Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Blue Dogs Are Mining The Republican Wing Of The Democratic Party For The Worst Candidates They Can Find-- They Just Found 3 Today


Here we go again-- because losing once is never enough for a discredited strategy

The demise of the furthest right faction of Republican wing of the Democrat Party, the anti-Choice, gay-hating, gun-loving, Austerity champions know as the Blue Dogs, has been widely exaggerated. And as long as so-called "ex" Blue Dog, Steve Israel is allowed to run the DCCC, the Blue Dogs will always be a factor in position inside the Democratic Caucus to undermine progressive values and wreck progressive legislation with GOP ideas, as they did to the Affordable Care Act and Wall Street financial reform. The Blue Dogs are not just very conservative and bigoted, they are among the most personally corrupt Members of Congress and they sell their votes to the same characters Republicans sell their votes to.

Of late, some of the most right-wing Democrats-- the ones who vote most frequently against working families and with Bioehner and Cantor-- have enlisted in the enfeebled organization, namely Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Ron Barber (AZ), Nick Rahall (WV) and Cheri Bustos (IL). Steve Israel tells them this is good reelection strategy. It isn't. Bill Edley, a former state legislatorwho lives in Springfield and writes for the Chillicoathe Times Bulletin explained how the Blue Dogs are leading Bustos down a blind alley.
Voters want their representatives to work together. But even more important than bipartisanship, voters demand legislation that helps working families. Overly complex bills that aren't effective create more problems, as many congressional candidates will find out in the coming election.

Claiming "bipartisanship" as her reason, 17th District Congresswomen Cheri Bustos recently joined the Blue Dog Coalition, which has a long history of being disruptive, demanding and wrongheaded about economic issues. These so-called "conservative Democrats" have used other names over the years-- "Boll Weevils," "Dixiecrats"-- but in short, they're obstructionists.

The Blue Dogs were co-founded by former Louisiana Congressman Billy Tauzin, who later abandoned the pack and joined Republicans. Tauzin then left Congress altogether and became a pharmaceutical association lobbyist making $2 million annually. Phony bipartisanship has its benefits, as Tauzin understood. The Blue Dogs' funding comes mostly from drug and insurance companies.

If being conservative means spending less, resulting in less payback for your money, then the Blue Dogs are conservative. Think of filling your car up with a half tank of gas when you need a full tank to get where you're going.

Their "bipartisanship" has created a mess in Washington. Democrats held majorities in both houses from 2006 to 2010. However, they really didn't control the legislative agenda because the Blue Dogs and a few Senate Democrats joined Republicans to kill a more effective stimulus bill and a Medicare-like option in the health care reform legislation. Many Obama advisors and respected economists such as Nobel laureate Paul Krugman believed the stimulus legislation was about a third too small. Passing an inadequate stimulus has resulted in the slowest job recovery since the Great Depression. Can't find a good-paying job or any job at all? Blame the Blue Dogs and their misguided "bipartisanship."

Frustrated by complicated health care insurance? Blame the Blue Dogs. Democratic House leaders proposed a simple, cost-effective Medicare-like option for ObamaCare, but the Blue Dogs joined Republicans again and killed it. Medicare, unlike for-profit insurance, returns 92 to 98 cents of useable health services for each $1 spent. Instead we only have for-profit insurance options to choose from, and these options return 80 to 85 cents on each $1 spent. That's better than we received before ObamaCare, when private insurance returned as low as 40 cents. So is this "bipartisan" legislation conservative or a sellout?

Finally, the Blue Dog political strategy hasn't worked. In 2010, only 23 of 54 Blue Dogs won re-election. Half of those who voted against ObamaCare lost. Their membership was down to 14 before Bustos joined. She should reconsider, especially since labeling herself a Blue Dog is a flip-flop from her position of last spring, when she promoted "No Labels."
Earlier today the Blue Dog caucus announced their first recruits of 2014, and-- who could have guessed-- all three are Steve Israel DCCC Kickstart recruits too! What a coincidence! NOT! Israel has no interest in taking back the House, only in stocking the House Democratic caucus with Blue Dogs and other garbage from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Although, almost all of his recruits-- there are a couple of exceptions-- are worthless conservative crap candidates, Jennifer Garrison is widely viewed as the worst candidate the DCCC has recruited since Rahm's heyday of digging up corrupt Republicans (all of whom were defeated in subsequent elections). The first round of Blue Dog recruits:
Jennifer Garrison (OH-06)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
James Lee Witt (AR-04)
One of the worst Blue Dogs in Congress, cowardly Georgia disgrace John Barrow, whined about the new recruits in a press release: "Now, more than ever, the American people are tired of the gridlock in Washington that has been created by the extremes of the right and left." Many of the extremists on the right are his fellow Georgia congressmen like Paul Broun, Lyn Westmoreland, Tom Price, and Phil Gingrey. But who are the "extremists on the left" Barrow is deriding? John Lewis?

Working to elect the anti-Choice, anti-LGBT fanatic Garrison-- who is an NRA shill and an anti-environment fanatic to boot-- and to elect Witt tragic, wastes DCCC resources that could be deployed against vulnerable Republicans in winnable districts. Garrison is running in OH-06 (R+8) where McCain took 53% and Romney took 55% and Witt is running in AR-04 (R+15) where McCain took 60% and Romney took 62%. If Israel spent $2 million on each district, he would still lose but that $4 million could help replace odious GOP decision makers like Fred Upton and Paul Ryan. But Israel would rather throw away DCCC money on Blue Dog losers than help progressives win. Upton's opponent is Paul Clements and Ryan's is Rob Zerban, both values-oriented, unabashed progressives, anathema to Steve Israel. Upton's district (MI-06) has a PVI of R+1 and Obama won it in 2008 with 53% and lost to hometown boy Romney with 49%. It's one of the most vulnerable Republican-held seats in the House and Israel adamantly refuses to contest it. Similarly, Ryan's seat in southeast Wisconsin has a PVI of R+3 but Obama took it in 2008 with 51% and lost to Romney (with Ryan on the national ticket) with 47%. These seats-- and a dozen more Steve Israel is ignoring-- are far more winnable than OH-06 and AR-04, but Pelosi has refused to call out Israel, despite his tragic losses in 2012, on his flawed, even catastrophic, "strategy."

I might as well mention, there are no Blue Dogs and no Steve Israel recruits-- and no one from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- on this page. Please consider helping.

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