September 15, 2006

The California Democratic Party Sucks

And I say that as a life-long, fairly committed liberal progressive.

You know why? Because, when faced with the challenge of promoting a candidate with virtually no name recognition, no message, and even less charisma (Phil Angelides), the only ad they've taken the time to put on the air is the one that repeats a clip of Arnold at an '04 campaign rally for GW Bush and complains about the Iraq war.

In fact, if you look at the Party website, I can see only ONE instance where they even mention Angelides on the home page. No pictures.

Now, some of you may say, "But, Day, Phil Angelides HAS no charisma! Of course they wouldn't put him on their front page."

And my response is this: California is the most populous state in the union, and has been a solidly blue state for at least a decade. You mean to tell me, out of all of these Democrats out there, the best we've had to offer in the last ten years to lead our state have been Gray Davis, Cruz Bustamante, Steve Westly, and Phil Angelides?!?!?!

Howard Dean has made the centerpiece of his tenure as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee his 50-state strategy, i.e. we will run Democratic candidates in EVERY elected office available in the country. School boards, town selectors, county commissioners, EVERY OFFICE. The point is, by encouraging more people to run, you get a stronger base of candidates to draw from for the bigger offices (mayors, governors, senators, congressmen, even presidents) and a stronger community of savvy party staffers & campaign workers.

My point is this - the only stars in the California Democratic Party that, at least, I can identify, are Gavin Newsome and Antonio Villaraigosa. There are tons of guys in state-wide offices who have NO presence in the consciousness of the state electorate. We desperately need to devote more attention to our farm system here in state. If we'd done it back when Gray Davis was in power, we might not have to deal with Herr Governator today.

It seems to me that the California Democratic Party has become what the National Republican Party has been for years - an entrenched, smoke-filled room where every good old boy gets his shot at the big chair based on seniority, rather than a vibrant, progressive, political organization eager to seek out new blood, new ideas, new policies, and new opportunities to serve the Golden State.

I'll never vote for Arnold. The mere fact that he's started to embrace some Democratic policies after his reform agenda was soundly rejected by the electorate just proves to me that he stands for nothing, and will simply tilt his sails to the prevailing political wind. The only thing he's committed to is staying in office.

But, in all honesty, I simply can't vote for Phil Angelides, either. I didn't vote for him (or Steve Westly, for that matter) in the Democratic Primary, and I don't plan on starting now.

And the Green Party is, if you'll pardon my French, a fuckin' joke. See the Pennsylvania Senate Race, where they're gleefully absorbing buckets of cash and petition-signing volunteers from the Republican candidate Rick Santorum's campaign to keep their own candidate on the ballot and draw votes from the leading Democrat Bob Casey, if you need any more proof of that.

So, what's a committed progressive, who prides himself on voting in every election (not just "the big ones", Mr. Cheney), like myself supposed to do this November?

I wonder if I can write myself in on the ballot? :-)