Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Are The 2018 Midterm Elections Turning Into A Dysfunctional Free-For-All?


What is the DCCC looking for in candidates?
Wealthy self-funders
Republican-lite conservatives
ex-military officers
followers (as opposed to leaders)
And what are they not looking for? Primary challenges to their own weak incumbents like these and idealistic progressives (i.e., Berniecrats). But that's what's comin' their way. Yesterday, Alex Thompson, who, very appropriately, doesn't know much-- if anything at all-- about electoral politics, penned a post for Vice, Trump Pushes Hundreds To Run For Congress about "an unprecedented early surge of Democrats"-- already over 400 of them-- running for House seats. He speculates that "This tsunami of Democratic challengers will likely make it more difficult for President Donald Trump to pass his legislative agenda as members of Congress-- Republicans and Democrats alike-- will be wary of casting votes that provide ammo to progressive Democratic challengers." I'm not as sanguine as Thompson on that point but I hope progressive candidates like Marie Newman and Talia Fuentes can force corrupt conservaDems Dan Lipinski and Kyrsten Sinema moderate their extreme Republican tendencies.

Aside from the DCCC, groups across the spectrum of Democratic politics, from EMILY's List on the right to some of the Bernie-inspired groups on the left, everyone is recruiting and training and backing candidates, some of whom are awesome and some who are... less so.

Thompson talked with Randy Wadkins, a chemistry professor at the University of Mississippi who is running in MS-01 in the northern part of the state, a district with a PVI of R+16, that includes suburbs south of the Memphis Airport, like Southaven, plus Oxford and Tupelo and most of the hill country. Both McCain and Romney beat Obama there with 62%. Last year Trump triumphed over Hillary 65.4-32.4%. The incumbent, backbencher Trent Kelly beat Democrat Jacob Owens 203,142 (68.8%) to 82,133 (27.8%). Owens didn't raise the $5,000 that would have triggered an FEC report. Kelly raised $1,053,947. Thompson wrote that "The anti-Trump resistance is so decentralized that dollars are already flowing Wadkins’ way even though the race is not considered competitive by political forecasters. He has raised $13,630 through Crowdpac from donors around the country in his first few weeks, a fraction of what he knows he will ultimately need. 'I refuse to believe it's a lost cause,' he wrote."

And maybe he's right. If Trump and the Republican Congress trigger a depression, Wadkins would have a shot-- albeit a slim one-- at displacing Kelly.
At least 140 new Democrats have already begun their campaigns since Trump’s inauguration, many in places where Democrats aren’t usually expected to compete. Some of them are people who have run previously and lost, but the majority are political novices, many of whom emerged from newly minted anti-Trump groups. Many also do not fit the Democratic Party’s typical focus-grouped profile for recruitment.

They include several 27-year olds, a former writer for The Onion, a 34-year-old PhD student whose campaign staff is made up mostly of friends from Semester at Sea, and a woman who, fitting the times, goes by the name Mad.

Patrick Nelson, a 27-year old who served asa delegate for Sen. Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention last summer, was a staffer in the New York State Assembly and worked for the last two Democratic candidates in New York's 21st district, both of whom lost.

Fed up, he decided to announce his own candidacy this year, and announce early. When asked about his qualifications, he told Vice News that he “would hesitate to think there is any person in the world that has knocked on more doors or called more people than I have in the 21st district. People of our generation have created multi-billion dollar businesses, we are very capable.”

If Nelson wins the nomination next year, he will face off against the youngest member of Congress, 32-year old Republican incumbent Elise Stefanik.

Glenn Miller, also 27, is running in Indiana's 8th district. Asked about his previous experience, he said that he “was very vocal on social media” during Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic nomination.

Interviews with more than a dozen novice Democratic candidates showed they are united by both their dislike of Trump and their distrust of the Democratic Party establishment following Clinton’s loss last November.

...The candidates, mirroring Trump, appear to have little reverence for the normal campaign playbook. For example, candidates typically don’t declare their candidacies until after April 1 or the beginning of another quarter so that their first quarterly finance report doesn’t show a low number.

“We welcome candidates with an outside-the-box background to run against career politicians,” Kelly said. “We also need those candidates to show they can run strong campaigns.”

The sheer volume of candidates all over the congressional map promises to pose some difficult decisions for the national party about whom to support and where to send money. At the moment, the DCCC is prioritizing Republican-held districts where Hillary Clinton won or was close to winning last November.

