What Is The Takeaway From Artur Davis' Thorough Thrashing In The Alabama Democratic Primary Last Night?
Wrong for the Democratic Party, Wrong for America, Fox "Democrats," Artur & Lori
Last night it wasn't only conservative corporate hacks like former-Blue Dog-turned-Republican Parker Griffith (who was slaughtered in the GOP primary, not even making it to a runoff against some nutcase teabagger) and Palin-backed Angela McGlowan (who came in a distant third in the GOP primary in Mississippi) who had terrible nights. Artur Davis has always been thought of as a Democrat with a bright future, until last night. He spent the last year and a half moving profoundly right: He went from a moderate 70.82 ProgressivePunch lifetime voting score to a dismal and reactionary 31.58 since Obama became President and, more importantly, since he started campaigning to be governor of Alabama. His vote against the health care reform bill was probably the last straw for his congressional constituents, who gave Ron Sparks majorities in 10 of the 12 counties that make up AL-07, Davis' own congressional district! Statewide, Sparks took 199,190 votes (62.4%) to Davis' 119,908 votes (37.6%). Davis' strategy-- one long encouraged by Rahm Emanuel and the DCCC (see Ken's perceptive stinky cheese story from yesterday)-- to move to the political right backfired... very badly. It's a losing strategy; when conservatives vote, they tend to prefer to vote for real conservatives, not Democrats playing the role.
Will the Democrats learn anything from Davis' disaster last night? Not. A. Chance. And especially not know-it-all powermongers like Emanuel and his female doppelganger Debbie Wasserman Schultz. They will continue hunting out reactionary candidates who apologize for being Democrats and, when they can slip into office, vote with the GOP.
A perfect example-- among so many-- is reactionary Blue Dog Lori Edwards, being fiercely pushed on Democrats by Wasserman Schultz. Although they're attempting to gussie her up as a moderate, Edwards is the only non-incumbent so far this year to be endorsed by and financed by the conservative Blue Dog caucus. Wasserman Schultz and her anti-Social Security ally Allen Boyd are hammering lobbyists and fellow Democrats-- including politically naive progressives-- to donate to Edwards. And why? So there will be another anti-government, anti-healthcare, anti-working family Democrat to cross the aisle and vote with Boehner at every opportunity?
The irony here is that the far more electable Democrat, 2008 Democratic candidate Doug Tudor, is also in the race. He isn't a self-funder-- a cardinal sin among party insiders-- and he wasn't an ass-kisser when he had the temerity to ask Wasserman Schultz for help back then. Last night, as Artur Davis' strategy of abandoning the same kinds of values and principles that faux Democrats (and DCCC faves) like Ed Case and Tim Mahoney have abandoned was blowing up in his face, we reached Doug Tudor and asked him about why party insiders always seem to be pushing anti-working family Democrats like Edwards and Davis in primaries.
“Lori," he told us, "may call herself ‘centrist’ or whatever other deceptive term she wants, but the truth is she is a conservative. Having never before run in a Democratic primary-- with the exception of the 2000 Congressional race in which she quit-- Lori showed her true colors early in this race when she actively sought the Blue Dog endorsement. Every Democratic and Independent voter who worked for and voted for change and hope in 2008 will do well to remember it is Blue Dog conservative Democrats who are blocking the President’s attempts to reform healthcare, to reform the financial sector, and blocking his attempts to extend programs which directly benefit working people and middle class families. Lori can join her conservative friends in decrying government, but she certainly shouldn’t be so callous to the many benefits government brings to the countless FL-12 residents who were hurt by the conservative economic policies to which she ascribes.
"As for me, I’ll stand with the many progressives throughout America’s history who have fought the battles that needed to be fought. It wasn’t popular to stand with unions, to end the Hoover-era giveaways to Wall Street and industrial robber barons, to provide a security net for our seniors, to integrate the Armed Forces, to integrate our schools and public places, to ensure the voting rights of all Americans, to provide health care to our elderly, and to expand that coverage to nearly all Americans. It wasn’t popular, but progressives like Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Jack Kennedy and Barack Obama, as well as Dr. King, Robert Kennedy and countless American freedom fighters the country owes such a debt of gratitude to, fought the good fight and won. These are the names and the spirits I want to be associated with… not the names of John Barrow, Jane Harman, and Gene Taylor.
"As freshman Alabama Blue Dog Parker Griffith proved when he switched parties after being in office less than one year, conservative Blue Dog Democrats are just a press conference away from being conservative Republicans. There is a party for people with Lori Edwards’ political leanings, and it is the Republican Party."
If you can, please help Doug and other real Democrats like Claudia, Marcy and Regina defeat Blue Dog reactionaries in their primary races, all of which are coming up quickly.