Monday, January 11, 2010

Reactionary Lieberman Ally Katrina Swett Jumping Into New Hampshire House Race Again?


With Paul Hodes on his way to winning the open New Hampshire Senate seat being abandoned by another hopeless Republican exposed for a series of corruption scandals, there's a hot race on for his second district congressional seat. Most Democrats seem to have rallied behind author and progressive community activist Ann McLane Kuster. But now we're hearing that Harold Ford isn't the only reactionary Democratic hack looking to sneak into Congress as part of the Lieberman Bloc. New Hampshire voters-- and DWT readers-- are well aware of Katrina Swett and she's about to jump in.

Just what New Hampshire Democrats do not need in this tough national environment! If we should have learned one thing from the healthcare debate, it's that corporate and reactionary Democrats like Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, the DLC and the Blue Dogs, who make common cause with Republicans against the interests of working families, are more dangerous to the progressive values espoused by Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and other fighters against the status quo than the Republicans could ever be on their own. Katrina Swett is not just that kind of Democrat, she has played a foul and insidious role in pushing Lieberman and other corporate shills. Not only was she the National co-chair of Joe Lieberman for President in 2004, but she actually endorsed Lieberman for the Senate after he left the Democratic Party in 2006. In the process, she attacked Ned Lamont as a “pretty-far-left-of-center-Democrat." And when she was called out on this while running against Jeanne Shaheen for the U.S. Senate last cycle, and she just made up some nonsense about how President Obama was also supporting Lieberman over Lamont, a blatant lie.

Swett and faux-Democrats like her who support Lieberman, support Big Insurance over American working families, support aggressive wars overseas and are willing determined to compromise on everything important to hard-pressed working families, are exactly the reason the health care bill is being gutted right now. What has she had to say about her pal Joe Lieberman’s craven and selfish posturing these past few months? Nothing; not a thing. Has she called on her former friend and cohort to stop threatening to filibuster the most important domestic legislation in decades? Of course not! She has been plotting a run for Congress all year, and there's not a single example of her ever pushing back against Lieberman’s disgraceful health care bill antics. What she was doing, on the other hand, was writing op-eds last summer trying to curry favor in the notoriously right-wing Union Leader, telling Democrats that it will take “goodwill and yes, compromise to achieve” health care reform.

Back to our Katrina Swett post from the summer of 2007, where we saw her yammering to the Concord Monitor about what she saw as a tragic loss for Lieberman to the left-winger.
Swett believes Lieberman lost because of three perceived Democratic "sins": the sin of supporting the Iraq war and being tough on defense, the sin of being bipartisan and the sin of displaying religious faith. Swett said those traits might make Lieberman undesirable to many Democrats but they could be key for Democrats in winning future national elections.

In her hateful little world, grassroots Democrats are anti-religion. One has to wonder why she hasn't officially joined the Republican Party and, instead, keeps trying to get into office as a Democrat so she can vote with them across the aisle. As recently as the fall of 2006-- when the right-wing was on the run and the progressive movement was booming-- Swett wanted more “Democrats” who are hawks on Iraq and Afghanistan, more "Democrats" who want to impose their morals on others, and more "Democrats" who regularly cave to Republicans?

Two of the biggest setbacks to the progressive movement in the past year have been (1) Joe Lieberman’s gutting of the health care bill, and (2) Bart Stupak’s amendment to rollback reproductive rights. So considering Swett's complicity in #1, maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise then that the last time she ran for this seat, Planned Parenthood said Swett "supports restrictions on a woman's reproductive health options."

In 2002, Swett ran for this exact same seat and outspent Republican incumbent Charlie Bass $1.45 million to $890,000. She campaigned as a conservative Democrat and did her best to blur the issues, resulting in her getting less than 41% of the vote and losing by 16 points! That was a bad year for Democrats, but there is no excuse for horrible numbers like that. Now-Senator Jeanne Shaheen ran that year too, and lost her race by only 4 points while actually winning NH-02 but losing the more-conservative NH-01. Bass is running for this seat again, after losing to Paul Hodes in 2006. It would be a disaster for Democrats to re-run the Swett-Bass matchup. Her cave-and-compromise strategy doesn’t work in campaigns and it doesn’t work in Washington. She would give New Hampshire Democrats the exact same incentive to get out and vote that Virginia Democrats got from Creigh Deeds, their Liebermanesque gubernatorial candidate, in November. That ended as a debacle for Democrats up and down the ticket.

This is one of the most competitive House races in the country, ranked either “Toss-up” or “Leans Democrat” depending on who you ask. We can’t afford losing it, either to a Republican or someone like Swett. If she runs, we need to begin a national campaign against her, and we will. Blue America has remained neutral in the Democratic primary, mostly because there's a decent second progressive in the race, John DeJoie. He hasn't gotten much traction but Blue America only gets involved with primaries when there is a really good Democrat and a really bad Democrat. If Swett jumps in, so will we.

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At 9:59 AM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

At the very least, the DCCC better stay the heck out of this primary!!

At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

check him out, you'll like what you


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