Monday, May 13, 2019

Destroying The Democratic Party Brand-- And Agenda... Meet The Filthy, Corrupt Blue Dogs


Bernie vs Establishment by Nancy Ohanian

I don't know how to get people I don't know off my Facebook "friends" list without going through all 5,000 names and deleting people I don't know. More than 90% of what I use Facebook for is to provide links for my DWT posts. Lately I've been getting a lot of comments like this: "Jesus Fucking Christ....I do not care who the Dem candidate is! If we can't all just say we will vote for whoever that person is...WE RE FUCKED. PERIOD." You probably already know how much I hate this kind of ignorance and don't want it on the page. There must be plenty of pages for the politically un-evolved where they can post this kind of childish and destructive stupidity. This is how we got Trump: "I do not care who the Dem candidate is!" And that is how Trump could be reelected. And that's how to prepare the ground for someone even worse than Trump, as hard as that might be to imagine.

If Democratic primary voters don't care-- and blithely allow the self-interested establishment to push their corrupt candidates into nominations-- we get mediocre presidents and venal legislators. Today, more people hate the president than like him. More people hate Congress than like it. More people hate our national leaders-- whether McConnell, Pence, Pelosi or Schumer-- than like them. Is that the way it should be? The Democratic Party was a beacon of light for most Americans during the 1930s and 1940s. FDR and his policies were cherished by the American people. In 1932, when FDR turned out incumbent Herbert Hoover, he won all but 6 states. When he was reelected in 1936, he only lost 2 states and won the electoral college 523 to 8.

In the 1932 congressional elections, when America finally woke up to the venality of the GOP, the Republicans lost 101 seats, leaving the Democrats with a 313 to 117 majority. The Democrats clearly stood for something that the people wanted and the Republicans were a stark contrast. The Democratic Congress started passing legislation that fundamentally changed the country-- for the better, while the GOP screamed "socialism!" In the 1934 midterms, the Republicans lost 14 more seats and in the 1936 general election, another 15 seats were taken from the Republicans leaving the makeup of the House 334 Democrats to 88 Republicans (with 7 from the Progressive Party and 3 from the Farmer-Labor Party). Similar losses in the Senate over those years, left the GOP with just 17 seats by 1936 (to 74 for the Democrats).

Before we get into what I have a feeling is going to be a long, long post, please take a look at this list of the current members of the Blue Dog Coalition. "Blue Dog" is not an adjective or a description of conservative Democrats, although all Blue Dogs are conservative Democrats. When I use "Blue Dog," I'm talking about dues-paying members of the House who chose to join a caucus of like-minded, corrupt, reactionary Democratic politicians. They have meetings and officers and, alas, an agenda. More about that later. Here's the list since the DCCC-consciously decided to pump up their ranks by recruiting a pack of them as candidates and then supporting their bids in order, to check progressive power and turn the Democratic Party in a more corporate and more right-leaning direction. (Next to each name is their ProgressivePunch rating and crucial vote score; the names are listed from worst to less terrible, in terms of their lifetime scores.)

