Many have said that the ODP had nothing to do with Paul Hackett getting squeezed out of the Senate race. I don’t believe it, and here’s why: The Lawnmower Culture. The actions of national Dems in calling for Paul to get out of the race and clear the way for their establishment darling is evidence of this. The people get excited and grow something ground up – hell YOU grow something from the ground up – and then come along with the party machine and mow it down.
Whether or not the ODP had a hand in the Valentine’s Day Massacre is debatable – Redfern denies it and at this point I’m left to take him at his word. It indeed may have just been a hit from the big office.
But last night’s pre-primary endorsement process is an example that the ODP subscribes to the Lawnmower Culture. Candidates who had done a good job of positioning themselves among voters, and voters who had been germinating the seeds of the grassroots for some time, were mowed down in favor of the machine.
Now, I ask you, what good is it for us to “grow the grassroots”, “build the party from the ground up”, or have an “88 county strategy”, when all that will happen is for the party insiders to cut things down nice and neat to suit them? How do I with a straight face go out into precincts in Delaware County and tell people we are building something that will matter when i know deep inside we will become like party marionettes expected to go along with whatever the landscaper says?
I’m not saying I will not continue to do so, but ODP leadership needs to understand their actions have affects – sometimes deeper than they may think. We are out here and we are watching. In fact, there is probably more scrutiny at this level than ever before and it is not going to get any better. So I have a suggestion for the ODP: Put the lawnmower in the garage and break out the fertilizer!
Update: To extend the metaphor, if you feed and grow the grassroots to a certain point it is too high and will bog down the lawnmower. That should be the goal.