Friday, April 07, 2017

Will The DCCC Screw Up Candidate Recruitment As Badly This Cycle As They Have In The Last 5?


People need to remember something important. While we LOVE that Democrats in Congress are standing up to Trump and standing up to Trumpism, the participation in a kind of resistance is NOT the same thing as progressive politics. Believe it or not, quite a few people are missing the distinction. (That said, by the way, Blue America has a page for effective leaders of the congressional resistance-- all of whom happen to also be bona fide progressives.) But remember, there are New Dems and Blue Dogs who find it politically expedient to stand up to Trump too. Adam Schiff (New Dem-CA), for example, is doing a good job at it-- and deserves our appreciation. But that doesn't make him a progressive. Kirsten Gillibrand, a quintessential identity politics corporate shill, has tried to confuse the two as she gears up for an eventual presidential or vice presidential run.

Remember when scores of Democrats announced they were't going to his inauguration? It may have started with progressives like Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) and Katherine Clark (D-MA) and spread to real-deal progressives like Ted Lieu (D-CA), Jerry Nadler (D-NY) Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Raul Grijalva (R-AZ) and Barbara Lee (D-CA), eventually even some relatively conservative Democrats-- like Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Darren Soto (D-FL), even head Blue Dog Kurt Schrader (D-OR)-- saw it as a politically advantageous thing to do.

But the DCCC, of course, doesn't see it through the same lens. If some kind of resistance is a way to ask for money from the grassroots and if "resistance" will help elect their candidates, there's nothing more to it. Last weekend the DCCC hosted a conference for candidates at the DC headquarters. It could have been called the "We Stand For Nothing But Identity Politics-- And Hating Trump-- Conference."
Democrats are looking to turn the Donald Trump resistance movement into an army of candidates to try to take back the House in 2018.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee leaders have already met with 255 potential candidates across 64 districts, convinced that the shifting political environment has opened new opportunities that they’ll chase in next year’s midterms.

A rough profile of their ideal candidate has started to emerge: veterans, preferably with small business experience too. They’d like as many of them to be women or people who’ve never run for office before-- and having young children helps.
There's never a discussion of issues of course-- which is why the DCCC is just all about losing elections. It's all about identity, nothing more-- another reason why people vomit when they think about the Democratic Party, even with a lowlife like Trump in the White House.
This past Saturday, candidates preparing to be in the first round of campaign announcements quietly made their way to DCCC headquarters in Washington for the first pre-launch boot camp, following several staff training sessions. Half the attendees were women, and half were veterans, according to a DCCC official.

They’ll formalize the focus on recruiting veterans on Tuesday, with a meeting at headquarters between DCCC leaders and Vote Vets, a liberal group focused on veterans’ issues, convened by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), herself a veteran who was one of the Democrats to flip a Senate seat last year.

“Especially among the younger generation of veterans, you have a community that is far less conservative than people might think,” Duckworth said, adding that she’s talked in depth about House races in 2018 or 2020 to a dozen veterans among people just back from tours and those expecting to be completing them soon-- including two female helicopter pilots.

Duckworth says she’s been urging them to think of Congress as to how to extend their service and have a voice on the Defense budget and international affairs.

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), who’ll also be at the Tuesday meeting, is already deep into his own personal recruitment project, claiming 22 fellow veterans who have either committed to run or are in deep conversations with Democrats about the possibility.

“I don’t think you have to be a veteran to run for office, but when you’re looking for a group of people who might be able to rise above the bitter partisan gridlock, veterans are a good place to look,” Moulton said.

Moulton said for the most part, the conversations have started with veterans reaching out to him, calling Trump’s election a turning point. He’s guided some to statehouse races instead, but brought many of them into the DCCC process and started getting them flown to Washington for meetings with leaders and staff.

“Washington seems like a dirty place. But so was Afghanistan. And so was Iraq. And we’re going to clean it up,” Moulton says he tells them. “Donald Trump’s policies are terrible for our national security-- what group of people better to point that out than a group of Democratic veterans?”
People with ideas-- veterans or non-veterans.

One of the candidates Blue America is backing in Texas, Tom Wakely, is a veteran and veterans' issues are important to him and front and center in his platform. But he's not the kind of caricature of a candidate Moulton and the DCCC are looking for. Example-- KUT, the huge Austin public broadcasting station ran a devastating piece yesterday on Tom's opponent, Lamar Smith, clueless right-wing chairman of the House Science Committee, Austin Congressman Lamar Smith Leads The Charge Against Environmental Regulations. Smith doesn't believe in science, although he is a Christian Scientist instead. Much of the KUT report is already familiar to DWT readers-- about how Smith is "a leading voice in setting the party's agenda when it comes to science and environmental regulation... [and how] some worry that agenda could have a chilling effect on research and policy." You can listen to the report at the link just above. But this afternoon, Wakely told us that "Smith has always put his party's agenda before his country. His utter contempt for the scientific community is not just appalling but extremely dangerous. His views on medicine and science are warped, in my opinion, by his belief in the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder and leader of the Christian Science movement. Like Eddy, Smith more than likely believes that death is simply an illusion. So what does it matter if we destroy the world and everyone and everything on it dies, it is simply an illusion. Then again, maybe his views on the environment and climate change are more a reflection of those who contribute to his campaign coffers-- big oil and the like. Who know what makes Smith tick, I certainly don't. I know people don't want to hear this but Lamar Smith is a political genius. He licked his finger, held it up and determined which way the political wind was blowing. He was the first Congressman to contribute to Trump's presidential campaign and among the first to endorse him. He did this because he saw Trump as the vehicle to spread the lie that climate change isn't real and that the EPA was doing more harm than good. Smith, like Trump, like the Nazi Reich Minister of Propaganda, Paul Joseph Goebbels, understands that if you tell a big enough lie, like climate change is not real and the EPA is doing more harm than good and keep repeating it and repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. That's the genius of Lamar Smith. Tell big lies and keep repeating them, over and over again."

We're supporting Wakely because of his stands on issues and his personal integrity, not because of anything to do with identity politics. We hope you will too-- something you can do by clicking on this link.

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At 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: " ... the participation in a kind of resistance is NOT the same thing as progressive politics. Believe it or not, quite a few people are missing the distinction."

Even more people are (perhaps purposefully) "missing" the distinction that Dems are not only not progressive but their politically chasing the GOP radical reich farther to the extremes has been an integral impetus to the resurgence of frank American fascism now in full bloom.

With no majority in government, the "resistance" is a bit to little and a bit too late.
It's as if the Dems are patting themselves on the collective back for having identified the country's political cliff ... by jumping from its edge.

John Puma

At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's SO much easier to let the other Party rule while the Democorrupts issue pointless screeds criticising what the other Party is doing. That is all they learned how to do since the Clintons scrapped the New Deal by becoming GOP-lite corporatists always on the take.

At 6:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To echo the above... the democraps will actually succeed in discouraging new candidates who do not pledge fealty to the corporations and billionaires who finance (bribe) them. They've been wildly successful at this since Pelosi first accepted the gavel from gwb as speaker.

Yes, it's easier to raise money in response to Rs' stupidity, crimes and fucktardiness than it is to find, run and win with corporate whores that align with Pelosi and scummer. so that's what they do.

democraps? never again.


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