I’m a Progressive. I worked on Rush Holt’s Senate campaign. And I have problems with Cory Booker’s position on several issues, including education and Wall Street finances. But I will work to get Cory Booker elected. I won’t fall for the stunt that some have suggested of voting for Lonegan in false hopes that Booker will be defeated and a more progressive candidate will rise from the ashes next year.
Suppose that Rush Holt had managed to pull off a minor miracle and had defeated Booker last week. Progressives would expect that all Democrats would rally around Holt and work to get him in the Senate. Any movement by more conservative Democrats to elect Lonegan in hopes of getting a machine Democrat elected in 2014 would be greeted by us with scorn. If a Progressive decides to challenge Booker in 2014, I’d probably support him or her, but if Booker prevails (and hasn’t jumped the shark with his coddling of Wall Street), I’d support him at that time.
Part of the success of the Tea Party movement is due to the fact that they have been working on their draconian agenda for decades. They understand that instant gratification is not something that comes easily in politics. If Progressives want to counter the Tea Party movement, we too need to make this a long-term initiative. Defeating or even wounding Booker is counterproductive.
Cory Booker is no Frank Lautenberg, but he’s our nominee nevertheless. We need to work with him to support him on issues with which we agree and lobby him where we think he is on the wrong side. It won’t change him overnight. It may never change his views on issues like education. But if we don’t work with him to show him the correct path, who will?
We can’t criticize the traitors in the Democratic Party who support Chris Christie while at the same time dismiss our Senate candidate. Whether Booker won on style or substance is not an issue. He’s going to be our senator, and we need to help him move in the right direction.