Wednesday, January 25, 2012

With Democrats Like Artur Davis, Who Needs Republicans?


Before he was thoroughly rejected by Democrats in the Alabama gubernatorial primary in 2010, Rep. Artur Davis, a conservative corporate shill representing one of the safest Democratic seats in the country, was being pushed by the Beltway Democratic Establishment as a future leader. In his last year in Congress he voted far more often with the GOP than with his own party. There are quite a few "Democrats" like that, and when you contribute to the DCCC that's exactly where your money goes. As we mentioned a couple weeks ago, Davis is getting ready to officially become a black Republican. Yesterday he was paying his dues by shilling for the Bush family in the National Review. He's giving his right-wing pals some friendly advice to help them defeat President Obama. When will he get his own show on Fox? He's fretting that "an Obama landslide would devastate conservatism enough that it might be irreparable for a generation" and making the case-- several cases-- for a Jeb Bush run.
One doesn’t have to subscribe to Gingrich’s Manichean rhetoric to concede that an Obama sweep would, for the first time in 76 years, institute government-centered, redistributionist economics as the country’s central governing philosophy. It would be, after all, the agenda that Obama and congressional Democrats had campaigned on, in contrast to the deliberately muted, ideologically vague platforms that elected Carter, Clinton, and Obama in 2008; or the growth-oriented, business friendly liberalism that JFK and LBJ embodied.

Second, Bush would have a pathway to victory in November. His brand of reform-oriented conservatism might actually be his party’s only pathway: Unlike Romney, whose leadership of Massachusetts produced one signature achievement-- a hodgepodge of a health-care law that he likely wishes he could take back-- Bush’s legacy is an issue that Republicans ought to own but are ignoring, education reform. He also turned Florida into a national laboratory for controlling health-care costs and reining in medical tort liability, both soft spots in Obama’s record.

At the same time, Bush has revealed a capacity for coalition-building that has eluded Gingrich. He is a hero of the conservative base who has had remarkable electoral appeal to Jewish and Hispanic voters. He combines support for a modified version of the DREAM Act with backing stronger border security-- a middle ground that is both tough-minded and assimilationist-- and happens to be entering his fourth decade of marriage to a Hispanic woman. It goes without saying that Bush gives Republicans the best shot of removing Florida from the Democratic column, and winning states with a strong Latino presence such as Arizona and Colorado.

The fact is that Jeb Bush bent Florida, a famously interest-group-ridden state, in a rightward direction; that’s an accomplishment Romney can’t begin to claim vis-à-vis Massachusetts. Bush is not just an authentic movement conservative, but a groundbreaker on an array of issues that drive votes, such as accountability for teachers and reining in the costs of private health insurance. While his record has blemishes that Democrats would exploit, from his stint in the Eighties lobbying for southern-Florida business interests to his ill-timed tenure at Lehman Brothers in 2007, this Bush is an adept, articulate campaigner who is unlikely to be tied in knots defending his history. Also, the statute of limitations seems to have expired on the ugliest sentiments around the last Bush presidency.

Jeb Bush should measure his reluctance against the risks looming for his party and, potentially, his country. The fact is that his party could be staring at an unavoidable disaster unless, in the interests of saving it, its best candidate comes out of retirement.

Last week the DCCC unveiled its "Red to Blue" list, the candidates whose elections they're prioritizing. In many cases, they picked staunch conservatives who are in primary battles against progressives. How many on it were just like Artur Davis politically? Far too many. In district after district, "ex"-Blue Dog Steve Israel forced the DCCC to back future Artur Davises who had already been endorsed by the reactionary, anti-Choice, anti-gay, anti-working-family Blue Dog caucus. The Blue Dogs have recruited right-wing candidates Rob Wallace (OK), Leonard Bembry (FL), Brendan Mullen (IN) and Clark Hall (AR), and they were immediately embraced by the DCCC, which is also backing defeated Blue Dogs Nick Lampson (TX) and Charlie Wilson (OH). Meanwhile Israel hops around the country whispering to Democratic donors to not help fund progressives like Darcy Burner so that he can slip more-conservative and easier-to-control candidates into nominations.

How to avoid future Artur Davises? Refuse to give any contributions to the DCCC until the Democratic Party reforms it and stops appointing degenerate corporate shills like Rahm Emanuel and Steve Israel. Instead, contribute directly to progressive candidates. Here's the best batch of them we could find, dedicated New Deal Democrats like Norman Solomon (D-CA), John Waltz (D-MI), Ilya Sheyman (D-IL), Eric Griego (D-NM), Nick Ruiz (D-FL) and Franke Wilmer (D-MT). Hit the link to view the whole list. Almost all of them have been studiously ignored by the DCCC.

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At 5:29 PM, Anonymous me said...

"an Obama landslide would devastate conservatism enough that it might be irreparable for a generation"

If I believed that, it would be almost, but not quite, enough to make me vote for Obama.

But I do NOT believe it; in fact, I believe the contrary. An O'Bummer victory would convince pols that "Phony Democrat" is a winning position.

Naturally, a republican victory will convince them that voters are very conservative. Anything to move politicians to the right, the pols love.

The only thing that might wake them up would be a strong showing by a liberal candidate. But those can't get on the air, so that's unlikely to happen.

At 5:31 PM, Anonymous me said...

I heard Norman Goldman on the radio today, saying that if a candidate would convincingly run on just four issues, he'd win in a cakewalk. I think he's right.

Those are:

1. Bring American jobs back home.

2. Fair taxation.

3. End corporate welfare.

4. Downsize the American empire.

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Redeye said...

at me said;
"If I believed that, it would be almost, but not quite, enough to make me vote for Obama."

Not voting for Obama is voting for the republican. The candidate with the most votes wins..if more of them vote...they win and we lose.

The thing to do is vote for Obama and make him do what we the people want him to do. How do we do that? By being vocal.

At 8:42 AM, Anonymous me said...

Not voting for Obama is voting for the republican.

Nonsense. That's the same bullshit LIE that they have been feeding us for decades, and I for one am NOT buying it any more.

The dems and the repubs are in cahoots. It's the old good cop, bad cop routine, and you and I are the victims.

At 8:46 AM, Anonymous me said...

Obama will NOT do what you want him to do, not now, not ever.

He won't do what you want any more than Bush did. It doesn't matter how vocal you are, it doesn't matter how many letters you write, it doesn't matter how many protests you march in.

Obama says halfway (and only halfway) decent things during an election campaign. At all other times, you can go fuck yourself as far as he is concerned.

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Redeye said...

What part of the candidate with the most votes wins is a lie?

At 7:17 PM, Anonymous me said...

The part that implies that there is a significant difference between the candidates is a lie. The part that says, "You have to eat dog shit because pig shit is even worse" is a lie.

The claim that we have to choose between a Demublican and a Republocrat is a lie.

You know why the republican candidates suck so badly? It's deliberate! The masters of the country want you to think that Obama is an acceptable alternative, and to think you have "won" when you get him. Now THAT is a lie.

For at least 30 years, we've been told to hold our noses and vote for the democrat because the republican is even worse. But you know what? The "democrat" IS a republican!

And you say you don't get it? Are you being deliberately obtuse?

At 5:45 AM, Blogger Redeye said...

President Obama is not only an acceptable alternative, he is the only alternative.


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