Saturday, January 16, 2016

Who In Their Right Mind Would Take Electoral Advice-- Meant To Bolster Hillary's Sagging Campaign-- From Congenital Loser Steve Israel?


Back to panic inside the party establishments again. According to a Washington Post report Friday evening by Robert Costa and Phillip Rucker, the GOP establishment is facing the reality that their awful candidates-- Jeb, Rubio, Christie, Kasich... all that garbage-- are not acceptable to Republican voters and that they're probably going to be stuck with either the loathsome Ted Cruz, a very dangerous ideological extremist, or Herr Trumpf, a political blank slate with some serious psychological problems.
Republican donors, who had long assumed that the outsider candidates would self-destruct and that voters would rally around someone such as former Florida governor Jeb Bush, are suddenly adjusting their thinking and strategies.

Spencer Zwick, the national finance chairman for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, said power brokers and financiers are now trying to cozy up to Trump in various ways, such as reaching out through mutual friends in New York’s business community.

“A lot of donors are trying to figure their way into Trump’s orbit. There is a growing feeling among many that he may be the guy, so people are certainly seeing if they can find a home over there,” he said.
Many still pray the convention is deadlocked-- that no one has enough delegates to win-- and that the convention can be brokered and Paul Ryan slipped into the nomination. Others see that as fool's gold. But the Democratic establishment has its own problems, which are no less troublesome. Their own machine candidate, Hillary Clinton, is finally seen to be in trouble with the voters now. The power-mongers and bosses of the party are no more eager to see their grip on the levers of power loosened than the Republican establishment honchos are. Paul Kane's article-- at the link just above-- is worth reading, but what I want to discuss today is just one little part of it-- the Steve Israel part of it.
One Clinton ally on Capitol Hill said some in the party are starting to seriously consider what it would mean for Democrats nationally if Sanders were to win.

“There’s definitely an elevated concern expressed in the cloakroom and members-only elevators, and other places, about the impact of a Sanders nomination on congressional candidates,” Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said.

Israel, a former chairman of the Democrats’ House campaign committee, said that a Sanders nomination “increases the level of anxiety that many of our candidates have in swing districts, where a Hillary Clinton nomination erases that anxiety.”

...“I’m deeply concerned that in November swing voters are not going to vote for a socialist,” said Israel, who is retiring.

We might as well expect a fish to explain the sea, as to expect an establishment politician to explain the money strings that make him or her a "puppet," alongside other puppets, both friends and foes, in a "show" that is put on for public consumption. But sometimes the "curtain slips." It slipped badly when the Big Banks "triple-dipped" before, during and after the 2008 financial crash and bailout. And it slipped again when "responsible" Democrats voted with "responsible" Republicans, defying majorities of both "Blue" and "Red" voters (and independent voters, and non-voters) to fast-track (limit debate on) the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A puppet show, as the video above implies, is fun, unless it prevents the public from seeing all the strings of money tying up not only villainous politicians like Israel, Schumer, Hoyer, Van Hollen, Wasserman Schultz and, yes, my friends, the Clintons, but also, sooner or later, many once- heroic ones to boot.

The underlying philosophy of the DCCC ever since Rahm Emanuel was appointed chair in 2005 has been to recruit and support Republican-lite candidates and to discourage and undermine progressives. Emanuel went so far as to recruit actual Republicans, persuading them to switch their registrations and run as Democrats. The DCCC is still doing this today-- with a vengeance. In 2006-- with Bush tanking on every front, Republican scandals breaking out all over the country and House GOP leadership caught covering up a gay molestation blockbuster by Florida congressman Mark Foley who was raping underage interns-- Rahm's "strategy" worked. Running goldfish or gazelles would have worked that year too, though.

In district after district, Emanuel recruited right-wing Democrats. In CA-11, for example, he tried running unaccomplished conservaDem Steve Filson but the grassroots was strong enough in the area to shove Filson up Rahm's ass, nominate Jerry McNerney and go on to beat powerful GOP incumbent, Richard Pombo. But that, alas, was an exception to the rule. Rahm managed to recruit dozens of right-wing Democrats-- Blue Dogs and New Dems-- and pass them off as real Democrats. The ones who won got into Congress and worked with Republicans to water down progressive initiatives in committees and then voted with the GOP on final bills. Democratic voters back in the districts were confused and upset. Almost none of those Emanuel recruits are still in Congress.

2008 was a good year for Democrats. Obama won the presidency by nearly 10,000,000 votes and his coattails helped another batch of DCCC-recruited conservative Democrats win seats, like Bobby Bright (AL), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), Betsy Markey (CO), Suzanne Kosmas (FL), Walt Minnick (ID), Debbie Halvorson (IL), Frank Kratovil (MD), John Adler (NJ), Harry Teague (NM), Michael McMahon (NY), Dan Maffei (NY), Eric Massa (NY), Larry Kissell (NC), Steven Driehaus (OH), John Boccieri (OH), Kathy Dahlkemper (PA), and Glenn Nye (VA). Rahm and his successor Chris Van Hollen were stuttering around like roosters. Briefly.

Two years later, almost all of those conservative Democrats elected in 2006 and 2008-- who had just spent years crossing the aisle and voting with Boehner and Cantor-- were defeated, largely because the Democratic base just boycotted the elections. 2010 saw a net loss of 63 Democratic seats, almost all the Rahm and Van Hollen garbage candidates just swept away-- and, tragically, dragging other along with them. It was a landslide and the GOP gained control of the House. Boehner owes his time as Speaker to Rahm Emanuel and Chris Van Hollen. And he was able to hold onto it because of Steve Israel.

2012 was a presidential year and it looked feasible for the Democrats to regain control. Pelosi kicked Van Hollen upstairs and installed an even worse chairman, Long Island gonif Steve Israel, who doubled down on Rahm's and Van Hollen's catastrophic recruitment policies. One of the last of Emanuel's prized right-wing Democrats, Blue Dog Heath Shuler (NC) retired rather than face certain defeat as did fellow Blue Dogs Mike Ross (AR) and Dan Boren (OK). Four more wretched conservatives were beaten by Republicans-- Ben Chandler (KY), Kathy Hochul (NY), Larry Kissell (NC) and Mark Critz (PA) and of the 16 seats the Democrats won, 14 were won by right-of-center Democrats 4 of whom were defeated 2 years later, repeating the same pattern everyone but the DCCC can see.

2014 was another year of ultimate Steve Israel failure, the Democrats losing a net of 14 more seats in the House, all but one from a sordid collection of Blue Dogs and New Dems with ugly conservative voting records. So... for Steve Israel to be called upon to tell the media that if someone as progressive as Bernie Sanders is at the top of the ticket, the Democrats will lose House seats, is worse than laughable. The Emanuel/Van Hollen/Israel era at the DCCC is the text book case of how to betray the base and lose and lose and lose-- dozens and dozens and dozens of seats. The DCCC record of failure is astounding and historic. The best way for Democrats to win back the House would be to listen carefully to everything Steve Israel suggests and then do the exact opposite.

Bernie, meanwhile, has been inspiring candidates to run for seats occupied by conservatives. Alex Law (NJ), Diana Hird (NY), Tim Canova (FL) and Keith Mundy (OH) have all said they were specifically inspired to run for Congress by Bernie's candidacy-- Law, Hird and Canova against worthless conservative Democrats and Mundy against Republican Jim Renacci who the DCCC never targets. If you'd like to help the congressional candidates running on Bernie's platform, you can do that here.

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