Thursday, October 30, 2008

Potential Shocker On Tuesday?


There is going to be a gigantic Democratic Party victory in congressional races around the country. With an immense majority, though, I expect we will see tremendous disappointment as Democrats fail to accomplish progressive goals because of the enhanced power of nominal Democrats from deep in the bowels of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Earlier this morning we looked at the cynical approach of corporatist Democrats like Rahm Emanuel and Steny Hoyer who are using so-called "free" trade as a potent campaign issue to beat up on Republican incumbents while their own records are as bad-- if not worse-- than the Republicans! They admit that after the election they will work on new Democrats to "moderate" (i.e.- come over to the Dark Side) their positions. And this morning's Wall Street Journal reassures its reactionary readers that with enhanced clout within the Democratic caucus, the Blue Dogs will have the power to prevent any real reform from making America a more progressive nation.

Also this morning I was looking at some potential good news regarding possible losses from a couple of the worst most reactionary Democrats in Congress, Jim Marshall (GA) and Nick Lampson (TX), two whose voting records show they stand with the GOP far more than with the Democrats when it comes to representing the interests of working families. Members like Marshall and Lampson, in some ways, are even worse than actual Republicans, because these treacherous Blue Dogs eat away at the heart and soul of progressivism from within the Democratic Party. One of my friends with a similar perspective e-mailed me at around 6 this morning:
I want to choke when I read in places like Daily Kos things like: "Good news! This poll shows Carney with a solid lead" or "Bad news-- Jim Marshall is struggling." 

I mean-- I understand that in a two-party system, only one party can win, but when you know that your party is going to have a 60-seat margin (at least), there's no reason to openly cheer for people that support every horrible thing there is.

I wonder if the Kosack who was bemoaning Marshall's re-election problem even knows that, in the end, Marshall was the only Democrat to stand with Bush's veto of healthcare for needy children (SCHIP). I doubt it. But if Marshall does lose his seat on Tuesday, I would be shocked, pleasantly so. Same for Lampson. Voters are excited about Obama and think voting for generic "Democrats," even arch-reactionaries like Marshall and Lampson, will give Obama the ability to push through his agenda for change, an agenda that will be blocked by congressman like Marshall and Lampson who vote far more frequently with the GOP on substantive matters than with Democrats.

This morning Bob Geiger, a Senate expert who was the only person I know of who called every single Senate contest correctly in 2006, predicted that the Democrats would reach the filibuster-proof magic number. He is forecasting Democratic victories in 3 open Republican seats: Virginia, New Mexico and Colorado plus red to blue switches in Oregon, New Hampshire, Alaska, North Carolina, Minnesota, and, after a run-off, Georgia. That leaves the Democrats with 60 if you count Lieberman as a Democrat and if you ignore that nominal Democrats like Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Evan Bayh and others who cross the aisle and vote with the GOP frequently.

It's a dire look for a best-case scenario. The only way around it would be to elect 3 more progressives-- Andrew Rice in Oklahoma, Rick Noriega in Texas, and Tom Allen in Maine-- all of whom are struggling to gain traction but none of whom face hopeless situations. The Democratic Establishment Inside-the-Beltway will instead squander precious resources to help the most reactionary "Democratic" candidate running anywhere-- Bruce Lunsford in Kentucky, who, if he wins, will be an even worse and more corrupting presence than Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu.

So what's the shocker from the headline? Ah... glad you remembered. It's in the House. Yesterday, we reminded you that the Insider prognosticators and pundits and pollsters shape the national perception of races and often miss key ones. No one talked about Nancy Boyda, Dave Loebsack or Carol Shea-Porter in the run up to the 2006 election. But all are members of Congress today. This morning CQPolitics moved the race in Idaho's first district from leans or likely Republican (incumbent extremist loon Bill Sali) to "toss up." For Insiders like CQPolitics to make a call like that, it pretty much means that Democrat Walt Minnick has the race in the bag. In any case, this race-- which has been the subject of optimistic chatter for weeks--is far from the shocker. The shocker (this year's equivalents of the Boyda, Loebsack and Shea-Porter victories) would be the races we talked about yesterday Rob Hubler and Becky Greenwald in Iowa and Steve O'Donnell in Pennsylvania.

