Sunday, April 22, 2018

DCCC Tries To Shove A Blue Dog Comeback Down Democrats' Throats


Rahm Emanuel was chairman of the DCCC in 2006, the last time there was a huge Blue Wave. He had as little to do with creating it as Ben Ray Lujan has in creating the 2018 huge Blue Wave (i.e., nothing whatsoever). Infact, Lujan, like Rahm (who consults him), is keeping the wave from growing even bigger. In 2006, the Democrats picked up 30 seats from the GOP. That's good, right?

Well... kinda/sorta. Pelosi replaced Denny Hastert as Speaker and the Democrats were able to get a few consequential things done before the next midterm when Democratic voters-- the grassroots-- stayed away from the polls en masse and the GOP swept back into power with a vengeance-- beating all of Rahm's 2006 picks. In fact, that year, 2010, the Democrats lost an astounding 63 seats-- and Pelosi was swept out of the Speaker's chair and replaced by first John Boehner and then Paul Ryan.

Why did that happen that way? Emanuel had forced dozens of Blue Dogs and New Dems on the Democrats as candidates-- just as Lujan and his wretched team is doing today. They all voted the way members of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party can always be expected to vote-- with the Republicans. There was a 9.1% swing towards the Republicans in 2010 but that was primarily because the Democratic base was disappointed and disillusioned with the Blue Dogs and New Dems 2006 had delivered them.

That's exactly what's going to happen in 2022. Exactly. Luajn and his imbecile crew are making sure of that by crushing progressives in primaries in favor of Blue Dog and New Dems.

Last week Lujan was engaging in his favorite activity, plumbing sewers and feasting on shit. He added 5 cruddy candidates to the DCCC Red-to-Blue list, including lottery winner, "ex"-Republican, carpetbagger and political ignoramus Gil Cisneros, NRA candidate Anthony Brindisi (Blue Dog-NY) and anti-union attorney Lizzie Fletcher. Unions screamed so loud that the DCCC immediately removed her, calling it a "communications staff drafting error," prompting this email from Laura Moser, the progressive in the Houston race the DCCC has been working hard to destroy, pretty much ensuring reelection for Republican John Culberson.
On Wednesday, the DCCC sent out an email endorsing our primary opponent.

They later called it a “communications staff drafting error”-- which, like “mistakes were made,” is what people in Washington say when they don’t want to take responsibility for something.

But was it really an error? The DCCC already unleashed false and misleading attacks against me and my family just a few days before our primary election.

I’ll never forget that terrible moment when a staffer pulled me aside to show me the opposition research the DCCC had dumped on me on their website. As a lifelong Democrat, I was stunned. How could the party I had dedicated so much of my life to turn on me so maliciously? What would this mean for our campaign?

I still don’t know the answer to the first question. (I’ve got some ideas.)

We’ll need your help once again if we’re going to fend off any and all attacks from the DCCC before our runoff election next month... After all, we’ve had fair warning. They’re going to try to rig the runoff, too. But the folks in Washington who so often choose losing corporate clones don’t have that much influence on Texans. We’ll choose our own candidates, thank you very much. And we'll win with a strong message, a genuine commitment to democratic values, and grassroots support-- not through a party coronation.

So no matter what lies they try to spread, we'll keep talking about expanding access to health care, protecting undocumented Americans from deportation, offering every child access to affordable education, reforming our gun laws, fighting for equal rights and reproductive rights, and building an economy that offers both more growth and more equality.

We’ve shown we can overcome the DCCC attacks with an outpouring of grassroots support and by staying true to our message and platform.

The DCCC often lies and says there is no ideological impetus behind their efforts to pack Congress with Blue Dogs and New Dems. That's an utter lie that is too terrible for most DCCC-dues-paying progressives to admit even to themselves. Before you read this late March post that was published by The Hill, remember that when they use the word "centrist" (the most positive political phrase in America's politics lexicon), they are referring to the far right of the Democratic Party, the Blue Dogs and New Dems. And if anti-Choice, anti-LGBTQ, anti-healthcare, anti-immigrant, pro-NRA shitbags like Dan Lipinski and Henry Cuellar (for example) are "moderates" what are members like Jan Schakowsky, Ted Lieu, Pramila Jayapal, Judy Chu, Jamie Raskin and Mark Pocan? Left-wing extremists? Communists? I don't think so. And remember, it's always when the Democrats look ascendant that the media suddenly calls for a coalition of right-wing Democrats and the GOP as a governing coalition. The media NEVER calls for a governing coalition of right-wing Democrats and mainstream conservative Republicans when the GOP is ascendant. One more thing to remember, the right-wing group "No Labels" is financed by Republican multimillionaires and billionaires and they just spent immense sums smearing Marie Newman on behalf of Lipinski's election campaign.
Moderate lawmakers in both parties believe their influence will rise after the midterm elections no matter which party takes control of the House.