Jeff Van Drew (NJ)- F (35.71)
Joe Cunningham (SC)- F (35.71)
Ben McAdams (UT)- F (35.71)
Anthony Brindisi (NY), co-chair- F (35.71)
Henry Cuellar (TX)- F (39.00)
Collin Peterson (MN)- F (39.00)
Josh Gottheimer (NJ)- F (40.51)
Xochital Torres Small (NM)- F (42.86)
Kendra Horn (OK)- F (42.86)
Jim Costa (CA)- F (43.22)
Tom O'Halleran (AZ), co-chair- F (44.94)
Stephanie Murphy (FL), co-chair- F (48.10)
Brad Schneider (IL)- F (53.98)
Filemon Vela (TX)- F (55.97)
Jim Cooper (TN)- F (56.57)
Charlie Crist (FL)- F (57.05)
Luis Correa (CA), co-chair- F (57.23)
Dan Lipinski (IL)- F (58.01)
Sanford Bishop (GA)- F (58.89)
Kurt Schrader (OR)- F (60.13)
Vicente González (TX)- F (62.26)
Mikie Sherrill (NJ)- F (64.29)
Abigail Spanberger (VA)- F (64.29)
Max Rose (NY)- F (64.29)
Ed Case (HI)- F (67.75)
David Scott (GA)- F (67.75)
Mike Thompson (CA)- D (82.40)
Goal ThermometerCurrently, Blue America is working with progressive candidates (click on the Primary A Blue Dog thermometer) primarying 3 of the 27 little buggers. In a perfect world all 27 would be facing primaries and in every case--except Mike Thompson, who isn't a real Blue Dog, but just a spy Pelosi has over there to make sure none of them gets a really bad plot going-- we are better off seeing them beaten either in a primary (preferably) or even in a general election. The part about "even in a general election" is extremely controversial among Democrats. It brings to mind the absolutely brilliant essay New York Magazine published by Eric Levitz over the weekend, Tribalism Isn't Our Democracy's Main Problem. The Conservative Movement Is. He started by writing about American politics when I was growing up: "In the middle of the 20th century, America was home to liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats. The most important fault-lines in Congress weren’t partisan but regional; on many issues, southern Democrats and western Republicans united in battle against northern (and typically, liberal and/or labor-aligned) members of their respective caucuses. On economics, the two parties’ agendas were distinct, but far less disparate than they are today. On civil rights and immigration, the divisions within each side of the aisle were more important than those between them. This utter dearth of partisan polarization undermined democratic accountability. A liberal could vote for Democratic candidates in New York, and unwittingly empower arch-segregationists in the Senate; many voters had no clear heuristic telling them which party would best represent their interests and ideological goals, nor which one was to blame for Congress’s failure to advance such aims." That's what establishment Democrats seem to be pushing the congressional party towards-- particularly Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi, Jim Clyburn, Cheri Bustos, Ben Ray Luján and Hakeem Jeffries.

In 1950 the American Political Science Association called on Republicans and Democrats to heighten their contradictions, arguing that "popular government in a nation of 150 million people requires political parties which provide the electorate with a proper range of choices between alternatives of action." Levitz wrote that "Democrats and Republicans now provide the electorate with stark choices on health care, taxation, social spending, immigration, racial justice, abortion, environmental regulation, labor rights, and other issues. It has rarely, if ever, been more clear what-- and whom-- each party in the U.S. stands for." Pelosi and Schumer and their cronies are working towards reversing the trend by pushing the Democratic Party further right-- towards the conservative positions that GOP seems to have abandoned as their pursued more fascist/Trumpist policies. One of their tools to accomplish that is candidate recruitment and support. Both the DCCC and DSCC, controlled, respectively, by Pelosi and Schumer, favor conservative and corporatist candidates over progressives in all cases and at all times.

And how does that manifest itself? What can 27 Blue Dogs do to screw things up more than they already are? Well, first of all, there is the fact that almost every Blue Dog-- I think there are two exceptions-- is also members of the Wall Street-owned New Dems, another venal, right-of-center Democratic Party House caucus, a much bigger and no less pernicious one. Together, the Blue Dogs and the New Dems are the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. On Saturday, The Intercept published a piece by Lee Fang, Lobbyists Working To Undermine Medicare-For-All, Host Congressional Staff At Luxury Resort, that exposes one tiny outrage among the Republican wing's daily and myriad outrages against the party of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. I hope the Facebook contingent that thinks it's just fine voting for a corporate whore like Biden reads this too.

Fang reported that last month around 50 senior congressional staffers were being wined and dined-- and brainwashed by "health care lobbyists focused on defeating Medicare for All" under the auspices of the Blue Dog's corporately funded Center Forward, a viciously anti-progressive "think tank" dedicated to opposing "social welfare spending, taxes on the wealthy, and regulations on business." Sounds like the GOP, right? It's what the Blue Dogs and New Dems stand for. It's what morons who talk about "any blue will do" are pushing without even know they're working against their own values and interests.

