Friday, April 21, 2006



The country is sick of the Bush Regime and the rubber-stamp Republican Congress. Even with the gross incompetence and egregiously brand-killing activities of the Inside-the-Beltway Democrats, who are, after all, almost as horrible as the Republicans, the country clearly yearns for a change in November. That change could be a landslide victory for Democrats, especially in the House, and especially if there are enough Democratic House candidates to tell Rahm Emanuel to stick his anti-progressive, Republican-lite ideas up where the sun don't shine. Emanuel and Hoyer and the consistently incompetent loser consultants the Democratic Establishment always hires are aiming for 15 seats to give them the power that comes along with majority status. Their game plan is narrow and pathetic and a loser strategy based on suppressing controversy instead of embracing it and exploiting Republican weakness.

Last night I heard Markos from Kos-- like is there another Markos?-- speak and he and Jerome (from MyDD) said a lot of cool stuff. My favorite was when Markos quoted the "once-relevent" James Carville saying that "when your enemy is drowning, throw him an anvil." DCCC-controlled candidates around the country, as opposed to independent-minded, grassroots, progressive Democrats, have something big in common-- no talk about Iraq on their campaign websites. Many, like the quintessential DCCC hack Baron Hill (running against one of the 3 or 4 most vulnerable Republican loons in the House, Michael Sodrel), only with the greatest reluctance even include any kind of an issues page at all and then only the most generalized mom-and-apple-pie crap imaginable. This is the kind of bullshit that seems to prove right-wing assertions that Democrats don't stand for anything-- even more than Barack Obama's come-back that "That isn't true; Democrats do stand for anything."

If you want to see issues, ideas and passion from Democratic candidates just look at the websites of the Democratic candidates that the DCCC is fighting against. Most of them have been driven out of their races already to make room for Emanuel's hand-picked, bland, stand-for-nothing shills. A few are still standing-- like Jerry McNerney (CA-11), Gretchen Clearwater (IN-09), Jan Schneider (FL-13)-- but the Beltway Insiders are working mightily to dispatch them asap, just the way they did to Paul Hackett in his Ohio senatorial bid.

Ah... the Senate. That's actually what I wanted to write about when I cranked up the ole Mac just now. Chuck Schumer's DSCC might be as bad as the DCCC and no one thinks they really have much of a chance to take control. In Schumer's lame, overly-cautious strategy, if everything goes right, they will keep all the incumbents in office and hold on to the open-seats where Democrats (+ Jeffords of Vermont) are retiring. Both those worthy goals seem doable at this point. They should also be able to take Republican seats in Pennsylvania (Santorum), Montana (Burns), Rhode Island (Chafee) and Missouri (Talent). That's not enough for control.

Last night the brilliant and articulate Norman Lear told a small gathering in his living room that people should consider helping Ned Lamont defeat Bush's favorite Democrat, GOP-enabler Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. Lear pointed out that if Lamont manages to get his message out to Democrats and wins the August 8 primary we would be gaining a Democrat in the Senate. I couldn't agree more, but when it comes to winning the kind of control to make the Democrats the majority party in the Senate-- the party that can put the brakes on Bush's disastrous agenda to destroy the middle class and tear up the social contract that binds our nation together-- that still leaves the Democrats a couple of votes short. Where to look?

Well at one time Ohio seemed like a sure thing. But that was before Schumer-- with a little help from the always foul Boss Emanuel-- called all Paul Hackett's financial backers and told them-- in no uncertain terms-- to stop funding his campaign, thereby alienating God-only-knows how many Democrats from the process when Hackett quit the race. Suddenly Democratic polling numbers sank and a race that seemed to be within easy grasp of either Sherrod Brown or Paul Hackett, was now swinging back into safe GOP hands. I think this one is still winnable, but a lot tougher than it would have been without the Inside-the-Beltway, Tom Delay-like, Stalinist interference.

So where else? Tennessee, where arch crook Bill Frist is resigning to pursue a doomed run for the presidency and then to enjoy the fruits of his ill-gotten gains-- his family wealth having increased exponentially while he was in control of, and manipulating relevant legislation in, the Senate, doesn't look like fertile ground for Harold Ford. Ford is a bland, Republican-lite Democrat who can attract some independents but may fail to inspire progressives with his Lieberman-like positions. My bet would be that the Repugs hold onto this seat. Same in increasingly moderate Virginia, where radical right George Allen seems incongruously popular for either of the 2 moderate Democrats, Harris Miller or James Webb, to overtake by November. That leaves 2 long shots: Arizona and Nevada.

in Nevada, the Democrats have Jimmy Carter's son, Jack, in against John Ensign and, although not impossible if there is a Democratic tsunami, it isn't a race I'd want to bet the ranch on. I might would have said a similar thing about Jim Pederson in his race against the increasingly vulnerable Jon Kyle-- until today. Today Pederson decided to go for the jugular and started running television spots attacking the total rubber-stamp/corporate pawn Kyl where he's weakest-- the immigration issue, which is HUGE in Arizona. Despite some encouraging poll results (from a questionable poll), Pederson looked to me like a hopeless insider burdened down with the loser consultants telling him exactly what to do to guarantee a loss-- albeit a respectably close one (Democratic consultants' specialty; Republicans fire consultants who lose, unlike Democrats).

By taking a bold step away from Bush and his handmaiden Kyl, who cares not a whit for his Arizona constituents and has consistently served the interests only of his corporate bribers demanding cheap labor in order to hold down wages and eviscerate organized labor, Pederson is making this into a real race-- one that could see the Democrats stumble blindly into control of the U.S. Senate.


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