This seems a fitting data point to relate to the discussion about what to do with the Democratic Party. Currently, the Primary Obama question seems to still rage in the pages of liberal blogs. There’s also the question of corporate control of the party and whether or not it’s possible to commandeer the Party for more progressive ends.
Since I’ve commented many times over the last few years about the challenges of changing the Party from within, it seems worth mentioning now that the CDP Progressive Caucus was the only caucus not re-certified at the recent state Party confab in Anaheim (of all places). All of the other caucuses were re-certified, I believe. Then again, none of the other caucuses introduced a resolution to primary a certain Barack Obama.
David Swanson at FDL put up a good (albeit brief) post on this and the full Progressive Caucus resolution is worth reading. The resolution itself is a brief, yet effective take-down of an administration that claims to represent Democrats, not to mention something we could refer to as the National Interest. But the closing grafs are clearly intended to reinforce the notion of what progressive values are like in real terms, even though it includes something of a massive disclaimer designed to disarm certain interests, embedded in the gooey nuggat center (emphasis mine):
WHEREAS, the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party recognizes the historical significance of the Eugene McCarthy/Robert F. Kennedy anti-war challenge to President Lyndon Johnson. The challenge followed President Johnson’s decision to escalate U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, betraying his campaign promise to end a war that polarized America. Similarly, we recognize the danger and betrayal that the current “Grand Bargain” represents to the legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s signature gift to all Americans, Social Security and the New Deal, a point of pride for all Democrats.
WHEREAS, the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party is committed to the understanding that an interest in a 2012 Democratic presidential primary challenge will not interfere with President Obama’s ability to govern and not limit his ability to do so in ways that include invoking Constitutional options, we recognize that this will, in fact, raise debate on important issues without risking the ability to mobilize and energize the base of the Democratic Party to elect a triumphant leader to counter the far-right agenda.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, to make our views heard, the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party will begin the process of contacting other Democratic organizations, Democratic Party members and public organizations that share our views on the issues and which seek to alter the course of history by exploring other steps to effect a necessary change, including a possible primary challenge to President Obama.
And for this the PC was de-certified? In the state that has (by sheer numbers) the largest state Party and the most electoral votes in the US?
I don’t want to tell anyone that changing the Party from within is impossible. I don’t think it is. I don’t think much of anything is really impossible… politically. But corrupt institutions can wield power in dubious ways when they feel the need to and I think they’ve done just that in this instance. How many other state Parties will react similarly to such stated positions?