It's been only four days since I published a column on my website calling for Democrats to quit a party that is being led by calculating politicians who are willing to fund a war until the next election, and who are unwilling to impeach a criminal president, all in the interest of possibly winning the White House and a few more seats in Congress in 2008.
And already, over 158 longtime Democrats have responded by sending a note, announcing that they are leaving in disgust, to the special address I've set up: I_Quit_This_Party. That's not bad. If each of those who quit do as they're supposed to and convince several friends to quit, we could have several hundred Democratic defectors by next week, and from there it could snowball quickly and, as Arlo Guthrie once powerfully sang, "become a movement."
It is clear that no amount of street protesting alone is going to get the leadership of this corrupted party of Roosevelt to take a stand of principle.
I'm convinced that the only thing that will drag them kicking and screaming to a genuinely progressive stance on the two key issues facing this nation--ending the war now and defending the Constitution by impeaching the president--is showing them that we progressives can no longer be taken for granted
And the only way to show them that we won't be taken for granted is to quit the party.
It's time to quit the party.
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To those who say that you don't want to be frozen out of the primaries--local this spring and national next spring--I have to say you won't be missing anything. We've seen too many times how these same leaders will rig the system to make sure that the safe, approved DLC candidate ends up winning. Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer, respective campaign chairs for the Democratic House and Senate campaigns in 2006, managed to undermine a whole slew of good progressive candidates in the last congressional election by running their favored hacks against them in the primaries. If they hadn't engaged in that effort at sabotage, today's Congress would not be Democratic by a hair; it would be overwhelmingly Democratic, and a hell of a lot more progressive.
If the Democratic leadership hadn't gone and arm-twisted state legislators in the state senates of New Mexico and Washington state last month, we'd already have two state legislatures passing impeachment resolutions demanding that the House of Representatives initiate impeachment hearings. Three really, because that same unconscionable pressure from the leadership has slowed down a similar effort to pass a bi-cameral resolution in the legislature of Vermont.
So join this new "I Quit!" movement. It's easy. Just send a message to the above address, and send copies to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the DNC and your local Congressional representatives. Let them all know you're quitting until they initiate impeachment of President Bush and vote to cut off funding for the war.
It is unacceptable for the Democrats to play for political advantage with the blood of American troops and of innocent Iraqis. It is equally unacceptable to allow Bush to finish out his term unimpeached, thus effectively sanctioning his abuses of power, his violation of the laws of the land, and his trashing of the Constitution for continuation by whoever replaces him in 2009.
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