The Democratic machine does a great job at convincing people (like me) that the one thing it can do is win elections.
And the machine is no longer monolithic, of course, but when several patronage-driven organizations with hundreds of public employees compelled to work on political campaigns all unite behind one campaign, I begin to fear for the opponent.
But I shouldn't.
The organizations can't deliver like they used to.
And their perception of power is what keeps them powerful.
I will no longer accept that perception. Neither should you.
I can't wait to get the ward totals to see which organizations actually produced the most votes.
Or more accurately, which wards have the most active voters, because increasingly, organizations can't deliver votes.
Obama's primary campaign shook up the Illinois Democratic Party. And now the good guys have to invest in the Democratic Party to make it live up to its promise, where it is -- at its best -- a party that makes life better for regular everyday people and gives voice to the voiceless.
Barack Obama called for these principles in his electrifying speech tonight. And the coalition that backed him -- all races, all incomes, all parts of the state -- can take control of the Democratic Party from those who still use it as a business and corrupt the ideals that give people hope.
This is a very exciting time.