Tuesday, January 31, 2017

DCCC Is Starting To Come To Grips With A Very Different 2018 Electoral Landscape


Most people agree-- it's time for this bum to say good-bye

Did you read Bill Moyers' piece Friday, Donald Trump's Demolition Derby. Who would disagree with him that "in just a few days, Donald Trump seems to have set out to wreck government and turn over the remains to his plutocrat friends?"
We’re a week into the Trump administration and it’s pretty obvious what he’s up to. First, Donald Trump is running a demolition derby: He wants to demolish everything he doesn’t like, and he doesn’t like a lot, especially when it comes to government.

Like one of those demolition drivers on a speedway, he keeps ramming his vehicle against all the others, especially government policies and programs and agencies that protect people who don’t have his wealth, power or privilege. Affordable health care for working people? Smash it. Consumer protection against predatory banks and lenders? Run over it. Rules and regulations that rein in rapacious actors in the market? Knock ‘em down. Fair pay for working people? Crush it. And on and on.

Trump came to Washington to tear the government down for parts, and as far as we can tell, he doesn’t seem to have anything at all in mind to replace it except turning back the clock to when business took what it wanted and left behind desperate workers, dirty water and polluted air.

In this demolition derby, Trump seems to have the wholehearted support of the Republican Party, which loathes government as much as it worships the market as god. Remember Thomas Frank’s book, The Wrecking Crew? Published in 2008, it remains one of the best political books of the past quarter-century. Frank took the measure of an unholy alliance: the century-old business crusade against government, the conservative ideology that looks on government as evil (except when it’s enriching its allies), and the Republican Party of George W. Bush and Karl Rove-- the one that had just produced eight years of crony capitalism and private plunder.

The Wrecking Crew-- and what an apt title it was-- showed how federal agencies were doomed to failure by the incompetence and hostility of the Bush gang appointed to run them, the same model Trump is using now. Frank tracked how wholesale deregulation-- on a scale Trump already is trying to reproduce-- led to devastating results for everyday people, including the mortgage meltdown and the financial crash. Reading the book is like reading today’s news, as kleptomaniacs spread across Washington to funnel billions of dollars into the pockets of lobbyists and corporations.
There's a lot more Moyers had to say and his essay with off into a direction disparaging of the new Trumpian plutocracy.

But today we're going to start the day with something more optimistic-- taking back the House in the 2018 midterms (and the 2017 special elections). Dan Sena is the new Executive Director of the DCCC. I don't know him but everyone tells me he's a lot better than the disaster, Kelly Ward, who ran the shit-show for Steve Israel and oversaw the evisceration of the House Democratic Party. Sena sent out a memo yesterday talking about the DCCC's early offensive. "Republican incumbents across the country," he wrote, "are damaged after unexpectedly close 2016 contests, dozens find themselves defending seats where Donald Trump is already deeply unpopular, and together the House Republicans and Trump Administration are pushing a wildly unpopular agenda that threatens their standing from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt." Rah rah... but he's not wrong. As he pointed out, "The American people have repeatedly organized this month in peaceful marches to resist the Trump Administration and the Republican vision for our country, from their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement, to a tax-payer funded Mexican border wall and this weekend’s dangerous Muslim ban. This widespread backlash will only grow as Trump and House Republicans continue to ignore this loud chorus from their constituents, who so clearly oppose what this Republican-controlled Washington D.C. has to offer."

That's exactly the Blue America premise as we go forward. We've been working towards recruiting progressive candidates everywhere. Unfortunately, many are still so damaged from their or their colleagues' horrific and destructive past encounters with the DCCC that they're reluctant to run or run again. And, one of the architects of last year's disasters, Rahm Emanuel disciple and vile reactionary Blue Dog Cheri Bustos, is still trying to shove her loser candidates down the throats of the DCCC recruitment committee. But with Israel and Ward gone, Bustos is... well, let's say taken less seriously.

Send is defining the battleground very widely including the 23 seats that Republicans still hold but that Hillary won-- 7 of which are seats that Obama didn't win, "indicating," he noted, "a potential Trump-driven problem for these Republicans."

Had enough of this?
The Democrats need to win a net of 24 seats to take back the House. Sena identified 59-- not counting Paul Ryan's seat-- where he thinks Democrats have a reasonable shot. Below are the seats, with the incumbents and the results that Trump and Clinton had in each. Several are seats the DCCC never targets, like the Orange, County, California seats where rejection of Trump was very strong. And in Miami, it looks like the DCCC is finally ignoring the wretched Wasserman Schultz and preparing to go after her crony, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who sits in a nice blue district and only survives because of Wasserman Schultz's machinations. (The DCCC is still taking a Steve Israel-mandated hands-off approach to NY-02, his pal Peter King's very winnable seat.) Remember, this is a DCCC list and even they're in the process of healing, it's still an historically incompetent organization so there are insane targets included (like this first two) and also remember that the first number is Trump's performance and the second is Clinton's. The seats Clinton won are the bolded ones:
 AL-02 – Martha Roby- 64.9- 33.0%

