Sunday, July 08, 2007



I had a few e-mails this week from a friend-- I'm not sure if the messages were supposed to private or not, so let me forego mentioning his name. He had been a very progressive Democratic candidate for Congress twice against a rubber stamp Republican. I had been looking forward to supporting him again next year. But he told me he decided not to run again. He's fed up with the Democratic Party and he feels they can't be cured from inside. He asked me if Blue America would still support him if he ran as an independent. I told him that the Blue America community likes him a lot and that we'd have him on for a chat and people would make up their own minds. So far I'm not impressed with the middle-of-the-road Democrat who is looking to get into the race.

At the same time I noticed that another frustrated Democrat looks like she may jump into an electoral campaign. Cindy Sheehan announced to day that she may challenge Nancy Pelosi unless he allows impeachment back onto the table. Cindy is giving her two weeks-- 'til July 23.
"Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership," Sheehan told The Associated Press. "We hired them to bring an end to the war. I'm not too far from San Francisco, so it wouldn't be too big of a move for me. I would give her a run for her money."

Like my friend, she decided to leave the Democratic Party because they haven't delivered on promises they made during the campaign. Other progressive heroes have decided to not give up on the Democrats and to try again. One of our favorite candidates from last year, John Laesch, just took some time off to get married and, back from his honeymoon, he's fighting again. He just posted a blog over at Kos. Blue America has endorsed him again-- as we have Donna Edwards (just yesterday, who is trying to take down a corrupt and reactionary Democratic Insider, Al Wynn), Charlie Brown, Eric Massa, Angie Paccione and Victoria Wulsin, all progressives who came close to dislodging rubber stamp Republicans last November and who we would like to see in DC to help the good guys.

I understand-- as anyone who reads this blog surely knows-- Cindy's frustration. Too bad she-- or like-minded Democrats-- don't run against reactionaries whose voting records, unlike Pelosi's, support the Republican agenda. There are Democrats in very red districts who vote with the Republicans and were they to lose a primary to a moderate, the moderate might lose to a far right Republican. Or maybe not. But the districts that I'm interested in are blue districts with reactionary Democrats. That's where we need primaries. Or how about challenges to the really bad leaders like Steny Hoyer and Rahm Emanuel, the very worst of the Democratic Party? If either of them is defeated by a progressive, the progressive would win the general election hands down.

For the hell of it, here's a list of the Democratic House members with the 50 worst voting records. Each has earned a primary but the ones in bold are in Democratic districts where a moderate or a progressive would win the general if the incumbent were defeated in the primary. The list is in order of how bad they are, the first being the Democrat who most frequently votes with the GOP to support Bush's toxic agenda:

Gene Taylor (MS)- solid Republican district
Bud Cramer (AL)- solid Republican district
Dan Boren (OK)- solid Republican district
Collin Peterson (MN)- Republican district
Ike Skelton (MO)- solid Republican district
Allen Boyd (FL)- Republican leaning district
Mike McIntyre (NC)- Republican district
John Tanner (TN)- Democratic leaning district
Jim Marshall (GA)- solid Republican district
Jim Matheson (UT)- solid Republican district
Tim Holden (PA)- Republican district
Lincoln Davis (TN)- Republican district
Solomon Ortiz (TX)- Republican leaning district
Charlie Melancon (LA)- Republican district
John Barrow (GA)- Democratic district
John Murtha (PA)- Democratic district
Henry Cuellar (TX)- Democratic leaning district
Chet Edwards (TX)- solid Republican district
Bart Gordon (TN)- Republican district
Leonard Boswell (IA)- Democratic leaning district
Alan Mollohan (WV)- Republican district
Marion Berry (AR)- Democratic leaning district
Jim Cooper (TN)- Democratic district
Heath Shuler (NC)- Republican district
Sanford Bishop (GA)- toss-up district
Jerry Costello (IL)- Democratic district
Joe Donnelly (IN)- Republican district
Michael Doyle (PA)- solid Democratic district
Jason Altmire (PA)- Republican district
Stephanie Herseth (SD)- Republican district
Earl Pomeroy (ND)- Republican district
Baron Hill (IN)- Republican district
Silvestre Reyes (TX)- solid Democratic district
Nick Lampson (TX)- solid Republican district
Brad Ellsworth (IN)- Republican district
Rick Boucher (VA)- Republican district
Melissa Bean (IL)- Republican district
Adam Smith (WA)- Democratic district
Jim Costa (CA)- Democratic district
Dennis Cardoza (CA)- Democratic district
Jane Harman (CA)- solid Democratic district
Nick Rahall (WV)- Democratic leaning district
David Scott (GA)- solid Democratic district
John Spratt (SC)- Republican district
Ruben Hinojosa (TX)- Republican leaning district
Gene Green (TX)- Democratic district
Dennis Moore (KS)- Republican district
Bob Etheridge (NC)- Republican district
Vic Snyder (AR)- toss-up district
Paul Kanjorski (PA)- Democratic district

And one last note: if you want to contribute to primaries against reactionary Democrats, think about donating some money to the Blue America PAC.

