Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Promoting the Democratic Process

Ed Kilgore admits that he doesn't live in Colorado and thus doesn't know what is going on there, but that doesn't stop him from pronouncing the ouster of State Democratic chair Chris Gates, despite the fact that Colorado was one of the few bright spots for Democrats last year, to be a sign that the state party is a "basket case".

I think the responsible thing for Ed to have done would have been to check in with some of the people on the ground in Colorado and learn a little bit more about the situation before passing judgment from on high.

Unlike Ed, I will not pass judgment on what happened in Colorado because, like Ed, I don't know the details of what happened.

Yes, Colorado Democrats did well last year. But even in victory it is possible that Gates pissed off a lot of the very people who helped make that victory possible. One of the principles of Reform Democrats, as Chris Bowers discusses in a MyDD post on what happened in Colorado, is that the representatives of the party should be selected by the rank and file of the party, not by some select group of backroom dealmakers. If the perception in the Colorado party was that Gates was responsible for a "bossed primary" then it is entirely in line with progressive principals to oust him, even if the party did well under his leadership.

Kilgore suggests that this puts the lie to the argument that the fight within the Democratic party is not about ideology. Well, that is true, if the ideology we are speaking about is promoting an open, democratic process.

I would hope that that is something that we all would support.

(BTW, I highly recommend reading the comments to the MyDD post linked above. They contain a lot more background information on what happened in Colorado.)


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