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What would happen if the President stopped protecting egregious incumbents like Senator Blanche Lincoln, Senator Mary Landrieu, Senator Ben Nelson, and Senator Max Baucus and the Blue Dogs in the House?

What if the protection stopped because these incumbents opposed him on most of his policy initiatives, such as working to water down vital legislation, killing the public option, and creating loopholes?

If such protection stopped, then the message would be sent that these incumbents did not hold up the Democratic Party platform. And the incumbent protection racket would end.

It'd have the galvanizing effect of stopping the rightward shift of the Democratic Party and restoring the values and principles of the Democratic Party by supporting progressives, and upholding progressive ideas.  

And these incumbents would lose the backing of the party apparatus such as the DNC, the DSCC, and the DCCC.

Imagine if a Blue Dog like Dan Boren lost funding from the party because he advocated for privatization of Social Security and a woman's right to choose. The message that would be sent is that if any Democrat tries to go to the hard right by selling out principles of the Democratic Party, that Democrat would not be "rewarded" through the incumbency protection racket.

Why, if a Democrat wanted to run and get the backing of the party, he or she would have to consistently uphold the Democratic Party platform, or else risk the loss of funding.

That'd be holding that Democrat accountable because if he or she knows that in thumbing his or her nose at the Democratic Party by favoring right-wing ideas, it would be a loss of money and support.

I recognize there are seats where a progressive Democrat may not be able to win, but it does not mean that the party should support a conservative Democrat over a progressive Democrat in a winnable district.

There should always be a good faith effort to recruit MORE progressives from the DNC, the DSCC, and the DCCC, instead of us having to do all the work in supporting and recruiting progressive candidates, and seeing our work trashed when the party supports a conservative Democrat over a progressive Democrat in a district that is winnable by either candidate.

The goal should be to increase progressive influence by supporting progressive candidates, ideas, and to create accountability for Democrats that go off the reservation like Joe Lieberman did in 2006 (wherein he was welcomed back by the Democrats to caucus with them).

If we don't hold our Democrats accountable in the party apparatus, then they get the message it's okay to thumb their noses, and to go against the Democratic Party platform. They get rewarded just like Senator Joe Lieberman and Senator Lincoln did because of the incumbency protection racket.

It's time for this incumbency protection racket to stop.

Originally posted to slinkerwink on Wed May 05, 2010 at 10:00 AM PDT.

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