Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Pass the Buck UPDATED II
I love it.

The other day I received a (another) solicitation from Senate and Congressional campaign committees for money. I got these despite having "unsubscribed" from their mailing list after the Paul Hackett debacle. Ok. No biggie. I just hit the delete key. But I thought I would take another opportunity to let these folks know how I feel. In that spirit, I sent this email to both the DCCC (Dem Congressional Campaign Committee) and the DSCC (Dem Senate Campaign Committee):
Just to let you know.

I'm a small donor. But still, I've given literally thousands to Democrats. In the last election cycle, I gave a lots of money to the party appartus.

That's stopped, and here's why.

1) Paul Hackett and the role you played.

2) Lack of guts. The total strategry of avoiding a stand on Iraq is ridiculous. How much public support for ending the war do you need?

As the old saying goes......

"stand for something or fall for anything".

I'm sick of losing on strategy. I want to stand for something. If I lose, then the majority has spoken and I'll take my medicine. But I don't think that will happen. If people think you actually stand for something, they'll follow.

Santa Rosa CA
As with most of these types of communications, I don't often expect a response. But today, I got this response from the DCCC:
Thank you for taking the time to share your views with us. However, as you can appreciate, the DCCC focuses exclusively on electing Democrats to the House of Representatives. We do not comment on actions taken by U.S. Senators, such as with regards to Senate races.

If you wish to pursue your concerns about the events taking place in the United States Senate, please contact our Senate counterparts at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (

Again, thank you for contacting us and we hope that we will be able to count on your support as we fight to restore a House of Representatives that will be motivated by the public interest rather than greedy and narrow special interests.


DCCC Action Center Team
Huh? I have a problem with this response on several levels. First, do the Congressional Democrats really have nothing to say to Senate Democrats? Is there no coordination at all between these two groups? I guess I shouldn't be surprised, and perhaps there is but they don't want to admit it in this case. But is it really good P.R. to blame your collegues, pass the buck as it were, in answer to a party member's concerns?

Which brings me to my second issue. I made two points. I got a response only to the point where they passed the buck, Paul Hackett. How about point two? You know, that little tiny ten ton elephant in the living room, Iraq?




I got spun. They're email response is EXACTLY my criticism in a nutshell.

Of course, being the opinionated S.O.B. that I am, I had to give it another try, so I sent them a response email. If they respond to that, I'll publish both.

Stay tuned!

UPDATE: This is interesting post from FireDogLake about the war between the "netroots"/activists and the Democratic political activists in which she also quotes Chris Bowers of MyDD. The post outlines the problem that the above email exchange epitomizes. Excerpt:
[Chris Bowers explains] We can’t win if we continue to operate like this. The netroots and grassroots can’t win by themselves, and the Democratic electoral establishment is hardly any better. At some point, there is going to have to be a way for us to work together, or we are just going to keep losing and losing and losing. We can’t go on like this. We can’t win without them, and they can’t win without us. There has to be a way for us to work together, but that doesn’t mean just treating the netroots like an ATM, not even mentioning the name of our candidates on official literature, or simplistic, authoritarian demands that we all "fall in line." There is an activist class war taking place in the Democratic Party–I can see it even happening in my own neighborhood. Those who currently hold sway over the movement better recognize that it is happening as well, and they better be willing to work with the people who make their position possible. We can’t simply continue to be told to go back and keep toiling in the volunteer activist salt mines. Something needs to be done to solve this mess. I’m sure there are thing that both sides can do, but the overwhelming onus to fix this situation and create some sort of détente rests on those people who currently control the Democratic Party and the progressive movement. You have to find a way to show us that you care, that you appreciate our efforts, and that you are willing to work together.
Indeed. We can be reasonable, but we’re far too sophisticated to accept token efforts or pats on the head. And we’re quickly becoming too powerful across America to ignore.

Rahm, Nancy, Chuck, Harry: your move.

UPDATE II: At least someone "gets it".