My favorite parts:
I do draw a distinction between a movement and a party. One of the books I've been reading recently, which I found really interesting, is Richard Viguerie's book "America's Right Turn." If you simply substitute "progressive" for "conservative," it offers a pretty good road map of how to think about these issues. His basic point is that the job of a party is to get elected and the job of a movement is to promote ideas and an ideology. And unless the movement kind of understands that that's its role -- and not getting elected -- and unless the party understands what its relationship is to the movement, you kind of end up with a muddle. Which is not to say that it may not be strategic sometimes for the movement to back candidates who are not precisely in line with its ideology.
At MoveOn, we're the outsiders. We're definitely on the movement side of the equation. We don't want to be the party. We want to be the people on the outside keeping the party accountable to its best self.
Do you see MoveOn's role to be one of reaching out to people in the middle who may be coming to terms with these issues now as opposed to rallying, and collecting money from, the base?I don't know if you've ever played the board game Risk. With Risk, the way you win is to build out from your base. You get a heck of a lot of armies on Australia, or whatever it is, and then you reach out. And if you spread yourself too thin, you kind of implode from all sides because there's no center of gravity. At some point, absolutely, you reach out, but progressives are too quick to skip over the first step. There are a hell of a lot of people who are low-hanging fruit -- who agree with us, who are ready to work on behalf of these issues if they're given an effective way to do so.
The best evidence that 'Democrats with backbone' works well is on Social Security, so far.
No Democrats broke under the pressure to come up with a compromise plan. And this Wall Street giveaway is looking less likely to fly than it did in January.
And he's right that we need to beef up our base. More of us need to get engaged with the Democratic Party. It's not perfect, but nothing is.