Jared Polis, one of three candidates running to represent CO-02 in the U.S. Congress, announced a plan to end the occupation of Iraq almost one month ago. He joined with a group of candidates around the country also running for House seats. A total of 55 Democratic challengers have signed onto The Responsible Plan.
I read a post at OpenLeft last week that talked about other “caucuses” within the House. From that post:
In Congress, there are 48 members of the Blue Dog caucus. There are 64 members of the New Democratic coalition. There are 72 members of the Progressive Caucus. And now, 55 Democratic challengers have signed onto the Responsible Plan to End the War In Iraq. Given its increasing size, a full-fledged “Responsible Caucus” is emerging in the Democratic Party, of roughly equal size to the three other ideological congressional caucuses.
The Blue Dogs have supported more than their fair share of right-wing Republican policies and legislation. I await the day when their numbers are merely single digits. That’s my goal of Better Democrats. The New Democratic coalition is slightly more progressive than the Blue Dogs. Their focus is on business and are frequently described as “moderate”. That moderate stance has been aggressively moved to the right over the past 30 years. So more progressive is very relative. The Progressive Caucus is pretty much just that: more progressive than the first two. This group has defined itself by standing up for social and constitutional issues in the past few years.
Now, not all 55 signers of the Responsible Plan will be elected this November. But if a high proportion of them are, they would definitively add to the strength of the Progressive Caucus. Along with a progressive President, some of the worst abuses that President Bush and his band of right-wingers have perpetrated could be reversed.
But that’s a ways off. There is a Democratic primary in August that Jared Polis must win to be on the November ballot. Two other candidates want the seat: Joan Fitz-Gerald and Will Shafroth. When the Responsible Plan first came out, a number of folks on the internet said the Plan wouldn’t end our involvement in Iraq. No challenging plan was offered, of course. It’s easy to criticize from the sidelines.
So here is my question: what caucus will Joan Fitz-Gerald join? what caucus will Will Shafroth join? Joan has released statements saying she wants our military to leave Iraq, but there’s no substance to back up that statement. How would she propose or support doing it? Whose lead would she follow if elected? Right now, there is no indication and that’s unacceptable. We shouldn’t have to wait until she’s elected to find out which strategy she supports.