Monday, October 24, 2016

Do You Always, Blindly, Vote For Anyone With A "D" Next To Their Name? Here's One You Won't Get Behind


If you're a regular reader here, you probably know the editorial position of this blog is that Trump is uniquely unfit to be president and that there are overwhelming and existential dangers this country would face were he to ever get into the White House. At the same time we're not sold on Hillary as anything more than a way to stop Trump and as an inspiring victory that finally cracks the ultimate glass ceiling for women. We've suggested that voters in this year's swing states-- Ohio, Iowa, Arizona, Georgia, Utah (and up in Maine's Alagash)-- take one of these to the polls and vote for her.

We've never felt that just because someone calls himself or herself a Democrat, they automatically have earned a vote or any kind of support. The Democratic Party Establishment, Inc. has its own set of reasons for what it does and how it calculates what moves to make politically. The leaders and decision-makers on the top of the food chain-- the Chuck Schumers, Debbie Wasserman Schultzes, Steny Hoyers, Nancy Pelosis, Joe Crowleys, Rahm Emanuels-- are utterly unfit for leadership or even for public office. The direction of the Democratic Party is largely in their hands and largely determined by how something will impact their own careers. Their puppet candidates-- chosen for a willingness, even an eagerness, to follow blindly and to play ball inside a culture of corruption-- are insupportable, even in the context of a lesser-of-two evils world. Trump may be an exception, but garbage candidates from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- like Patrick Murphy (FL), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), Patty Judge (IA), Tom O'Halleran (AZ), Lon Johnson (MI), Randall Perkins (FL), Brad Schneider (IL), Josh Gottheimer (NJ), Pete Gallego (TX), Joe Garcia (FL), and Monica Vernon (IA)-- should never be supported or even voted for unless your aim is to undermine the Democratic Party as a vehicle for the legitimate aspirations of working class Americans.

The story of the congressional race in Pennsylvania's 9th district is even more bizarre than the normal "DCCC lures ex-Republican shit-head into congressional race" narrative. Bill Shuster is one of Congress' more contemptibly corrupt congressmen and he represents Pennsylvania's most backward and forgotten congressional district, a gigantic sprawling mass of southern and central Pennsylvania: Altoona, the exurbs south of Pittsburgh to Chambersburg halfway across the state. 93% white, it's the most Republican district in the state (R+14) and Romney crushed Obam there 63-36%. In the primary, Trump won every single one of the district's 12 counties-- by a landslide. On the same day crackpot teabagger Art Halvorson challenged the entrenched Shuster and nearly beat him. The final vote count-- the closest race in the state-- was 48,686 (50.5%) for the powerful incumbent who spent $1,655,437 to 47,677 (49.5%) for Halvorson, who only spent $264,357.Since there is virtually no Democratic Party in the area, it was easy for Halvorsan to then lay claim to the Democratic nomination and the extreme right candidate is now on the ballot as a Democrat. I spoke with him on the phone and he went out of his way to tell me he thinks Hillary should be in prison and that isn't joining the Democratic Party. But over a thousand Democrats wrote him in on the Democratic line and he used that successfully as the excuse for claiming the Democratic line in the general. So, no, this isn't going to be another case like Charlie Crist, Monica Vernon, Tom O'Halleran, Patrick Murphy, Mike Parrish or any of the dozens of Republicans the DCCC has recruited to run as Democrats. Steve Israel's Blue Dogs and New Dems always agree to caucus with the Democrats as long as they're free to vote with the Republicans. Halvorson has pledged to caucus with the Republicans if he wins. So now take a look at this ad that Halvoson started running last week that has the whole district buzzing:

Shuster got the State Police to cite Halvorson for harassing one of his campaign workers, 22 year old Meghan Boocks, at the Fayette County Fair. In response, Halvorson is suing Boocks for defamation. ("This," said a Halverson spokesperson, "is a political hit job that the Shuster campaign pulled directly from the Hillary Clinton playbook on character assassination, just before the election.")The bad feeling between them has been further stoked because the ad, reminding voters that Shuster's incredibly corrupt father, the previous congressman, was just like the odious son and that the father was also having sex with lobbyists, just the way Shuster, Jr. does. Shasta never stops whining that Halvorson started running the outrageous-- albeit true-- ad hours after his mother died. Halvorson says he didn't run the ad sooner out of respect for Halvorson's mother and that he should man up and face all the allegations in the ad which have been thoroughly fact-checked and found 100% true.

I wonder how many low-info Democrats in PA-09 are going to vote for Halvorson because, after all, "any Democrat is better than any Republican." Whatever there is of a Democratic Party in the district is supporting write-in candidate Adam Sedlock. Meanwhile, though Halvorson-- formerly a Ted Cruz supporter-- is backing Trump, the Trump campaign has officially endorsed the status quo, crooked Ryan-Republican, Shuster. This is a crazy mixed up race on every level. 

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