Saturday, March 03, 2018

Why Using Identity Politics As A Filter Is A Road To Nowhere


Last cycle, the two biggest self-funders looking to buy House seats were David Trone in Maryland, who spent a phenomenal $13,414,225 of his own and took 35,400 votes (27.1%) in his primary, and Randy Perkins in Florida who spent $10,127,029 of his own and then lost to a Republican, by over 10 points 53.6% to 43.1%. The only million dollar Democratic self-funder who won in 2016 was Vicente Gonzalez, a real sleaze from south Texas, who spent $1,850,000 of his own dough. Although he's a real conservative piece of crap who joined the Blue Dogs as soon as he got into Congress, he knew which lever to pull to get an endorsement from the Congressional Progressive Caucus. You can't trust anyone in DC these days.

And the CPC did it again this week, although there's no indication any money changed hands on this one. Just some shitty identity politics. Two Orange County candidates were up for endorsement-- strong progressive Katie Porter and shifty New Dem Dave Min. Porter was strongly backed by Elizabeth Warren, who sent out a letter just before the CPC vote Thursday:
Progressive ideas are good for working people across this country AND progressive ideas win!

That's why Democrats need to nominate candidates who believe in policies like Medicare For All, expanding Social Security benefits, debt-free college, higher wages for workers, and strong consumer protections.

Katie Porter is one of the boldest and most progressive candidates for Congress in 2018. I've known Katie and worked with her for years, and I'll tell you this: she's tough as nails. When she gets into a fight to help out families who have been cheated, she doesn't give up.

Katie is running for Congress in Orange County, California in one of the most flippable districts in the nation... A new poll shows Katie defeating Republican incumbent Mimi Walters if the general election were held today. In fact, the numbers aren't even close.

That's because Katie is fighting for working families, and she is running a grassroots campaign. And while Republicans in Congress are doing their darnedest to rig our economy and our political system even more for folks at the top, people get that they're the ones paying the price.

During the recent tax fight, Katie's Republican opponent voted for more than a trillion dollars in tax giveaways to giant corporations. But here's what really is a show-stopper: she also voted to eliminate a provision of the tax code that would help her own constituents who were hit by recent wildfires. When people say the system has been bought by big donors, this is what they are talking about.

After she was my student almost 20 years ago, Katie became an expert in the complex law of bankruptcy.

We worked together for years studying why millions of American families were in so much financial trouble. She became a law professor herself out in California. And in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis, then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris appointed her to be California's top consumer watchdog-- fighting to hold the big banks accountable and help Californians who lost their homes.

About a year ago, I had breakfast with Katie. We were all still reeling from the election. After talking about her kids, Katie said, "This is terrible. The banks, they're gonna let them go at it again. They'll roll back the regulations on pollution, poison our children." And then she said, "Elizabeth, I'm thinking about running for office." And I said exactly one thing in return, "If you run, I will be there every step of the way."

I've seen Katie's commitment and grit up close and personal. Sending Katie to Congress in this winnable district would put us one seat closer to taking back the House in 2018 and give us another incredible strong ally.
Goal ThermometerSounds good, right? So where does the problem come in? In the House, Mark Takano is a progressive voter. But, as with too many people, identity politics is more important to him than progressive, values-based politics. He knew his New Dem Dave Min could never be endorsed but he organized around race to keep the vote from Porter, potentially jeopardizing the ability of the Democrats winning the seat. One of the congressmembers he organized-- one I respect too much to name-- claimed that when she sees two candidates vying for endorsement, who are both progressive, she always goes with the person of color. That's her right. She could have just as easily said that when she sees two candidates who are both progressive, she always goes with the woman. But the fact of the matter is that in this particular case, one candidate is a real progressive and the other is a corporate New Dem who is as forthright and honest as... Donald Trump. He'll say whatever it takes to persuade whoever is listening to him. The worst of the worst. And he succeeded-- in great part because of Takano-- in blocking Katie Porter from getting the CPC endorsement. That has help prompt us to move Katie Porter from just our California Act Blue page to a full fledged endorsement on our congressional page (which you can see by tapping of the thermometer on the right.) Please help us send the DC Dems a little message by contributing to Katie's campaign today.

This week the political director of a group I admire very much was trying to get me to endorse a candidate in Texas. I said the candidate hadn't persuaded me she will be a progressive if she wins the seat. "But she's a lesbian," was the response. That's horrifying. Indentifying as a lesbian doesn't say anything to me about how someone will prioritize Climate Change, banning assault weapons, holding Wall Street banksters accountable or dealing with economic inequity. Look at Krysten Sinema (AZ). She's the single most right-wing Democrat in the House-- and head of the Blue Dogs to boot-- and she identifies as a lesbian. Or look at Sean Patrick Maloney-- a happily married gay man with a wonderful family-- but the most right-wing New Dem in Congress, completely in Wall Street's pocket. (Obviously, another married gay man, Mark Pocan from Wisconsin, is what the political director would have liked me to see when I considered the quality of the Texas candidate. Mark has the best voting record in Congress. He should be the model for every Democrat, regardless of sexual identity, race, religion, gender, country of origin or whatever identity group anyone wants to look use as a filter.)

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At 1:18 PM, Blogger CNYOrange said...

Done with the demorat party. Left it when they threw Franken under the bus. They'll never learn

At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As we continue to swirl the bowl of lesser evilism, why the hell are you surprised that the democraps are resorting to identity politics? Why the hell are you appalled by the democraps recruiting misogynists, racists and gun nuts? Doesn't 40 years of lesser evilism guarantee we eventually cross those barriers?

you should ask yourself what is next for the democraps as they seek to suppress voting further and recruit worse and worse people to "lead".

The Rs went to trump. The Ds will go to their version of a trump within 3 cycles. guaranteed.

And voters will just shrug and vote for him because the R at that point will be someone like Himmler who not only SAYS xxx should all be killed, he'll do it.

lesser evilism forever... until we die.


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