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I’m With Donna Edwards


There’s a new article out in Vanity Fair by Mrs. Tim Russert that talks about how those fabulous Washington DC parties have been spoiled by partisanship. Oh heavens me.

What happens to the country club when nobody cares about the decorum of your fucking parties?

Matt Stoller:

I went up to Pelosi after her odd speech to ask her in person about her support for Al Wynn. I said ‘I helped organize a fundraiser for Donna Edwards’, and I was about to talk about retroactive immunity and ask her to take this as a sign of frustration, as well as to tell her how proud she makes me as the first female Speaker of the House. But the moment I mentioned Al Wynn, Pelosi’s whole face abruptly changed, her smile melted away, and she got hostile and said in an icy voice ‘I know about that.’ She then turned away to talk to someone else. That’s happened to me only one other time in politics, when I said to Jerry McNerney that I was a blogger.

I also managed to chat with Kirsten Gillibrand. Gillibrand’s a very smart and very lovely person, and she’s aware that activists in her district are frustrated. And she’s frustrated too in her own way, and explained that change is much slower than she’d like. And yet, I get the sense that there’s very little that she can do about it, and that even if there were something she could do it’s not clear that she would.

And I think I realized then that there seem to be two types of frustration, insider frustration and activist frustration. Many of the Democrats in Congress, Pelosi for instance, are insider frustrated. They know something is vaguely wrong somewhere, they know their activists supporters are unhappy, they are still raising lots of money, they know they are in power and feted at fancy breakfasts, and they are unwilling to consider new strategies that actually challenge the constraints they see as permanent.

And when someone else does, they get mean, their face turns cold, and they walk away.

I’m living in DC now and I know I’d personally rather have my wisdom teeth re-extracted than suffer through some grim affair at the behest of a bitchy old harridan like Sally Quinn who is habitually and institutionally wrong about everything all the time. And I know Matt Stoller would probably rather toss a pipe bomb into the joint than fete on fois gras with the oh so socially conscious Mrs. Russert.

I don’t have much hope for affecting politics on the presidential level this cycle (which is why we largely stay out of the fray, except to encourage candidates when they take a position we support, even if they’re dark horses). The real potential for change in Washington DC stands not with a horrible system of good intentions and failed hors d’ouvres that reinforces the status quo at the uppermost levels, but with people like Donna Edwards who are willing to speak up and call out careerist hacks like Al Wynn that the Speaker of the House feels compelled to support.

We’re $16,500 away from meeting the $100,000 goal we set for fundraising for Donna Edwards to counter the influence Nancy Pelosi and establishment Democrats give to Al Wynn with their incumbency protection racket. So if for no other reason than to say thanks to Matt Stoller for making that entrenched, do-nothing system just a little bit more uncomfortable to acquiesce to, please consider giving to Donna today.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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