There, in the spirit of the free-for-all between Lieutenant Governor John Carney and State Treasurer Jack Markell over the upcoming Democratic primary for Governor, I have learned a tremendous amount--not just about the constituency and goals of the Delaware Democratic Party, but about how the Democrats themselves view their own party. At least the ones who call themselves Progressives.
As usual, liberalgeek attempts to be measured:
I am saddened by the tone that this election has taken. It is pitting the progressive Dems against the traditional base. I suppose that is how it was always going to be, but we have to watch where we go with it. Bashing the unions and the city of Wilmington (Carney’s Strongholds) isn’t going to get us anywhere but hurt....
Either way, we are going to get a better Governor than what we have had for 8 years. And that Governor will be a Democrat.
jason, on the other hand, is moerpassionate:
In a way this is a kind of win/win situation for Democrats because Carney would not suck in the job. But I feel strongly that Markell would bring more to the table. I think even Carney people agree that Carney will be beholden to the system and people who enabled his rise. I believe Markell will be independent and able to make the changes in state government that we need.
And jason again:
I wonder why the only people who I know support Carney (besides geek) are people who feel that their state jobs might be at risk?
Here's Delawaredem on the current structure of the Delaware Democratic Party:
We need to bring progressive change to the Delaware Democratic Party. We need to open up its processes. We need to wean it from the influence of special interests. We must wrest control of the party infrastructure away from conservative and establishment Democrats who have been beholden to corporate interests for too long.
Then, of course, there's the open secret that the winner of the Gubernatorial Primary (assuming he beats Bill Lee in November, which looks like a good bet) will then turn around and nominate the loser to take Joe Biden's place in the Senate if then-President Obama picks him for Secretary of State--and if you think I made this up, again, liberalgeek and jason:
liberalgeek // Jul 25, 2008 at 3:46 pm
Sure, I’m game. Payable at Drinking Liberally in September. 3 weeks after the primary.
Let me also say this. When Biden takes a spot in the cabinet, Markell will make a fine Senator. I look forward to Gov. Carney appointing him…
jason330 // Jul 25, 2008 at 3:48 pm
Ha! Carney would pick Beau and you know it.
liberalgeek // Jul 25, 2008 at 3:54 pm
Not the case. I have sources...
This, then, is the Delaware Democratic Party as presented by some of the foremost bloggers in Delaware.
It's divided into an establishment wing that apparently consists of party hacks, union bosses, and city bosses, and is beholden to special interests and fond of smoke-filled rooms, and an upstart progressive, grassroots wing that has bloggers, the Greenville crowd, the UD alums, and whose heart is pure and whose advocates are repulsed at the horrible machine politics of the establishment.
Of course, nobody mentions that between them Carney and Markell could not have raised well over $4 million bucks for their respective campaigns without all those unfortunate special interests, unions, and corporations, and that the people who see Carney as a tool of said interests will nonetheless support him if he wins the primary, because having the Governor's Mansion held for another four to eight years by a tool of those interests will be such a good thing for the State.
And Markell? The principled champion of progressive interests? He's known all long that with Carney's superior name recognition and party connections he would have to get down and dirty at some point to take him in the Primary.
But what a golden parachute for our boy Jack: the US Senate!
So let me get this straight; the picture we get of the Delaware Democratic Party from it's own bloggers is one of a machine-driven, special-interest-dominated, back-room-deal-making collection of party hacks who are spitting on the candidate of the grassroots progressives (who can then be bought off to support the robot candidate with promises that their boy will become Senator, and--after all--John Carney won't suck as Governor).
Pandora I know would tell me (with some justification, I admit) that I am involving myself in a family feud, but in a State where the GOP has disintegrated, leaving the Dem primary virtually the election for Governor, that attitude won't wash.
These are the same people who rolled over on the eminent domain veto, who have never delivered transparency in government, and who can't clean up the impact of special and corporate interests in Delaware politics because that's who funds their campaigns.
These are also the people who have failed to protect the civil rights and marriage interests of gay Delaware citizens, and who are in such lock-step with the DSEA that both contending candidates for Governor gave exactly the same answers to all education questions.
Yeah, this is the party that will bring innovative change to Delaware, all right.