Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Whose Side Is The DCCC Really On-- When It Comes To Policy? When It Comes To Political Corruption?


Alan Blinder and Alexander Burns noticed-- the DCCC has been recruiting right-of-center Democrats to run for Congress. They call them "moderates" (which they're not) and celebrate the re-emergence of the Blue Dogs, who brought the party low in 2010, when grassroots Democrats refused to vote for them, handing the House majority to the GOP. The DCCC is setting up the identical scenario for 2022. The NY Times piece from Sunday begins by anti-single payer Red-to-Blue endorsee Clarke Tucker, the candidate they've chosen to run against French Hill in an R+7 central Arkansas district that includes Little Rock, Search and Benton. Obama lost both times he ran there and the district gave Trump a 52.4% to 41.7% win over Hillary. GOP incumbent French Hill win by an even greater margin-- 58.3% to 36.8%. Vic Snyder was the last Democrat to win the seat and that was a decade ago.

Tucker has a reputation of ducking tough votes. In a wave year, the district is winnable and, in fact, a PPP survey last month showed Tucker in a dead heat with Hill (44-45%) when voters are presented with information about two of Rep. Hill’s key votes. The poll also finds an overwhelming majority of voters (77%) have major (63%) or minor (14%) concerns with Rep. Hill’s vote for the American Health Care Act, and a majority of voters do not support the recently-passed GOP Tax Bill.

Even if Tucker is the most progressive the Democrats can expect in a district in Arkansas-- and I'm not certain that's even the case-- the problem with the DCCC is that they're also recruiting Blue Dogs and New Dems-- the Republicans wing of the Democratic Party-- for far less conservative districts and for districts Bernie won in 2016. Blinder and Burns describe him, admiringly, by noting that "even when addressing an audience of Democratic Party regulars, he does not attack President Trump by name. In short, he comes across as a moderate — and exactly the kind of candidate who leading Democrats believe the party should field in Republican-leaning districts to bolster the majority they hope to win in the House in November. But that strategy frustrates the party’s liberal supporters, who feel the wind at the Democrats’ back and worry about using it to crowd their House caucus with members who may feel inclined to buck the party leadership and stray from its policy agenda."
Though much of the Democratic energy nationally is coming from the party’s left, Mr. Tucker appears to be running well ahead of a clutch of more liberal rivals in the May 22 primary for a seat in Central Arkansas.

“There’s, in my view, an overly simplistic characterization of Democrats now into one of two camps: either centrist and unenthusiastic or liberal and passionate,” Mr. Tucker, a state legislator, said in an interview after he spoke at a Faulkner County Democratic Women lunch on May 7. “I have a lot of passion about the issues that I really care about. At the same time, I realize that making any progress is better than making no progress at all.”

His broad, incremental approach can feel unsatisfying to more confrontational Democrats. Even more aggravating for them is the support Mr. Tucker has received from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington, which anointed him as its preferred candidate to challenge the district’s Republican incumbent, French Hill.

“Is it really worth the win to keep pushing back against the people you’re supposed to be serving?” said Paul Spencer, one of Mr. Tucker’s primary opponents. “The party used to stand for something. At some point, you’ve got to stand up, and you’ve got to move the party in the right direction.”

In a string of important races across the country, national Democrats have been embracing recruits near the political center, hoping they will give the party the chance to compete in states like Utah and Kansas where a liberal Democrat might stand little chance of winning. About a dozen crucial House races this fall are likely to feature Democratic nominees who are positioned markedly closer to the middle than the national party’s activist base-- more than enough to determine control of the House.
Again, even if you concede that this strategy makes sense, the DCCC is also recruiting the same kind of right-of-center conservatives to run in districts far to the left of Arkansas' second. The DCCC refuses to acknowledged that it has an ideology (right-of-center), but that's because it is incapable of looking at itself in the mirror. The DCCC is built on money and conservatives are far more willing to start down that slippery slope of corruption tham idealistic, policy-oriented progressives, who frequently don't care much about policy anyway. Conor Lamb is a good example. So are Illinois Blue Dog Brendan Kelly and Indiana New Dem Mel Hall, two future backers of GOP efforts in the House.
The party scored an early upset with just such a candidate, Conor Lamb, in a Pennsylvania special election in March. Mr. Lamb, a veteran, opposed Ms. Pelosi, single-payer health care and most new gun regulations, but with a populist economic message captured a district Mr. Trump carried easily in 2016.

Democratic voters have largely been going along in the primaries held so far in these districts, which are often in rural areas. In Illinois the voters chose Brendan Kelly, a prosecutor with a mend-it, don’t-end-it message on the Affordable Care Act, to take on a conservative Republican in a rural district. And on Tuesday, Democrats in several states that President Trump carried in 2016 selected ideological mavericks to carry their banner in difficult House races.

One was in Indiana, where Mel Hall, a businessman and former minister who has made political donations to Republicans, dispatched rivals on the left who called him an unreliable Democrat.

Another was in West Virginia, where Richard Ojeda, a fiery populist running for an open seat in the southern part of the state, has boasted of having voted for Mr. Trump in 2016.

Representative Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, a first-term Democrat who wrested his closely divided district from a hard-line Republican in 2016, said his party should strongly back moderate candidates who have the potential to compete in areas that often prove politically grim for Democrats. Mr. Gottheimer, who is backed by the conservative-leaning U.S. Chamber of Commerce, urged liberal Democrats to accept some ideological dissension in the party’s ranks in order to achieve a congressional majority.

“If we’re going to win some of the places we can win, in redder parts of the country, it’s with people who may not be aligned on certain issues with some other Democrats,” Mr. Gottheimer said.

