The Nation’s Vanden Heuvel kvells over Darcy

Publicola has been giving ink (pixels?) to one health care advocate’s disappointment with Darcy Burner’s performance as Executive Director of Okay, fair enough. But as long we’re critiquing HA’s favorite twice-failed congressional candidate, I thought I’d give voice to one of Darcy’s most prominent fans, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Editor of The Nation:

When it comes to the big issues of our time — like healthcare, energy and climate change, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and building a more just economy — I’ve long believed it will require a strong inside-outside strategy to push progressive solutions through Congress. That’s why I was so pleased when Darcy Burner was recently named Executive Director (Full disclosure: I’m a board member.)

The organization’s purpose is to bring together progressives both inside and outside of Congress to craft strong policies and work cooperatively to implement them. Burner knows the grassroots, netroots, and political landscape as well as anyone, and her close Congressional races in Washington state against a Republican incumbent in 2006 and 2008 are a testament to that fact. A former Microsoft manager, she was also the architect of the “Responsible Plan to End the War In Iraq“.

Vanden Heuvel pretty much kvells over what Darcy has achieved at in her few weeks on the job at the startup organization.

Last month, asked people to submit and vote on questions regarding healthcare reform via its website. Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) then answered the questions on the House floor, where proceedings are broadcast on C-SPAN and entered into the Congressional Record.

The results exceeded all expectations.

Tens of thousands of people responded and Caucus members were “very enthusiastic” about “having more direct interaction with normal Americans out there who are interested in [these] issues.” Then this past week there were approximately 47,000 votes on which Energy Bill questions to ask — a response Burner called “unbelievable.” (Caucus members answered those questions on the floor this past Thursday and video will soon be available.)

“This was an experiment,” Burner said. “My tech background tells me you try ten things, eight of them will fail, and the other two will succeed. The catch-though, is you can never predict ahead of time which two things it’s going to be. So, this being our first foray in trying to connect some of the progressive grassroots to the Caucus… it has succeeded spectacularly.”

This is exactly the kind of creative experimentation people can expect from Burner and ProgressiveCongress as it works to connect progressives outside of the beltway with those on the inside — leveraging the strength of both.

And this is exactly the kind of creative experimentation that got netroots progressives so excited about Darcy’s potential in Congress.

I don’t think Josh or Sandeep or most in the legacy media ever really grokked the Darcy thing, preferring to write it off as some kinda naive self-deception on the part of the netroots, or even worse, a cult of personality. Oh, please.

I like Darcy well enough, and consider her a friend, but her quirky eggheadedness doesn’t exactly inspire a cult-like devotion, and to be honest… ideologically… she’s rarely the most progressive person in the room. No, what we saw in Darcy was something we see in ourselves: the passion, creativity, and willingness to fail that is so often missing in a political culture that at times appears to be totally defined and constrained by the electoral cycle.

(And, oh yeah, she’s smart. Damn smart. I don’t hear anybody saying that about Dave Reichert.)

It would have been exciting to see how well those qualities served her in Congress.  And I guess, her service there will be exciting, if in a slightly different capacity.


  1. 2

    Richard Pope spews:

    How about the HEALTH CARE thing? Why worry about how strong DARCY BURNER is pushing this issue? Let’s ask what BARACK OBAMA is doing about health care.

    From what I have seen so far, NOT NEARLY ENOUGH. Still, Obama is much better for America on health care, than the Neanderthals who presently constitute the Republican Party.

    In any event, America desperately needs UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE and HEALTH CARE REFORM. If the Democrats don’t end up doing something on this, then somebody will end up filling the political vacuum. Even 55% of Republicans want universal health care, and of course, a far higher percentage of Democrats.

  2. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Darcy is a damn fine manager, executive, and leader. The idiot wing of the Idiot Party kept asking what her resume is. Well, for one thing, she figured out virtually instantly how to hug a rabbit!* While Rubberstamp Reichert apparently is still thinking about it 4 years later, because he still hasn’t hugged a rabbit.

    * Instructions: Carefully pick up the rabbit, wrap both arms around it, and give it a full body press while holding it gently, making sure you don’t squeeze too hard. See, e.g.,

  3. 4

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Old bitter dumb bunny: Puddy read you going to visit papa dumb bunny. How is he doing? Also sucks to be you and your slathering support of Darcy Moonbat!

  4. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Pop is still mentally sharp — when I called him Sunday to wish him a happy Father’s Day, he informed me that Father’s Day is next Sunday — but he went to sleep while I was talking with him on the phone. Sister Rabbit tells me he’s been doing that a lot lately.

    He’s about the same age as the Titanic, and I would say that in general he’s better preserved than the Titanic, but it looks like his keel may be buckling. I’ve already visited him this spring, but I’m getting my travel bag ready, just in case.

