Remember this, from 2010?
One of his signature achievements was McCain-Feingold, which has been largely dismantled by the U.S. Supreme Court, but he is sticking to a pledge not to take outside money. He wrote the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee again this year asking that it not intervene on his behalf and told POLITICO that he would “absolutely” rather lose than see outside groups airing ads on his behalf.
I know some of you probably admire Feingold’s preference to lose—like he did—rather than have outside groups support him, but I think it was idiotic. I’d rather have him in the Senate. His was a necessary and fearless voice, not to mention that losing that seat will loom particularly large as Democrats try to hold their slim lead in the Senate two tough Senate election cycles in a row (2012 and 2014).
Likewise, Obama did the right thing by quitting his efforts to stymie Democratic Super PACs. We all want those abominations gone from our politics, but only a political moron would think that taking a principled stand and eschewing them was the route to go. Politics is a contact sport, and you don’t tie one hand behind your back, not if you actually care about the issues you are fighting for. You play with the rules you’re given, not the ones you wish you had, and you do what it (legally) takes to win. Because if you don’t win, all your loftiest ideals ain’t worth shit.
Just ask freshman Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, who laughed all the way to D.C.
So here we have a situation where we can help extend what has been a fantastic GOP primary season—one that is destroying its presidential candidates, damaging the GOP brand, demoralizing its partisans, and boosting Obama, and many of you get the vapors because of some lofty ideals you think are worth more than winning? Really?
Let me be clear. Daily Kos is a site for fighting Democrats. We are here to do what is legally allowed to win. Because all your lofty ideals ain’t worth shit when people like George W. Bush get elected.
There is nothing illegal or unethical about Operation Hilarity. Indeed, we’re only playing in states in which the GOP has explicitly allowed open primaries. They’ve made the conscious decision to allow non-Republicans to participate. And somehow, that’s underhanded? We’re not asking anyone to pretend they’re Republican or change their party registration. We’re just asking people in Michigan, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Delaware to continue sowing chaos in the ranks of the GOP.
The longer Mitt Romney needs to wrap up the nomination, the more money he has to spend doing so, the less time he has to directly attack the president. And that’s their best choice. Rick Santorum is utterly unelectable. If Santorum were to win the White House, Romney would have won it by a bigger margin. It’s that simple. The guy who lost his home (battleground) state by 17 points as an incumbent isn’t going to be president, any more than former Sen. Blanche Lincoln ever will.
Now if you disagree tactically, I can respect that. We’ll disagree, sure, but at least your priorities are in the right place: winning.
But if you disagree based on lofty ideals of what you think “democracy” should look like, then all I can do is shake my head. Conservatives don’t let delicate sensibilities get in the way of perfectly valid political tactics. Why? Because they know that their America won’t exist without winning elections. Heck, they’re willing to break all manners of election laws to win!
Yet there are always liberals who would rather pull a Feingold and lose, as long as we don’t “stoop to their level” or somesuch bullshit. It’s an inherent flaw in our movement, and one that has cost us dearly too many times in the past.
Seriously, I want fighters, not pearl clutchers. I’d rather have Sen. Russ Feingold in the United States Senate today, than feel warm and fuzzy that he kept his perfectly pure vow to refuse outside money during his reelection fight. Because you know what? I don’t feel warm and fuzzy about Sen. Johnson. And the shit that ass will enable in the Senate ain’t gonna make anyone outside of the Tea Party crowd and Wall Street feel warm and fuzzy.
Once again, no rules are being broken, no ethics are being violated. Democracy is about voting for the candidate you want to win (or at least the lesser of two evils), so what’s wrong about accepting the GOP’s invitation—when offered—to help chose their candidate?
Nothing. That’s what. Unless you believe some undefined fantasy unicorn ideal is more important than scoring decisive victories up and down the ballot in November.
Remember, Daily Kos is for fighting liberals. That’s what we’ll continue to do. And heck, if we can have fun doing so, so much the better. And yes, I think it’s fun to highlight the utter hilarity of the GOP’s presidential field. And anything that can drag that out will help us win bigger in the fall—what matters most.