A Call To Insurgency
This is an expansion of an idea I first broached in this Diary.
The most important target on the radar for those who oppose the Neo-Con hijacking of our Government is, or should be, regaining Majority control of the House of Representatives in 2006.
The conventional approach, which incidentally got us in this position to begin with, is to concentrate resources and attention on "competitive" Seats where there's a realistic chance of winning the Seat.
There are 70+ Republican Representatives with no declared Challenger, most will have no Primary opposition, but they all keep their fundraising machine in high gear. They then spend a couple hundred grand on parties and dinners and contribute substantial amounts to Campaigns and Committees focussed on the "competitive" seats, which snows our hopefuls under an accumulation of dollars they can't overcome.
We can change that.
The requirements to file as a Candidate vary from State to State, but are usually not onerous, and in some places just 25 signatures on a petition and no filing fee will do it. The Federal Election Commission requires Candidates to file various Reports once they raise/spend $5,000, which is somewhere around .5% of what most Congressional campaigns spend. Before the Internets there was no substitute for money, but now there is. A website that costs $3/day to maintain can reach an entire Congressional District (or Country). Getting people to that website can be accomplished with a few hundred dollars worth of signs and banners scattered around a District. There is no legal reason a campaign cannot be entirely web-based, and merely not being able to win isn't a good reason not to.
Insurgencies always involve a smaller, scattered force tying up a larger, better-equipped force by scattered raids that force the big guy to defend everywhere, with the occasional larger strike against high-value targets. Politically, that's what I propose. Our high-value targets are the competitive seats that are winnable, but we need the raids to pin down Republicans in their home Districts so they can't gang up on our Challengers.
Like all good insurgencies a cellular structure that insulates all activities from the damage or distruction of any one is preferable, and in our case a "cell" can and should be from one to five people per District, on three avenues of attack.
Unopposed Republican Incumbents- These must become a thing of the past. Even if it's ONE person with a website opposing them, EVERY Congressional ballot should have a name on the Democratic line. These efforts should be run in a fairly dignified (if creative) manner to limit any later "blowback", and should lay out a clear alternative to "More of the same". It should be fairly simple to get at least minimal media coverage of an Incumbent's voting record closely mirroring Toxic Tom Delay's, or their ties to Abramoff. This will force the Incumbent to spend time, money and effort defending themselves instead of helping to attack our Competitive Candidates, and there's always the possibility they will choke on their own bile a week before the Election and you'll win.
Primary Challenges- By Registering as a Republican and entering the Primary, a "cellular" Candidate can seize the ground the Repub considers safe, forcing them to fight a rear-guard action (expending resources all the way) to hold what they think is "theirs". If the Rethug is tending towards the "Middle", take a position to the Right of Genghis Khan (research is readily available at freerepublic.com). If your Rethug is a Moonbat, use Pat Buchanon or another sane Conservative as your guiding light. Either way you make them play defense when they planned to party and schmooze, and they have to piss off some of their usual supporters. Since these are Republican "cells" more fun can be had in these Campaigns, and the occasional scurrilous attack on a Rethug's character, sexuality (or lack thereof) or drinking habits should be considered. Claiming your "campaign headquarters" has been bugged by your opponent is also good...
A Conservative Candidacy- This approach would be most fruitful in the Competitive Districts by "Naderizing" the Republicans. Where it's possible to file as a Conservative a "cell" has a real chance of actually affecting a single identifiable Race. Many people are Republicans because their Daddy and Grandaddy were Republicans, but they are the small-government Libertarian kind of Republican, not Neo-cons. The best way to get a Democratic win in a lot of Districts is to split the Republican vote, and with the number of 500-vote-squeaker elections we've seen lately just having a Candidate with "Conservative" by the name could make the difference. If that Candidate could semi-legitimately have a "Rev." by their name...
Be clear, in using the term "insurgency" I am not calling for violence in any way. I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that coordination between cells in anything beyond a general way is not desireable, regardless of legality, and no "serious" Democratic Candidate should be contacted or involved in any way. Here's a ball, take it and run with it if you want to.