I Voted EARLY Today For Democrats!

{ed note - CM1] Cross posted with permission from and written by slinkerwink: A little bit of reasoning from the left wing on why you should get out the vote.

by slinkerwink

Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 04:26:15 PM EDT

I voted early today. It's the first time I've done this, and it was a breeze to do. It's the fifth time that I've voted since 2000. I still remember that excitement of my first vote for Al Gore to be President, even though it was ten years ago.

I voted in 2000 because I knew how terrible Governor Bush would be as President. I was sadly right. I didn't vote in the 2002 midterm election since I was depressed and angry about the illegal war against Iraq which 40% of the Democratic caucus in the House had voted for at the time.

Then I came to Dailykos around 2003 because of Howard Dean. I was one of the followers on the Dean For America blog, which later became Democracy For America. Here's the transcript of that famous "I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" speech below:

What I want to know... is why in the world the Democratic party leadership is supporting the president's unilateral attack on Iraq?

[cheers, applause].

What I want to know... is why are Democratic party leaders supporting tax cuts?  The question is not how big the tax cut should be, the question should be: can we afford a tax cut at all with the largest deficit in the history of this country.?

[cheers, applause]

What I want to know... is why we're fighting in Congress about the Patient's Bill of Rights when the Democratic party ought to be standing up for health care for every single American man, woman, and child in this country?

[cheers, applause]

What I want to know... is why our folks are voting for the president's No Child Left Behind bill that leaves every child behind, every teacher behind, every school board behind, and every property tax payer behind?

[cheers, applause]

[Audience member: "We want to know too."]

I'm Howard Dean and I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic party.

[cheers, applause]

If you, if you [cheers continue], if you want young people to vote in this country and if you want the 50 percent of adults over 30 to vote in this country that don't vote, that do not vote in today's election, then we had better stand for something because that's why they're not voting.


My political career is about change, and this campaign is about change.  And what we're going to do here is we're first going to change this party, because this party needs to look in the mirror and ask itself: is this party about the next election or is it about changing America, about changing America?

[cheers, applause]

This party [cheers, applause continue] this party--I know--this party needs to be about changing America, because only by changing America will we win back the White House.

I want a party that stands unashamedly for equal rights for all Americans.


I want a party that stands unashamedly for health care for every single American.

I want a party that stands unashamedly for balanced budgets and taking care of poor kids and voting together and healing the divides instead of expressing the divides and exploiting them the way the Republican party has so shamelessly done since 1968.

[cheers, applause]

I need your help.  I need your help.  We're going to change this party and then we're going to change this country, and we're going to take back the White House, and we're going to balance the budget, and we're going to have health care for everybody, and we're going to have an America with its best institutions-- right up to the cabinet that looks once again like America.

We're going to bring hope to America, jobs to America, peace to America. We're going to bring pride to the Democratic party.  I need your help.  Let's go get it; let's go do it. Let's win the White House in November of 2004.  Thank you very much.

That speech sent chills up my spine, and I remember standing up in my dorm room with my fists up in the air, cheering. I was so excited, and here was a Democrat who finally got it. He'd earned my vote, and I understood what it meant to be a progressive Democrat from that speech. I threw myself, body and soul, into the Howard Dean campaign. My time with the Dean campaign was the first time I'd ever canvassed, talked to people, and explained why Dean was worth the vote in the Democratic primary.

Even though Dean lost in the primary, I still voted for him in Massachusetts primary, and voted for Kerry in the general. I took a break for a while from Dailykos when Bush was re-elected, and couldn't stand reading any news or reports about him. However, I decided to get back into the game when the DNC chair election came up, and we progressives wanted Howard Dean. We fought hard against the Democratic Leadership Council, Rahm Emanuel, and other believers of the Third Way philosophy. We got Howard Dean in 2004. He was our progressive victory in what was a dark, long four years of a second Bush term. The Dean 50-state strategy was what laid the initial ground for one of the biggest presidential electoral victories by then-candidate Senator Barack Obama. There were known differences between Rahm Emanuel and Howard Dean in 2006 over taking back the House majority, which can be read here.

We won in 2006, and in 2008 in enlarging the Democratic majority. Unfortunately, some of those who grew the majority were Blue Dog candidates whose seats are now projected for a loss in the 2010 midterm elections. The Congressional Progressive Caucus also experienced its largest expansion during this time frame to more than 80 members today, when progressive candidates were elected in places not expected by the usual pundits. We didn't realize that Rahm's strategy of electing Blue Dog Democrats would lead to the intractable divisions in the Democratic Party in 2010, where Blue Dog Democrats worked to weaken and water down progressive legislation. And now these Blue Dog Democrats are paying for it.

With that said, I voted early today because we need to keep the progressive majority at the national, the state, and the local level. I voted for Democrats all through the ballot, and voted yes on Proposition One here in Texas. Also, my voting early helps Democrats identify the supporters they need to go out and vote on Election Day, and saves them time from trying to get me out to vote. It also allows them to know where to spend their time and resources.

If you haven't voted early already, please go and do it RIGHT NOW!

If you already have voted early, you can help donate to our Orange to Blue candidates because God knows our progressives on that list need every single cent they can get to beat back the corporation domination of our politics, and to help retain our progressive majority in the house.

More importantly, you can help out with GOTV efforts by volunteering at your local Democratic Party, and phone-banking by clicking on this link below:


And I'll be heading back tomorrow to help out my local Democratic county party. It's what I'll be doing because I believe in the power of voting and it's what one does as a citizen in this country.

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