TWO REACTIONARY DEMOCRATS- JOHN BARROW AND JIM MARSHALL
Search as hard as you like, you're not going to find worse Democrats in the House of Representatives than Georgia reactionaries John Barrow and Jim Marshall. Example: Marshall was the only Democrat to vote to sustain Bush's anti-children's healthcare veto. There were 43 Republicans who voted better than he did. Two years ago he was the only Democrat to vote with Bush on an anti-war roll call. And-- how about this?-- overall, Barrow has an even worse voting record. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that these two were the only Democrats who even came close to losing their seats last year in the anti-Republican landslide. And this year they are considered the two most vulnerable Democrats, primarily because real Democrats don't want to vote for either. Both are on the DCCC Front Line list, reserved for vulnerable freshmen and a tiny handful of Democrats with no grassroots Democratic support. (Notice that none of the DCCC candidates have a single contribution on that list, a testament to the intelligence and discernment of Democratic donors so far this year. Barrow and Marshall taint all the other candidates on the list.)
Today's Congressional Quarterly look at the situation of the two despised Dixiecrats. "Barrow won the 12th District race by just 864 votes of more than 142,000 cast, and Marshall secured the 8th District seat by only 1,752 votes of nearly 160,000 cast." And next year could finish them both off, with quasi-legal GOP gerrymandering kicking in against both. Outside the Beltway, few tears will be shed if these two are defeated. In Barrow's case, particularly, it would offer an opportunity for a moderate Democrat-- rather than the far right Republican-lite Barrow-- to win in 2010.
Unfortunately, Barrow has no primary challenge. In a district where African-Americans are a plurality of the Democratic Party and where the congressman is not especially friendly to African-American interests, it is tragic that there is no challenge from inside that community. Marshall, on the other hand, does have two primary challengers, though neither looks like they can dislodge him.
Later today I'll be talking about three primaries where progressive, grassroots candidates can beat reactionary Democrats, one in Maryland and two in Illinois.