I endorsed Chris Dodd for president last week. Mike Caulfield at Blue Hampshire did the same this week in one of the best endorsements of any candidate seen anywhere this campaign season. Why is it so good? Because it reaches back to news articles from 1981 onward and lets Dodd’s actions speak for him. For many years, when the going has been tough and the stakes have been high, Dodd has been there on the side of the good guys.
The list of issues that Caulfield dug up is impressive. El Salvador. The MX Missile. Family and Medical Leave. Iran-Contra. Nicaragua. Head Start. Northern Ireland. And, oddly, the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill, which according to a 2001 New Haven Register article was largely Dodd’s responsibility in the rough going that preceded its passage. And here’s what Caulfield takes it all to mean:
There is a recent bit of analysis out that says the election is boiling down not to policy difference, but to different theories of change. Under this analysis, Hillary believes you use corporations and the establishment to leverage change while building in protections for the little guy. Obama believes that you find hidden middle ground, and discover a consensus out of supposedly competing interests. Edwards believes you apply force and pressure to the system, until the system is ready to compromise.
I completely agree with the analysis, but I find the more interesting division is between those that are theorizing and those that are doing.
When you have a proven history of change, the theory is a footnote.
Dodd entered the Senate the very year the conservative movement arrived to dismantle the the progressive dream wholesale. Yet in that environment, in the 25 year period that will go down as the Conservative Era, he found ways to expand and extend that progressive dream….
I believe we are at a 1932 moment in history. The last gasp of the Reaganism that tainted even the Clinton administration is being played out on that Republican debate stage. After November, they will sweep the remains of that grand movement into the dustbin of history.
You could choose those that stood back, and waited until history was on their side before they moved bold agendas forward. You could hope that their theories of change were correct.
Or you could choose the person, who, against all odds, advanced the progressive agenda through every means at his disposal.
I’ve seen Dodd sailing against the wind and been amazed. I can only imagine what he will do with the wind at his back.
Read the whole thing — it’s well worth your time to do so. And then, if you’re thinking of voting for someone else, consider for a moment whether you shouldn’t instead be voting for someone who may not be a media-anointed “frontrunner,” but who has for over 20 years been delivering exactly the kind of “change” that progressives say they want in Washington.