Saturday, August 11, 2007

Loretta Sanchez & the Antiwar Protesters: What Does It All Mean

(Cross-posted at The Liberal OC)

Apparently, everyone now has something to say about the Tuesday night "occupation" of Loretta Sanchez's Congressional District Office and the arrest of the antiwar protesters . Digby says that this is a larger indictment of the military industrial complex, and David Dayen seems to be agreeing with her at Calitics. Meanwhile, OC Blog is using this as an excuse to talk about Ward Churchill and post a sexy photo of Loretta. And now, Art Pedroza is joining in on the fun at Orange Juice by asking why out-of-town peace activists (joining up with some locals) are targeting Loretta instead of going after their own pro-war Republican Representatives. And judging by the overwhelming response to my story at The Liberal OC, it seems like plenty of folks here want to talk about this.

From what I see, it looks like we all look at this story and see it as part of a bigger picture. For some, this explains why we are so addicted to the military-industrial complex, and to the "war system". For others, these protesters are just "crazy hippies" who are going after someone for not being "left wing" enough. And for others, this is just one huge media circus gone mad. I can see why each person sees this story as part of one's own "big picture", and for me I see it my own way.

For me, I see this as a larger question for the Democratic Party and for the progressive movement in Orange County. What is our primary focus here? Do we want to elect more Democrats in Orange County? Do we want to see more progressives in charge of the Democratic Party? Do we want to advance our progressive causes? And if so, how do we want to do it?

So where do we go from here? Do we support Loretta Sanchez because she mostly supports us and our causes? Do we castigate her because she's not a "true progressive"? Do we support the local Democratic Party, and do whatever we can to elect more Democrats like Loretta Sanchez to office? Or is there a "higher calling" than the Democratic Party that we must answer to?

I think you all have a clue as to where I stand on these issues. And at a later time, I'll discuss my own views on these matters. But in the mean time, I want to keep hearing from YOU. How are you seeing this story in terms of "the big picture"? And where do we all go from here?

Go ahead and continue to tell us your thoughts on Loretta Sanchez, the protesters, and what this all means in the end. The dialogue on this site, as well as in the larger blogosphere inside and outside Orange County, has amazed me. Let's keep the conversation going.

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