Center Forward’s big idea on Medicare Part D, for instance, is to maintain lobbyist-authored provisions of the law that bar the government from bargaining for lower prices for medicine. Such restrictions cost taxpayers and patients as much as $73 billion a year while boosting the profits of drugmakers. Center Forward endorses the idea with a testimonial from Mary Grealy, a lobbyist for a trade group that represents pharmaceutical companies.

...[T]he health care discussion was led by Center Forward board member Liz Greer, a lobbyist at Forbes Tate; the firm manages the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future coalition designed to undermine Medicare-for-All. Paul Kidwell, a lobbyist from the Federation of American Hospitals, and Larry Levitt, from the Kaiser Family Foundation, also spoke. No proponents of Medicare-for-All were included. Kidwell’s trade association is part of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future group opposing single payer.

...The ethics disclosure shows a large number of senior aides attended the event.

Several aides to Democratic leadership filed disclosures showing that they received paid travel to attend the Center Forward retreat, including chiefs of staff to Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). The retreat included chiefs of staff to leading centrist Democrats, including Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR); David Trone (New Dem-MD); Dan Lipinski (Blue Dog-IL); and Xochitl Torres Small (Blue Dog-NM). Officials from the Blue Dogs, Problem Solvers Caucus, and the New Democrats were also in attendance.

Unlike the previous branding of Blue Dogs, who were once billed a “big tent” designed to bring conservative ideas into the Democratic Party, the centrist push now explicitly includes Republicans. Senior aides to Reps. Sean Duffy (R-WI); Rodney Davis (R-IL).; and Will Hurd (R-TX) attended the retreat as well.

The Ethics Committee rules bar registered lobbyists from arranging luxury travel for Congress. Although Center Forward’s board is made up almost entirely of registered corporate lobbyists, the event forms were signed by the group’s executive director, Cori Kramer, who is not a registered lobbyist-- a technicality that helped elide the prohibition on lobbyist-funded travel. The forms show the group spent as much as $560 per congressional aide for transportation, food, and lodging.

“The host list speaks for itself,” said Wendell Potter, president of Business Initiative for Health Policy. “This event wasn’t about fixing the health care system. It was about protecting the health care industry, no matter the cost to patients, families, workers, or employers.”

“The industry is the root cause of our health care crisis. A congressional staffer serious about finding solutions wouldn’t touch that retreat with a 10-foot pole,” he added.

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At 6:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be a much shorter and to-the-point piece to list everyone who can arguably be called progressive. That of course means leaving most of those in the CPC off because they are 95% posers.

The rest are corrupt and evil. The party leadershit are the most corrupt and evil. Therefore the party is corrupt and evil.

Nice that you illustrated how much smarter (or less fucking stupid, if you will) voters in the '30s and '40s were. Sadly, that kick in the balls won't matter to today's American electorate, which have proved impervious to facts and data for 4 decades -- much more so lately.

The democrap brand self-immolated when Clinton et al formed the DLC for the sole purpose of corrupting it. They were spectacularly successful almost immediately, however the electorate, already provably dumber than shit, never got the message. Had they, the democrap party would today be an asterisk in history books... if history books actually exist any more.

That cartoon with obamanation "driving" that ambulance is a goddamn lie. If it were him driving that ambulance into the grand canyon... on fire... with all the blue dogs in the cab with him counting their money... then it would be accurate. But that wouldn't sheepdog the morons nearly as well.

At 8:02 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

And Money controls the Blue Dogs they love the corrupt cash which is why they need to be replaced & be gone.

At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These corporatist toadies will destroy what remains of the American medical care system. It is already extremely difficult to afford all of the treatments and services -not to mention drugs- even if you have insurance. Woe betide those of us on Medicare and fixed incomes!

Alan Grayson was so correct with his presentation of the GOP Health Care Plan. The travesty is that so many democraps are helping them make that the only option for too many people.

At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the medical "CARE" system is already destroyed. What exists is a system to support the leeches in corporate insurance and phrma. If "CARE" happens, it's due to the dedication of the proles in what used to be a compassionate calling.


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