Friday, August 13, 2010

Spaceballs = No Balls

David Sirota

Call me an '80s junkie, but when I saw the results of this week's closely watched Colorado election, I immediately thought of "Spaceballs." In that Mel Brooks masterpiece, a Darth Vader spoof named Dark Helmet says "evil will always triumph because good is dumb." Make it "dumb and broke," and you have a powerful explanation for incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet's narrow primary victory over former state legislator Andrew Romanoff.

For those who care about a progressive economic agenda and about injecting democracy into the Democratic Party, this is encouraging when put next to the similarly impressive results of White House-thwarting Democratic primary challengers in Pennsylvania and Arkansas. And that trend explains the increasingly fierce pushback from Washington.

Yes, this is why Obama's spokesman, Robert Gibbs, so vociferously berated the progressive movement on the eve of Colorado's primary, and why DNC powerbrokers moved so forcefully against Romanoff. He was the latest candidate to represent what those elites know to be an ascendant national progressive uprising inside the Democratic Party – one that keenly understands money's corrosive effects on public policy and that, therefore, rejects the Beltway's corporatist model.

Seeing that this uprising threatens their power and their D.C. worldview, these elites are desperate to preserve Dark Helmet's principle – so desperate, in fact, they have resorted to employing Obama's presidential campaign infrastructure to prop up more conservative candidates against progressive challengers in intra-party battles.

This unholy alliance managed to hold off the onslaught this time. But make no mistake – Colorado is yet more evidence that the days of "Spaceballs" defining the Democratic Party are ending.

The right has gone farther to the right and so has the left as if it were the right thing to do. It's not. I hope Sirota's right but I'm not holding my breath.

"Spaceballs" refers to the "space" where the Dems' "balls" oughta be.

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