Monday, December 18, 2017

After Failing With Right-Of-Center Corporate Dems in Every Gubernatorial Race Since They Ran Buddy MacKay In 1998, Time For Andrew Gillum, A Real Live Progressive


A couple of nights ago, centrist MSNBC host Joy Reid tweeted that "The consequences of elections can be grave, America. Voting to 'shake things up' or 'send an outsider to Washington' or going third party to 'send a message' can mean literal life, death or suffering for lots of people. This mess was made by voters, non-voters, cruelty and greed." Sounds good, right? Well... that's the standard establishment Democratic Party claptrap that's behind the mess the country is in now-- with Republicans in control of most state legislatures, most governors' mansions, the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives, the Supreme Court and of course, the presidency and executive branch.

I was talking with an old friend yesterday, Andrew Gillum, mayor of Tallahassee. I met him almost 15 years ago when he was director of one of People for the America Way's most successful projects, Young Elected Officials. Now he's running for governor of Florida. Andrew's running on a policy-forward progressive platform. His top primary opponent, Gwen Graham, is a former one-term congresswoman from Tallahassee. Andrew, in fact, introduced me to her in 2013. The first time I spoke with her, I realized she was another garden variety, lesser-of-two evils Democratic politician. At the time I found her to be a natural politician: overly cautious, deceptive, cowardly and unctuous.

She got into Congress by beating a weak Republican incumbent and immediately joined the Blue Dogs and started voting very consistently with the GOP. For the 2 years she held her seat she had the worst voting record of any Democrat in the House. On crucial votes, she was with the GOP more than 70% of the time. But she had a "D" next to her name. (Actually she had an "F" Next to her name at ProgressivePunch. On her very first vote as a congresswoman, Graham refused to vote for Nancy Pelosi and cast her ballot for fellow Blue Dog Jim Cooper of Tennessee. After a full term under her belt, she had the distinction of having amassed the single worst voting record of any Democrat in the House. Then-Speaker John Boehner and later Speak Paul Ryan were able to count on her across the board to help disguise their radical right agenda as "bipartisan" to a credulous, lazy mass media. Hacks in the media, loved to refer to her as a "rising star" and slant their reports to encourage people to buy into the craven, values-free careerism she exhibits; after all, it matches their own. She was a backbencher with virtually no influence and no legislative achievements but was a favorite of K Street lobbyists, who saw her as an easy vote for their shady attempts to influence policy of behalf of their corporate clients. The $45,764 they gave her in the one cycle she was in Congress wa more than any other Democratic freshman and the only Floridian who has taken more in bribes from K Street lobbyists was, predictably, Patrick Murphy-- the lobbyists' 4th favorite congressman after John Boehner ($199,200), Paul Ryan ($194,400), and Kevin McCarthy ($187,048).

From the very beginning of her term in Congress it was clear she would be exactly the kind political hack that discourages the Democratic base from bothering to vote at all. Florida blogger "gimleteye," asked the question that became apparent on the day she declared her candidacy: namely: will she push toward the right, like her father did? By the time he wrote his column, she already had-- completely, having signed on to the GOP schemes to deregulate Wall Street again, putting taxpayers on the hook for irresponsible gambling by avarice-driven banksters. She became a co-sponsor of a Republican bill that raises the number of hours from 30 to 40 that an employee must work per week to be eligible for health care coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), something that will cost taxpayers billions of wasted dollars and she quickly became a supporter of the Keystone Pipeline. This is an email that circulated widely through progressive Florida circles after Graham was in Congress for just a few weeks:
I have to tell you that I did a great deal to help Gwen Graham get elected. I am at a loss for words in expressing how disappointing this performance has been.

The worst part of it is that Gwen seemed to sincerely think she was going to be a part of a change in Washington. These actions are exactly the kind of cynical bullshit that makes people hate politics and politicians. They are disgraceful.

To me, the worst vote is the one on the ACA. There is a lot to dislike about the ACA. But the act really could be improved. But by 'improved' I meant work better for people, not the opposite.

This bill simply takes money out of the pockets of our hardest working, economically marginal people and puts it in the pockets of the Walton family. It is an awful bill with no merit and justification. It is redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich. Period.

So, these Democrats are voting to 'reform' the ACA by making working poor people pay for their own insurance out of their measly paychecks instead of having their large-scale corporate employers pay, and when these same people are hit with the bill, they will think that the Republican propaganda about how awful the ACA was, was actually true. And then, they will go out and vote for Republicans.

I donĀ¹t know exactly what to do about this, but this is just exactly what is wrong with Washington and its is sad to know the newest members have failed their first integrity test.

Totally sick to my stomach. Four votes in one week against ACA, for Keystone, gutting Dodd Frank, and against Nancy Pelosi. Imagine what she can accomplish in 2 years. My support is over."

The DCCC never stopped loving her. EMILY's List loves her even more. And conservative media types just absolutely kvell over her. These people, like Reid, blame progressives for the fact that Florida, for example, keeps electing Republicans. Maybe the corruption-riven Florida Democratic Party-- Wasserman Schultz's party-- should stop nominating conservative, Republican-lite candidates who always-- yes always-- lose and try a progressive who will inspire the base instead of deflate the base. Being anti-Trump is not enough. Being the lesser of two evils is not enough. We saw that in the presidential election last year when Wasserman Schultz and Reid's candidate led to a Trump presidency.

Goal ThermometerThe last governor the Democrats elected was Lawton Chiles, a progressive populist-- and that was in 1994 when Joy Reid was in her 20s. After Chiles died in office, the Florida Democrats nominated a parade of conservatives who all lost: Buddy MacKay in 1998, Bill McBride in 2002, Jim Davis in 2006. In 2010 dull centrist Democrat Alex Sink lost to the most flawed Republican imaginable, Rick Scott. Four years later another right-of-center candidate, fake Democrat Charlie Crist, lost to Scott again. And many centrists are insisting on... nominating yet another dull centrist. Why not the most qualified, accomplished and inspiring candidate running? Why not Andrew Gillum? Isn't it time too try something else other than the same old losing formula? Want to help Andrew win the nomination and go on the replace Rick Scott and begin the long and arduous task of cleaning up the mess he's leaving behind? Click on the ActBlue 2018 gubernatorial thermometer on the right and consider contributing what you can.

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At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are there enough still animated lefty voters left in florida to elect ANYONE?

I kind of think that so many have been suppressed and disenchanted by constant democrap failure/betrayal that there aren't enough left to outnumber the Nazis and fools on the right.


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