Saturday, December 03, 2016

Trumpy-the Clown And Paul Ryan Aren't The Only Problem Progressives Have To Confront-- First There's The DCCC


Right on the heels of the election, Pollfish did a survey of Trump voters, some of whom were already suffering buyer's remorse. Almost a third of his voters said they didn't think he had a real chance to win and fully 11%-- that's about 6.8 million people-- said if they had it to do all over again, they wouldn't vote for him. They don't have it to do all over again-- although they can check him by helping elect a progressive House in 2018. Many voters, enough to take a chance on a deranged narcissistic clown, wanted change-- and Hillary was the candidate of the status quo-- aggressively so.

Yesterday in this time-slot we looked at the "changes" House Democrats are instituting at the DCCC. Unlike the change-for-the-worse agenda Trump, Pence and Paul Ryan are ushering in at breakneck speed, is there even a glimmer of hope that DCCC change will be for the better? DWT has advocated replacing the Pelosi/Hoyer regime among House Democrats for years. Yet this week, the only alternative offered was Tim Ryan who, on no conceivable level, was a better option than Pelosi. Even members disenchanted with her leadership voted, some with trepidation, for her again over the woefully unaccomplished Ryan.

One of the reforms we discussed is that finally Democratic members will get to vote for a DCCC chair, just the way the Republicans vote for their NRCC chair. Pelosi was reluctant but caved in the end. She nominated the hapless and totally inadequate Ben Ray Luján for another term. As Simone Pathé put it succinctly for Roll Call readers Thursday, "the House Democrats’ campaign arm is under scrutiny from members who are demanding change after the party netted just six seats this year-- below even the most pessimistic projections of how many seats the party could gain in a presidential year." A vaguely competent DCCC could have netted double that and a really together and functional DCCC would have won back the majority. Luján and his dysfunctional and self-serving careerist staff are programmed to lose. It's in their DNA. They can't win; they can only lose. They can't be reformed-- only fired and banished from ever setting foot in the building again. All DCCC phone numbers should be changed and it should be a firing offense for anyone to ever give out a new number to Kelli Ward or anyone she ever employed.

Luján is running again and an awful lot of vision-free Democratic members are happy to reelect him. Progressives, as usual, are an incoherent mess and a thoroughly ineffective voice of opposition. The only opposition to Luján appears to be coming from the Wall Street-owned and operated New Dems, who are getting behind one of Congress' slimiest Democrats, Sean Patrick Maloney. Luján is offering some "reforms" to boost enthusiasm for his reelection bid.
If re-elected, Luján said he plans to increase member involvement in the committee’s operations, including upping lawmaker-driven recruitment of Democratic candidates. The New Mexico Democrat said he’d also make the DCCC more transparent-- a long running complaint of members who say the committee staff is only beholden to leadership-- and look at overhauling polling operations.
Probably not going to win any extra seats but it will flatter some members. Luján wrote in a letter to all members that "We have honed in on critical improvements that can be made to form a more inclusive messaging strategy, the need for more member-driven recruitment, and an interest in setting up a regional structure to better tap the expertise of our members." Yeah, yeah, yeah... They'll never win back the House with this kind of bullshit.

We've been covering corrupt conservative Sean Patrick Maloney since he was first elected in 2012. Aside from doing his call-time from the offices of a hedge fund, the bankster-oriented Maloney-- who's taken an astronomical $2,092,300 from the Finance Sector in the past 4 years-- has consistently voted against the best interests of his own constituents to back Wall Street and corporate special interests. He's gay and votes well on LGBT issues, but that's about it. ProgressivePunch grades him an "F" and his crucial vote score is a realy dismal 45.19, indicating that he votes most of the time with the Republicans against progressive solutions. In January-- until right-wing Democrats like Lou Correa start voting-- Maloney will rank as the 5th worst Democrat in the House. The only Democrats with worse scores are 4 really execrable Blue Dogs who should be unceremoniously kicked out of the party: Jim Costa (CA), Collin Peterson (MN), Henry Cuellar (TX) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ). Maloney should be too but instead the New Dems are organizing an effort to use him to capture the DCCC... back to my earlier thought about how when you want change, you better hope it's change for the better, not change for the worse.

"[R]umors of his bid, reported Heather Caygle for Politico, "have been swirling since he spoke about the importance of the campaign committee during a morning caucus meeting on Thursday... He was seen working the floor during a series of House votes Thursday evening and huddled with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for a long time after. Pelosi and Maloney were the last Democrats seen leaving the chamber."
[O]ne Democratic aide said Maloney might have a hard time convincing members to vote for him considering how competitive his district is to win and what that would mean for the time commitments required to lead the DCCC.

