Does The Democratic Party Need A Republican Wing?

Alabama has a Republican House and a Republican Senate and a Republican governor. When the state government of Alabama decided women in their state can no longer have abortions, it was terrifying enough.

But two weeks later, the Democratic governor of Louisiana signed another of the extreme anti-abortion bills that Republicans are using to deny women’s Choice.

And it isn’t just happening in the Deep South. Ohio and Missouri have done the same thing. But there’s something about Louisiana that irks the most– a Democratic governor unwilling to stand up for women, to stand up, especially for poor women?

Maybe the tent really is too big. If it’s big enough for John Bel Edwards to be stinking it up from the inside, why would a normal Democrat even want to be inside it?

Yesterday, speaking before the California Democratic Convention in San Francisco, Elizabeth Warren began her remarks by reminding the enthusiastic delegates that “we have a job to do: Beat Donald Trump. But beating Trump is not enough. We need to win up and down the ticket everywhere. To do that, we need to show what it means to be a Democrat.”

YES! Do the Democrats in Louisiana hear Warren say that, and then say to themselves, “We need to pass stricter anti-Choice laws?”

Because the one just signed by their Democratic Governor doesn’t include exceptions for rape or incest. Will the next one take out the exception for the life of the mother? How long will the prison terms be for women and their doctors?

In the middle of all this, the chair of the DCCC, Cheri Bustos, a virulent conservative who claims to be pro-choice, decided to throw a big-money fundraiser for one of Congress’ most anti-Choice members, Blue Dog Dan Lipinski, co-chair of the Congressional Pro-life Caucus. The pressure on Bustos grew so intense, so fast that she finally backed out of attending.

But the DCCC will not back away from defending Lipinski, who isn’t just anti-Choice but who has an ugly voting record that is anti-LGBTQ, anti-working class, anti-healthcare and pro-NRA. Does he even deserve party loyalty? He didn’t demonstrate any in 2012 when he refused to endorse President Obama for reelection.

Why does the DCCC cling to these right-wing Democrats and dump millions of dollars into defending them? Many of them– Lipinski, of course, but also Henry Cuellar (TX), Luis Correa (CA), David Scott (-GA), Jim Cooper (TN), Vicente Gonzalez (TX), Sanford Bishop (GA), Filemon Vela (TX), Brad Schneider (IL), Ed Case (HI) and Jim Costa (CA)– are in deep blue seats that would as easily make a good home for a moderate or progressive instead of a reactionary. 

Blue America has always looked for opponents for these Blue Dogs and we’ve had some real success in replacing some of them. This year we’re continuing and so far we are supporting Marie Newman in her run against Lipinski, Eva Putzova in her run against Tom O’Halleran in Arizona and Michael Owens in his run against David Scott in the suburbs south and west of Atlanta. There will be others; rest assured of that. We’re in the process of vetting some now, to make certain that we will be electing members who will do the right thing in Congress.

Sometimes the tent really just is too damned big and the party stops having any meaning.

When people ask what the Democratic Party stands for on questions like Choice for women or equality for the LGBTQ community, we are in deep trouble. This week, after John Bel Edwards signed the draconian bill banning abortion in Louisiana, Marie Newman told the media, that “This type of legislation is authoritarian and totalitarian. There’s no other way to describe it. Let’s be honest about what it is. It’s taking us back 100 years, and that’s not exaggerating.”

Please consider helping these three candidates who are primarying Blue Dogs right now. Your contribution will send a message to Cheri Bustos and the DCCC that grassroots Democrats adhere to the values and principles that have built the party and– before Bustos came along– distinguished it from the Republicans.

There are, after all, legitimate differences, whether Dan Lipinski will ever understand that or not. 

So, in the current political climate– if you think we need to elect candidates with actual Democratic values, here’s how we do it: click on this Blue America Primary A Blue Dog link to contribute if you can– to help make a difference, for a difference.

Thanks for always doing what you can to help make a better world,

Howie, for the entire Blue America team


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