Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The MoveOn.org Purge

Over at Mighty Middle, Michael Reynolds takes aim at MoveOn.org and their planned strategy of trying to replace centrist Democrats with more solidly left Democrats.

Two of the biggest targets will likely be Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas whom I wrote about earlier this week. Here’s the thing: the Democrats are out of power, they could use every incumbent they have. So why try to unseat your own party’s members?

MoveOn.org and similar lefty groups would argue that Lieberman’s and Cuellar’s seats are safe Democratic seats and so why not try to get the most true-blue partisans you can to fill the seats. I understand their reasoning and they certainly have every right in the world to fight against candidates they don’t like, but I absolutely detest the political game they’re playing.

Since when are representatives and senators supposed to represent an ideology rather than constituents? Why in the world do a bunch of MoveOn activists from California and New York and wherever else think they are the ones who should be deciding what is best for Texas and Connecticut?

Representatives are not elected to be an unquestioning, unfailing party loyalist. They are elected to serve the needs and represent the wishes of their constituents. If they fail to do that satisfactorily, the people they represent can vote them out. It is condescending for MoveOn to think they better understand the needs of Texas and Connecticut than do the voters of those states. And it is just foolish to believe that progress can only be achieved once each and every Democrat marches in lock-step with the hard left agenda.

MoveOn should just be happy that Cuellar and Lieberman are Democrats. Both caucus with the Democrats and vote the party line a vast majority of the time. Instead of wasting time and energy on purges of their own party, MoveOn would do much better to find ways to unseat Republicans. After all, it doesn’t matter whether a “safe” Democratic seat is held by a centrist, lefty or socialist when the party itself is still out of power.

MoveOn should be reaching out to people like Lieberman and Cuellar (and those who vote for them) rather than branding them traitors and working to expel them from the party.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well... I hope you are just as vociferous in your attack on the right-wing attack on Lincoln Chaffee if you believe that people shouldn't push for this? Can't say that without cutting both ways.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

anon...

Absolutely. When Voinovich was attacked by rightwing groups for not supporting Bolton, I was just as critical. Of course, the Republicans can be a little more choosy as they are in control. But it irritates me when either party feels its members should be required to march in lock-step 100% of the time.

6:07 PM  
Blogger RagingGurrl said...

You have got to be kidding. Leiberman is not centrist and you know that. I'm a Democrat, and I don't recognize him as representing anything a moderate or centrist Democrat believes. He is a Rublican in everything but name. If he doesn't represent his constituents, then he needs to be replaced by someone who does. It's that simple.

RG

6:42 PM  

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