Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Who Will Control The Senate? Will It Be Destructive Conservatives Working For The One Percent?


Always the fount of Beltway conventional wisdom, the Washington Post's Fix headline parroted exactly the messaging the DSCC and NRCC want to push: These five races will decide control of the Senate. And the conventional wisdom hive-mind comes up with… Alaska (Begich vs Sullivan), Colorado (Udall vs Gardner), Iowa (Braley vs Ernst), North Carolina (Hagan vs Tillis) and Kansas (Roberts vs Orman). Like most of the Post's election coverage-- other than Greg Sargent's worthwhile insights-- its another droll, worthless horserace regurgitation.

Progressives, like the people who read DWT for the most part, aren't victims of Beltway manipulation. We stand up to it. There are good reasons none of the DSCC priorities are on that page linked in the last sentence. Progressives are seeking a better Senate, not one crippled by conservative Democrats too scared about losing their seats in red states in 6 years to push forward a progressive vision for America's problems. Yes, we want to see the Democrats in control of the Senate, but we want to see progressives in the Senate, not conservatives and not weak hacks with no core values. Politicians' careerism is not a factor.

If Shenna Bellows and Rick Weiland win, respectively, in Maine and South Dakota, it won't just mean that Democrats retain control of the Senate, it means there will be two more strong, independent-minded progressives standing with Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley, Sherrod Brown, Tammy Baldwin, Al Franken, Ed Markey, Mazie Hirono, Chris Murphy, Barbara Boxer and Brian Schatz, seeking not narrow partisan gain but actual solutions to the problems working families would like to see addressed from a perspective other than the ones being pushed by fat cats and their well-paid lobbyists.

The Beltway conventional-wisdomists-- and their lame media mouthpieces-- wrote off both states before the election season even began. Susan Collins was "unbeatable" and South Dakota is deep red. Wrong and wrong. The newest polling again shows Shenna gaining on Collins despite the DSCC refusing to stop wasting all their money and desperate efforts on their pet conservative candidates in lost causes Georgia and Kentucky. In the last 6 weeks, Collins' has dropped another 13%. The more Mainers see how Collins has swung right since Olympia Snowe retired, the more they're turning away from her. That's why the DSCC should be spending some of those millions they're wasting in Kentucky and Georgia up in Maine.

And they should tell Harry Reid to get over his childish rivalry with Tom Daschle and get behind Rick Weiland, their best chance to hold the Senate. Yesterday, Beltway imbeciles were quoting one of the most ridiculous and wrong-headed polling firms in the country, Nielson Brothers (not related to Nielson the ratings firm), to make the spurious claim that Republican Larry Pressler is the best vehicle to beat Mike Rounds. Yes… silly season.

One thing is certain in South Dakota-- most voters neither like nor trust Mike Rounds-- and for good reason. And the more South Dakotans hear about Rounds' EB-5 visa selling scandal, the more upset they get that this crook might end up as their senator. Blue America is working on turning the song below into an effect broadcast ad. If you want to help us run it, please contribute here. If you want to help Rick and Shenna directly… that's what this page is for.

UPDATE: Harry Reid Must Be Insane

Here at DWT we've been writing about how Reid is throwing away South Dakota's Senate seta because of his childish pique at Tom Daschle. No one else has covered it… until this morning. Bob Cusack and Jessica Taylor at The Hill have finally acknowledged the damage Reid is doing to the Democrats' chances to hold the Senate.
Daschle is expressing frustration with the Senate majority leader (D-Nev.) for refusing to endorse Rick Weiland, a former Daschle aide who is running for the South Dakota seat held by retiring Sen. Tim Johnson (D).

  Reid last year declared Weiland was “not my choice” in the race, and this summer added, “We are going to lose in South Dakota, more than likely.”

Asked if those comments hurt Weiland’s chances, Daschle told The Hill, “Well, it certainly hasn’t helped.”

Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Reid, fired back on Monday: “It’s sad that Sen. Daschle is working against Senate Democrats’ interests rather than working to preserve the Democratic majority that Sen. Reid restored.”

The dispute between Reid, who succeeded Daschle as the Senate’s top Democrat, is highly unusual. It is also rare for a Democratic leader to withhold support for a Democratic nominee in a Senate race.

Daschle said he urged Reid to back Weiland a few months ago. Pressed on the details of that conversation and why Reid hasn’t endorsed, Daschle responded: “You’ll have to talk to Sen. Reid. I don’t want to be critical. Harry Reid has a job to do and he’s made decisions that he thinks are the correct ones and I’m not going to second-guess him. I hold a different point of view.”

Democratic campaign officials last year tried to convince former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D) to run in South Dakota, but she opted against it.

Former South Dakota Democratic Party Chairman Ben Nesselhuf admitted that the “relationship between the [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee] and Rick Weiland didn’t start off strong,” but said that might have been designed to keep the door open for Herseth Sandlin to change her mind.

“That upset them when Weiland jumped in and messed with their timetable,” said Nesselhuf, who is now managing the congressional race for Democrat Jim Mowrer against Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

…In an email on Monday, a DSCC official stated in an email, “The DSCC has endorsed Rick. Rick attended the DSCC’s big retreat on Martha’s Vineyard earlier this year. The DSCC has also conducted polling on Rick’s behalf.”

It’s unclear, however, when the DSCC endorsed Weiland and whether it was publicly announced.

Asked if the DSCC should spend money in South Dakota, Daschle said that’s a “judgment [DSCC] has to make. I think it’s going to prove a very good investment.”

…Lincoln County Democratic Party Chairman Ryan Casey, who led the unsuccessful “Draft Brendan Johnson” movement to recruit the retiring senator’s son into the race, was brushed back by national Democrats who wanted the Blue Dog Herseth Sandlin to run.

“It’s understandable why the national Democratic Party needs to pick their horses to run with, but on the other hand, they sit in their ivory tower in Washington, D.C., and they don’t always appreciate the sentiment of active Democrats in the state and what they believe and want in candidates to represent them.”

“In my opinion,” said Casey, “it’s been frankly an unprofessional approach-- and kind of pouting, for lack of a better word.”
If the jackass in the picture up top looks like Harry Reid, it was meant to. The best part of this feud for South Dakota voters, though, is that if Weiland does win, he will be 100% free of any Reid influence ever.

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At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the blue jackass in the picture refers to
Dem "villain rotation" proposed by Greenwald back in 2009: http://tinyurl.com/6w96emn

John Puma


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