Monday, June 06, 2005

Real Democrats Do Not Help Elect Republicans

My progressive blogging colleague Jason Gooljar was recently asked by a reader to join "Democrats for Rob Astorino" and to work for his campaign. Astorino is a Republican running to unseat Democrat Andrew Spano as Westchester County (NY) Executive.

I would hope that most progressives would refuse and explain with an acidic "Oh, I don't know... Because I'm not a Republican!"

I'm here to draw a firm line in the sand and say that crossing party lines to support a conservative and forming organizations hypocritically named "Democrats for [insert Republican name here]" has got to stop.

If you want to support a Republican over a Democrat, at least have the personal integrity to change your party affiliation.

More so than any time in our recent history, this is no time for equivocation. If you support a Republican over a Democrat -- with as high as the stakes are right now -- then you are a Republican. Period.
We would love to cut you some slack, but with everything that is so clearly on the line, you need to either stand firmly with us or go away.

It would be nice to be able to reconcile that choice as one made in an extremely local vacuum, but it's not true. A vote for a local Republican is a vote for George W. Bush and the despicable direction that party is taking this country.

You want to cross the aisle to support a local Republican over a member of your own party? Then remember that you are directly supporting the policies of the Bush administration and, no matter how much you may deny it, you assume some of the blood on your hands of all who have died in Iraq. You want to work for a conservative's election? Then understand that you have become someone who is opposed to an independent judiciary, a woman's right to choose, a citizenry with health insurance, a clean environment and a robust economy unhampered by massive deficits.

Also remember that it was Republicans at the town, county and state levels who were at their national convention last year wearing purple heart band-aids to mock John Kerry – and all decorated veterans -- and who spent four days lying about Kerry's record to get Bush elected.

The choice you make is much larger than you think and the link between representation in small-town America and our national direction is far more direct than you imagine.

If that's the side you're on, make that choice. But, like Ed Koch and Zell Miller, you have abandoned our party and you should not be welcomed back. Make your decisions with that knowledge.