“Progressives” Getting Pragmatic?

Although there have been a few scattered calls from the netroots to “take out” in future elections those centrist Democrats who win next week, online activists have mainly been friendly to them, sensing they are the Democrat’s only hope in conservative leaning districts. From USA Today:

Democratic candidates who oppose abortion, gun control and gay rights have some unusual fans this year: liberal online activists desperate for their party to win control of Congress.

Putting aside their own preferences, the Internet activists are promoting and raising money for moderates in swing districts across the country. Many of the candidates have military, business or law enforcement backgrounds. Some, such as Virginia Senate candidate Jim Webb and House hopeful Eric Massa of New York, are former Republicans.

As of Tuesday, online activists had contributed some $826,000 to Webb, a former Navy secretary, via ActBlue.com, a clearinghouse that has raised $16 million for scores of Democrats. Massa had $377,000.

“There is not a single issue that takes precedent to the Democrats winning back a majority in the U.S. Senate this year,” Jerome Armstrong, founder of MyDD.com, wrote last week.

What makes this more surprising is the knowledge that close to 30 potential House members will join, and strengthen, the centrist DLC, an organization the netroots have been gunning for for several years. In fact, Kos at one time planned to (somehow) make them radioactive.

But after several years of netroots namecalling and pushing the absurd theory on their readers that left “progressives” could just as easily win in Virginia as Tim Kaine or in Colorado like Ken Salazar, they’ve been bit by the pragmatic bug:

The results of a spring survey of 1,936 members of MoveOn.org, the liberal online activist group suggest such pragmatism is widespread. Nearly eight in 10 said Democrats should run moderates in conservative and swing districts rather than “truly progressive or liberal candidates” who have little chance of winning.

I suspect that one year ago, the results of a survey such as that would have been a little different. But I do have a few words of advice for the incoming centrist Democratic congressmen and the newly pragmatic progressives supporting them: You’re being elected to represent your state or district, NOT individual special interests or organizations like MoveOn. Activists in California and Massachusetts should not influence your actions while representing the people of Tennessee or Virginia or North Carolina.

The GOP is trying to scare their constituency into believing you will be “dragged to the left” by “progressive” activists. If you can avoid that, and vote from both your heart and head, you will enjoy a long career serving your district or state.

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