Will The DCCC Blow The Democrats' Chances Of Re-Taking The House?
Those gloves are meant for progressives.
Friday we saw what a farce the DCCC claim to neutrality is when it comes to primaries between progressives and reactionaries. They always come down on the side of the more conservative, less grassroots candidates. After Rahm Emanuel left, Chris Van Hollen dialed this back a bit, but the new chairman, "ex"-Blue Dog Steve Israel, is, if anything, even worse than Emanuel. And he's also either much stupider than Emanuel... or something far worse.
As you probably know, the DCCC released the cycle's first iteration of its "Red to Blue" list. It could have been worse-- I suspect that Donna Edwards and Jared Polis being on the committee ameliorated the worst and most aggressive tendencies of Israel and his cronies to lard the list up with all conservatives. But it's still plenty larded up with the kind of crap that, if they get into Congress, will proceed to vote with the Republicans. Like #1 on the DCCC's Front Line list, John Barrow (GA). Barrow has voted 75% of the time on crucial rollcalls with Cantor and Boehner and against the Democrats. Yet that's where the DCCC puts its cash. And in this new list, they've embraced every slimy corporate crook the Blue Dog caucus demanded they endorse. Worse yet, in his mania to destroy the Democratic Party from within by dragging it to the right (where he has always been), Israel is ignoring any real shot at winning back the House for the Democrats. In fact, Israel's strategy precludes any possibility of winning a majority in the House.
As Joshua Grossman from ProgressiveKick pointed out when the "Red to Blue" announcement was made last week, there are over two dozen swing districts where they haven't bothered to do anything at all, not even put a candidate on what I call their phony-baloney "Emerging Races" or "Emerging Districts" list. "When we say 'Swing District,' " Joshua told me, "it's an assessment of the district itself, not the strength of the incumbent in the district. Some of you will look at these districts and scoff, saying they're unwinnable. Sabato's Crystal Ball has only 154 seats rated as Strong Dem (similar to our ratings). If we don't target these districts, Democrats could win every toss-up race in the USA and still come up short of the 218 seats needed for a majority."
Joshua's list includes districts where Democrats have a really good chance to win, like four in Florida-- FL-10 (where they seem to be waiting for Charlie Crist to jump in or something), FL-16 (where clueless plutocrat Tom Rooney could be vulnerable to a well-financed challenge from progressive Dave Lutrin), FL-24 (where Nick Ruiz is battling teabagger extremist Sandy Adams), FL-25 (where incumbent David Rivera is always just one small step ahead of being indicted). Other excellent targets on the list include Charlie Upton (MI-6), Mike Rogers (MI-8) and Frank Guinta (NH-1), being challenged by, respectively, progressives John Waltz, Lance Enderle and Carol Shea-Porter, independent-minded grassroots Democrats whom Steve Israel fears.
As long as we're talking about targeting, Brad Johnson at ThinkProgress Green pointed out the 40 House Republicans who make up the Koch Caucus. Each had a perfect 100% score last year from the Koch brothers’ astroturf group Americans for Prosperity.
AFP judged Congress on their votes to protect the Koch brothers’ right-wing petrochemical empire on such issues as the repeal of President Obama’s new health care law, pre-empting EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases, Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget to end Medicare, ending ethanol subsidies, several Congressional Review Act resolutions of disapproval to overturn new regulations, and the fiscal year 2012 appropriations bills.
The list is below; you can click on it to enlarge it. The DCCC isn't going after many of them, although some, like Tim Walberg (MI), Patrick McHenry (NC), Scott Garrett (NJ) and Steve Chabot (OH). would be obvious targets if the DCCC wasn't being led by someone as clueless as Israel.