Is A Republican Congress Or A Democratic Congress More Likely To Keep Trump In Check?
Indiana's somewhat senile retiring lobbyist-turned-senator, Dan Coates, called Ted Cruz "a wrecking ball" yesterday and added gratuitously that "he's the most self-centered, narcissistic, pathological liar I’ve ever seen." He went on to accuse Cruz of trying to hurt the Republican Party. Trump's convention looks like a train wreck to me but tentative polling shows there were morons watching all over the country who were impressed and that he may be making headway against the Democrats' own horribly flawed, weak candidate.
The video up top was released yesterday by the cash-strapped Tom Wakely congressional campaign. Tom, a solid a Berniecrat, who won his Texas primary against a conservative Democrat, Tejas Vakil, 29,592 (59%) to 20,566 (41%), is now taking on an entrenched Republican incumbent, Lamar Smith, in a red district, TX-21. But it's a red-leaning district with significant and growing blue pockets, like downtown Austin. The Travis County part of the district is all in for Wakely and eager to get rid of Smith. Bexar County has been trending bluer as well, as has Hays County. Wakely has a narrow path to victory... but instead of helping him, the DCCC is ignoring his race and telling donors not to "waste" their money but to donate to the pitiful batch of the DCCC's own reactionary, Republican-lite candidates instead. If the Democrats are ever going to actually start taking back Texas-- instead of just talking about taking back Texas-- TX-21 is ground zero. Tom hasn't raised a lot of money but he's running a good, solid grassroots campaign.
He's far from alone in this predicament. We've talked a lot about similar situations Alina Valdes and Mary Ellen Baclchunis face, respectively, the official Democratic Party candidates for FL-25 and PA-07 and, like Tom Wakely, being ignored by an utterly incompetent DCCC, which has grown accustomed to one thing: losing.
When Trump makes a statement, like the one yesterday undermining NATO solidarity against aggression, GOP leaders McConnell and Ryan rush to the microphone giggling-- put on a serious face and say, don't mind him; wiser heads will prevail on him to abandon his crazy notions. But do you want to count on two weak, ethics-free political hacks like McConnell and Ryan, neither of whom could must the courage to oppose Trump? They will rein in Trump's dangerous excesses? I don't think so. But clear-minded progressives like Tom Wakely, Alina Valdes and Mary Ellen Balchunis will. Their opponents in fact, respectively Lamar Smith, Mario Diaz-Balart and Pat Meehan, all support Trump and are likely to give him the benefit of the doubt and back his initiatives if he winds up in the White House. Please consider making a contribution to their campaigns by tapping the thermometer on the right. And let me introduce you to another progressive Democratic candidate, like Alina from southern Florida, in a similar though not identical situation: Adam Sackrin.
Adam is a dedicated Berniecrat and took on the thankless task of opposing Debbie Wasserman Schultz's closest Republican ally, Ileana Ros-Letinen, who Wasserman Schultz and Steve Israel have worked tirelessly to protect for well over a decade as the district turned bluer and bluer. In 2012, Obama beat Romney there 130,020 (53%) to 114,096 (47%), although Wasserman Schultz and Israel still insist that Ros-Lehtinen in invulnerable and persuade their colleagues it's a waste of time to try to win back this increasingly blue seat. In the past Wasserman Schultz has even helped recruit weak non-candidates to occupy the Democratic ballot slot so that there is no candidate running against Ros-Lehtinen. It looks like they may have done the same thing this year once they realized Adam is serious about winning back the seat for the Democrats. Adam has had a tough time with the Florida establishment Democratic Party. We reached him for his perspective earlier today:
Though I jumped in the race first and reached out to "my party," they chose to back someone who also has zero political experience, but who has a lot of family money and a long history of max contributions to establishment candidates… And being an eager young self-funder was enough for the party to overlook a history of evading responsibility and immaturity (his embarrassing criminal record). He is friends with Patrick Murphy and Andrew Korge, who have both made news for bad reasons lately. This cannot be the future of the Democratic Party, these are the spawn of the establishment trying to hoodwink everybody into voting for them and voting to keep the status quo. Vote to keep their parents and grandparents in power with their generous contributions. Vote to keep suppressing progressives who summon the courage to step up and run for what is right, only to meet resistance from the Party they grew up in.Adam is a firm believe in fighting hard now to lay the groundwork for future wins, investing in the future, a perspective that has been anathema to the DCCC from the time Pelosi handed it over to Rahm Emanuel. "If you want to lay the ground work for future wins," Adam told us, "how about you identify the future voters in those elections, and make sure you’re not turning them off to politics completely. That’s a first. Young Americans should ALL be registering to vote as Democrats the day they turn 18. There is no excuse for them not to, unless they come from hardcore Republican areas or racist, intolerant families. The fact that an overwhelming majority of Millennials don’t register with a party, or don’t identify with a party, is telling more of the Democratic Party’s failures than the GOP. That the GOP doesn’t want our vote-- they want us NOT to vote-- should naturally push voters to DEM, but DEM is an awful mess too. We need to embrace the rising generation and bring them into the mix. Show them government can be responsive to the people, responsive to our needs and demands, and that government understands us. When government allows millions of college students to graduate with crushing student loan debt and enter abysmal job markets and does NOTHING about it, those college students are less likely to care what happens in government moving forward. Government is a nuisance to young Americans, another crappy reality tv show in a world full of crappy reality tv shows, only this one is on every night and on every channel, and election winners can turn our whole world upside down in an instant. EMBRACE MILLENNIALS, don’t push them away. Take anti-corporatist stances on cutting-edge issues like net neutrality and encryption, don’t pander to us about Pokemon Go and snapchat, or try to trick us into thinking stopping Trump is the most important reason in the world to go vote. It’s important, and voting is important, but this is more than Trump."
The worst part is that my opponent has absolutely no chance to beat Ileana. She will clobber him and it won’t be close. His character will be so eviscerated by GOP SuperPAC money when they make FOIA requests for his Mugshots, he’ll never run again. It’s a suicide mission for him; his mother is likely the only person in the world who thinks he can beat Ileana. He is literally being propped up to take the nomination and take a dive for the incumbent.
Getting specific, he pointed out that "there won’t be a future if we don’t act on climate change. There won’t be a future if we don’t seize this opportunity for social justice. There won’t be a future if we continue de-regulating Democracy and Trump is President, appointing Supreme Court Justices and rubber-stamping everything McConnell and Ryan do." And then he tackled another idea the DCCC has utterly abandoned-- helping Democrats up and down the ballot. "Go down the ballot," he urges. "Build coalitions. Identify good honest candidates and train them, and get them all on the same page. If I as a congressional candidate align myself with a slate of similar good honest candidates, progressive voters should identify with that and support it!" That's called investing in a political party of the future, something Democratic leaders don't do, possibly because they're all so old and don't spend much energy thinking about a future. The current Democratic congressional leadership is far older than the Republican congressional leadership. Older and not especially wiser and certainly not savvier.
• Nancy Pelosi, 76
• Steny Hoyer, 77
• Jim Clyburn, 76
• Xavier Becerra- 58, the youngster