Considering the Western Strategy
Hello everyone, my name is Landon.
Before I begin, I'd just like to thank Kari for inviting me to contribute. I've been a fan of this site for quite some time and have much to contribute. I've been a quasi-blogger for some time and I'm looking forward to polishing my skills a little bit. In advance, please pardon my initial stumbles along the learning process. I look forward in an engaging dialogue between all individuals about the future of the Democratic Party. I, like most of you, believe the West contains an enormous amount of potential as both an electoral and ideological nexus for the Democratic Party and progressive politics in general.
It is no secret among these parts that the electoral combination currently unfolding for 2008 shows the west in a powerful position. It makes sense then to push the western strategy - or to give it some more significance - The Western Strategy. This Western Strategy has been articulated by high level bloggers such as Markos and activists of all stripes. In fact, Dean himself has said so himself and the 50-state strategy is also a key component towards these goals.
But I'm speaking to the choir.
My question to this community then is this: when will we know the Western Strategy is effective and successful? Is it a nominee from the West in 2008 (a favorite of mine)? An earlier Western caucus or primary (looking like a likely possibility)? Is it electing more Democrats from the West generally? The DNC in Denver? Does it already signal a victory of some sorts that the top two leaders of Democrats in Congress are both from the West?
Or will we just know when the purple sea of the West is turned a deeper blue?
I look forward to hearing what other people think about the goals and the future of our Party and the West.
Your Personal Note:
When will we know the Western Strategy is effective and successful?
First, I think we need to know what the Western Strategy is. Talking about the west is not a strategy.
A strategy can work, and I think will work, but the strategy must come from the communities of the west, rather than dictated by some people in Washington, or even by western politicians. The DNC needs to understand what the west really wants and needs, rather than listen to anyone who wears cowboy boots and wranglers, who walks through the door.
I think that a western strategy when it exists, will be successful when we see more democrat politicians where republicans existed before. But more importantly, it will be successful when our parties at the state level are more stronger, especially in those states now dominated by republicans.
Posted by: Daniel Cardenas | Jun 29, 2006 1:37:27 PM
Daniel, I agree with your post - and I definately agree with your last comment.
Taking seats that were held by Republicans is KEY to building a long-term future for the Democratic Party is key to moving states and the country forward.
Posted by: Landon Mascarenaz | Jun 29, 2006 6:48:52 PM
Well, let me suggest this idea for a Western Strategy.
Note that we ARE seeing more Democrats in Republican seats in Montana, Colorado, and Nevada. Pay attention in those places.
Posted by: Kari Chisholm | Jun 30, 2006 12:15:27 AM
Hi Landon. Just wanted to say I'm glad you've joined WD. Always nice to see more of the debater tribe in the blogosphere.
Posted by: Andrea | Jun 30, 2006 6:35:05 AM
More Democrats from the West is the yardstick? Sounds good to me - are there races and candidates that we should support with a greater voice? Or do all candidates in the West deserve a shot just because they are from the West?
Posted by: Landon Mascarenaz | Jun 30, 2006 10:58:15 AM
Nah, not all Democrats. But the ones that will be successful are the ones that are authentic and populist.
Here's a few...
Posted by: Kari Chisholm | Jul 1, 2006 5:22:59 PM
Those are some excellcent candidates. My dad has been talking about Ken Gordon for awhile now. Who doesn't like John Tester?
I think it is interesting that you mention two Secretary of State candidates. It should be so important to support statewide and local candidates that fit within the Western Democrat mindset. Those successful candidates for Secretary of State or County Auditor will be next cycles U.S. Senate, U.S. House or Governor candidates.
Posted by: Landon Mascarenaz | Jul 2, 2006 10:58:17 AM
I agree 100% with your goals: A Western nominee on the national ticket, an early Western voice in the primaries and caucuses, a convention in the Rockies, and especially more Democratic office holders throughout the West. These are all measurable. There is one more item, and Emmett touched on it in http://www.westerndemocrat.com/2006/06/civic_republica.html. We need an ethic of public service that builds on past examples of good men and women (see the founders list at http://www.democratsforthewest.com/) that is so well respected that when people say “we need an honest governor, a statesmanlike Senator, or a hard-working mayor or representative,” they will immediately think: we need a Western Democrat. This is not a project of a day or of one campaign, it is a project of a lifetime.
Posted by: Leo Brown | Jul 3, 2006 10:18:06 AM
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(and yes, we know that sometimes they're very, very wrong. Other times, they're right on.)