We are outnumbered by Republicans. That is true and will remain true in the foreseeable future. But that doesn't mean we should be relegated to a position of Repub Lite.
Dem Party Chief Robin Van Ausdall was on the front of Friday's Wyoming Tribune-Eagle urging Dems not to cross over in the Aug. 19 primary and vote for one-time moderate Gov. Matt Mead in his race vs. Tea Party loony Taylor Haynes and partially dismissed Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill.
How did crossing over work for us in 2010?
It's not easy being a Democrat in this very red state. But it begins to lose all meaning when, lacking our own candidates, we throw our weight (what there is of it) behind the most moderate Republican. Problem is, a so-called moderate Republican governor has to deal with a legislature increasingly composed of extremist conservatives. Lots of reasons for this, including decades of gerrymandering by Republicans. But the moderates, such as Cale Case from Fremont County, are leaving. Those who remain are being pulled further to the right. At least two rural social-issue moderates have died in the past year: Rep. Sue Wallis of Campbell County and Sen John Schiffer of Johnson County. Wallis was replaced by a right-winger who once wrote that people with AIDS should be rounded up and put in concentration camps.
I've never crossed over. It can be a useful tool but what's the point? I already know a number of Democrats who register as Republicans just so they have someone to vote for in the primary. That skews the number of registered Democrats. And those people tend to not get involved in progressive politics, some because they're afraid of losing their jobs and others because they have their own businesses and fear that being a visible D in an R world would kill the bottom line. We have to live in the real world. Wyoming, for the most part, may be a tolerant place, but that tolerance only goes so far. I've never been shot at or beat up walking neighborhoods for Dem candidates. But if looks could kill? I'd be dead a thousand times over.
I'm glad that the Democratic Party continues to speak up long and loud. Being visible is a form of resistance against the status quo. It's sad to think that we live in a place where just registering and voting as a Democrat can be a radical act.