  5. 7

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Well good luck if you need to visit Papa Dumb Bunny. Who knows he may rearrange your political leanings.

  6. 8

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Zotz: You are a dumb as the cum eh? Pay attention to the threads fool! At least my keyboard doesn’t have any personal secretions like yours!

    Is that drool or something else fool? Since you used PudPuller Puddy bets it’s sumtin else!

  7. 9


    Smart and Dave Reichert are two ships that pass in the night, on different oceans, on different planets.

    The only significance IQ has with Deputy Dave is when he tries to play Scrabble. I understand George W. Bush taught him how.

    Dave Reichert is to intelligence what Jell-O is to concrete.

    Give Deputy Dave credit, more than 50% of the time he starts his day with his shoes on the correct feet.

    Lobbyists loves themselves the Deputy. You won’t find a bigger tool outside of Home Depot.

    Right wing handlers can always count on Dave’s support, even when they tell him to vote against their positions for the sake of his re-election. If he didn’t get their daily memo, he wouldn’t know what to do once he got out of bed each day.

    But you have to have some sympathy for the Congressman. He suffers from severe back trauma from bending over for special interests and sticking his head up his ass.

    In 2010, the voters would once again try to vote for someone who is eminently more qualified than Deputy Dave but the Fremont Troll doesn’t live in the district.

    Yes, that’s my congressman. Could I be more proud?

  8. 10

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Fremont Troll





    even if it was from a libtard.

  9. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 He votes the same way you do, puddinghead, but unlike you he can use senility as an excuse.

  10. 13

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Pelletizer, from what many of us whom think right have seen it looks like early senility has already hit you between the eyes. Are you sure you don’t possess a type of family Alzheimer’s disease?

  11. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @10 Well whaddya know, a troll with a sense of humor! I thought they didn’t exist. Quick, freeze-dry puddy and put him on display in a museum!

  12. 15

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @13 Rabbits remember everything, puddy. Everything. As Sister Rabbit once pointed out to me, “Our parents don’t forget anything, and they don’t forgive anything, either.” I’m just like Pop in that respect. And don’t you forget it!

    The only reason I’m off the hook now is because Pop no longer remembers which bunny committed which offense. He remembers all of our offenses, though. It’s just hard for him to keep track of the perps because there were some many of them. Like all rabbits, he has a lot of kids.

    In other words, I’m not going to forget what you rightwing assholes did to my beloved America, with its green rolling meadows of clover under deep blue skies filled with puffy white clouds, and you can forget about ever being forgiven for your asswiping, even if I live to be 150 years old!!!

  13. 17

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    David Aquarius, you heard wrong. Butt Puddy heard you were recently transferred to Leavenworth…

    Kansas. Soon some of your bestus buds could be transferred there from Club Hotel Gitmo. Puddy hears it will be a family-like reunion. Send Goldy some pictures when it happens.

  14. 19


    Speaking of families, Pud. I used to have a cousin that resembled you. Then that boil was lanced on his ass and the resemblance went away.

    Always morbidly interesting reading your comments here. It kinda like looking at dog vomit to see what he ate that made him sick.

    Don’t fret though, Pud. I’m sure Goldy will always have a soft spot for you. That soft spot is composting in his garden right now.

  15. 20

    The Pooping Viking spews:

    re 2: I hope Obama vetoes what these congressional clowns come up with. How can you come up with anything worth having if the solution is taken ‘off the table’ before debate even begins.

  16. 21

    The Pooping Viking spews:

    re 17: “…Butt Puddy….” Heh!!! Right. And sometimes a cigar is not just a cigar.

    I know the ‘cigar’ comment will fly over your head. That’s what makes you so funny.

  17. 22

    sarge spews:

    Nothing like a Darcy Burner post to elevate the dialogue at HA!

    Darcy hasn’t even received her first utility bill. I think it is a bit premature for “progressives” to start complaining about the job she is doing at

    Anyone who thinks Darcy is a sellout or “in bed with the insurance industry” doesn’t know Darcy, and doesn’t know what he/she is talking about.

  18. 23

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Golly Viking Poop you write like another headless lucy doppelganger. Too bad Goldy or Darryl won’t share what they know about the same IP Addresses.

    Cigar jokes? We thought America was over the cigar jokes. Goes to show you live in the past.

  19. 25

    The Pooping Viking spews:

    re 23: It was a Freudian reference in reference to your Freudian slip.

    But you already knew that, didn’t you?

  20. 26

    happy old republican spews:

    I am waiting for Darcy to say that she has a degree in healthcare administration….

  21. 28

    Right Stuff spews:

    A two person .org funded by MoveOn….WOW

    She is really doing things…..
    I think however, she likely had greater authority as the HOA president….