Is this the time? Is Mark Wilson the right candidate? Now is the time to answer these questions and then act.......or not.
With just seven months to go until Democrats in Washington State cast their primary ballots, now is the time for Progressives to determine if we will put Mark Wilson on our shoulders and make the all-out effort to get him over the finish line. Oh sure, you can say that the effort is his alone but, as soon as you say that, you must ask why he would bother if we are not ready to help with the burden that is unseating an incumbent US Senator.
For over a year now, Mark has been visiting any group that will give him five minutes to explain why he, and not Maria Cantwell, should be going to Washington DC to represent the interests of Washington State. For the most part, it has been pretty good red meat stuff about Cantwell's votes in favor of military force in Iraq, her votes for NAFTA (while she was in the US House) and CAFTA, her votes to confirm Condi Rice and John Negroponte, and her anti-consumer voting record (for top-tier tax cuts and moving class-action lawsuits into the Federal Courts). Wilson speaks the language of "Peak Oil" and talks about shifting budget priorities from the bloated military to more socially aware purposes. However, regardless of the welcome Progressive message, there seems to be a reluctance by many to make the type of commitment to Mark Wilson that these same Progressives made to Howard Dean or Dennis Kucinich during the 2004 presidential caucuses. Yes, many will say, "I intend to vote for Mark in the primary" or, "I sent Wilson a check last week and will vote for him as a protest vote in September" but where is the networking that was the hallmark of the Dean and Kucinich campaigns? Where are the "Mark Wilson Meet-ups"? Now is not the time to be timid about the effort.
It's as if there is some sort of hesitancy here. It's almost like there is a silent (yet devastating) BUT at the end of the sentence. "I like Mark...BUT..." "We would like to endorse Mark..BUT..." "Mark is the ideal candidate...BUT..." Of course we know that the State Party will never back (or even admit that there is) a challenger to an incumbent. Would we expect them to? But does it go deeper than that? We have all heard that "Electability Crap" before. Don't bring it round my door no more! Then there is some strange concoction about support for a primary opponent costing us a seat come November. Yeah, don't buy into that either. Whatever the answer, it is time to declare your position. To be blunt, it's time to put up or shut up. If you don't have it in you to support the Progressive candidate on the ballot in September, then don't complain when you end up with a less than Progressive senator in November.
Why is it so important today? Senator Cantwell is beginning to set up shop in LDs all around the state. The new State Party Chair is making the rounds to rally the troops to the good senator's campaign. I have yet to hear of one Progressive organization declaring an endorsement for Mark Wilson in the Democratic primary. The mark of credibility for any anti-incumbent candidacy is its volunteers and grassroots support. Mark is a founding member of Veterans for Peace. Where is that endorsement? How about SNOW or any of the many environmental groups that would normally be supporting someone with Mark's Green Party associations? Is everyone waiting for someone to break the ice? OK, here it comes:
The Left Shue Blog officially endorses Mark Wilson for the Democratic nomination for US Senate from Washington State! It's your move.
Chad (The Left) Shue