Friday, December 11, 2015

The Wreckage Of The House Democrats Will Never Come Back While Blue Dogs And New Dems Are Running The Show



There is a natural tendency for the Beltway trade press to never offend the two party establishments and their committees that exercise so much control of access and information. It was the same way in the music industry. So you never read any criticism of the party hacks that run the NRCC or the DCCC, the NRSC or the DSCC. I was laughing yesterday when I looked at a Vox post that kind of implied that it was Obama's fault that the Democrats have lost so many seats since he became president-- and nary a whisper or a hint that perhaps the incompetent and corrupt men charged with the responsibility of running these committees might be more responsible than the president. Today the Democrats hold 188 seats in the House, the smallest number since 1948, when they lost 54 seats and wound up with... 188.

The big difference though was that the Democrats came raging back two years later and won 75 seats, taking back the majority which they narrowly lost in 1952 and regained in 1954 and held onto for 40 years. Then came the Gingrich Revolution in 1994 which took 54 seats away from the Democrats, defeating current Washington Senator Maria Cantwell, current Washington Governor Jay Inslee and then-Speaker, also from Washington and a 30 year incumbent, Tom Foley. The GOP held on until 2006 when the GOP lost 30 seats, largely due to Mark Foley being caught having sex with underage male pages (although the institutional cover-up claims that he was only sending naughty e-mails). The Democrats held on for just two terms and the House majority has been in GOP hands since 2012, when the supremely incompetent Chris Van Hollen and his still-Emanuel dominated DCCC watched 63 seats disappear. Pelosi rewarded Van Hollen with another disastrous term and then managed to find someone who almost made Van Hollen seem brilliant, Steve Israel... and that was the end of the DCCC as a functioning organization capable of anything other than guaranteeing massive Republican majorities. (The imbecile "running" the committee now, NRA-ally Ben Ray Luján is just a blatant sock-puppet of Israel's, who is continuing his vicious, unending war against progressives.)

Chris Van Hollen destroyed the DCCC; now he wants to work his magic in the Senate

Latest example-- until another one tomorrow-- was when Israel and Luján parachuted some guy from Orange County into the district with the promise that if he moved to CA-25 they would deliver the nomination to him. As if to laugh in their faces L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz immediately endorsed Lou Vince, the grassroots progressive Democrat in the race who Israel is trying to sabotage, probably guaranteeing a second term to teabagger Steve Knight. Few people other than party insiders-- and DWT readers-- have ever heard of Israel or his sock-puppet, but they sure know who Paul Koretz is who issued this statement when the DCCC told the residents of Santa Clarita, Simi Valley and Antelope Valley that they had decided on their candidate for them. "Lou’s unwavering commitment to equal rights within his community will undoubtedly reflect in his decisions once elected. His willingness to stand up for justice for the LGBT community in particular, such as ensuring equal protection in the workplace, will not only represent the best interests of the 25th district, but the nation as a whole. He realizes that in order to properly represent your constituency for current and future generations, you must stand up for all people, regardless of their race, gender, age, sexual orientation or gender identity. I am thrilled to lend my support to Lou and am confident he will provide selfless service on behalf of the 25th District in Washington.”

Israel has done the same thing in Suffolk County, closer to home, again ignoring a blue district his Republican BBF Peter King occupies and instead "going after" the redder district at the tip of Long Island in such a way as to guarantee teabagger Lee Zeldin's reelection. He's backing someone rumored to be his girlfriend into the race against the other Democrat. And the girlfriend-- who claims she isn't-- isn't even a Democrat but a longtime member of the Independence Party who has applied to change party registration. (At least she lives in the district, as does the other awful Democrat running, a New Dem who Israel is telling donors is unelectable because he was, until recently, a member of the board of trustees of the universally hated Long Island Power Authority. Remember, losses under Van Hollen and Israel-- losses, set in place by Emanuel's recruiting strategy of putting up right-of-center candidates who can't win in midterms-- were bigger than even those suffered by Republicans under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Vox seems to suggest to the Democrats that they can regain power in the House by losing the White House and then winning seats in the following midterm. Losing that White House? That they know how to do, although with Trumpf or Cruz the likeliest GOP nominees, they won't even be able to pull that off. No one suggests sacking Israel and his dysfunctional apparatus and starting over again with a team that knows how to and wants to win. Picking names out of the phone book would be an improvement.
All of this has sparked debate as to how doomed the party really is. Are Democrats caught in a doom loop that ensures long-term decline? Or is there nothing wrong with the party that a loss in a presidential election, and ensuing gains in Congress and states, couldn't fix?

After reviewing the numbers, and talking to some political scientists doing research on related issues, I think pessimists are too pessimistic, but they also have a point. A Democratic recovery is possible, but it'll take a while. And America's increasing racial diversity-- which is usually seen as the Democrats' ace in the hole-- may not necessarily help.