The centrists are projecting that either Democrats or Republicans could have a narrow majority, which would give lawmakers in the middle more power to drive the agenda as leaders come begging for their votes.

Coalitions of moderate lawmakers also suspect their ranks will swell next year given the political climate.

“If it’s a slim [GOP] majority, we also win,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), whip of the moderate New Democrat Coalition. “You can’t ignore us anymore. You’re going to have to cut some deals if you want to get something done.”

“The idea that you can do it alone,” he added, “is not going to work if you’ve only got a two- or three-seat majority.”

...Blue Dog Democrats, a conservative and rural segment of the party, dwindled in size from 54 in 2008 to 18. Now they are hoping for a comeback.

“We’re going to have a lot more say in policy and legislation,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), co-chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition. “I certainly want the Democrat majority, but even if it’s a slim [GOP] majority, the Republicans still need some of the more moderate individuals that might be Democrats to work with them.”

“So either way,” he added, “I think we’re going to be in a good place.”

Efforts to push more bipartisan ideas through Congress have been ramping up over the past year. The Problem Solvers Caucus, which works closely with the bipartisan advocacy group No Labels, launched last year with the goal of building bipartisan consensus on key policy issues.

The 48-member caucus is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. If 75 percent of the group and more than 50 percent of each party agrees on an issue, then the entire caucus will vote as a unified bloc.

The strategy takes a page from the book of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, which takes formal positions on issues if 80 percent of its members agree. The group of roughly 30 conservative hard-liners has been highly effective at blocking bills on the House floor.

“Any bloc of any legislators that is able to stick together is able to be kingmakers ... but the only real organized blocs in the House has been on the far right and far left,” said Ryan Clancy, the chief strategist at No Labels. “What hadn’t existed, until recently, is something like the Problem Solvers Caucus.”

The caucus has already produced bipartisan solutions on a range of contentious issues, including health care, immigration and guns-- but none of the proposals have been brought to the floor.

The group blames how legislative business is conducted in the House and has started discussing some potential rules changes that could increase their power.

No Labels has been encouraging lawmakers to withhold their support for the next Speaker unless the candidate agrees to a package of rules changes. Moderates would have even more leverage to make demands from future leaders if there is a slimmer majority.

Some potential reforms that could make moderates stronger include allowing more open rules and amendments, ensuring conference committees have members from both parties, requiring the Speaker to receive a larger majority to win the gavel and abandoning the Republican practice of only allowing a bill to come to the floor if it has a majority of the GOP’s support.

That would force the majority to negotiate with the minority and increase the odds of achieving bipartisan solutions in Congress, the group says.

Reed said he would even consider supporting a Democrat’s bid for Speaker if they agreed to certain rule reforms.

But such reforms are sure to face fierce resistance in both parties, and it’s unclear whether enough centrist lawmakers would be willing to play hardball.

“It might entail some political risks, but if they’re willing to make some asks … it could have huge rewards,” Clancy said.

While a number of Republicans in the Problem Solvers Caucus are facing tough reelection races, Reed said he is hearing more interest than ever before from “influential stakeholders” who want to help get pragmatic lawmakers elected to Congress in order to break gridlock.

No Labels is planning an aggressive effort to spend tens of millions of dollars to protect moderates in both parties from primary challenges.

The Blue Dogs are also expecting to increase their numbers next year, especially as Democrats seek to win over the blue-collar voters that fled the party to support President Trump. They recently gained Conor Lamb, who pulled off a special election victory in a Pennsylvania district that Trump carried by 20 points.

The coalition’s political arm has become a bigger player in the Democratic strategy to win back the House, which is further raising hopes they will wield more influence next year.

“The road to the majority is through the coalition... The political arm of the Blue Dogs is very active,” said Kristen Hawn, a senior adviser for the group’s political action committee. “We’re seeing a lot more interest, and a lot of fundraising is up.”

The DCCC has 38 candidates on their Red To Blue list so far. I count three who are worth voting for-- and I'm not even 100% sure about one of the three. At least nine of them are outright Blue Dogs:
Brendan Kelly (IL)
Paul Davis (KS)
Gretchen Driskell (MI)
Dan McCready (NC)
Brad Ashford (NE)
Jeff Van Drew (NJ)
Max Rose (NY)
Anthony Brindisi (NY)
Ben McAdams (UT)
And 21 of them are admitted New Dems:

Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ)
Jason Crow (CO)
Lauren Baer (FL)
Nancy Soderberg (FL)
Debbie Powell (FL)
Paul Davis (KS)
Elissa Slotkin (MI)
Angie Craig (MN)
Dean Phillips (MN)
Dan McCready (NC)
Kathy Manning (NC)
Brad Ashford (NE)
Mikie Sherrill (NJ)
Tom Malinowski (NJ)
Max Rose (NY)
Anthony Brindisi (NY)
Susie Lee (NV)
Chrissy Houlahan (PA)
Jana Lynne Sanchez (TX)
Ben McAdams (UT)
Elaine Luria (VA)
They also list Lisa Brown, a progressive from eastern Washington-- who supports the legitimate aspirations of working families-- and she's asked them to remove her name from their horrible list of shame, which they have refused to do. And one last thing, the New Dems and Blue Dogs have already picked who they want as the next Speaker, the most corrupt Democrat in the House... and disgracefully, there are already progressives pledging their fealty to him-- lots of them.

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At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish people would stop describing politicians as "moderate". Their voting records tend to be solidly right wing corporatist at best and fringe fascist at worst.

The Overton Window of the population is well to the left of the most "moderate" politician. Gilens and Page revealed to us in their study just how well that configuration serves We the People (read: not one bit).

We need to stop echoing the self-descriptives these lying pols use to mask their true allegiance and start calling them what they really are: corporate toadies.

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the overton window mention. stupid americans tend to believe the middle is between the fascist and Nazi parties. It's nowhere near there.

I'm SOOOOO gratified that you wrote a piece nearly quoting me from the past several months. You mentioned the beginning of the gambit, 2006, but did not go into detail on any relevant moves and non-moves which left the country swirling cheney's bowl so that obamanation could be elected (a miracle due ONLY to the well-timed crash attributable directly to the Clinton/rubin policies of the late '90s as well as facile oversight during the D majorities from 2007-2010.)

"In fact, that year, 2010, the Democrats lost an astounding 63 seats-- and Pelosi was swept out of the Speaker's chair and replaced by first John Boehner and then Paul Ryan.

Why did that happen that way? Emanuel had forced dozens of Blue Dogs and New Dems on the Democrats as candidates-- just as Lujan and his wretched team is doing today. They all voted the way members of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party can always be expected to vote-- with the Republicans. There was a 9.1% swing towards the Republicans in 2010 but that was primarily because the Democratic base was disappointed and disillusioned with the Blue Dogs and New Dems 2006 had delivered them."

Actually it was mostly the first-time and GOTV voters that had become animated by obamanation and his "hope and change" mantra who were utterly ratfucked by "hopey changey" and his party. The base did and continues to turn out reflexively without regard to how shitty the party has become.

"That's exactly what's going to happen in 2022. Exactly."

So... you agree nearly point by point with me. Great. Then how do you justify continuing to flog for MORE DEMOCRAPS instead of for a new and truly left people's party?

As you said, "That's exactly what's going to happen in 2022. Exactly."

Why, it's as though this *IS* exactly what you want to happen...

At 3:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want the most left gov't we can get. In the primaries, Dems must make choices. OK with me to fight hard for alternative candidates that follow a more left path. But when it comes to the general election, some of you rabid enthusiasts need to grasp the reality that we can't get every f-ing thing all at once. We need Dem majorities in Congress. If you can't see that difference btw the GOP and a Dem, ur not helping. Did we learn anything from the last election? We need unity & solidarity after the primaries not a bunch of complaining Hil or Bernie robots. In NYS as an example, Brindisi will attempt to replace Tenney. Good God! Why would any leftie want to continue a Trumpanzee like Tenney when there is a candidate that will caucus and vote with the Dems on nearly every issue? Get a grip! UNITE, don't do damage!

At 6:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:49, do you even fathom the concept of the "long game"? Clearly you do not.

Google it. TRY to read it with an open mind.

Hope (in primaries) followed by total surrender (in the general) is not a way to make anything improve, even a tiny bit. The party to whom you freely give your devotion is like the cat'lick church. They want your 'market share' and your money, but will only reward you with delusions of salvation as they rape your kids.

Sure. Unite behind an utterly corrupt, feckless group of assholes who will gladly take your money and votes but will ratfuck you in return.

Nobody you mentioned is even relevant. It's Pelosi and scummer who dictate policy and they both are 110% servile to the money.

Again. "Long Game". Give it a look.

Lesser evilism is the reflexive need for IMMEDIATE (delusion of) gratification. "Long Game" is the strategy for actually getting somewhere (left of where we're marching).

At 7:49 AM, Blogger Procopius said...

@Anonymous What "Long Game" are you talking about? Can you provide some more descriptive words that would help in a search engine? A link would be even better. "Long Game" is a descriptive phrase for the Powell Memo, and also the Southern Strategy. As far as I know, no one on the left since Saul Alinsky has had a long-term strategy. Bernie has some excellent programs in mind, but I don't think he has a vision of a path to get there.


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