Worried About 2006

Chris Bowers is. And with good reason. The Duckworth-Cegelis fiasco in Illinois (which I happened to be following closely for various reasons) is exactly what happened in Ohio with Paul Hackett. (Except, in this case, a war veteran was hand-picked by Rahm and Company to run against someone who had a lot of local and netroots support.)

The Dem establishment has absolutely no understanding of its netroots. In this all-too-typical instance, they propped up Tammy Duckworth even though Christine Cegelis, a Dean Dozen candidate in 2004, had lots of grassroots support in the heavily Republican district which is being vacated by long-time rep Henry Hyde, against whom she received 44.2% of the vote in 2004, more than any challenger since his first run for Congress in 1974. She is very well-regarded by the Democratic constituency in that area and had name recognition from a previous run, but the DCCC insisted on running Duckworth, against the wishes of the local grassroots, who worked their fingers to the bone during the primary on behalf of their candidate, Cegelis.

Well, Duckworth managed to eke out a win. Now the Dems expect all of those who labored on behalf of their hometown favorite to happily shrug off the primary defeat and go to work helping Duckworth beat out the GOP challenger. And you know what I’d say if I were one of them? Fuck that.

Yeah, I’d turn up to vote, but I’d be damned if I’d contribute an ounce of my time or treasure helping a DCCC-approved candidate after the DCCC deliberately undermined a viable candidate for no good reason, except their usual, pathetic We know best. Stuff envelopes? Stuff dis.

Duckworth’s primary win was supposed to be a blow-out. In the end, she squeaked past Cegelis with about 1,000 votes. How tone-deaf, how blind, how arrogantly stupid is the DCCC to have stepped into a district with a beloved and well-supported candidate and tromp all over the grassroots effort there only to have their supposedly slam-dunk candidate barely squeeze out the win?

Now instead of what could have been a surge of momentum behind Cegelis, they’ve got a disillusioned and disaffected group of people who are unlikely to expend a smidgeon of the effort they put toward the primary to the actual election. Way to go.

As Chris notes, “The same people and the same organizations who supported Duckworth remain in charge of winning elections of nearly every Democrat nationwide in 2006.” Lucky us, eh?

Let’s review: The Dem establishment chose Tammy Duckworth as their candidate for this primary, giving her the backing of the entire party, including endorsements from Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry, money out the wazoo, media access, and basically anything else for which a primary candidate could ask from her party. Christine Cegelis had grassroots support. Duckworth won by about 1,000 votes, or around 2%.

Think it might be time for the establishment to wake the fuck up and realize we’re a force to be reckoned with? Stop patting us on the heads and start reckoning, bitches.

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