democratic Party, once united, has devolved into isolated factions of splinter groups, who favor their own single issue platforms, even when it may mean the downfall of party candidates.
While the Republicans have certainly made a mess of things, we can't expect for them to fall on their swords, and for the Democrats to swoop in on the carcass to wrest away victory. That simply won't happen - not with the Republican donors continuing to come out in full force, rallied by morality-based issues that extend well beyond traditional politics. Instead, we as a party need to cohesively determine a platform that isn't an amalgam of edge issues - one that can be defended beyond the party base, even when you may see one or two items that don't meet with your ideal agenda. Instead, we must take a long-term view, as the Republicans have, and recognize those who embrace the party's core values and despise the cronyism and hatred espoused by the Republican party. We must do all we can to support party candidates and issues, locally, regionally and nationally, so that we don't endure four more years with characters like Schwarzenneger, Bush, Cheney, DeLay, and Frist.
One of the first steps is to make sure you've read Crashing the Gate. It's been on my to-do list for a long time, and I've finally managed to break into it (from San Jose to Chicago). You won't be sorry you did, and neither will the party.
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