“He has spent his entire career in Congress telling his colleagues how difficult his district is to win,” the aide said. “He’s undermined himself over the years because I think people will be hesitant to put someone at the helm of the DCCC who has a hard time holding their own seat.”
Arizona liberal Ruben Gallego, who voted against reelecting Pelosi this week, has been backing Luján, who he insists "is a strong candidate and despite the outcome, a lot of things were out of his control... I like the idea of having somebody who’s from a rural area, who understands what it means to live in rural America, where we need to pick up more votes. I like the fact that he understands also the Latino voter, which is a growing electorate. I think those two combinations make him a very strong DCCC chair candidate and I think he should do it again."

Sad. And Gallego isn't the only one. The first corrupt slimy New Dem to back Ryan against Pelosi was Long Island conservative Kathleen Rice and she's fine with Luján but isn't happy about what she calls the DCCC's lack of accountability. "We’re here now, three weeks post-Election Day, and we have not done a post-mortem on what went wrong." She should read DownWithTyranny's recent DCCC posts if she wants to know what went wrong. Pathé reported that Rice and other Democrats coming out of Wednesday’s leadership election said they know of members who already don’t pay their dues out of frustration with the way the DCCC is run. 
“I paid my dues, but I didn’t give a penny more,” Rice said.

“I’ll tell you, it bothered me to have to write a six-figure check to an organization that I didn’t know where they were going to spend that money,” Rice said. She preferred to give directly to vulnerable members and Red to Blue recruits.

Sitting in what was rated a safe Democratic seat before the election, Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz had one of the closest elections of any incumbent Democrat this year. He won by less than a point. What’s striking to him is that no one at the DCCC or in leadership has asked him how he won a district that Hillary Clinton lost.

“I think they’re doing as a good a job as you can do,” Walz said of the DCCC. “But the point is, we just kind of hope they do a good job. There’s no feedback.”

He opposed Pelosi for leader and supports electing the DCCC chairman to increase transparency and member engagement.

“I don’t think there’s the buy-in,” Walz said of members who don’t pay dues because they feel they don’t have a say.

Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader, co-chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition, echoed that members won’t want to pay their dues if they don’t feel they’re being represented at the DCCC.

“The people that are chosen to run the DCCC don’t represent the Blue Dog districts we need to win,” he said.

Much of the angst toward the DCCC that has emerged from frustrated members seems to be with a staff they think is handpicked by Pelosi, too. Gallego said that’s been one of his main complaints to Luján.

Asked what specifically needs to change at the DCCC, whether with the structure or the staff, Rice said she’d like the decision-making to be more transparent.

“Look, if a private company were run this way, the head of that company would have been out six years ago,” she said.
The interview HuffPo published this morning by Jennifer Bendry with Pelosi was a little disingenuous-- or delusional. Dusting off a decade old "playbook" isn't going to win back the House-- unless they have the dirt of some Republican congressman fiddling with underage congressional pages the way they did in 2006. I have no doubt, though, that the DCCC will once again do in 2016 what they did in 2006-- and every year since-- namely recruit a bunch of Republican fence-jumpers and Republican-lite candidates to masquerade as Democrats, win some seats, vote with the GOP and lose the seats two years hence. It's the only trick Pelosi DCCCs know how to do. And they can't seem to learn it's a fucking disaster every time they do it.

The one aspect I think Pelosi has about right is that they can expect Trump to cock things up for the GOP-- bigly-- as badly as Bush did between 2004 and 2006. But that isn't a strategy for winning back House seats. The Democrats have to have something to offer voters that will improve their lives or voters will continue hating their guts. Luckily for the Democrats, Ryan is likely to go into major overreach mode and if he does it in terms of Social Security and Medicare, not even Pelosi, Luján and their incompetent DCCC staff will be able to prevent the Democrats from winning some seats-- or, more precisely, their incompetence will fail to keep the Republicans from losing seats.

By the way, right-wing nut and Blue Dog chairman Kurt Schrader, speaking to reporters after Pelosi was reelected, said "I’m very concerned we just signed the Democratic Party’s death certificate." Bernie won his district in the Oregon primary-- by a lot-- but the Bernie voters didn't bother voting for Dave McTeague, the Berniecrat primarying Schrader, who lost 72.6% to 27.4%. You go, you awesome Berniecrat geniuses! Tulsi Gabbard is your gal!

