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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Turn Up The Heat On Congress Over FISA

Run, don't walk...

Christy at FDL has all the pertinent numbers.

There has always been a tension between individual liberty and governmental power. National security issues are a natural fault line, given the difficulty of protecting the nation while simultaneously upholding the values of freedom and liberty. And politicians, bless their hearts, always try to find ways to consolidate their power while pretending to do so in the public interest -- and not their own and that of their cronies who benefit in some way from their decisions.

They miscalculated this time regarding how many people in America are paying attention to civil liberties concerns these days. And it is our job to make certain that they learn just how badly they have misjudged this.

It is one of the many reasons we are working so hard to build incentive through our Blue America FISA actions. (You can donate here.)

UPDATE: Sen. Russ Feingold has a factsheet on FISA and why it's a bad deal for Americans.




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