Yes, the Beltway Cooks and Schnooks, have never looked seriously at any of these races but inside the districts, people who know a lot more about it than they ever will see a potential for change that the Cooks and Schnooks will call unpredictable and even cataclysmic on Tuesday if they come to fruition. Yesterday we looked at the Des Moines Register endorsements for progressive challengers Becky Greenwald and Rob Hubler. Today there was a much bigger surprise. One of the most conservative newspapers in the country, owned in fact by neo-Nazi Richard Mellon Scaife, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review called for the defeat of Republican rubber stamp incumbent Tim Murphy in PA-18. The content of the endorsement is mind-boggling and must have left Murphy shattered this morning when he read it. Predictably, it attacks him from the right:
"We have serious problems and it's time for serious solutions," says Tim Murphy, Pennsylvania's 18th District congressman, in one of his campaign re-election commercials.

So, why isn't he offering any?

Mr. Murphy, 56, of Upper St. Clair, is seeking his fourth House term. But he doesn't deserve it.

Not only does Murphy remain under the cloud of a federal investigation that's attempting to determine if he illegally used his taxpayer-funded staff for impermissible political work, his conservative credentials have turned about as cloudy as they come.

The paper goes on to savage him for supporting the Employee Free Choice Act-- the biggest bugaboo for the Greed and Selfishness wing of the GOP this year-- their version of gay marriage-- and then mentions that "Murphy fails to give his Republican Party affiliation in his campaign commercials and literature. It sounds to us as if he's ready to switch parties and join the emboldened Nancy Pelosi Democrat-Socialist liberal majority on Capitol Hill. There's no excuse for Tim Murphy. And the electorate should make none for him."

It's not exactly a ringing endorsement for proud progressive Steve O'Donnell but the effect is what's key and for Republican voters already disillusioned by McCain's erratic, directionless campaign, this is exactly what the doctor ordered to keep depressed Republicans away from the polls on Tuesday-- in a district where registration has swung over to Democrats by 60,000. The DCCC is busy pumping millions of dollars into races of anti-choice fanatics-- Democratic anti-choice fanatics-- like Bobby Bright and Parker Griffith in Alabama, Kathy Dahlkemper just north of PA-18 up in Erie, David Boswell in Kentucky, Bill O'Neill in Ohio, etc-- while just a small push for a real Democrat like Steve O'Donnell would win him the race. But do they want real Democrats? Or do they want more reactionary garbage who will vote with the GOP the way Don Cazayoux and Travis Childers have been doing since millions of dollars in Democratic money was pumped into their special elections a few months ago?

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At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. If Steve King and Tom Latham go down it will be because you and others helped to shine a spotlight on these races. I appreciate it very much.


At 1:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill O'Neill in OH-14 has not recieved one dime from the DCCC, get your facts straight.

At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read this crap I found on the website Swing State Project about the Mahoney debacle:

This is an ugly, awful race with an ugly, awful candidate on the Dem line who really ought to spare himself, his family, his constituents, and his nominal party a whole lot of embarrassment by resigning. We'll have a shot here again in the future.

One point I'd like to make in passing, though, is that if Dave Lutrin, who was a short-lived primary opponent of Mahoney's back in 2006, thought his cause was just, he should never have dropped out. I'm really tired of claims that Rahm Emanuel somehow "pushed" Lutrin out of the race.

This isn't a third-world country. His family wasn't threatened. In America, if you want to run for office, you run. Some people might make things difficult for you, but that's called politics. And we also have excellent proof that such a course of action by no means has to be quixotic - just look at Reps. Jerry McNerney and Carol Shea-Porter. In other words, there's no excuse for giving up just because Rahm allegedly likes someone else better than you. (David)

Yeah. James L. doesn't get it at all. The website is very lockstep with the DCCC, as if James L thinks people like us run it. Which is completely false.

At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe that we let 43 presidents in the White House who were Caucasian without questioning it. I feel violated and brain-washed. It was as though that was the way it was meant to be and in reality it wasn't. Every race that lives in this country should have a turn being president. Why didn't we recognize this before, America? It's not as if we live in Greenland or Finland where there is basically only one race. This is a disgrace!


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