Friday, May 05, 2006

2006 Elections: Selfish Democrats are as Bad as Republicans

I don't ask for much, folks.  I live in a red state slowly turning purple, and I have accepted that my blue roots are just going to have to wait a little longer before they can feel safe about claiming this new ground as their own.  I am very lucky to live in a state where a FANTASTIC member of the Democratic Party did win the governor's seat last November.  I worked the campaign, met some great people, and made the final decision to enroll myself in graduate school, and to make my own mark in history and American Public Policy.  That is for the future though, and right now, I have bigger fish to fry. Unfortunately, my anger and disgust is directed towards a fellow Democrat this time, instead of a Republican; and I gotta tell you, it ain't a good feeling.

As you know, because it has gotten a lot of play here on Kos and in the media, Virginia is facing a tough race for the Senate.  It's an important race, because a Democratic win just may be the cause of Sen. George Allen's demise, and ruin his chances of reining as President Georgie the King number two. Yes, this is the same George Allen who has a penchant for the Confederate flag, doesn't really care for African Americans, and enjoys dragging his sister down the stairs BY HER HAIR.  Our primary is on June 13, 2006, and on that day, Virginians will decide whether they would like James Webb  or Harris Miller to run against "Mr. I Vote along the lines with Bush 96% of the time."  Remember, and I cannot stress this enough; a George Allen win for Senate will only solidify his chances at winning the Presidency.  Essentially, this isn't just about Virginia, folks.  This is about all of us.

I am very concerned about the fate of our primary, which is the focus of this diary.  As most of you know, here in Virginia, anyone can vote for any member of any party in the primary.  Some people think this is great, and they are right.  Some people think this is atrocious, and they are also right. Supporters of this idea of "open primaries" feels that it gives people the opportunity to vote for a person, and not a party.  If you voted for a Republican in 2004, say George Bush, and you are for some reason disappointed with his job (a-HEM), then you have the opportunity to pick a Democratic candidate for the primary, and vote a different way.  Great, right?  Not every year...

This year, as you will see by combing through some conservative blogs and websites, there is a NEW strategy in place which will focus on the use and abuse of the open primary system.  As most readers here know, James Webb has been lauded and endorsed by some major political and military figures. Today on the Bill Press show, Harry Reid, without mentioning any names, also made a prediction about the future of Virginia politics.

Bill Press:  As I understand, it's what, five or six seats that Democrats have to win to take control of the Senate?

Harry Reid:  We have to pick up six.  And if the election were held today, we would win in five of those states.  And we're in really good shape in two other states, and we're moving into a third and that's Virginia.  So we have a real shot at it.

Harris Miller, James Webb's opponent, has also been endorsed and approved by some figures and groups. Now, let me be absolutely clear:  this is NOT an anti-Miller diary.  This instead, is a PRO-DEM WIN diary, and facts are facts.  The fact is James Webb is clearly the frontrunner.  And George Allen, a man who never served living in a very pro-military state, is afraid.  Virginia Republicans are afraid.  Not only has he hired a young man named Pickles to follow Webb around with a video camera and tape his every move, his staunch supporters and volunteers have now found a new way to attempt to ruin Webb's chances of a win. Apparently, some sneaky, conniving, punch to the back of the head deserving Republicans are going to be attending this open primary in droves, in order to make sure that Webb does not win. While I cannot say I am surprised, I can definitely say that I am disgusted and insulted by their lack of respect for our voting system and the future of our country.  

Now here is where I pull out the soapbox, and in a very bittersweet manner climb on to it.  I feel that the only fair option for Virginia progressives, liberals, Democrats, true conservatives, recovering Republicans, and Independents is for Harris Miller to take stock of the dire situation at hand, and pull out of this race.  While I commend him on a good run for senate, and I feel that there may be some areas in which he could work to help the Democratic Party and its future, the issue at hand is already tumultuous, and his stubborn choice to remain in the primary will only hurt the people he hopes will vote for him.  Miller has already gotten into some trouble with a pretty prominent Democrat; in reaction to Miller's public negativity towards James Webb, Chuck Schumer reprimanded Harris Miller, and demanded that he stop.

Although Webb has concentrated his fire on Allen, Miller attacked Webb until Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and hates primaries, told him to desist. Over the years Webb has made impolitic pronouncements against allowing women in combat and warning that some affirmative action had become "state-sponsored racism." Today, Webb endorses affirmative action but not for mere "diversity" reasons. He says that as secretary of the Navy he tripled the number of women in "operational billets" and that he has been endorsed by the only woman to make it through the Special Operations course.

My friends, this November, Virginia has a chance to become a bluer state.  A Democratic win over George Allen will no doubt set a standard for the rest of the country.  Jim Webb is the only person who can beat George Allen, and THAT should be the focus of all supporters of a change for America, including Harris Miller himself.  I stand firm on this belief; I have made my decision.

I am calling for a Democrat to step down, and remove himself from the primary election before June 1, 2006. I hope that some of you are with me.  Again, let me be clear: this is not personal, this is strictly business.  Our goal is to win back as many seats as we can, and it is time to play hard ball in order to achieve our goal.  Let's work together, and take this country back from those who stole it; let's bring Democracy to America, and let's start with Virginia.

UPDATE: A letter to the Miller campaign has been drafted, and it is well put, thoughful, and kind. Here is the link, and the text follows...

"To Mr. Harris Miller and his Campaign Staff,

We, the undersigned, in no way doubt Harris Miller’s devotion to the party or to the causes it stands for. However, we have become worried over what the campaign has become. Many Republican bloggers have been creating “get out the vote” programs in an attempt to have Republicans vote for the Miller Campaign. If we believed that this was an honest attempt by Republicans to select who they preferred, we would not protest. However, it’s easy to tell, merely be reading between the lines, that these are attempts to halt the campaign of Jim Webb, your opponent, whom they believe to be more dangerous to George Allen’s campaign. Jim Webb has shown massive strength on his cross-state tour, drawing impressive crowds in Gate City, Charlottesville, Roanoke, Richmond, and Norfolk. And his 300-supporter-strong rally in Arlington is unheard of in a contested primary. Word of Senator Harry Reid, the highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, supporting Jim Webb seems to indicate that not only is the National Leadership behind Webb, but seems to indicate the Democrats are willing to make this Virginia Race a priority for them if Jim Webb is our nominee. Jim Webb proved with his Announcement Tour that he has the support among the people, and his recent Endorsements prove he has the backing of major Party Leaders. In order to prevent Republican manipulation of this primary, and in order to beat George Allen this November, we ask the Miller Campaign to withdraw from the Democratic Primary to represent Virginia in the United States Senate. When Republicans are using this primary as a tool to for their own benefit, we know this has gone too far. For the Party, and more importantly for Commonwealth and Country, we ask Harris Miller to withdraw from the Democratic Primary and endorse Jim Webb for Senate. Hopefully, we can all leave this primary with egos intact, and work together to help rescue Virginia from the likes of George Allen."

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