Saturday, October 03, 2009

OK, It Might Not Be Time To Start Writing Campaign Checks To Dede Scozzafava


Conservative, newly minted DCCC Democrat Bill Owens (NY-23)

A couple days ago I asked a question about supporting a moderate Republican against a conservative Democrat. Most of my friends from Upstate New York have said, essentially, "a pox on both their houses and a worse one on the DCCC for foisting Owens on us." One blogger pal even suggested progressives would be best served if Doug Hoffman, the extremist teabagger, wins the special election so that a real Democrat-- Owens just registered as a Democrat a couple weeks ago and his only political contributions on record have been for Alfonse D'Amato-- could take him out in 2010.

Bill Owens still won't take questions about his policies but the DCCC researched the public record and came up with a prettier picture than anyone has seen of their candidate. They make a credible case that he opposes extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, supports EFCA, is pro-choice, and will support the President’s efforts to fix healthcare.

Given that no one knows exactly what that means, supporting "the President’s efforts to fix healthcare" is pretty weak tea-- but it's better than what we can expect from the worst of the bribe-besoted anti-family Blue Dogs like Parker Griffith and Bobby Bright of Alabama, Travis Childers and Gene Taylor of Mississippi, Mike Ross of Arkansas and Dan Boren of Oklahoma. Owens told a local newspaper that "my job in going to Washington is to support the president in that process."

As for Employee free choice, both Owens and Scozzafava support the bill. Hoffman, of course, despises working families and fervently opposes it. Similarly, Owens and Scozzafava are both pro-choice. Although in the same article Owens clearly states his opposition to a public option in the health care debate; the position he stakes out is 100% based on quintessentially deceptive Republican Party talking points, extolling popular goals without dealing with the difficulties in reaching them:
"It changes every day, the various iterations. The bill that I would vote for would have a couple of elements to it. It would cover the uninsured, it would eliminate the ability to exclude for a pre-existing condition, and also that focuses on cost-reduction."

One Democratic strategist feels the upside of an Owens win is that it will make other conservative Democrats in Congress think its OK to vote for the public option. I guess he isn't "cynical" enough to see that the Blue Dogs have made a decision to vote against the clear interests-- and stated preferences-- of their constituents and in favor of their campaign donors. And Owens' stated opposition to the public option kind of moots that argument anyway.

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