EDITOR: CA stands as the progressive fortress

INSIGHTS - by Joe Howard Crews - The deadly red TEA tide swept across America Tuesday, drowning many progressive leaders and fortresses - but New England on the East Coast, and California on the "Left Coast" survived. As the largest, strongest and best positioned fortress for progress, CA must rearm quickly to build for the future, to show the rest of the nation the wisdom of "Government of the people, by the people and for the people." We are now America's best hope. Let's do it!

Jim Dean of Democracy for America said it well:

"While it was a tough night, we had a few important victories too. Our Progressive Hero Barbara Boxer won. Public Option Heroes Michael Bennet, Kristen Gillibrand, Jared Polis, and Chellie Pingree all won without running away from their votes for Healthcare. Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Raul Grijalva was in the fight of his life and won. In fact 94% of the rest of the Progressive Caucus also won (compared to only 47% of the Blue Dogs).

Florida amendments legally requiring fair redistricting of congressional districts -- instead of Republican-controlled gerrymandering -- won. The anti-environmental Proposition 23 in California, which could have rolled back some of the most important clean air laws in the country, was defeated. And bold progressive Peter Shumlin was elected the first Democratic Governor of Vermont since Howard Dean left office in 2002.

The fact is progressive heroes who lost last night like Russ Feingold and Alan Grayson became collateral damage in a toxic election environment created by weak leadership and corporate Democrats who refused to stand up and fight for real change. Progressives like Annie Kuster, Mary Jo Kilroy, and Tom Perriello ran some of the strongest grassroots campaigns in history, but were drowned out by unregulated corporate front groups that spent hundreds of millions to scare and lie to voters.

The biggest lesson from last night is actually pretty simple ~

For Democrats to win in the future, they need to fight for the people they represent and stop cutting deals to water down reform with the same corporate interests who will turn around and spend unlimited amounts of money to defeat Democrats year after year.

It was a tough election and it's a tough fight ahead of us, but we have no regrets for fighting every day to move America forward -- and we never will."

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