We've seen a lot of irrationality this campaign season on the right of the spectrum, which thankfully has moved largely toward remission. But as the Democratic race becomes increasingly frenetic, we're seeing snowballing incoherence among the competing factions of the Democratic Party base.The context for the update is the current battle over activism versus electoral viability within the hard-left Democratic Party base.
It turns out there's some controversy over the Obama campaign's "purging" of progressive antiwar types from delegate lists to the national party convention. It's a bit complicated, and I frankly doubt Obama's all that unhappy with his extreme progressive support, but the debate's interesting to monitor nevertheless.
Here's MyDD on the latest dust-up on the left:
Well, interesting things indeed went on in the dead of night as delegate candidates are being evaluated by the Obama campaign in California to see if they're worthy of inclusion as prospective delegates to Denver. Marcy Winograd over at the blog we do not name or link to said...By dusk on Wednesday, the California Obama campaign had purged almost all progressive anti-war activists from its delegate candidate lists. Names of candidates, people who had filed to run to represent Obama at the August Democratic Party National Convention, disappeared, not one by one, but hundreds at a time, from the Party web site listing the eligibles. The list of Obama delegate hopefuls in one northern California congressional district went from a robust 100 to an anemic 23, while in southern California, the list in Congressman Waxman's district almost slipped out of sight, plunging from a high of 91 candidates to 17. Gone were strong women with independent political bases.
Marcy went on to state that the remaining candidates appeared to be mostly "bundlers and their girlfriends".
Marcy has paid her dues- she ran against Jane Harman in CA-36 in 2006, and got 37.5% of the votes with a lot of progressive support. The wisdom of the Obama campaign pissing off this kind of person remains to be determined.
Over at Calitics, Brian Leubitz is not happy.Obama Slashes and Burns through the Delegate List
Today, I learned that I have been pruned out of my delegate race. I will say that I didn't really expect to win. There were people in my district that were better organized and better known (Chris Daly). And they both made the cut. However, I didn't figure the campaign to whom I donated money, and to whom I traveled to two different states for, would decide that I wasn't loyal enough. Heck, I spent March 4 working for Buffy Wicks (the CA field director) in Texas at the Election Hotline... this is a function of the Obama campaign, and if they expect to get any more time or money from me, I need to hear some sort of reasonable answer from the campaign.
And we get the so-called "rationale" for eliminating "certain types" of people...
It turns out Huffington Post has protested Obama's progressive purge:
It's hard not to be cynical. Remaining on the list of approved candidates is the slate of candidates (longtime campaign volunteers) that the Obama campaign has officially endorsed, as well as several names recognizable from local politics. These delegate candidates aren't to be faulted for being longtime political activists, but the cynic in me wonders why those names remained while the "nobodies" on the list disappeared. The Obama campaign owes those of us who were cut a fuller explanation of the decision process.
This is followed by MyDD's conclusion:
This is where the real progressives are being asked to get off the bus. Ideologically motivated people, the progressives who have been in Bush's face and raising a stink about the Bush Administration long before it became fashionable, are being seen as not trustworthy.
What Obama's campaign wants is "mules" - people who will go to the convention and vote for Obama, no matter what. It's not about the issues, it's about the candidate. If these delegates have strong dedication to particular causes they might be persuadable, so none of those types are allowed.
Why does this surprise anyone? All along, Obama's campaign has been about getting elected, Chicago style - that's it. Causes come and go, but the pursuit of political power goes on.
"Thanks for the help, liberal blogosphere and grassroots activists, but we'll take it from here". Heh.
Oh, by the way, it's all Hillary's fault - as usual. She MADE them do this.
See also the latest from HuffPo, "'Big Tent' Re-Opens: Obama Campaign Reverses CA Delegate Purge."