Sunday, April 22, 2018

John Delaney-- The Presidential Candidate To Make Joe Biden Look Like A Progressive


This morning David Siders started a column with a fair assumption for Politico readerts-- that Maryland Congressman is "little known." Few people even know he's running for president-- and few of those are taking his run seriously. He's a very wealthy New Dem, a devoted Wall Street ally who served their interests on the House Financial Services Committee... and who's already spending big.

Let me start with a little background. After the Democratic-controlled Maryland legislature gerrymandered the state, Delaney beat longtime congressman Roscoe Bartlett, a moderate Republican, in 2012. Delaney spent $2,370,556 of his own in the race, which was over half the $4,423,738 he spent and was the third most-- after Suzan DelBene and Scott Peters-- any Democrat that year spent to buy himself a House seat. Needless to say all 3 immediately joined the extremely corrupt, pro-business/anti-family New Dems. Delaney had beaten Bartlett handily-- 58.8% to 37.9%. But in the next cycle, a midterm, Democrats already had gotten a taste for what a total piece of shit Delaney is. After 2 years of watching him back the Republicans over and over gain, Democratic grassroots voters weren't interested in voting for him again. He was forced to spend $937,912 out of his own pocket and only beat Republican Dan Bongino 49.7% to 48.2%. In 2016 he spent another $354,125 of his own money to win again-- this time against a rich Republican, Amie Hoeber, who spent $787,000 out of her own wealth.

Delaney was, of course, an anti-Bernie Democrat who endorsed Hillary in the 2016 primary. Once he got into Congress he quickly became a fount of Republican ideas-- like forbidding the EPA from protecting clean drinking water in streams and lakes, raising the retirement age for the working poor and forcing chained CPI down the throats of Social Security recipients. Delaney has been the perfect Democrat for Fox News, always eager to blame progressives for everything, always eager to equate progressives with the extremists, Confederates and fascists that dominate the Republican Party. He's an advocate of the "both sides are equally wrong" simplemindedness. "Washington," he wrote in a Washington Post OpEd in 2015, "is paralyzed by extreme political rhetoric that creates powerful sound bites but poor policy... With Washington already broken, the last thing we need is a left-wing version of the tea party. But I am worried about where some of the loudest voices in the room could take the Democratic Party." Delaney is worried. Why doesn't he hop the fence and join the GOP officially? From his OpEd:
Rejecting a trade agreement with Asia, expanding entitlement programs that crowd out other priorities and a desire to relitigate the financial crisis are becoming dominant positions among Democrats. Although these subjects may make for good partisan talking points, they do not provide the building blocks for a positive and bold agenda to create jobs and improve the lives of Americans.

...[W]e need a philosophical shift in the Democratic Party, a new willingness to support programs that create pathways for nongovernmental and philanthropic innovation and investment to help solve the problems of society. We should embrace approaches, such as social impact bonds, that combine private-sector capital and expertise with public-interest goals to produce better government services. Such changes will require Democrats to leave our ideological comfort zone and move away from the idea that government, and government alone, is the answer to our problems.

But instead of being used to voice an agenda that can bring the country together, the party microphone has been hijacked by people more interested in scoring points than in solving problems. They propose expanding Social Security rather than prioritizing serious efforts to preserve the program-- even though it will be unable to provide full benefits as soon as 2032, the Congressional Budget Office has made clear. The only way a large-scale expansion could work is by allocating new revenue away from needed investments in the next generation or by shifting the financial burden to workers or our children.
In a barely veiled critique of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, Alan Grayson, Raul Grijalva, Keith Ellison, Mark Pocan and other stalwart progressive fighters, Delaney wrote that "some in our party continue to engage in time-consuming rhetoric attacking banks that has little chance of producing more financial reform and distracts from far more consequential areas of economic risk, such as climate change, chronic underinvestment in the next generation and our broken immigration and housing finance systems."

He's painting an entirely false picture, especially when you consider that the same legislators attacking his Wall Street pals happen to be the most determined fighters for immigration reform, for low-income housing, for reforming the education system, for restoring American infrastructure and, of course, for battling against climate change. But painting false pictures is John Delaney's stock-in-trade. It's what he does; it's all he seems capable of doing.

Two of Congress' most dedicated and enlightened progressives, at the time, reacted badly to Delaney's nonsense. Alan Grayson mused that "corporate tax breaks, corporate welfare, corporate trade giveaways and sucking up to Wall Street... 'New Democrats' sound a lot like old Republicans." Mark Pocan told us at the time that "The surest way to avoid the creation of a tea party on the left wing is to stop the Democratic Party from moving to the right. It's clear people are for progressive values and the Democratic Party should reflect that or face defeats at the polls."

Another Democratic congressmember who asked for anonymity fumed that Delaney is the "poster child for what's wrong with the Democratic Party. Recruiting clueless, rich people who have no real values is almost always a failure."

Delaney's district was blue enough for him to have the breathing space to act like a real Democrat without any worries but instead he's always represented the interests of his own socio-economic class: rich assholes. He introduced a bill Wall Street loves. It would grant a tax amnesty to multinational corporations bringing home billions of dollars of profits now offshore.

