Retaking the Democratic Party
Objective: To illustrate to the Democratic Party the depth of disgust amongst registered Independent and Democratic Party Progressives with the performance of the Democrats in the U.S. House, Senate, and White House during the past two years.
How we'll do it: Early signers of this petition pledged to vote on November 2 in one of the following three ways, in all races for United States House or Senate seats:
- For candidates representing a clearly Left/Progressive third party;
- Writing in the words "PUBLIC OPTION" or "MEDICARE FOR ALL"; or
- For Democratic party nominees who won the nomination by running to the Left of and defeating the Democratic party incumbent.
After the midterms, additional signers were invited to add their names to those who believe in the petition's overall Rationale: That the Democratic Party lost - and will continue to lose - seats because it has abandonded its core principles, ideals held by Progressives who were the key in bringing this President and this Congress to power in 2008. Further, signatories agree that without quick and clear action by this president to purge the Democratic Party of the compromising, conservative elements which have led to the party's rightward shift over the past 30 years, a primary challenger to Barack Obama will be chosen and supported by Progressives by March 1, 2011.
We, the undersigned Progressives and true Democrats who helped elect Barack Obama and the congressional majority which the Democratic Party now holds, are sorely disappointed with both the president's and Congress's performance during the past two years. Though federal "midterm" elections regularly see lower voter turnouts in comparison to those of presidential election years, they are also the voting public's best opportunity, under our electoral system, to register approval or disapproval with the performance of incumbents holding national office, and to send a message to the president about needed corrections of course if he hopes to retain our votes - and ultimately, his office - two years hence.
When functioning properly, the relationship between a president and his congressional majority is one that asserts the electoral mandate it received by reversing the course taken by the prior administration. Instead, the policies and politics of this president and Congress during the past two years have perpetuated, and in some cases deepened, practices which go against the American ideal of individual liberty and non-intervention. From continued government spying on American citizens to the quagmire that is Afghanistan to the ongoing operation of Guantanamo Bay, this president and congressional leaders have abandoned key positions they took during the 2008 elections.
Further, though Democratic Party leaders extended their hands to the minority party early in the current congressional session, their offer of in-kind cooperation was rejected quickly and in no uncertain terms by that minority. Despite this rejection the president and his Democrat-led Congress proceeded to coddle this obstinate, obstructionist minority at every turn, from financial regulation to worker rights (EFCA) to human rights (torture, DADT), to - most prominently during the past two years - the effort to reform our broken health insurance system.
Through staffing choices, public statements and wrongheaded policy, this president and Congress have enabled the continued decimation of the American middle class (by Messrs Geithner and Bernanke); the silencing of the conscience of Democratic Party (by Messrs Gibbs and Kaine); and the second-class treatment of gay and lesbian soldiers who bleed just as red (white, and blue) as their heterosexual comrades (Mr. Gates).
Therefore we, the undersigned, herewith pledge to demonstrate the depth of our disappointment on November 2, 2010 - NOT by staying at home and having our absence characterized as "apathy," for we are anything but apathetic. Instead, we pledge to have that disappointment quantified at the polls. We will vote, but NOT for any incumbent U.S. House or Senate Democrat. And certainly not for any Republican. In races for those federal seats, we will vote one of the following three ways:
- For clearly Progressive/Lefty candidates of third parties, such as the Greens, Socialists, or Working Families parties. (Libertarians and Tea Party candidates will not get our votes, for they are fantasy-land inhabiting, mainly conservative rebels without a clue);
- Where a write-in option exists, by writing-in the phrase "PUBLIC OPTION" or "MEDICARE FOR ALL" in order to make clear our progressive stand on the most prominent FAIL of this Congress and president during the past two years; or
- For Democratic candidates who defeated incumbent Democrats in a primary election by running TO THE LEFT of that incumbent.
By voting rather than staying home, and doing so in a way that is opposite to the behavior which pollsters, Big Media, and Democratic Party analysts predict, we aim to send the very clear message to Congress and President Obama that they have pursued a course diametrically opposed to that which the true Democrats and Independent Progressives who elected them find acceptable, and that without major changes in personnel and policy, Mr. Obama will be a one-term president - because our votes will not be coming back. On the contrary, as we awaken to the opportunity for shaping Democratic Party policy which our electoral system provides, we will use it ever more strongly in successive elections, in order to return the party to representing the constituency it has traditionally been assumed to represent: The progressive, American Left.
After the election, this petition will be sent to the president; cc'ed to the White House Chief of Staff and Democratic delegation leaders in the House and Senate.