Magazine article National NOW Times

NOW Fired Up by Election, Vows to Fight

Magazine article National NOW Times

NOW Fired Up by Election, Vows to Fight

Article excerpt

There is no good way to spin the outcome of Nov. 5-except to hope that the Democratic Party will re-examine its tactic of encouraging candidates to soften their criticism of Bush and emulate Republican values.

"Now it's up to us to organize, organize, organize to protect our rights," said NOW President Kim Gandy.

Every incumbent Senator who challenged Bush's war-mongering or tax cuts for the rich won their election. However, those Democrats who campaigned as faux Republicans on these character-- testing issues-Jean Carnahan, Max Cleland, Jeanne Shaheen, and nearly Tim Johnson-lost when voters chose real Republicans. Obsessed with poll numbers and the advice of consultants, Democrats ceased to consider the values of their base supporters.

Without an energized base no politician can expect victory. It is difficult to convince a progressive voter that the fate of the Supreme Court is at stake if control of the Senate switches, when Democrat after Democrat capitulated to Republican pressure in a rush to confirm rightwing judges. Such Senatorial behavior only demoralizes the core constituency and depresses turnout.

Except for Frank Lautenberg, who had voted against the Persian Gulf war and unabashedly supports abortion, gun control and environmental rights, every NOW/PAC endorsed Senate candidate lost. And in every case where a woman ran against a Republican man, the woman lost. Shamefully, the only African American Senate candidate, Ron Kirk, was also defeated. …

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