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Dear (FireDogLake Reader):

The progressive movement is at a crossroads.  The alliance with the Democratic Party that served both groups during the Bush years is breaking down.  

Progressives must now choose:  do we pursue a corporate-sponsored model functioning within the party that ultimately accepts the party's goals, or are we willing to fund an independent movement, capable of freely advocating for progressive values from the outside?

If you want to sustain an independent movement, then Firedoglake needs your help. We need to raise $50,000 by June 30 in order to fund our fantastic team of organizers, writers, and others who drive Firedoglake.

Please chip in $20, $35, $50 or whatever you can afford to help us reach our goal by the end of the month. Click here to make your secure contribution now:

(donations website)

After the 2008 election, progressives thought they had won a battle for the soul of America. What they got was a battle for control of K Street and its

corporate lobbyist cash.

(cont'd after the fold)

(Firedoglake Email Cont'd)

Political independence is a direct function of financial independence. That's why the institutions on the left that have continued to meaningfully pursue a progressive agenda are those that are financially independent of the Democratic party.

Is it any surprise that the only groups to stick to their guns for the public option in health care were those free of corporate money? That the only people willing to challenge corporate Democrat Blanche Lincoln were groups like labor unions, Firedoglake and others who weren't beholden to outside corporate-funded interests? That the fight to Audit the Fed was a driven by a pure grassroots, independent, transpartisan movement?

All this was possible only because our activists and readers supported Firedoglake with generous contributions. We were able to speak for your interests, and challenge the influence of corporations in our politics.

But to take it to the next level - to build a completely independent, sustainable progressive organization - will require our supporters to step up again and provide us with critical funds in the next few weeks.

Help us raise $50,000 by the end of June. Please contribute $20 or more right now and support Firedoglake.

(donations website)

Our only hope to continue our fiercely independent advocacy is to build and support a community funded by its members, free of corporate influence.

Progressive organizations need regular, predictable sources of revenue that allow them to plan and grow, freeing them from the impossible choice of either operating on free labor or being in constant fundraising mode.  If we want true progressive organizations, we have to consciously build and support them.  We need your help to do that.

To take this first step to building an independent progressive organization, we need to raise $50,000 by the end of the month. That will allow us to provide security for our staff and to build our campaigns for progressive causes.

Can you help reach our goal by contributing $20, $35, $50, or more to fund Firedoglake's progressive movement? Click here to donate:

(donations website)

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all you do to support Firedoglake. None of this would be possible without your help. Thank you for stepping up again to sustain our movement.

Thank you, again.

Jane Hamsher
Firedoglake.com

And with that, Jane Hamsher loses me.  And you know I went kicking and screaming.  But I wasn't one of those who gave a crap that she coordinated on a project with Grover Norquist.  I don't give a damn that FireDogLake is perhaps one of the most renowned critics of the Obama administration.

I'm a critic too.

But this is overboard.  This is a blatant attempt to peel delicate layers away from a consensus that took us 10 years to build.  And I won't have any part of it.

Are there thieves, liars, and corrupt embarrassments in the Democratic party?  No fucking doubt.  And if fellow progressives decided to build a brand new ship, it will be all of 6 months before that movement is too.  Corruption, mishandling and theft isn't a surprise for a political party.  It's not republican or democratic OR progressive.  It's a fact of life.  The trick is to get as big of a voting contingency as you can and affect change.

Even if there ARE failures in the Democratic party, it's not because the Progressives are attached to it.  It's because of money.  And that's not going away.  Starting a "new party" is like gather a small clique to leave a backyard bar-b-cue because the "dump you're at has a horrible mosquito problem", only to move to a back yard next door where the mosquitoes are just as bad.  Not because of where you are.  But because dealing with mosquitos are a simple part of back yard bar-b-cues!

Jane had my ear as a member of the Progressive Movement working to support Democratic candidates who want to work for the middle class, balance out the budget by making the rich pay with the billions they've bilked out of the economy, moving toward a green economy, and ending our particpating in mindless, pointless wars.

She loses it by indicating that the way to accomplish it is to create an even smaller contingency.  It's just stupid.

This is where our politics part ways.

Originally posted to Detroit Mark on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 12:01 PM PDT.

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