AR-02 – French Hill- 52.4- 41.7%
AZ-02 – Martha McSally- 44.7- 49.6%
CA-10 – Jeff Denham- 45.5- 48.5%
CA-21 – David Valadao- 39.7- 55.2%
CA-25 – Steve Knight- 43.6- 50.3%
CA-39 – Ed Royce- 42.9- 551.5%
CA-45 – Mimi Walters- 44.4- 49.8%
CA-48 – Dana Rohrabacher- 46.2- 47.9%
CA-49 – Darrell Issa- 43.2- 50.7%
CO-03 – Scott Tipton- 52.0- 40.0%
CO-06 – Mike Coffman- 41.3- 50.2
FL-18 – Brian Mast- 53.3- 44.1%
FL-25 – Mario Diaz-Balart- 49.6- 47.9%
FL-26 – Carlos Curbelo- 40.6- 56.7%
FL-27 – Ileana Ros-Lehtinen- 38.9- 58.6%
GA-06 – Tom Price- 48.3- 46.8%
IA-01 – Rod Blum- 48.7- 45.2%
IA-03 – David Young- 48.5- 45.0%

IL-06 – Peter Roskam- 43.2- 50.2%
IL-13 – Rodney Davis- 49.7- 44.2%

IL-14 – Randy Hultgren- 48.7- 44.8%
KS-02 – Lynn Jenkins- 55.8- 37.4%

KS-03 – Kevin Yoder- 46.0- 47.2
KY-06 – Andy Barr- 54.7- 39.4%
ME-02 – Bruce Poliquin- 51.4- 41.1%
MI-07 – Tim Walberg- 55.7- 38.7%
MI-08 – Mike Bishop- 50.6- 43.9%
MI-11 – Dave Trott- 49.7- 45.3%

MN-02 – Jason Lewis- 46.5- 45.3%
MN-03 – Erik Paulsen- 41.4- 50.8%
NC-08 – Richard Hudson- 56.1- 41.1%
NC-09 – Robert Pittenger- 54.4- 42.8%
NC-13 – Ted Budd- 53.4- 44.0%
NE-02 – Don Bacon- 48.2- 46.0%

NJ-02 – Frank LoBiondo- 50.6- 46.0
NJ-03 – Tom MacArthur- 51.4- 45.2%
NJ-07 – Leonard Lance- 47.5- 48.6
NJ-11 – Rodney Frelinghuysen- 48.8- 47.9
NY-01 – Lee Zeldin- 54.5- 42.2%
NY-11 – Dan Donovan- 53.6- 43.8%
NY-19 – John Faso- 51.0- 43.7%
NY-22 – Claudia Tenney- 54.8- 39.3%
NY-24 – John Katko- 45.3-48.9%
NY-27 – Chris Collins- 59.7- 35.2%
OH-01 – Steve Chabot-51.2- 44.6%

OH-07 – Bob Gibbs- 62.5- 32.8%
PA-06 - Ryan Costello- 47.6- 48.2%
PA-07 – Pat Meehan- 47.0- 49.3%
PA-08 – Brian Fitzpatrick- 48.2- 48.0%

PA-16 – Lloyd Smucker- 51.0- 44.2%

TX-07 – John Culberson- 47.1- 48.5%
TX-23 – Will Hurd- 46.4- 49.8%
TX-32 – Pete Sessions- 46.6- 48.5%
VA-02 – Scott Taylor- 48.8- 45.4%
VA-10 – Barbara Comstock- 42.2- 52.2%
WA-03 – Jaime Herrera Beutler- 49.9- 42.5%
WA-08 – David Reichert- 44.7- 47.7%
WV-02 – Alex Mooney- 65.8- 29.4%
Again, these are just DCCC preliminary targets, NOT Blue America targets. Some of them they have right and some look like they had a 5 year old throwing arrows at a dart board. I'm sure someone will straighten them out before they start shoveling money down some of these sewers.

And by the way, while Democratic congressmembers rushed to airports this weekend to help rescue Trump's prisoners, some of these targeted Republicans made their chances of political survival worse with statements like these:

Rod Blum (R-IA)- "The bottom line is they can’t properly vet people coming from war-torn areas like Syria and Iraq. If we can’t vet people properly, then we shouldn’t be allowing them into our country. I’m supportive of that."

Ed Royce (R-CA)- "[Barring] refugees from terror hot spots is the right call to keep America safe."

Pete Sessions (R-TX)- "Just as President Obama suspended the refugee program in 2011 for six months, the Trump Administration is working to protect national security by making adjustments in the refugee vetting process."

Scott Taylor (R-VA)- "While I do not agree with some of the rhetoric, taking a pause, figuring out if we are properly vetting people, and making changes if necessary to continue our American principles is prudent and needed."

David Trott (R-MI)- "Until we can adequately vet these refugees and ensure the safety of all Americans, I support President Trump's executive order to stay refugees from these terror-prone countries."

Lee Zeldin (R-NY)- "I support the temporary entry restriction from certain nations until the administration, Congress and the American people know with confidence that any individual being granted admission does not pose a threat to our security."

Anyway, the DCCC may be getting better but it has a long way to go. If you'd like to consider lending a hand to the Blue America House candidates already running against vulnerable Republicans, please tap the thermometer below:
Goal Thermometer

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At 6:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is bullshit. The DCCC has to find and support real lefties to run against these and many more house Rs. And they won't.
They'll find righties masquerading as democrats because the 2 billion dollars from big donors is at stake and they will NEVER risk that money by running actual lefties.

And 90% of those fake democrats (or democraps) will lose... BECAUSE THEY'RE FAKE.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Nastarana said...

I live in NY 22. If the DCCC thinks Tenney is vulnerable, it needs to do better than lamebrain Kim Myers, who hardly campaigned, was not available to voters below the rank of mayor or wealthy businessperson, and skipped debates. Not available, that is, except for a few photos with attractive minority group members. At this point, I doubt popular progressive Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi wants anything to do with this mess, but you might talk to Oneida County legislator Harmony Speciale who is progressive, lives in a low income part of Utica, and is altogether an impressive person.


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