Friday, August 29, 2008

On being a Democrat's Democrat

Many people misunderstand the concepts of commitment and loyalty. Many more misunderstand the idea that reasonable people of good faith can disagree about what constitutes commitment and loyalty.

These misunderstandings are making it very difficult right now for Democrats to treat each other with the civility and the respect that both Senator Obama and Senator Clinton worked hard to display toward one another at the Democratic National Convention. Anybody who is speaking about how to respond to the result of the Convention is surely receiving praise and criticism from fellow Democrats about the very same remarks. Some Democrats seem unable to accept that other Democrats will not respond to the race for the presidency in the same way. That is not the Democratic way, in my opinion. If the Democratic Party is to be a party that respects diversity and difference, Democrats themselves must tolerate diversity and difference in opinion about how best to work to strengthen the Party.

For my own part, I cannot imagine voting for Senator McCain because I entirely reject his policy positions and his world view. Nothing sad about that; this is why I have never been able to vote for any Republican presidential candidate. It is why I remain a happily remain a registered Democrat and will remain one.

What is sad is that the actions of the DNC and the DNCC have made it impossible for me personally to cast a vote for the Democratic Party's nominee. I cannot condone the multiple illegitimate practices used to arrive at the result of the Democratic Party's nominating convention.

But I defer to nobody when I insist that I am not only a Democrat, but a Democrat's Democrat. First, I will not insult those who choose to vote for Senator Obama. I assume, to paraphrase Senator Obama's acceptance speech, that these voters love their country, just I do. I also assume they will vote as they will because of their good faith belief that an Obama presidency is essential or necessary to the medium and longer-term well-being of the country and/or the continuing vitality of the Democratic Party.

As a Democrat's Democrat I can acknowledge and respect these beliefs quite easily although I simply do not share them. And as a Democrat's Democrat I hold out the faith that my fellow Democrats will be able to acknowledge and respect my beliefs even if they do not share them.

I believe that the best thing for the country and the Democratic Party this November is to ensure an overwhelming victory for Democrats in the House and Senate. This way, regardless of whether Senator Obama or Senator McCain wins the presidency the legislative branch of our government will be able to assert itself on behalf of genuine progressivism, to keep a check on any executive branch efforts to be anti-progressive, whether it be by injecting too much religiosity into our Constitutionally secular government or by carrying on a meaningless and tragic war in Iraq. A powerful and progressive House and Senate can protect and implement Democratic ideals and policies, regardless of who sits in the White House.

This is good news for all Democrats. Because whether one plans to vote for Senator Obama or not, he is not a shoo-in (nor would Senator Clinton have been one) for the Presidency. And if Senator Obama loses in November, I trust that he, as a fellow Democrat's Democrat, will go back to the Senate and work as hard as he can for the many of the policies he specified in his speech at Invesco Field last night.

Please contact the DSCC and tell them that we will only support them (and their candidates) once it has been made clear to us that the Senate Democrats will elect Hillary Clinton as their leader in January:


Blogger Double Jointed Fingers said...

Thank you, Heidi. You have been the ship on the horizon in the storm of this entire primary process. I've come here to get my head straight more times than I can count.

I need to get rid of my anger before I can come to terms with regard to what I must do next. However, your posts make it much easier to decide in which direction I should go.

I've been a Democrat's Democrat, too, my entire life, but right now I am mad as hell.

August 29, 2008 at 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thankyou heidi for speaking out for us and researching everything for us. i am so disappointed in my party. i am still a dem and will always be, but what the dnc did with us right in front of our faces on national tv by not counting the delegates as they should have been counted and giving whole states delegates that went for hillary to bo, that made me very sad because it really made me feel as if my vote did not matter and the money i contributed did not matter if bo can take them away that easily for a word that i can never take seriously ever again "unity"... they shoved him in our faces and hillary proved to us that she was as good as her word all along so i knew she would do as she said she would do as president... anyhoo, i am so upset with the dnc right now and their arrogance and dismissiveness of its loyal and passionate supporters because their issues do matter more than the repubs matter to me... but i can't vote for a man who had to even in the end make it look like he had done better than he did... he is all for show and i never respect people who are talkers and all for show. they are get on my last nerve and are frustrating. wow, it has been a crazy week, and i just wanted you to know that i admire you for working so hard for us and being a rational voice for us. my words always just come out and make not so much sense so i respect that you have communicated how we feel with such decisiveness, research and facts. thankyou, thankyou thankyou heidi for sticking up for us and our vote, this is very important, respected, and admired :)

August 30, 2008 at 12:51 AM  

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