Notice that almost all of the public complaints about the DCCC are coming from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- the Blue Dogs and New Dems who have muddied up the party's brand with their support for the NRA, their opposition to women's Choice, their zombie-embrace of the Wall Street agenda and their political cowardice in standing up to Republicans. Where's the Progressive Caucus? Oh, yeah... I forgot: installing Wall Street puppet Ro Khanna as one of their vice chairmen. (Khan, who isn't remotely a progressive but now represents a progressive district, was heavily financed by the banksters who hated Mike Honda. Khanna and Blue Dog Josh Gottheimer (NJ) got more money from the Finance Sector than any other non-incumbents running for House seats, $865,512 for Gottheimer and $860,451 for Khanna-- way more than most incumbents, let alone challengers. I don't think the Progressive Caucus members who allowed Khanna to join their caucus asked themselves why he got more money than any of them. After Gottheimer and Khanna, Wall Street's next big investment in a non-incumbent was Republican John Faso's race against Zephyr Teachout ($626,540). No other challengers from either party got half a million from the banksters. They know what they're doing and what kind of scumbags and garbage they're buying. And now Ro Khanna is a vice chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Go figure! This mailer was sent out by the new Progressive Caucus vice chair to denigrate Mike Honda:

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At 7:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it about time to just dump the whole pile of shit in the landfill of history and just move on?

The "progressive caucus" of the D "party" is a mirage. There are only a handful of reps and maybe 2 or 3 senators who are actually progressive. The caucus is a way for corrupt money whores to APPEAR progressive by association. It's bullshit. AND they're a tiny minority of the "party".

stop donating and stop voting for them. just make it go away.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Dad said...

The president elect isn't our problem, and discussing the issue with him won't solve it. Our problem is the Resource Curse and its manifestation here as the Oil and fossil fuel lobby. They are the source of misinformation on climate change, they have a lot of money and they spill their poison into all the other issues they teamed up with to defeat the science of climate change. Their front is not climate science but on gerrymandering and owning the entire GOP. We can't beat them if we can't even see what game they are playing. And they are playing to win.

Our biggest hope to defeat them isn't talking to Trump it would be to form one large powerful lobby, where the Solar and Wind industry lobbies work together with the environmental groups, tech companies like Tesla, actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, and billionaires like Tom Steyer. All of these players are working towards the same end and fighting the same foe and they have real grassroots populist appeal, but they are scattered and working in vacuums and in many different directions at once We can beat the Astroturf and fake science of fossil fuels if we can join forces and work together as one. What would it take to bring all these forces together? Who could lead such a push?

There are so many environmental groups looking for donations and I don't and can't donate to them all. But, I would send a huge donation to a big centralized group or SuperPac like that. Some how, they need to find a way to all work together on this issue. The same institutions that represent the environment and clean democratized energy also represent our democracy. We need to strengthen those institutions, one way is to have them all work together.. The Earth already passing some scary tipping points...

At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernie is and was the answer to the Democrat's identity crisis. The crowds were there and the energy necessary to fight the right was there. Hillary had that oh so silly email issues, centrist policy and Wall street & corporate donors en mass,and could appeal to traditional republicans, but no crowds or enthusiasm. Yet the not so Super Delegates were saying from day one "only she can win" or "she's the most qualified" or "Americans won't except such extreme change from a socialist". They lost to a faux populist, that a sincere populist like Bernie would have destroyed: plus taken the Senate and possibly the House. Well look at what extreme change Americans voted for? Republican-lite is like herion-lite, both lead to a harmful addictive high that's not easy to kick.

At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Bernie was the answer, then voters are the question. They should have landslided Bernie to the nom by 50 points. But they didn't such that a little suppression here and fraud there by the DNC allowed the bank whore to take the nom.

But Bernie then repudiated himself by caving, endorsing and campaigning for that monster.

No. Sadly, Bernie isn't the answer. He's still part of the problem.

At 10:39 AM, Blogger opit said...

I know the trendline on this blog is so positive for climate alarm as to be ready, willing and able to write off any representation that while Trump might be nuts to say China started the ball rolling, the UN connection is not noticed at all ( but administrating a global tax of trillions would tempt bureaucracy not a bit .... riiiight ), as is the clear fact that energy politics up the wazoo are the name of the game. But our socially responsible guy from Enron ( Al Gore ) is a responsible prophet. Riiiight again.
So. What is so attractive about gaming scenarios that cannot be shown to mean a damned thing led from parameters that are so fuzzy as to be nonexistent being thought to be reliably capable of forecasting future conditions when our chaotic system frustrates precision from meteorologists in about a week ?
But climate science is different ! Sure it is. It leaves out so much in the rush to simplify physical activities worldwide so as to be completely hopeless except as an exercise to ( hopefully ) graph some action of radiant energy in our environment. If that could lead to greater understanding it would be a fine upstanding contribution to science. Used as a crutch to push transition of operational fuel system regardless of other considerations it is transparently has no function except to serve as a rationale for indefensible policies taking control of farmland away from farmers and of jungles from the residents. And of powers from nations to the UN. There's a selling point for you .... not.
Have you figured out what went wrong at Copenhagen yet ? The small nations know things are being gamed by the usual raptors.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger opit said...

A little light humour


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