Thursday, June 22, 2017

How The Democrats' Worst Enemy Is... The DCCC


Lottery winner Gilbert Cisneros

Yesterday’s Democratic operative quote of the day was "We no longer have a party caucus capable of riding this wave. We have 80-year-old leaders and 90-year-old ranking members. This isn't a party. It's a giant assisted living center. Complete with field trips, gym, dining room and attendants." I would just add that the younger leaders-in-waiting are even worse-- much worse than the ones on their way out. The shady Wall Street hustler who Pelosi and Hoyer have picked to take over leadership of the House Democrats once they’re finally gone— Caucus Chair Joe Crowley— told Fox’s Chad Pergram that though the Dems didn’t win GA-06, “2018 will be a different story.” Pelosi’s utterly worthless, zero value-add DCCC chairman, Ben Ray Luján, petrified the grassroots money he’s been wasting might dry up after the loss in GA-06, sent DCCC staffers a memo for them to leak asserting that polling shows the Democrats can win back the House in 2018 by taking seats from vulnerable GOP incumbents-- pointing specifically to Brian Mast (FL-18), Darrell Issa (CA-49), Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11), David Valadao (CA-21), Jeff Denham (CA-10),Kevin Yoder (KS-03) and Martha McSally (AZ-02). The clueless and ineffective chairman wrote that his pathetic committee has “a unique opportunity to flip control of the House of Representatives in 2018. This is about much more than one race: the national environment, unprecedented grassroots energy and impressive Democratic candidates stepping up to run deep into the battlefield leave no doubt that Democrats can take back the House next fall.” He added that the DCCC is out recruiting, something that should scare the crap out of all Democrats since all the DCCC looks for are uninspiring wealthy self-funders, Republican-lite misanthropes and identity politics garbage. Without a trace of irony, he wrote that the reactionaries who head the recruitment committee-- Blue Dog Cheri Bustos (a Rahm thing) and wealthy New Dem Denny Heck-- are looking for “top-tier candidates to fill the remaining holes in our map… We have our work cut out for us. Taking back the majority will not be easy. Despite the grassroots energy and the winds at our backs, we have a number of real structural disadvantages in these districts.” He should get a giant mirror for himself and his grotesquely corrupt staff if he wants to examine those real structural disadvantages.

Or maybe he could hire someone like the NY Times’ Nate Cohn to look into what ails-- and has been ailing for over a decade-- the DCCC, making it dysfunctional and an assert for Republican control. In a column after the Ossoff debacle, Cohn noted that the Democratic candidates outperformed but still lost in red open seats in Kansas, Montana, Georgia and South Carolina. Wutgout mentioning DCCC ineptness and lousy recruitment, Cohn wrote that “this contradiction is the heart of the challenge the party faces in 2018. Democrats will probably benefit from an extremely favorable political environment, as they do today. But the problem is that they’re fighting an uphill battle, even if the wind is strongly at their backs. The 2018 midterm elections will be decided in Republican-leaning terrain. Even a wave the size of the electoral tsunamis that swept Republicans out of power in 2006 and back into it 2010 would not guarantee the Democrats a House majority in 2018.”
Democrats did better in these special elections than would have been expected, based on previous election results and even supposing that the national political environment was as hostile for Republicans as it was in 2006. That’s even true in Georgia’s Sixth, where Mitt Romney and the outgoing representative (Tom Price) won by 23 points, even though President Trump won by just 1.5 points.

Democratic strength is not surprising, since all of the ingredients for a strong Democratic performance are in place. The president’s party just about always loses seats in the midterm elections, and it generally gets clobbered when the president’s approval rating is beneath 50 percent, much less beneath 40.

But alone, a strong national political environment doesn’t guarantee Democratic control of the House.

The Democrats just don’t have many top-tier opportunities to win Republican-held seats. This year, just 11 Republicans represent seats with a Democratic tilt in recent presidential elections. Back in 2010, the Republicans had 73 such opportunities.

The election in 2006 is a particularly relevant example, because Democrats had a somewhat similar, if better, set of opportunities. Those chances yielded 31 seats, just a few more than the 24 seats they need in 2018. But Democrats also had some good luck in 2006 that will be hard to duplicate: There were a half dozen safely Republican districts where the incumbent succumbed to scandal or indictment, including Tom DeLay, a House majority leader.

The Republicans have a real shot to retain control of the House in a political climate that would doom them under typical circumstances. There are a lot of reasons for this structural G.O.P. advantage, like partisan gerrymandering, the inefficient distribution of Democrats in heavily Democratic cities, and the benefit of incumbency.

