There is a notion prevalent out there that the best chance for a Democrat to win the U.S. senate seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss is to choose the admirably resilient conservative Democrat John Barrow of Georgia’s 12th Congressional district.
Even the national press is getting in on that meme in articles like this one in Salon.
I think the assumption that our task as Democrats is to entice the Dixiecrats who left the party for the GOP to return to the party would be a serious mistake. The Dixiecrats are dying off here as certainly as their older conservative white counterparts are in other parts of the country.
We need to be energizing the base which makes the progressive Democratic party Georgia’s future: minorities, young voters, environmentalists, young labor activists, and other parts of the progressive coalition.
Campaigning for someone who, for instance, is equivocal on the notion that health care is a right for all citizens is not going to engender enthusiasm among the Democratic Party’s natural constituency.
As much as I admire Representative Barrows’ ability to survive a hostile environment, I’d rather he stick to his district. We need to run a candidate who is a pragmatic progressive. Our biggest obstacle is a lethargic Democratic Party of Georgia. We need to break out of that with a candidate who makes it a joy to knock on doors and work in phone banks.
Barrow is not that candidate.