Tuesday, July 12, 2016

How Much Should Anyone Care About Political Endorsements?


Florida has an especially bad congressional delegation-- but this is the bottom rung

Earlier today I blamed voters, particularly Bernie voters, for not paying attention to primary races for Congress, for skipping the vote on down-ballot candidates altogether or for even blundering into voting for atrocious Blue Dogs and New Dems who are the polar opposite of everything that motivated them to come our to vote for Bernie. In Oregon's 5th district, for example, Bernie swept every county and clobbered Hillary by double digits. On the same day, Berniecrat Dave McTeague was on the ballot, running against the head of the Blue Dogs, Kurt Schrader, the TPP-backing right-wing congressman who actually introduced an amendment to cut benefits for seniors living on Social Security and Medicare. It's inconceivable that any Bernie backers would want to see this asshole reelected. But they voted for him. He won 67,124 (72.6%) to 25,289 (27.4%) and swept every county Bernie won in.

Soon after, in a remote Texas primary runoff (TX-15) that pitted a proven progressive, Sonny Palacios, against a hard-core conservative Democrat, Vicente Gonzalez, some hustler sold the Congressional Progressive Caucus on endorsing Gonzalez, which they cavalierly did, helping throw the race to him. Gonzalez, a corrupt attorney, self-funded his campaign to the tune of $1,650,000, swamping the progressive. CPC members I spoke to told me his money was a factor in favor of endorsing him. A day or two after the endorsement local radio hosts mentioned to Gonzalez on the air that "You were endorsed by the Progressive Caucus... I've heard you say once before you see yourself as a conservative Democrat." He immediately responded, "I do in a lot of ways but I guess they agreed with some of my views... I'm not changing my principles... I appreciate the endorsement but my views are my views." Those views aren't remotely progressive, not even pro-Choice. "I govern from the middle, You know I'm not for raising taxes... I believe we should have the strongest military in the world-- always-- and we should lead the world militarily." One of the interviewers, the more Republican one, listened to him speaking and asked "Why are you running as a Democrat?" He said he's been a Democrat all his life and reiterated that he's a conservative and then said "There are a lot of great candidates on the Republican side as well. I'll reach across there aisle and work with them." Too bad they didn't ask him to name any. The only other congressional candidate he's ever contributed to is right-wing New Dem, Filemon Vela, who routinely votes against every CPC proposal... as, no doubt Gonzalez will.

The CPC, overly eager to please corrupt party bosses, bent over backwards to get on board with truly horrible, conservative candidates, several of whom had already been endorsed by the New Dems, even though they were running against actual progressives. Yesterday one of the most conservative Dems to serve in the Senate in recent memory, Evan Bayh, jumped into the 2016 Senate race-- who cares about primaries in Indiana?-- and was widely cheered as a savior, even though he is a slimy lobbyist with a vile corporate agenda and was one of the strongest proponents of two of the worst initiatives during his years in the Senate: the Iraq War and the TARP bailout of the banksters.

Also yesterday, the furthest right Democrat in the House, Gwen Graham made the news by endorsing fellow New Dem Patrick Murphy for senator against Alan Grayson. She expects to see him in the Senate where he could help her run for governor in 2018. She spent her single term in the House voting more frequently with the GOP than any other Democrat and opposing more progressive proposals than any other Democrat. Ironically, her conservative father, Bob Graham (and a Murphy backer), endorsed Grayson's right wing, good ole boy Republican-wing-of-the-Democratic Party primary opponent, Charlie Stuart, in 2008 even though Grayson had already won the primary in early voting. Gwen Graham is the worst kind of backward anti-working family Democrat that the royalists puke up from time to time-- like Patrick Murphy himself, another overly entitled unaccomplished child of a rich person. The pompous asshole was wagging his tale and issued a typically insincere political statement that "Gwen represents the best of our state-- hardworking, honest, and always working for what is best for Florida families. Her support means the world to me and I look forward to working together to continue standing up for our shared values." Their main shared value, judging by their voting records, is promoting the Keystone XL and destroying everything Elizabeth Warren, Bernie and other progressives have accomplished in holding Wall Street banksters accountable and in check. Murphy and Graham have both worked hard to disembowel Dodd-Frank.

The good candidates are here; the bad ones aren't:
Goal Thermometer

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At 5:20 PM, Blogger Elizabeth Burton said...

Bad enough the Sanders people didn't support down-ballot progressives during the primary. It's becoming increasingly clear far too many have no interest in doing so now, either. They didn't win the prize so they're going to take their ball and go home because Democrats suck. For more than a few, it seems, it wasn't about waking up the sleeping giant but just breaking things. Not that I have a problem breaking things if it achieves something constructive, but the level of ignorance with regard to the basic functions of the US government is scary.

At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't weep so much! Once Obama pushes TPP through the Congress during the Lame Duck session, none of this is going to matter. The WTO will be running things.


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