We Already Know We Can Win Elections. Now How Do We Keep The Democrats' Attention After They Win?

All I know is months ago it was conventional wisdom in D.C. that the Democrats couldn't take the House, that candidates shouldn't talk about the war, and that the best way to try to win 15 seats was to throw all your money into about 18 of them, and hope for the best. In the end, that's not how it played out.

- Duncan Black, better known as Atrios, in November 2006.

Who boosted Howard Dean into the chairman's spot at the DNC, bringing his successful 50-state policy to fruition in last year's presidential race? The netroots did. And in 2006, who showed Rahm Emanuel that yes, we really could take control of Congress? We did.

Whose fundraising pushed the Democrats over the top in the 2008 Senate races? Ours did. Whose activist base drove the publicity, turnout and dollars in last year's presidential primaries and general election?

Duh.

So what have we accomplished? The war goes on and we've even expanded our presence in Afghanistan. The Bush-era encroachments on civil liberties have not only been embraced by a Democratic president, the Democratic Congress gives him their blessing. And with the goal of universal healthcare within tantalizing reach, we have Blue Dog Democrats - Democrats! trying to obstruct it.

Enough of kicking the Blue Dogs. What can we do to be more effective? Where did we go wrong?

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C&L's Late Nite Music Club with Simon & Garfunkel

(Guest blogged by Howie Klein)

As we sometimes do, we asked tomorrow's Blue America candidate to tell us about his favorite music. Tomorrow Rancho Cucamonga businessman Russ Warner will be over at Firedoglake at 11am (PT) explaining why he'd be a better bet to represent his L.A.-area congressional district than rubber stamp incumbent David Dreier.

But put politics aside for a moment and let's just get into Russ' head on a music level. I asked him to give us a song that has been a real inspiration in his life. He didn't hesitate for a moment. "I was driving in a car, maybe 1970 or so; someone had given me an 8-track," he recalled with a laugh. "The message was so powerful, I had to pull over so I could hear every word. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel describe who we are at our core of humanity. Everyone has problems and everyone needs a bridge and a helping hand at one time or another. It's something every one of us has in common regardless of political party." You've probably guessed Russ' favorite song by now:

If you'd like to win a beautifully embroidered "Impeach Cheney?" baseball cap tell us if there's a song that has meant something like this in your life and why. Entries to downwithtyranny@aol.com




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