Halley comments this morning that most Democrats are waiting on the sidelines but are committed to voting for someone who is “electable.”
Is it even a word? I hear it everywhere I go from every undecided Democrat I meet.
“We’ll go with whoever’s the most electable.”
Isn’t it time to stop holding back, and by stepping up to it, MAKE one of these guys electable?
I’m on both sides of Halley’s fence. One of the reasons I pitched my tent in the Dean camp is precisely because he’s so electable. However, my suggestion last June was the one Halley makes:
Tomorrow afternoon will be election day 2004. What will we have done to end the madness in Washington?…
This is a time for leadership and not waffling, a time to pick a horse and not worry about picking the wrong one. This may also prove to be the time when Internet opinion leaders became the kingmakers in our society in the same sense that past kingmakers have been, by turns, the robber barons, the Hearsts, the Sarnoffs and currently the Murdochs.
The question is, will we collectively act or shall we keep discussing best practices?
It continues to be clear to me. Pick the candidate who’s not unelectable and with whom you have the most influence. Do we need a long conversation to determine which candidate is most open to blogger/bloggee input?
If there’s a secret to building this alliance, it would be confidence–we could just do it. We need to feel as confident in an imminent blog-based White House as Jeff Bezos was in selling books on line. This delicious sense of burying the kleptocracy under a blizzard of votes and small contributions is the most democratic upheaval we can imagine. But who is we?
We have met the Enemy and He is Us*
“Herein can be found that rare native tree, the Presidential Timber, struck down in mid-sprout by the jawbone of a politician.
“Pogo returns to the swamp from a couple of political conventions to find his unfinished business being rapidly finished, once and for all, by rough and ready hands.”
–From the foreword to The Pogo Papers, 1952-53
*One of my father’s favorite quotes. He worked hard for Dwight Eisenhower, who almost ran as a Democrat. My father felt that Ike saved the Republicans from staying in the pocket of the ultra-conservative Robert Taft of Ohio.
“In the time of Joseph McCarthyism, celebrated in the Pogo strip by a character named Simple J. Malarkey, I attempted to explain each individual is wholly involved in the democratic process, work at it or no. The results of the process fall on the head of the public and he who is recalcitrant or procrastinates in raising his voice can blame no one but himself.”
—Walt Kelley, 1982
No one would argue against the point that, if a couple of million people put up $100 each, Dean’s coattails would carry a lot of congressional seats. With 2 million contributors, the total would probably be more like half a billion bucks.
Reaching Critical Mass
Few of us are persuaded by Mr. Kelley’s argument. In our oversaturated age, it’s impossible to separate the mass of compelling but fraudulent messages from the truly stunning truth when it unexpectedly shows up. You’d think that by now I would have had all my friends sign up at the Dean site and put up their $10-100.
Until I do that, maybe I’ll quit bitching about how passive others are.