Monday, December 08, 2014

The Republican Wing Of The Democratic Party Claims It Still Doesn't Have A Silver Stake Through It's Heart


Even House progressives tell me it's Hoyer's turn to be leader next-- doom!

Adam Green of the PCCC pointed out when Landrieu was handily defeated by some hack GOP nonentity Saturday that the last of the Democrats from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party who prevented the public option in the Affordable Care Act-- the others being Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln-- had all been driven from office within 4 years; I think he left out Mark Pryor-- but he also lost his Senate seat last month. Good riddance to all of them. Take a look at the ProgressivePunch lifetime crucial vote scores of the half dozen Democratic Senators who have voted the most frequently against progressive values in the current session:
Tom Carper (DE)- 72.30
Claire McCaskill (MO)- 72.13
Kay Hagan (NC)- 70.67 defeated
Mark Pryor (AR)- 66.50 defeated
Mary Landrieu (LA)- 65.42 defeated
Joe Manchin (WV)- 61.75
They wreck the Democratic Party brand and discourage voters with progressive values from bothering to go to the polls. And there are even more of them in the House-- Wall Street-owned New Dems and Blue Dogs, dwindling but still with enough clout within the party-- thanks to well placed corrupt conservative leaders like Steny Hoyer, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Joe Crowley, Steve Israel-- to confuse voters about what it even means to be a Democrat. These are the dozen Democrats in the House who voted most frequently against progressive initiatives and principles in the 2013-14 session, along with their ProgressivePunch crucial vote scores for the current session:
Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT)- 26.20 forced to retire
John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA)- 26.64 defeated
Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog-NC)- 27.68 forced to retire
Ron Barber (Blue Dog-AZ)- 32.58 defeated
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)- 33.62
Pete Gallego (Blue Dog-TX)- 34.07 defeated
Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ)- 36.20
Bill Owens (New Dem-NY)- 39.47 forced to retire
Sean Patrick Maloney (New Dem-NY)- 40.17
Nick Rahall (Blue Dog-WV)- 40.61 defeated
Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)- 41.67
Joe Garcia (New Dem-FL)- 44.59 defeated
What does the Democratic Party learn from these defeats? Nothing absolutely, nothing. The corporate whores and Wall Street shills just want to double down on their failed Blue Dog/New Dem approach which is so hated by Democratic grassroots voters-- and so beloved Inside-the-Beltway. I found this clueless piece from one of the Beltway trade publications republished yesterday by the Arizona Daily Star. [Warning, they refer to reactionaries and conservatives as "moderates," a well-worn Beltway trick to mislead readers.]
The Blue Dog Coalition of moderate House Democrats is reaching a turning point in its 20-year history, after losing more than a third of its members by the end of 2014 through retirements and election defeats.

It’s now down to a dozen returning members, less than a quarter of its peak.

Veteran members including Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota, the last original Blue Dog, and Jim Cooper of Tennessee hope to promote a rebound by the group.

“It’s always darkest just before the dawn,” Cooper said.

Blue Dogs have a long history of surviving adversity since they became a caucus with about 20 members in 1995, he said, and he predicted they will regain strength in a tough political environment.

Merle Black, a political scientist at Emory University, said the Blue Dogs will be hard-pressed to reclaim the clout they had in 2010, when the group had more than 50 members and won enactment of a top priority: the pay-as-you-go law, which required that spending and tax bills not increase the deficit.

Southern voters have turned against Blue Dogs in part because much of the region’s electorate opposes President Obama and party leaders such as Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Black said. “They are selling a product no one wants to buy.”

But despite recent losses, Cooper said Blue Dogs will have influence in the 114th Congress because of Republican divisions and the ability of Senate Democrats to block partisan bills.

“House Blue Dogs will play a quieter role. It will take a Republican split before we can be clearly decisive in a vote. But there are going to be many Republican splits... There are going to be plenty of opportunities for Blue Dogs to make a key difference on legislation,” Cooper said.

Cooper is just one of four returning Blue Dogs from the South, with Reps. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. and David Scott, both of Georgia, and Henry Cuellar of Texas.

Cuellar and other Blue Dogs predict loose coalitions with Republicans on shared priorities where Republicans hope to deter-- or override-- vetoes by Obama. For example, they envision common ground with the Republicans on tax cuts, giving trade promotion authority to the president, regulatory curbs and energy sweeteners, including approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Peterson predicted that the group will expand its ranks quickly from the freshman class. Among the new recruits are Reps.-elect Gwen Graham of Florida and Brad Ashford of Nebraska, who have already attended meetings, Peterson said.

