I think I’ve found a pretty good definition of what some of us characterize as “Washington Democrats.” Tim Grieve, in Salon’s Not with a bang but a whimper sums up what it is about the “Washington Democrats” that bothers me:
“And the Republicans weren’t the only ones who seemed to give the protest short shrift. Minnesota Sen. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, took to the floor to criticize Boxer for facilitating the protest, saying she would undermine the country’s confidence in its democracy if the protest were to succeed and the election were thrown to the House of Representatives. And while Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid ultimately spoke of the need for election reform, he spent much of the protest debate on the other side of the aisle, kibitzing with Santorum and a few other Republican senators.
When it came time for the roll call, Boxer was the only senator to vote for the protest; John Kerry, who had announced Wednesday that he wouldn’t take part in any protest, conveniently found himself on a mission to Baghdad. In the House, 31 Democrats voted to support the objection. Eighty-eight House Democrats voted against it, and 80 of them didn’t bother to vote at all. For their efforts, Rep. John Conyers and the others who pursued an investigation in Ohio got neither a serious debate over the voting irregularities nor a commitment from Republicans even to think about electoral reform.”
It doesn’t matter where you stand on whether the Ohio vote produced legitimate results. When a substantial block of your party feels strongly about something like this, you don’t mock them, you treat them with respect and take the issue seriously. The grassroots and the “netroots” don’t feel that we are taken seriously by the “Washington Democrats.”
I think the problem is that many of these Representatives and Senators probably don’t KNOW how so many people they represent feel about issues like this! My recommendation is that the DNC have someone on staff who writes up a daily digest that is delivered to Congressional offices? They could start with the Daou Report.
Update – I have heard the argument that this only gives Republicans an opening to overturn election results next time should a Democrat win while Republicans still control the Congress. This is what I call the “Democrats who are afraid that Rush Limbaugh will say something bad about them” syndrome. If the Republicans are going to try to overturn a Democratic win, they’re going to — it’s what they do, and they don’t do the things they do in reaction to Democrats. They do them because they are pursuing an aggressive offense strategy, and it is working.