Every now and then I need to reiterate what it is that VichyDems and its supporters stand for, for the edification of the pro-inertia crowd who still think that repeating a failing strategy just-one-more-time will finally succeed.
At StraightDope.com, which can be a good site, in a thread about Feingold, Mr. Moto wrote this about the phrase "Vichy Dems":
I've heard it before, like at this wackjob's [sic] blog: http://vichydems.blogspot.com. Now that's a guy who really want's [sic] the Democratic Party to eat their own.
I don't care personally about being dissed (well, a little, but the "sic" brackets took care of that). I do care about the continuing misimpression some people within our own party have about what we Lefties are trying to do, and about the political calculus that drives us. We're not ideologues, we're not neophytes, and we're definitely not naive. We're focused on actually winning elections again, and we know that the current "swing voter" strategy isn't getting us there. Below is my response to Mr. Moto, which I hope is helpful to others who are trying to fight the same constant battle to be taken seriously:
"You must not have spent much time at my site, then. The message at VichyDems isn't that every centrist or conservative Democrat is a Vichy. It's that the "Democrats" who actively empower and enable the Republicans by giving them political cover -- like Joe Lieberman in the Senate, who sides with Bush on censure, Iraq, NSA surveillance, the bankruptcy bill, even abortion, and Henry Cuellar in the House, who campaigned for Bush over Kerry in 2004, was endorsed by Grover Norquist, and actually sat on the Republican side of the aisle during the last State of the Union -- are more dangerous than their seats are worth and are the real ones who are splitting the party.
"Since the Democratic Party started running to the center instead of standing on progressive principles, we've elected one President (Clinton) but lost control of both houses of Congress, the courts, and now the Presidency. We're something like 1 for 200 with the "court the swing voters" strategy. But we dominated most of the 20th century when we stood for relatively liberal values.
"So before you dismiss those of us who are working to shift the party left again as being politically impractical, please do some homework. Read this post, and then tell me how well the DLC's strategy is working. Read this, and tell me I'm a whack job. And read this and this, then tell me the centrists are really working for the good of the party instead of for themselves.
"Six months ago I was where you are. And I definitely am opposed to the folks who want to start a new party or support Nader or some such. But the DLC approach isn't working, and Feingold's will, if only the cowards on the Hill will get behind him."
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