Fester reviews the practical aspects of the 08 race with an excellent analysis. The Democrats are indeed looking at a possible good gain in both chambers and have a solid base of incumbents. He also reiterates my question and adds his own.
How do we get either 'good' Democrats who will vote, act, and operate to expand progressive issue space on their own personal or political instincts OR at least create a strong incentive structure to get the desired behavior? Or is this even remotely possible on a regular basis?
I belive it's possible but I don't how we're going to do it. I do know how we're not going to do it though. We won't change the system by becoming co-opted as a cog in the machine. Cogs are replaceable. We need to throw a monkeywrench in the works and force them to retool instead.
The problem as I see it is that the progressive movement has somewhat fallen prey to same CW focus on short term results. We need to take a longer view and be willing to accept some losses on the front end. The metrics of success aren't in the numbers, they're in the results on the floor, which have been rather dismal in my view.
Frankly, I think incumbents are part of the problem. As long as the establishment Dems feel confident our fear of Republican administrations will keep us voting to keep them in power, they have no incentive to vote for our issues. They'll continue to throw a few crumbs of recognition our way and count on our fear to overcome our anger at the ballot box.
Come to think of it, maybe that's the lesson the 60s has to teach the new generation. The battle then was us against the establishment. I think that's still where the battleline should be drawn.
Update: Ron at Liberal Values has more on drawing the line.