03/06/2008 09:36 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

What's A Progressive To Do Now? Take Aim At McCain

The uncertainties abound. Obama leads, with Clinton, some say not far behind. We look now to Pennsylvania and unbelievably April 22nd. Could it come down to Puerto Rico as the Clinton campaign hopes? What will happen in Colorado this summer? It's not a season ending cliffhanger, it's the Democratic primary.

John McCain has 243 days to prepare to challenge Obama or Clinton, and the GOP is, as you read this, testing out their attack plans. Do we wait for Obama, Clinton and the Democratic Party to get their act together? Do we stand idly by watching the two tear each other and the party down for McCain? I'm not talking about campaigning for a single candidate anymore. My vote was cast long ago.

What progressive voters know is to get a president elected to the White House who will (at the very least) be a listening ear to progressive causes, we must become a force united with the goal in sight.

Hold the media accountable each and every time they go soft on McCain, Bush/Cheney or any of the numerous crimes this Republican administration has committed, every single time the GOP reaches for their dirty bag of tricks on immigration, gay marriage, or choice to polarize general election voters.

In 2004, whether we Democrats liked it or not, we got John Kerry for a nominee who sustained several months unchallenged before facing Bush in the general election. Kerry chose to ignore rather than confront the vicious smear attacks on him and concede before all the votes were counted in Ohio against what his then running mate, John Edwards had argued for. He played it safe.

We can't play it safe this time.

Now progressives must take a cue from Edwards and as he said so often about the Democratic party: Show some backbone.

McCain leaves the field wide open for the Democrat challenger to strike him down to size each and every time he tries to paint himself as the consistent and stronger candidate.

This is exactly the Rovian tactic Bush used to challenge Kerry in 2004: I'm strong, he's weak. And it worked in 2004. But, it doesn't have to be that simple in 2008. McCain, the picture of inconsistency, boils away to nothing more than a man who has absolutely no idea what he believes.

Need some fuel to fan your fire? Here's an ongoing list of McCain's gross inconsistencies.

Progressives voters can argue the Dems have long ago sold out, what is the point now? We wanted Edwards and Kucinich and we got Obama and Clinton. We wanted to keep the fight against poverty alive and cause a deep change in the direction of the country, not a token adjustment that deals out one for the people and two for big business. Between the two candidates' cozying up to lobbyists, union busters and Blue Dog conservatives, it's enough to make a progressive voter throw in the towel.

But, we can't let McCain take this one from us, and God forbid should it happen, the least we can do is go down fighting.