Lessons from Arkansas

So I”m David, the new editor of CfLF, I wanted to start out with a small introductory piece about who I am, but I did not plan on starting on a primary night, so I will get to the how do you do’s another day.  Instead, I want to talk about Arkansas.

A lot of progressives around the country are sitting dismayed right now at the victory of Senator Lincoln over Halter. Well, in the words of my old football coach (who seemed to target me with this more than anyone) suck it up princess.  Over at the Atlantic,  Marc Ambinder is saying that the loss came down to small things at the tail end of the campaign.  While I agree that it was the end of the campaign that doomed Halter, I disagree that it came down to small things.  If you are upset about the loss, and are reading this blog, odds are you should be blaming yourself, or at least some of the blogs you read.

Since Halter forced the runoff during the primary in may, I have heard nothing except how this was the flexing of muscles by netroots (us), and labor (people who have [union] jobs {not us}).  I knew this spelled disaster.  During the 2008 election, I had the privilege of leading a group of Americans living in Canada to go help register voters in Nevada.  The first two things we were told was 1) Dont tell anyone your from out of state, and 2) DON’T TELL ANYONE YOUR FROM OUT OF STATE.   The reason for this is simple, no one wants to feel that people from somewhere else are telling them whats best for them.

The constant self glorification from this ‘great victory’ for the progressive movement in the following weeks spelled out two things to the people of Arkansas, first Halter is an establishment figure, and second powerful out of state interests want to get rid of Lincoln.  This effectively turned Halter into a defacto establishment figure, and made Lincoln, while an incumbent, the insurgent.

There is a lesson to learn from this.   Next time you try and get someone in or out of office for reasons other then wanting good representation of your own district/state in D.C., wait till the final votes are counted before going on TV and giving yourself a pat on the back.  If you congratulate yourself to early, you might just get the local boot on your candidate’s butt.

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