Yes, you're reading right. I just posted, below, that I want to keep the focus sharply on moving the Democratic Party back to its progressive roots by weeding out Vichys, electing Progressives, and pressuring fencesitters. But what about Progressive Republicans running against flat-out neofascists? Should we throw them a bone? I'm really asking.
Who's got me thinking this way is Pete McCloskey, a 78 year old Northern California Republican who was one of the authors of the Endangered Species Act, is scrupulously honest, and has actually moved 90 miles in order to challenge one of the worst Congressmen ever, the Delay-enabling, Abramoff-bribe-taking, pesticide-loving Richard Pombo, for the Republican nomination in California's 11th District. McCloskey is a classic California Progressive, not meaning "liberal", but in the early-20th-Century sense, and he's casting his campagn as a "Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party":
I run, in part, because I believe the key question of the Republican Party today is whether we go back to historic Republican principles of integrity, fiscal responsibility, limited government and environmental balance, or do we go the way of the DeLay Republicans, (1) with no ethics enforcement, (2) an understandable public perception that Republicans give undue preference to big-money contributors, (3) a huge and ever-growing bureaucracy, and (4) a constant erosion of the environmental protections for community health, and park and wilderness lands that have been established over 30 years.
I'm familiar with McCloskey from the seven years I spent in school in Davis, CA, and he's an old-school, moderate conservative. If elected we'll have issues with some of his positions -- he's no Democrat -- but he'd be one of the most honest and honorable opponents we could have. And I, for one, could live happily in constructive tension with an honorable man.
So what do we do with someone like Pete McCloskey? Do we dare add him to our ActBlue list? Or do we wish him well, but stick to our own Party? Lemme know your thoughts.