Lawmakers and advocacy groups on the left object that recruiting a generation of less-than-liberal Democrats might cripple the party’s ability to enact sweeping policy changes in Washington. If Democrats capture the House in November by only a narrow margin-- perhaps half a dozen seats or fewer-- a small cluster of stubborn centrists could wield enormous influence.

It's worth mentioning that Gottheimer, a Blue Dog is rated an "F" by ProgressivePunch and has crucial vote score of 37.76, indicating he votes against progressive legislation more than twice as much as voting for it. At the moment only one Democrat votes more consistently with the Republicans than Gottheimer: crackpot conservative Kyrsten Sinema, the head of the Blue Dogs.
Liberal resistance to that scenario may become a more serious obstacle for moderate Democrats later in primary season, when bluer-tinged states select candidates. For example, in California, which votes next month, Democrats are waging fierce left-versus-center primary fights in many of the 14 Republican-held districts. And in many contested suburban districts, Democrats appear likely to nominate candidates well to the left of center.

Mr. Gottheimer acknowledged “tension within the ranks in the party” over whom to back in high-profile House races. He said he had spoken personally with centrist candidates in his own state and in Minnesota, California and elsewhere to urge them on. He paraphrased his message: “You can win, and you’ll be welcome in the caucus and in the party.”

The House Democrats’ campaign committee has not hesitated to back relatively moderate candidates, even in less red areas, when the group concludes that a less strident nominee would give the party its best chance of winning. The committee has backed centrist state legislators for Congress in upstate New York and southern New Jersey, and anointed Gil Cisneros, a former Republican and military veteran, in Orange County, Calif.
Cisneros is a useless moron, who is unacquainted with even the most basic policy questions and is a recent Republican who "switched" parties. He is as likely to tell the truth about anything as Trump is. Burns and Blinder didn't feel it was necessary to report that he won $266 million in a lottery and has used some of it in bribes he's handed out to corrupt congressional Democrats who are now happily backing him. That's what the NY Times has denigrated into lately. They didn't lie-- they just omitted the truth.
Poll results suggest that Mr. Tucker, 37, may advance to the general election without a runoff. The Democratic maneuvers in the race reflect a sometimes-grudging consensus among many donors and strategists that a more liberal candidate would falter in Arkansas.

Mr. Tucker said he wanted “to appeal to different kinds of people,” from his party’s most progressive voices to disgruntled Republicans, and he defended his record in the state legislature, which he portrayed as both proudly Democratic and bipartisan.

“It’s important to recognize that when you say, ‘Oh, here’s a candidate who could win,’ it’s not about being moderate enough to attract moderates,” he said. “It’s about being visionary and innovative and passionate enough to excite people, to get them out and vote as well.”

His rival Mr. Spencer, a high school teacher, chafed at the national party’s intervention in the primary: “I’ve taught the Constitution for 20 years. I never saw any place in that document that said I had to ask permission of the party elite if I could run for public office.”

Mr. Spencer, whose campaign office in North Little Rock is filled with young workers and a decidedly grass-roots, upstart sensibility, insisted that a liberal platform would fare well among Arkansans if given the chance.

For plenty of Democrats, though, that seems too big a gamble. They say that in a place like Arkansas, their party must play a long game, and not expect voters to swing all the way from Republicanism to a Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren-style liberal platform in a single election.

“Maybe we can get to that later, but you don’t build Rome in a day,” said Marion Baker, a 93-year-old stalwart of Democratic politics in Arkansas. “When you do a little thing, and it works, and people see that you do what you say you’ll do, then they’ll go along.”
Goal ThermometerIs that so? Or does it not really matter? Republicans are going to vote for Republicans in November and Democrats are going to vote for Democrats. Independents are what matters and the issue for them is Trump. Will they be inspired to vote for an anti-single-payer Democrat like Tucker rather than a single-payer supporter like Spencer? I doubt it. Independents who are winging away from the GOP are swinging away from Trump and away from an over-reaching Republican Congress. The DCCC, though, sees an opportunity to stock the Congress with conservative Democrats from the Republican-wing of the party so it will look more like... the people who control the DCCC-- yep, that simple. If you want real change, please help elect the progressive candidates who aren't part of the DCCC scam. There are no Josh Gottheimers or Clarke Tuckers, no Mel Halls or Brendan Kellys if you click on the Blue America 2018 congressional thermometer on the right.

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At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only logical explanation is that the "democratic" Party is being paid well to ensure that they don't affect the growing power of corporatism in the US. It's not like We the People are of any importance, after all.

At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Tammy said...

So which districts are progressive?

At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you call it when the truth is smacking you in the face with a cricket bat, but you still somehow avoid the epiphany???

"The DCCC, though, sees an opportunity to stock the Congress with conservative Democrats from the Republican-wing of the party so it will look more like... the people who control the DCCC-- yep, that simple. If you want real change, please help elect the progressive candidates who aren't part of the DCCC scam."

Yep. The party oligarchy are doing their all to keep their party pure. Yet, you still think that adding a few outliers at the bottom will ... somehow... give you "real change"??

Like trying to 'splain quantum mechanics.. or even the dangers of eating rubber balls to my fucking dog!

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

every rubber ball he eats makes him violently sick and miserable for a day.
but every rubber ball he sees, he eats. can't stop himself. experience does not teach him anything. rubber ball ==> eat it ==> violently sick/miserable. every time. He'll never learn.. but he may die. That'll teach him, boy!

He doesn't understand Einstein's quote either.

At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good one 12:19. I don't think that he is gonna change. I don't think that he is ever gonna get it.

At 6:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard Dawkins has explained why those most enthralled with their religions CANNOT learn and/or REFUSE TO accept truths that repudiate their own religions.

It's a facet of humankind that SHALL cause our extinction... probably very soon.


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