Wednesday, October 18, 2006



A couple days ago I promised some friends at the DCCC-- yeah the place is filled with good Democrats and progressives, not just a bunch of Rahm-bots-- that I would hold off on criticizing Rahm for 24 hours in honor of his smart decision to jump into Jay Fawcett's race with some real money. Jay is exactly even with rightist fanatic Doug Lamborn and if the DCCC goes for a TV campaign in CO-05, we'll take this red, red district. Yesterday a friend of mine told me that the D-Trip had also jumped into the Charlie Brown race big time. "Hey does that mean Rahm gets another 24 hours?" Well, I'm sure happy about CA-04. Charlie's awesome and Doolittle is among the 3 or 4 worst Republican monstrosities running this year, right up there with Mean Jean Schmidt, Dirty Dick Pombo, Planet Denny Hastert, and Jerry Lewis. But 3 weeks out is not when the Chairman of the DCCC should be waking up to the brilliance of Howard Dean's Fifty State Strategy.

Rahm should have pulled his head out of his ass last spring and worked with Dean in a serious way back then instead of just narrowly focussing on getting a few Republican-lite fake Democrats elected. That said, I'm glad for whatever help-- no matter how late-- the grassroots can get from the Inside the Beltway careerist wing of the Party. And they are coming around-- and in more races than just Fawcett's and Brown's.

According to Jim VandeHei in today's Post, "top Democrats said yesterday that they are planning to significantly expand the number of GOP House seats they will target during the final 20 days of the campaign but that financial disputes and fundraising problems are hindering the effort." Polls are finally catching up with grassroots reality and Rahm and his team now say Democrats can go well beyond the 15 seats needed to win control of the House. Duh!

"Democrats said private polls have convinced top party officials that they could pick up 40 or more seats-- nearly double their internal projections from a week ago-- if they spend enough money on television advertising for long-shot races. Strategists James Carville and Stan Greenberg are among those pleading with party leaders to go deep into debt to run ads in as many as 50 GOP-held districts." This is what we pay these creeps 6-figure (7 figure?) salaries to come up with? On October 18th???

Rahm says 58 seats are now in play. He's getting closer. My own estimate is 63. One of the races where Rahm has suddenly seen the light is Tim Walz' in Minnesota-- which has been largely financed by the Kos/MyDD/SwingState netroots community for months. Fortunately, grassroots activists and deep pocket funders have gone after races that anyone outside the Beltway knew would be winnable for months, like John Hall's race against Sue Kelly in NY, Jerry McNerney's race against Pombo, John Laesch's against Hastert, Eric Massa against Randy Kuhl, Robert Rodriguez and David Roth here in California, Coleen Rowley against John Kline...

And the credit for the strong showings so far in races around the country rests firmly with the candidates and their own teams, most of whom are fighting as though the DCCC didn't even exist. Almost all the candidates on our Blue America list are pulling even or ahead of their Republican incumbents and nearly all of them have received the same assistance from the DCCC: "Good luck; we're with you!" I mean how clear has it been that this would be a mighty good year in Ohio? Victoria Wulsin should be a HUGE priority for the DCCC. She is for us. And next door in OH-01, John Cranley could defeat Steven Chabot-- with a little help from his "friends." I'm glad to see the DCCC waking up to Minnesota-- since we're electing a U.S. Senator there as well as defeating a sitting governor and because we have 4 Democratic challengers who could win. And 4 in California and 6 in NY and 5 in Pennsylvania and 3 in North Carolina... All of whom will now come up against a barrage of smear and fear Republican TV spots, financed by corporations looking to keep the gravy train flowing their way. And grassroots candidates will have a tough time countering them with postcards and yard signs.

Many patriots have expressed wariness over recent pronouncements from Bush, Cheney and Rove that the Republicans are confident of maintaining control. Does it mean the fix is in and that Diebold has everything under control for Bush again or that voter list purges will save the day for Repugs? Yesterday Rove sat down with the editorial board of the Moonie Times and told them not to worry. "I'm confident we're going to keep the Senate; I'm confident we're going to keep the House. The Foley matter has impact in some limited districts, but the research we have shows that people are differentiating between a vote for their congressman and a member from Florida."

The Foley matter? That is hardly first and foremost on any voters minds-- except maybe for a handful of religionist fanatics. What matters to voters in poll after poll after poll is the Iraq matter and the health care matter and, most important of all, the trust in government matter. And the Bush Regime comes up very very shot in all those matters that matter. But if Rove isn't depending on fixed machines, he knows he has one weapon in his arsenal he can deploy to absolutely devastating effect: money, and lots of it. He's got Big Oil and Big Pharma and Big Anything willing to write checks as high as the sky. What does our side have? The American people? Will it matter? Later today Blue America is going to launch a $5 donation drive for a week. It starts at 2:30 PM (Pacific Time) at Firedoglake. Before then, how about some multiples of $5 for the Blue America PAC so we can run a radio advertising campaign for Angie Paccione? (Oh, and we have a matching fund donor for the Blue America PAC today. If we can raise $1,000 for the Blue America PAC, Claire, a generous and committed donor will put in another $1,000 guaranteeing Angie the radio spots.) Can you help? It means a lot... for our country.


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