In case you didn’t already know, today is Blogosphere Day. As long-time readers are aware, we do candidate support every week here — in our Blue America series on Saturdays and also periodically as we can squeeze in the interviews and chats. Raising money to support progressive candidates who support our values is important. So is making certain that they hear from regular folks across the country, and not just political consultants and lobbyists. And our Blue America series tries to do just that — giving all of you an opportunity to interact with and question the folks who want to lead our nation.
Citizens who really want a change need to take matters into their own hands. I want to announce today that Down With Tyranny, Firedoglake and Crooks and Liars have officially combined our individual Act Blue pages into The Blue America Communities, the 5th biggest Act Blue page in the U.S. Our purpose: to elect grassroots progressives and populists to Congress. Frankly, I hope every Republican is defeated– remember, the best Republican is worse than the worst Democrat– but fighting that battle isn’t the job we have set out to accomplish. If you didn’t read David Sirota’s brilliant new book, HOSTILE TAKE OVER, you ought to. Sirota is uncompromising in pointing out how most of the careerist political class are nothing but high priced hookers for Big Business. Are the Republicans worse? Sure. But give slimy Democrats like Emanuel a shot at power for a few years and watch the tables turn.
No, we’re not trying to elect any Democrat anywhere to anything– though it’s not a bad goal; we’re trying to find under the radar progressives and populists, supported by grassroots Democrats like ourselves. These are men and women who are running because they believe they can make America better.
We did quite well with our Blue America candidates in the last election cycle. And thus far, we’re in the top ten of candidate donations on Act Blue for our Blue America group. (I like to think it’s partially because Digby has added herself to our merry band of progressive bandits against the corrupt establishment, but I digress…) As Digby said:
This is how you create a majority party, my friends. You make people believe in the party and support them even when they are not immediately “winners” by creating a feeling of solidarity. You make it feel good to be a Democrat again.
Klein called on his pals in the music industry, the Squirrel Nut Zippers and Ricki Lee Jones, and put together a jingle that could be used by candidates all over the country for free and which they adapted for each candidate who wanted to use it. Then they raised money to put it on the radio and the web. It’s catchy and fun and gets right to the main question of this election — “have you had enough?” And whether or not it made a difference in these individual races (it probably did) it certainly gave all these campaigns a lift and an identity and a belief that it was worth it to spend all this time and energy working to get Democrats elected even when it seemed hopeless — which we now know is something you should never assume.
So, hats off to the Blue America Team, particularly its hardest worker and leading visionary, Howie Klein, who didn’t wait for the party to do something and didn’t whine about what they weren’t doing — they just went out and did it.
Howie is a genius, a whiz at the electoral numbers, and a peach of a man. He works his ass off for Blue America, and it shows. So today I’m asking you to pick a Blue America candidate or two — or the Blue America PAC — and chip in a little. If you don’t have the change to add to the Blue America kitty, no sweat — just pick a local candidate and volunteer to make some calls or help address postcards — every little bit helps.
You can also listen in to Finifinito’s Meet the Bloggers show where the topic will be Blogosphere Day and there will be some discussion of our Blue America work. You can call in and talk with Fini and his guests — including a special FDL guest — the dial in number is (718) 508-9856 and the show will run from 7-8pm EDT/4-5pm PDT. (You can listen here.) It’s a great time to call in and talk about what being an active citizen has meant to you and your community.
Whatever it is today, do something to help us keep turning America blue.
For Howie and all of his hard work. And for the sake of this wonderful nation of ours which could use a few more beacons of liberty and justice in the power chairs. Thanks so much for all of your support for Blue America.