Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Proposal: We've Got Your Back! A Democratic Support Campaign

Following up on my previous post about the Durbin fiasco...

Any Democrat who takes a courageous step into the minefield of the Republican Noise Machine has to keep one thing in mind: they will get very little support from their fellow Democrats. It's a sad statement but one that is born out by recent history.

Is it any wonder then that so few Democrats are willing to take those stands? There's just no benefit to it that they can see. There thinking is simple: why stick your kneck out if even your fellow party members will run away at the first sign of trouble?

Howard Dean has the advantage that he has a LARGE grassroots following that will back him up when he comes under fire. The recent brouhaha over his comments about Republicans is perfect evidence of this. His following raised over $100,000 for the DNC in one day and the "Howard Speaks For Me" campaign netted thousands of signatures of support. Were it not for that you can bet the rest of the Democratic leadership would have ditched him over the side after his first controversial comment. The only reason they haven't is because they know they will get as much heat from us as they are likely to get from the Republican Noise Machine.


Unfortunately, the Durbin situation proves that we need to take this to the next level. Durbin did not feel that he had the kind of backing that Dean gets. There weren't any fundraising drives on his behalf. There weren't any "Durbin speaks for me" petitions. He probably received calls and emails of support. But that kind of thing doesn't speak as loudly as $100,000 raised in less than 24 hours.

Durbin felt he had to grovel because he didn't feel he had the kind of support Dean got.

This is bad. We need to do better.

I've been thinking about this all day and I think we need to establish a permanent "We've Got Your Back!" campaign that will stand behind Democrats, any Democrats, who step into the Right Wing Noise Machine's fire. This campaign that will track signs of Democratic courage in the face of Republican attacks. If the attacks become particularly egregious (as they did against Durbin) then a fundraising bat will be created that links to those Democrat's campaign donation page and petition drives will be started to demonstrate our support for their courage.

If done right, all future Dick Durbins will have evidence with 24-48 hours that there is strong support for them to continue their efforts on our behalf. Then they can turn around on the future Richard Daleys and Joe Bidens, wave those signatures and that cash in their faces and say "bite me!"

Anyone interested in getting this started? My web skills are for shit so I don't think I can do this on my own. But I'm interested in helping out where I can. Let me know what you think.


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