To retake the House, Democrats will ultimately need to carry seats with a clear Republican tradition. This year’s special elections, including Jon Ossoff’s loss to Karen Handel in Georgia, are a reminder that it will indeed be difficult for Democrats to win in Republican-leaning districts, just as it was for the Democrats in 2006 or for Republicans on Democratic-leaning turf in 2010.

Recruitment and messaging are key. The Democrats are looking at candidates who are duplicates of the vile recruiters (think New Dem Heck and Blue Dog Bustos)… and worse. Worse? Oh yeah. Let’s look at CA-39 for a moment, powerful entrenched incumbent Ed Royce’s seat, predominantly in Orange County but with a chunk of L.A. County and a sliver of San Bernardino County. The DCCC has, for years, studiously avoided targeting Royce. Then Hillary beat Trump there 51.5% to 42.9%, her biggest win among the GOP-held Orange County districts the DCCC says they hope to win in 2018. Whites are a minority in this district and the DCCC should have been building a multi cycle campaign to win it back for years; but they’re way too lame, incompetent and unaccountable to have done any such thing. The district stretches from deep blue Hacienda Heights into La Brea Heights, La Habra, Rowland Heights, Brea, up to Walnut, Diamond Bar and Chino Hills and then south to Buena Park, Fullerton, Placenta, and Yorba Linda.

How excited is the DCCC about winning CA-39 and ousting Royce? They’re already written it off. The powers that be in DC have decided to sell the nomination to someone they know will have no chance to win, a very wealthy-- but otherwise useless-- lottery winner named Gil Cisneros. Cisneros doesn’t live in the district and his preparation for announcing his campaign is trying to lose a couple of chins plus meeting with corrupt lobbyists at a resort outside of DC this weekend instead of meeting folks in the district the DCCC is selling him. (The Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s Bold PAC, run by Tony Cárdenas is brokering the deal and hosting the weekend event at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort in Cambridge, Maryland. Besides all the corrupt lobbyists, attendees include Tom Perez, Steny Hoyer, Ben Ray Lujan, Cárdenas, and reactionary Blue Dogs Jim Costa (CA), Vicente Gonzalez (TX), Stephanie Murphy (FL), Tom O’Halleran (AZ) and Lou Correa (CA). Among the lobbyists will be representatives of AT&T, the Pedestal Group, Goldman Sachs, Walmart, Microsoft, Charter Communications, Amgen, Concast, Pepsi, Pfizer, Sempra Energy, Primerica, Loews, Biogen, T-Mobile, Safeway, Johnson & Johnson, Astra Zenica, Sprint, PayPal, and dozens more.

So far Man-Khanh Tran and Philip Janowicz have declared for the seat and rumors are circulating that progressive attorney Sam Jammal will also run. But what I’m being told is that the DCCC is going along with Bold PAC to give the nomination to Cisneros in return for lots and lots and lots of that lottery money and then just give up on the seat entirely. Works for Royce too, doesn’t it? I wish I could say this is a unique situation but this is the kind of crap the DCCC has been pulling for years and continues right now. I don’t see it ever changing without a major upheaval in the House Democratic Caucus. Last year when the rank and file threatened Pelosi if she didn’t let them elect the DCCC chair, she agreed and then no one even ran against incompetent loser Lujan. And people wonder why Democrats can’t beat Trump and the Republicans! Expect no changes until the sclerotic House leadership changes-- and that ain't changin' unless 2018 is another series of GA-06's and more cycles like 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016.

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At 1:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re 2018 House (Senate) race(s): At least the Dems won't have to contend with the effects of a presidential candidate spending $1.2 billion to loudly proclaim, essentially, "Who needs Dems in congress? I can work with the GOP!"

I am confident, however, that despite this political dead weight being lifted, the Dems will still be able to efficiently dig themselves deeper into oblivion.

John Puma

At 3:22 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

This is all deeply disturbing. Rome did not fall this fast. We are racing way above the speed limit on the highway to hell. This is getting scarier by the day. It is looking more and more like the Dems are not up to the task. Yikes.

At 6:04 AM, Blogger Ten Bears said...

Still can't find Oregon Disrict Two, larger than most states, larger even than the combination of many states, with both hands, coke bottle eyeglasses and a really big map.

At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still another piece that verifies, validates and welds my thesis in place.

DWT, you dance all around the obvious but still refuse to see. Why is that?

At 6:12 PM, Blogger Lisa Sierra said...

How long can our county go on like this! I think we all need to put country first! and party 2nd! We have a President twittering hate and non-truths, this is a country of the home of the free and land of the brave! Lets all start showing the world that is who we all are! Lisa Sierra


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