Thursday, November 06, 2014

The Great Blue Dog Apocalypse, Part II


As we mentioned yesterday, election day was bad for the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Going into the election, the Blue Dog caucus or coalition or whatever they call themselves was down to 19 members, having added 5 godawful conservatives-- Ron Barber (AZ), Cheri Bustos (IL), Dan Lipinski (IL), Nick Rahall (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ)-- this year. This week, they lost one of their co-chairs, right-wing Georgian John Barrow as well as corrupt sack of crap Pete Gallego (TX), Ron Barber (AZ), Jim Costa (CA) and Nick Rahall (WV). Reactionaries Jim Matheson (UT) and Mike McIntyre (NC) had already announced they would retire, rather than face almost certain defeat; each of their districts was won Tuesday by a Republican. Mike Michaud left the House to run, unsuccessfully, for Maine's governor and his seat was also won by a Republican.

Left standing: just 10 of the worst right-wing, GOP-voting Democrats in Congress: Cheri Bustos (IL), Jim Cooper (TN), Henry Cuellar (TX), Dan Lipinski (IL), Collin Peterson (MN), Loretta Sanchez (CA), Kurt Schrader (OR), David Scott (GA), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) and, inexplicably, Mike Thompson (CA).

Of the 6 utterly worthless challengers the Blue Dogs endorsed, 2 were elected: Gwen Graham (FL) and Brad Ashford (NE). Their candidates were heavily supported by "ex"-Blue Dog Steve Israel, who pushed them on his colleagues and backed them at the DCCC. Below is a list of the 6, including how much the DCCC spent on them directly and what percentage of the vote each wound up with:
Gwen Graham (FL)- $3,572,524- 50.44%
Patrick Henry Hays (AR)- $1,760,339- 43.62%
Brad Ashford (NE)- $1,432,187- 48.64%
Nick Casey (WV)- $792,432- 43.88%
James Lee Witt (AR)- $81,804- 42.59%
Jennifer Garrison (OH)- $39,310- 38.59
So if everything holds after recounts, etc, the Blue Dogs have gone from 19 to 12-- if the two conservatives they helped elect, Graham and Ashford join the caucus. The New Dem Coalition is a lot bigger, but they did badly Tuesday as well. The Wall Street-owned and operated corporatist group started the cycle with 55 members (including almost all the Blue Dogs). Allyson Schwartz and Colleen Hanabusa ran unsuccessful primary campaigns for higher office and gave up their seats; Jim Moran, Bill Owens, Rush Holt, Carolyn McCarthy and Mike McIntyre all announced they are retiring in January; and Gary Peters gave up his seat too run-- and win-- a Senate seat. Of the 47 left, Ron Barber (AZ), John Barrow (GA), Ami Bera (CA), Pete Gallego (TX), Joe Garcia (FL), Dan Maffei (NY), Scott Peters and Brad Schneider were all defeated by Republicans, leaving 39 in the group, which still includes hated DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Wall Street's top Democrat, Jim Himes, who the banisters are insisting become the new DCCC Chair.

The New Dems endorsed and helped fund 15 conservative candidates 4 of whom won. Most All of them were pushed by the DCCC as well. Here's the list, along with how much the DCCC spent in their races and what their final scores were Tuesday:
Gwen Graham (FL)- $3,572,524- 50.44%
Aimee Belgard (NJ)- $1,657,124- 43.63%
Pete Aguilar (CA)- $1,449,120- 51.04%
Bradley Ashford (NE)- $1,432,187- 48.64%
John Foust (VA)- $1,322.813- 40.40%
Emily Cain (ME)- $636,262- 41.82%
Erin Bilbray (NV)- $93,018- 36.12%
Aaron Woolf (NY)- $27,400- 33.55%
Kathleen Rice (NY)- $25,000- 64.21%
Don Beyer (VA)- (self-funding multimillionaire)- 62.97%
Kevin Strouse (CIA)- 0- 38.09%
Joe Bock (IN)- 0- 38.31%
Manan Trivedi (PA)- 0- 43.77%
Amanda Renteria (CA)- 0- 40.74%
John Lewis (MT)- 0- 40.36%
Here you have it-- the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Wall Street is howling that they will only accept New Dems Vice Chair Jim Himes as the next DCCC chair. Get ready for an explosion from grassroots activists if Pelosi goes for it. In winning his reelection, staunch progressive champion, Jeff Merkley (D-OR), issued this statement:
In 2008, we won very narrowly in a great year for Democrats. In 2014, facing millions of dollars of Koch Brothers attack ads, against an opponent heralded by Republicans, and amidst a national tidal wave, things could have gone very wrong.

Instead, we won big... Our victory sends a powerful message: when you stand up for working Americans, when you fight for a fair shot for everyone-- a chance to work a good job at a living wage and go to college and retire with dignity-- working Americans stand up for you!

We took on the powerful special interests and we won. Because our values are Oregon values and American values.
Bad election for the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Generally, not so bad for the Democratic wing. Meanwhile... a look at how the Beltway bipartisan consensus sees the election results:

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At 8:09 AM, Blogger Phil Perspective said...

Have you seen Stoller's piece today:

The question is how we can take the party back from the banksters and the awful think tanks?

At 8:32 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Donna Edwards should be the real choice to run the DCCC but it won't surprise me if Pelosi caves to the Wall Street big wigs & chooses Himes oh the pain in the next election cycle.

At 9:26 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Phil, Stoller told me he was writing the piece when I saw him at a Grayson event in L.A. a couple months ago. I have a link to it and some excerpts in my 10AM post in half an hour. I think you'll like that one.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

ap215, Donna tossed her hat into the ring but Pelosi, who likes her, doesn't see her as someone who can raise enough money from Wall Street and other Big Business sources. Pelosi is really just considering Himes and Polis. She should be looking at Grayson and Pocan.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Zappatero said...

Coloradans Mark Udall (defeated) and Michael Bennet (DSCC chair thoroughly repudiated) both aligned themselves with Blue Dogs in the House in 2008.

This aided and abetted Republican obstructionism, and they both failed Tuesday and exemplify the ongoing problem with the party.

At 9:37 PM, Blogger Bruce Webb said...

Thanks Howie. I asked Cliff Schecter who was going to write the definitive piece on Blue Dog implosion and he told me 'Howie at DownWithTyranny has it covered'.

And so you do. Bookmarked with appreciation.


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