The start of a long debate

Dennis Perrin has a new post well worth reading, jumping off from a column by Jeff Cohen about Jim Webb. It then considers the strategy of Progressive Democrats of America, which grew out of the 2004 Kucinich presidential campaign:

[Jeff is] after something bigger: namely, a progressive takeover of the Democratic Party. Jeff is now an active board member with Progressive Democrats of America, a group made-up of liberals and those a little further left who see the Dem party as the only realistic vehicle for serious political change. In our rigid, fixed political system, Jeff and his colleagues may be right, which is a pretty sad fact for the Greatest Democracy The World Has Ever Seen. Still, you deal with the cards that are dealt you. When Jeff informed me of this current strategy (which he predicts will take 10-20 years to fully come about), his piece on Webb made even more sense — praise that which you can honestly praise, gain some trust, position yourself for further possible influence, and keep moving through the party.

Jeff cites the Christian Right’s takeover of much of the GOP machinery as an activist model, though in my view, rightwing theocrats have more in common with their party than do progressives with the Dems. In other words, the fight on this side of the aisle is going to be much, much tougher, especially with the corporate stranglehold on the mules. At some point, serious differences will be unavoidable, namely, the mainstream Dem position on the Middle East, Israel in particular. Sooner or later, simply celebrating bits and pieces of the Dem platform will no longer suffice. When the shit truly hits the fan, that’s when we’ll know how far progressives can go in transforming the party altogether…

Yet, as Jeff insists, this may be all we have at this point in time. So, in the spirit of open-mindedness and as a nod to an old friendship, I’m adding the PDA to the roll, and will keep a steady, critical eye on their various campaigns. After all, if there’s even a small chance that my children might benefit from their efforts, not to mention the country and the rest of the planet, then it’s worth seeing what the PDA and others can do.

The rest.

I’m agnostic on this question, and will surely have my own blather to contribute at some point.