...When any party is in a trough as deep as the one in which Democrats currently find themselves, recovery is difficult. Voters tend to prefer incumbents, and now that most incumbents are Republicans, that puts Dems at a decided disadvantage. And Democrats in particular have a number of knocks against them. Their base just doesn't turn out in midterm elections the way Republican voters do. Republican-led redistricting and the concentration of Democrats in urban areas have given the GOP an advantage, too.
The article then goes into one of the most racist explanations for Democratic losses I've ever read in political analysis in my life, prompting me to try to figure out who the author is. Turns out... just a precocious child, probably not a racist.

So now the DCCC is trying to tie vulnerable Republicans to Trumpf and also tarring them with voting to allow suspected terrorists to buy guns and against research into the relationship between mental health and mass shootings. (Several Democrats have voted with the GOP on both issues, including Members who have been on DCCC life support, like Minnesota Blue Dog, Collin Peterson.) Neither effort is likely to work, primarily because the DCCC has largely recruited terrible conservative candidates who most Democrats who pay attention to issues won't want to vote for. Of the 10 Republicans tageted-- John Mica (FL-07), Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Scott Garrett (NJ-05), Barbara Comstock (VA-10), Mike Coffman (CO-06), Martha McSally (AZ-02), Cresent Hardy (NV-04), Steve Knight (CA-25), Lee Zeldin (NY-01) and Bob Dold (IL-10)-- the DCCC has at least 5 candidates who can never under any circumstances win-- in FL-07, NJ-05, and NY-01 and they're trying to push progressives who can win out of the races for their right-of-center candidates in NV-04, CA-25 and IL-10.

It's not going to be a loss of the White House that wins the House back for the Democrats. For one thing, our precocious youngster at Vox was really off base about the idea that if the Dems lose the White House they can win back the House. It's utterly and completely wrong. If the GOP exercises control over Congress and the White House, then ALL of the special interest money will go their way, and they will be able to consolidate control until some national disaster (like the Great Depression) discredits them. It's going to be a recognition that Steve Israel and other Blue Dogs, New Dems and conservaDems can't win and that basic DCCC strategies have to be re-thought and and new staffers, untarnished by years of failure, have to be hired. That will never happen while Pelosi and Hoyer and their cronies maintain control of the congressional party. Sorry to have to say it, but that's how it is.

Alternatives to the DCCC, aside from Blue America, include DFA, PDA, MoveOn and the PCCC, although an educated and informed progressive citizenry is really the only way this mess will ever get righted.

Ben Ray, like Steve Israel, wants more Blue Dogs and more New Dems, fewer actual Democrats

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At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So true!check out pa 7 for another example of dccc sabotage.

At 8:23 AM, Anonymous Exit 135 said...

"Vox seems to suggest to the Democrats that they can regain power in the House by losing the White House and then winning seats in the following midterm."

Gee, thanks you smart guys at VOX. They do know the President nominates Supreme Court Justices. Four (4) of them are near or at 80 years of age: Scalia (R) and Kennedy (R) included. Justice Ginsburg will be 83 and is a cancer survivor.

The next President may have the opportunity to remake the Court for a generation. Because nothing to me is more important to me than that. So if the cool kids at VOX are happy with a Republican President Trump, Cruz, or Rubio nominating two (2) or more Justices, then just fold the tent right now.


At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The people at Vox aren't completely wrong. Obama blew his first two years ignoring the most pressing issue facing American voters: unemployment. He was too busy being cool and wearing his POTUS jacket to twist a few arms in the Congress for anything. He was quoted more than once that he was "waiting for the Congress" to deliver what later became ACA. "Waiting for Congress" might as well have been "Waiting for Godot" for all the good Obama did for the average American who believed his lies about hope and change.

Maybe some Democrats did stay home and not vote in the midterms. I'm more inclined to believe that many voted for the GOP BECAUSE Obama was too busy "waiting for Congress". What else can one expect from "a moderate 1985 Reagan Republican" (stated to Univision in December 2012 - it's on YouTube) whose hero was Ronald Reagan and not Franklin Delano Roosevelt?

Sure, having the voters reacting like that was seriously short-sighted, and not in keeping with one's self-interest. But what else were the voters to do when Obama and Rahm and a few other major Democrats called those who complained "F-ing hippies" and "the Professional Left"?

Obama DID NOT LEAD. He was led, by the GOP who would never have put him in the Oval Office if he'd been honest and ran as a Republican. His sorry-ass performance as POTUS is a direct reason the GOP got up off the floor after the 2008 shellacking they took and regained the upper hand just two years later.

So scream all you want about the next president naming up to 4 SCOTUS Justices. TPP will negate anything they do anyway. Profit Uber Alles!

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Cigar Dave said...

Local, active Dems in the 25th are asking, no, demanding that the DCCC's Brian remove himself from the race immediately. We do not want another vote-splitting carpetbagger sabotaging our chances here in the 25th.

David Barlavi, Esq.


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