Delaney's bill, H.R. 2084, was designed to reward big corporations that avoid taxes through overseas accounting tricks, encourage more future offshore tax dodging, fail to create jobs in America and increase the deficit-- another tax holiday for the wealthy like Delaney himself that is "nothing more than a blatant attempt to escape their tax obligations and shift the burden onto taxpaying Americans, small businesses and domestic firms." His co-sponsors were all Republicans and a gaggle of corrupt New Dems like Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Ami Bera (CA), Gerald Connolly (VA), Patrick Murphy (FL) and Scott Peters (CA). And now he's "running" for president. Siders wrote that "Delaney-- a wealthy, little-known congressman from Maryland-- has spent more than $1 million on TV in Iowa, hired staffers and opened a campaign office in Des Moines. Since announcing his bid last July, he’s made 110 campaign stops in 48 of Iowa’s 99 counties. He has visited New Hampshire six times, and on Friday made his second trek to South Carolina... [I]n his massive investment of time and resources-- his Iowa TV buy marks the earliest significant paid advertising from a presidential candidate in memory-- he is testing the limits of a virtually unknown politician’s ability to gain early-state traction by starting first and spending heavily."
The odds confronting Delaney are enormous. The Democratic field is shaping up to be historically large-- and it’s likely to be filled with some of the party’s biggest stars-- while the former banker is barely known outside his home state.

He runs so far under the radar that his name has not even been included in many early national polls. In the latest Granite State Poll, in February, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, Delaney registered at less than 1 percent among likely Democratic primary voters. That ranked behind every major prospective candidate, and also “other,” at 4 percent.

Still, Delaney runs undeterred.

“I think I’m the right person for the job, and I have the right vision, but not enough people know who I am,” Delaney, 55, said before arriving in South Carolina. “The way you solve that problem is by getting in early.”

Delaney added, “I think I’m going to win.”

In his TV advertisements, Delaney first introduced Iowans to his blue-collar upbringing and business and government credentials, while pledging to usher in a new era of bipartisanship. This month, he went up with a more pointed ad criticizing Trump’s decision to set new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, saying “his trade war could devastate our manufacturing and farming economies and raise prices on hard-working Americans.”

Iowa media markets are so inexpensive that by spending more than $1 million on television, Delaney has mustered significant reach. Jeff Link, an Iowa Democratic strategist who hosted an event for Delaney at his house in March, said that when he asked people if they were coming, many told him, “Oh, that’s the guy on TV.”

In Iowa, Link said, $1 million “goes a long way.”

“I think getting here early is helpful in that people get to see you a couple of times,” he said. “He’s a smart guy, he’s a very serious guy … And, he has a good message.”

Price said Democratic activists in Iowa are focused on this year’s midterm elections but that Delaney is “doing a good job kind of building his name ID and recognition out there... Certainly among the activists, I hear people talking about him.”

In New Hampshire, Jim Demers, a longtime fixture in the state’s Democratic politics, said that while Delaney remains largely unknown to most voters, “with Democratic activists, he’s sort of in the middle category of ‘somewhat known,’ and he moved up to that category by coming to New Hampshire and doing a lot of visits.”

With so much time before the 2020 primaries, Demers said, Delaney’s stock could improve. However, he said, “I do think that when you look at some of the people who may be in this race, it’s going to be a struggle.”

Delaney left South Carolina on Saturday to speak at a Democratic summit in Maryland, then planned, as he does every Monday, to convene a staff meeting in Washington to plot campaign strategy for the week. He is focused almost exclusively on Iowa and New Hampshire.

“I view us as running a full scale campaign at this point,” Delaney said. “The way I think about it kind of simply is, there are six congressional districts in Iowa and New Hampshire … I’m doing all the things you would do to run a congressional campaign times six in those states.”

Jeffrey Zients, a former economic adviser to President Barack Obama and a friend of Delaney, said, “He’s decided there’s an opportunity, and he’s executing on it. He’s working hard.”

Delaney’s supporters often point to Jimmy Carter as an example of a candidate able to capitalize on early campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire. But Carter was a governor. And that was more than 40 years ago. The last time a member of the House won the presidency was 1880, when James Garfield pulled off the feat.

Yet precedent is the least of Delaney’s obstacles. Aside from his low profile-- even by House standards-- the three-term congressman cuts a more moderate profile than much of the Democratic Party’s increasingly leftward-shifting base.

He is skeptical of single-payer healthcare and supported President Barack Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which was opposed by both Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in 2016. But Delaney said divisions within the Democratic Party are overblown, with most of America disinterested in “a lot of the things that people are obsessed with here in Washington.”

“I think the central question facing the United States of America in 2020 is how do we take this terribly fractured nation and begin to unify it so that we can start to work for the American citizens,” Delaney said. “And I think I’m the person to answer that question.”

On Friday, Delaney spoke at the South Carolina Democratic Party’s Blue Palmetto dinner, then walked several blocks to Rep. Jim Clyburn’s annual fish fry, a mainstay on the presidential circuit.

“I didn’t know who he was,” said Phil Noble, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate who met with Delaney during his visit. “But so what? Everybody’s got a chance in presidential politics.”

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At 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the future of your democrap party. it just gets worse and worse.

still waiting for your threshold to be crossed when you finally realize it's a totally lost cause.

Does the entire country need to collapse first?

If you were a cat'lick, and priests had molested you and all your kids, you would still go to mass wouldn't you?


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