Membership “ebbs and flows,” Peterson said. He narrowly won re-election and must decide whether to run again in 2016.

Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, a longtime ally of the Blue Dogs, said he and other party leaders will give wide leeway to the coalition’s members to vote their consciences, and will try to help them promote priorities and win re-election.

“They need to bounce back, and they will bounce back,” Hoyer said. “We are going to work at it.”

UPDATE: Let The South Go

Mike Tomasky explains why the South is a lost cause for the Democrats-- and why they should embrace that.
At the congressional level, and from there on down, the Democrats should just forget about the place. They should make no effort, except under extraordinary circumstances, to field competitive candidates. The national committees shouldn’t spend a red cent down there. This means every Senate seat will be Republican, and 80 percent of the House seats will be, too. The Democrats will retain their hold on the majority-black districts, and they’ll occasionally be competitive in a small number of other districts in cities and college towns. But they’re not going win Southern seats (I include here with some sadness my native West Virginia, which was not a Southern state when I was growing up but culturally is one now). And they shouldn’t try.

...Trying to win Southern seats is not worth the ideological cost for Democrats. As Memphis Rep. Steve Cohen recently told my colleague Ben Jacobs, the Democratic Party cannot (and I’d say should not) try to calibrate its positions to placate Southern mores: “It’s come to pass, and really a lot of white Southerners vote on gays and guns and God, and we’re not going to ever be too good on gays and guns and God.”

Cohen thinks maybe some economic populism could work, and that could be true in limited circumstances. But I think even that is out the window now. In the old days, drenched in racism as the South was, it was economically populist. Glass and Steagall, those eponymous bank regulators, were both Southern members of Congress. But today, as we learned in Sunday’s Times, state attorneys general, many in the South, are colluding with energy companies to fight federal regulation of energy plants.

It’s lost. It’s gone. A different country. And maybe someday it really should be. I’ll save that for another column. Until that day comes, the Democratic Party shouldn’t bother trying. If they get no votes from the region, they will in turn owe it nothing, and in time the South, which is the biggest welfare moocher in the world in terms of the largesse it gets from the more advanced and innovative states, will be on its own, which is what Southerners always say they want anyway.

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At 7:29 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

The Grassroots Democrats did not give up in NC:

1. Democrats picked up three seats in the general assembly--the only state with a GOP majority to do so;

2. The NCDP ran a very successful statewide coordinated ballot initiative back up by data driven analysis and training;

3. We reduced the voter drop off in statewide judicial races from approximately 24% in 2010 to around 17% in 2014 for a net gain of 7%;

4. We won almost 55% of our down ballot races statewide and control a number of the urban county commissions including Cumberland, Mecklenberg and Wake 7-0. (In addition, Democrats now control 5 of the 7 County Commissions in the Triangle: Chatham, Durham, Lee, Orange, and Wake after picking up Chatham, Lee and Wake. And someday we will add Johnston County and Moore County to that list in the future.)

5. We won three of three supreme court seats, which sets us up in 2016 to win control of the court, and we won two of three state appellate court seats. (And if we had just one candidate in the other race, we would have won that seat, too.)

6. We opened up over thirty African-American Caucus operations across the state.

7. And the NCDP did not run away from President Obama.

At 8:33 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

That's a hopeful sign & the grassroots level is the only way for the Dems to win in future elections including the south it's time to move on from the Steny Hoyers Joseph Crowleys etc from the repub wing of the Democratic Party ignore them & let real true progressives lead the charge.

At 9:46 AM, Blogger The Match said...

The south has always been, and will always be, not part of America. The south has always been, and will always be, a cancer in the American body politic.
We are quickly headed towards a second civil war. I say to prevent it, we expel the former confederacy as soon as possible.

At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real Lost Cause are the senile senior Democrats who run the party like wannabee Republicans. Corporatism will cast them aside as soon as their usefulness is expired. They will be left among those they betrayed with nothing to defend themselves.

There are some signs for hope among the grass roots, but with corporatism enshrining itself in power, and with the new Koch political intelligence operation able to target everyone with more information than the government ever dared to collect on us, I see little chance of the effort succeeding before open fascism takes control.


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