There is welcome news in Arkansas that Senator Blanche Lincoln is being challenged in the Democratic Primary. This is not really risky for the Party since Lincoln is down in the polls big-time to all prospective Republican challengers. If Lt. Governor Halter wins he will marginally improve our chances of holding the seat in November, but probably not enough to win. But the fact still remains that we need more debates within the Democratic Party.
There are too many issues where one faction asserts itself, usually the far left, and then that becomes THE Democratic position, and afterwards there's little discussion.
Support for Gay rights
Against school choice
raising taxes on the wealthy
To be sure it's not always from the left:
The pressure to support the troops and the ongoing Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan remain.
The focus on budget deficits
In Arkansas, apparently Halter supports a public option in the health bill and Lincoln doesn't (currently). I don't want either one of them to change their position, but to debate the merits and give people a real choice within the party.
In New York, Harold Ford could have been a real choice for Democrats had he stuck with his convictions from 2006 in Tenn. But instead he changed nearly every position he was known for that would cause him trouble from the left wing base in New York City.
We need open and honest debate about the future of our schools, economy, social issues, the military, government spending etc.
Of course people join political parties because they tend to agree with each other, but nearly everyone has at least a few issues where they disagree with the party. The problem is that it is becoming common place to avoid those disagreements or worse for politicians to just change them overnight.
In the NY primary, Senator Gillibrand was much more right wing on guns and immigration as a House member and just changed. She did this to avoid having a tough time in the primary and to ward off challengers.
Until Harold Ford appeared, she seemed to get pass from the New York Democrats, and now seems like she's in the clear once again after Ford correctly declined to run.
We need prolife Democrats fighting for their cause, pro-tax cut Democrats, traditional values Democrats, Gun rights, anti-illegal immigrant, etc.
We should have a full and exhaustive debate before an issue becomes settled within a party.