Sunday, December 07, 2014

How Will Wasserman Schultz's Post Mortem Committee Explain Mary Landrieu, Al Muratsuchi And Ileana Ros-Lehtinen?


It isn't difficult to do a post mortem on Mary Landrieu's idiotically-doomed Senate race. Saturday's runoff saw the 3-term Louisiana Senator struggle to reach beyond 40%. In 2008 she beat Republican John Kennedy 988,298 (52%) to 867,177 (46%), the same percentage she got in her 2002 reelection. Saturday's results were Cassidy 712,330 (55.94%), Landieu 561,099 (44.06%). She won 15 of the state's 64 parishes.

She never had a chance. Although she raised $18,570,680 to Bill Cassidy's $13,165,150 (as of Nov. 16), outside spending was heavily weighted against her, with conservative groups like Rove's American Crossroads, the Koch's Americans for Prosperity, the Koch's Freedom Partners Action Fund, the NRSC, the NRA, the Patriot Majority each kicking in millions to pulverize her, while liberal groups largely looked away in disgust at the Senate's second most right-wing Democrat (after Joe Manchin). Landrieu's Republican-lite shtik doesn't work anymore and her ilk of conservative careerist Bourbon-Democrats are almost entirely extinct. Like Blanche Lincoln she'll be next heard from as a slimy lobbyist, probably for Big Oil and Gas. In recent weeks she tried working with the Republicans to pass Keystone XL Pipeline and when that didn't work, she went on radio to brag that she didn't vote for Obama, which probably contributed to the depth of the loss she suffered Saturday, keeping base Democratic voters home.

As we've pointed out, Blue Dogs and New Dems-- the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- were the big losers in this past cycle. With just one or two exceptions (and in red-leaning districts) progressives kept their seats and won open seats. Ted Lieu (CA-33) is a good example. Henry Waxman with a well-financed conservative opponent in 2012 had a close call (54-46%). But Lieu never deviated an inch from his cutting edge progressive values-- his first ad was about his legislation reigning in unconstitutional domestic spying-- and, although Adelson and his allies dumped close to a million dollars in media smears against him, Ted beat the Adelson candidate 59.2% to 40.8% with the biggest turn-out of any of L.A.'s congressional districts.

What makes this even more interesting is that, Al Muratsuchi, the conservative Democratic Assembly incumbent in AD66, a part of the congressional district that Ted did really well in (his South Bay home turf), campaigned as a Republican-lite candidate and lost to a Republican, breaking the Democrats' 2/3s supermajority in the Assembly. Democrats have a 40.4- 32.6% registration advantage in the Assembly district, which stretches from Manhattan Beach to the Palos Verdes Peninsula and east to Carson and Gardena, and Jerry Brown was in the district campaigning for Muratsuchi. Obama won the district against Romney 54.2- 43.2%. Muratsuchi only managed 49.7%.

One more race-- a non-race, this one in FL-27, a Hispanic-majority Miami-Dade district that includes West Miami, Little Havana, Westchester, Miami Springs, Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, Naranja, Homestead and part of Hialeah. Democrats have caught up with Republicans in voter registration and Obama won this district in 2012, 130,020 (53%) to 114,096 (47%). That year, DNC Chair and Florida Party boss Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has been helping protect her GOP crony, incumbent Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for years-- and was once fired as DCCC Red-to-Blue chair for doing so publicly-- put in a place-holder, Manny Yevancey, to prevent a real Democrat from running. This year, they just made sure no one ran, period. I asked one of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party decision-makers why there was no candidate in one of the bluest districts held my a Republican in the whole state. He told me, in confidence, that Wasserman Schultz routinely threatens to end anyone's career who challenges her Republican partner in corruption.

And that brings us to the Democratic Party post mortem, which will be conducted by an ad hoc committee set up by Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I've been told that the main purpose is to make sure that no blame whatsoever is placed on... Debbie Wasserman Schultz or Steve Israel. She "appointed a 10-person “Democratic Victory Task Force” that will investigate and address systemic issues that led to the Republican triumph in federal and state-level elections this year. None of the participants are from outside a list of well-connected Insiders-- Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt (a big GOP donor), Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, DNC Vice Chair Donna Brazile, Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio, AFSCME president Lee Saunders and two Obamabots, Teddy Goff and Maneesh Goyal. I would bet they won't be discussing tough, thoughtful, sensible articles like this or this as part of their deliberations. One disgusted Democratic Congressmember told me that among her many other non-talents Wasserman Schultz can't even put a competent committee together. Well, if she was aiming for a meaningless whitewash... she was pretty competent in her selections.


Patriot Majority spent $3,012,977 bolstering Landrieu, not attacking her. What a waste of $3 million!

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