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At 7:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cindy Sheehan obviously (imo) will not be a viable candidate against Pelosi. But, I totally support her actions- tho they may be rhetorical rather than practical. She is trying to force the impeachment issue with Pelosi, doubtless channeling the frustration that many of us feel about the table not being set for impeachment.


At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Torturing your pal Teddy with that wedding picture!

And good for Cindy, if her actions get us some real representation, I'm all for it. Pelosi's constituents voted 70-30 last November to instruct our federal officeholders, of which she's the primary one, to impeach both Bush and Cheney.

I'd be happy with the better half of that, the Cheney half. Let's do it before 8/9 -- the Nixon anniversary!


At 10:15 PM, Anonymous me said...

Good thing!

Wimpy Pelosi has been a huge disappointment. Off the table, my ass!

By failing to impeach, Pelosi is doing our country a terrible disservice. Allowing those scumbags to get away with their crimes will only encourage the next bunch of criminals to be even worse. "Hey, how much can we get away with?"

According to Pelosi, they can get away with literally anything. No administration has EVER deserved impeachment nearly as much as those villains Bush and Cheney. By failing to impeach, Pelosi has failed in her duty to the country.

At 10:19 PM, Blogger janinsanfran said...

Damn -- I tried to get Sheehan to primary Pelosi in 2006 when we really needed this kind of symbolic campaign. That would have been useful to push the war issue with the Dems.

For this time, I wish Cindy would take on someone worse -- and that we in San Francisco could throw up a good local candidate against Nancy to push her. No one is going to take Nancy down, but we have to push her to keep her honest, since she is way to the right of the voters here.

At 10:24 PM, Anonymous me said...

If you'll remember, Sheehan intended to run against closet republican Dianne Feinstein in the 2006 Senate primary. But our good friend Barbara Boxer opposed it.

Boxer is also making noises like she might support a new war in Iran.

What's wrong with these "Democrats" anyway?

At 5:20 AM, Blogger Psychomikeo said...

"What's wrong with these "Democrats" anyway?"

They are bought & paid for by the same ppl that have bought & paid for the republicans.

I sick of voting for Evil or Evil Lite

At 5:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great points.. that said, I really don't see your rationale for including John Barrow in bold. He barely won his race the past two cycles-- How did you come up with your Democratic/leans democratic, etc. designations? If based on party affiliation, that could be misleading, since (as I'm sure you know) many in the South are registered Democrats but have voted Republican since before Clinton. In short, I don't think that we can get any better than John Barrow in that district, but if you disagree, I'd love to hear why.


At 7:07 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

TJ, that's an excellent question about Barrow. First of all, he and JIm Marshall barely won in 2006-- which would have made them the only Democratic incumbents to lose their seats-- because they failed to convince Democrats and independents that they are credible opponents of the Bush's narrowly partisan policies. Keep in mind, the district voted against Bush in both presidential elections. Bush only got 45% of the vote against Gore and 46% against Kerry-- although he took Georgia in 2004 with 58%. The Cook Partisan Voting Index gives Barrow's district a strong +5 Democratic ranking. Barrow has supported Bush's agenda far too much for a district as blue as his is. A true moderate Democrat could beat him in a primary and beat a Republican more convincingly than Barrow did in the general.

At 8:34 AM, Anonymous nobody said...


Condy Sheehan said she wouldn't back down, then gave up.

Bush said he'd get Osama, wouldn't back down, etc. & you fell for it!

Please, don't be so stupid to fall for it again. Is there some special reason, besides two years worth of heavy MSM coverage, that you would ever trust this woman?

At 8:38 AM, Anonymous me said...

They are bought & paid for by the same ppl

That's for sure. But not all of them are. I think it's safe to say that around half the Democrats are corrupt. Compare that to ALL the republicans.

At 1:52 AM, Blogger Dameocrat said...

I suppport this run. Pelosi is the main obstacle to block funding of the war, and is supporting further actions in Iran. Her progressivism is way over-rated, and has been for some time.


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