I'll try not to stray too far off the topic of Vichy Dems by over-obsessing on Establishment Dems, but they are part of the same problem: Party leaders, who tend to err on the side of triangulation and compromise, picking who our candidates will be without even letting the grassroots have their say in a primary election.
A few days ago I was ticked about Hillary Clinton giving premature support to Bob Casey, a pro-life centrist, over Chuck Pennacchio, a strong progressive, to be the Dem nominee against Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania. (More here.) Today, I'm mad as hell that our leaders -- the same ones who've so astutely and cleverly triangulated our way to overwhelming electoral majorities in the last two Presidential elections and our current dominant position in Congress -- have driven a superb man like Paul Hackett out of politics altogether.
Hackett said he was under heavy party pressure to end his Senate race and clear the way for Democratic Rep. Sherrod Brown to face vulnerable Republican incumbent Sen. Mike DeWine in November.
"I made this decision reluctantly, only after repeated requests by party leaders, as well as behind the scenes machinations that were intended to hurt my campaign," Hackett said in a statement.
Brown, so far as I know, is not a bad guy: no Vichy. And DeWine is one of the more vulnerable Republicans in the Senate, and has to go. But Hackett would have been a great candidate against DeWine, and deserved his shot. And until we start reclaiming our party from the machine politicians who think they, not we primary voters and activists, pull the levers of power, we'll never reach our larger goal of seeing Progressive, grassroots-powered Resistance Fighters upsetting comfortable Vichy incumbents. If the Dem Establishment won't let us have our say in the primaries, we'll need to change the Dem Establishment. As I said about the Alito wobblers: lead or follow, but do not get in our way.