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Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Faux Concern for 2006?--Updated

The Ankle-Biters linked to this post by Chris Bowers at MYDD, saying that it showed the moonbats are worried about 2006.

I tend to disagree. Bowers is one of the better writers on the liberal side of the blogosphere. He's a partisan Democrat, but I don't read him as a moonbat. And I think he was not-so-subtly smacking around Rahm Emanuel and the DCCC.

First a little background. Henry Hyde is retiring after 32 years in Congress. In 2004, a little-known challenger named Christine Cegelis nearly kayoed Hyde, getting 44.5% of the vote.

Yesterday was the Democrats' primary in Illinois. Cegelis was opposed by Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who lost both her legs in a helicopter crash. Duckworth had the backing of the party machine and was (apparently) not opposed by the "netroots". She took about 43% of the vote, to 41% for Cegelis, and about 16% for a third candidate. Bowers' take:

Last night, however, something happened that made me extremely worried about our electoral prospects nationwide in 2006. Nearly the full-force of the Democratic and progressive electoral apparatus "succeeded" in only helping Duckworth win 44% of the vote in the Democratic primary. This wasn't the blow out I was told it was going to be. This wasn't the blowout I imagined it would be considering the establishment support Duckworth had. It wasn't even close to a blowout. It looks like the final margin will be somewhere around 1,000-1,100 votes. IT was very close, and it was a real nailbiter.

Actually that's pretty lousy writing, but here's Bowers' real point:

This makes me very worried about 2006. The same people and the same organizations who supported Duckworth remain in charge of winning elections of nearly every Democrat nationwide in 2006. If they produce anemic results like this in IL-06, what results can we expect across the country in November? Believe me, whatever group of rag-tag GOTV activists Cegalis had in this election, using their theocon grassroots, the Republican machine will more than match that nationwide in 2006.

What is he saying? That different people need to be put "in charge of winning elections of nearly every Democrat nationwide in 2006". Tying it all together:

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." 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.

I am not entirely sure that Cegelis did not get support from the netkooks; here's a Cindy Sheehan post over at Kos urging Democrats to support her over Duckworth.

Update: Check out this post at Firedog Lake:

Duckworth had the full power of the party establishment behind her, and still almost lost to a fired-up, passionate Cegalis get out the vote operation that functioned without coordinated support from the blogosphere. She didn’t get the help we collectively gave to Ciro Rodriguez, the help we are now giving Ned Lamont. What would have happened if we had gotten behind Cegalis for real?

Answer: She would have lost by ten points.

Update II: We are indeed fortunate in our enemies:

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? F*ck that.

Update III: For more on the Duckworth race, check out John Ruberry.
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