I'm a realist, though. A Buono victory would be the political upset of the decade. About the only way Chris Christie could lose would be if he pranced out on the State House steps wearing a tutu three days before the election singing the Iranian National Anthem and announcing his support for the Ku Klux Klan. He's got tons of money from polluters and banksters. His implicit threats to punish recalcitrant mayors have resulted in support from traitorous Democrats. The press loves him because of his bullying style and occasional deviation from his party's line. His gaffes and ethical lapses don't seem to concern the electorate.
But there are two reasons why I, and I hope other Progressives, should continue to work hard for Buono.
First, we owe it to ourselves. We have a candidate who is a true Progressive. How often can we say that? Certainly Cory Booker isn't, but we'll vote for him anyway because the alternative is unpalatable. If we don't support this Progressive candidate, what kind of message does it send to other Progressives who are considering running for office? The Tea Party didn't pop up overnight. The Conservative movement started decades ago, had wins and losses, but they didn't give up after those losses. We may not win this time, but that doesn't mean we should give up on supporting Progressive candidates. The great Progressive, Gene McCarthy lost big, but his actions have had a positive effect on the nation anyway.
Secondly, we owe it to her. She is the only Democrat who has the cojones to stand up to The Bully. Cory Booker is fond of saying he never met a challenge he didn't accept. But he's not being truthful. Had he decided to run for Governor, he would have won and even though he's not a Progressive and would be no better than Christie on education, he would be much better for the environment, equality, and working people. Steve Sweeney and several other legislators opted not to run, probably because they didn't want to risk losing their seats. While the Buono campaign has not had stellar execution, the candidate has not caved to the party bosses who answer to constituents other than the electorate.
So I'll continue to work for Buono through Election Day. I'll make phone calls, knock on doors, and contribute what I can. Not under any idealistic notion that she'll be living in Drumthwacket next year, but because she's a principled politician, a trailblazer working to improve the state, and an all-around nice person. Regardless of what the polls say, she deserves our support and our thanks.
Cross-posted from Blue Jersey