So I’m scrolling along at Docudharma, and I find (and promote) this great essay by Pico, Fragile Coalitions: Lessons from ENDA and McClurkin, part 1. A number of us have been thinking about coalitions lately, and many of us have witnessed the recent flamewars over at the Big Orange on the Obama/McClurkin fiasco as well as the ENDA fiasco (which Robyn has written about as well).
Pico asked some good questions on how we can go from splintering factions to real coalitions:
I’ll have more to say in the second half of this post. In the meantime, some questions for you all:
What interest groups and/or ideological groups do you think pose the greatest challenge to unified party fronts? Are some more polarizing than others?
When the opportunity arises to meet the demands of part of a coalition group, is it better to fight for who you can or to maintain group solidarity (basically, do you agree with Frank’s argument for incremental change, or with his opponents)?
While each coalition can flame out in its own spectacular way, are there overall strategies for getting non-aligned groups to work together?
I think these are excellent questions to consider, especially in light of the next essay to arrive on the front page, Armando’s Why I Concentrate My Critiques On The Non-Clinton Candidates. Armando urges us all to press the candidates on the issues:
That is why I focus my attention on her rivals. That is why I support Chris Dodd. He has paid attention to the issues that matter to me. He has brought them to the fore. He has made his rivals move on those issues. Barack Obama, on the other hand, has moved NO ONE on any issue since he became a Senator. From my perspective, his candidacy has been an utter failure. I think from his perspective, he wants to win, it has been as well.
I deplore this focus on “doubletalk” (as if all them do not engage in it.) Press Clinton on the issues. Indeed, press Clinton’s RIVALS on the issues. Asking them why they want to be President is not only a waste of time, it distracts from what I think most of us want – attention to the issues we care about.