...Some of those outside groups are raising money for Democrats in reliably red districts that normally wouldn’t receive much support from the party. In Utah’s 3rd district, one of the most conservative in the country, Democratic candidate and political neophyte Dr. Kathryn Allen has already raised more than $500,000-- one of the highest first-quarter totals ever for a first-time candidate-- through the political crowdfunding site Crowdpac.

The DCCC argues that it needs to spend its time and money where it can actually win, while many progressives and new candidates think the national party is no longer a reliable judge of Democratic strength.
I certainly agree that the DCCC isn't a reliable judge of Democratic strength and that isn't even close to the worst crap about them. That said, IN-08 saw Hillary sink from Obama's 40% of the vote to just 31% while Trump out-performed Romney 65% to 58%. That's a tough district and unless someone has unlimited resources, it's hard to make the case to spend national money there rather than in any of 60 districts with far better chances to turn from red to blue.

Look at TX-21, the district where so much progress was made last year towards displacing Congress' chief science denier Lamar Smith. So far there are 8 declared candidates and perhaps more joining soon. The DCCC craves a very wealthy "ex"-Republican, Joseph Kopser, their kind of candidate. He's the only non-progressive. The other 7 could well split the vote so badly that Kopser could win, throwing out completely all the work Tom Wakely and his volunteers put in in the 2016 cycle.

Don't let anyone ever tell you democracy isn't messy. Meanwhile... vetted and ready:
Goal Thermometer

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At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The usa has been a dysfunctional cluster fuck since 2000. 2000 culminated the money's total buy-out of politics and policy and the judiciary. The fucking supreme court found that the act of counting all votes would harm the announced winner, therefore counting should not be done (that meme was repeated by federal courts when the Green party wanted to pay for recounts in 7 states), and the nation heard crickets... and the WINNING candidate turtled and became something of a celebrity environmental activist.

The dysfunction and the clusteriness of the fuck have only gotten worse. Even 8 years of a democrap prez and a few years of bilateral democrap majorities did not slow that trend. The right went total ape-shit and the left jammed both thumbs up their asses.

This megacluster fuck is not only predictable, but inevitable when money owns it all, elected assholes are selected precisely for their sociopathies, and voters have neither the capacity to choose wisely nor any decent candidates to accidentally vote for.

The plethora of democrap candidates are mostly cynical opportunists. The few that are genuine well-meaners will be culled by the money who wants them nowhere near their policy vehicles. And when possible, Pelosi and scummer will recruit and promote the absolute worst shitbags they can find who are approved by the money. Plenty of morally malleable former Rs will be among these.

At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

Hey, Anonymous, let's have some positivity and hope here, not that I deny most of your statements. The USA has faced many a horrendous calamity and has come through, most of the time. We will see what the future holds. That is, if Trump does not start WW III in the near future - which is unfortunately a real possibility.

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Anon said...

Don't bother Hone, he - almost certainly a he - is just looking for attention with his juvenile, repetitive name-calling.

I'm surprised he doesn't type "first" in every post.

At 3:59 PM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Good Luck Patrick.

At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They have been a free-for-all since Scalia ensured that George W Bush wouldn't be harmed by the Florida recount.

At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

first. first.

tell me how I'm wrong. And 4:51 too, for that matter who echoed what I posted.

At 5:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hone, you are correct. In the past when faced with challenges big and small, we somehow overcame them.
I would point out that we were lucky in a lot of those instances. In '32, we were suffering the greatest (so far) capitalist depression ushered in by republican admins. So the nation elected FDR, who ran as the "better Better" but who did not run on any kind of "New Deal" platform. He just wasn't a republican.

Somehow he realized just what he faced and he (and the party) decided to try controlling/reforming capitalism instead of leaving it totally up to capitalists to make everything right again (like obamanation did). We were LUCKY.

Voters were loyal to the structural reforms for nearly a half-century and the nation thrived. But voters became morons in 1980, got more stupid (and evil) since... and here we are.

Gone are the days when electing a D to fix what the Rs do will work. The Ds are just as bad even if they move a tad slower. Gone!!

If this nation is going to be reformed, it will NEVER be by electing a Democrat nor, obviously, a Republican.

And voters are far too stupid to ever figure this out.


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