Monday, November 19, 2018

Primaries For Bad Democrats?


One New Dem leader down, another one to go

I just got back from a post-election rest in Istanbul. On Saturday I was still there and I dashed off a post about how Blue America is going about looking for 2020 congressional recruits. That generated a ton of e-mails like this one [in part] from Melissa in Houston:
My husband and I have faithfully contributed to the Blue America candidates you guys recommend for almost 10 years. That's because we are never shy in pointing out the short-comings of the conservative Democrats who refer to as "the Republican wing of the Democratic Party." We have found your "Primary A Blue Dog" Act Blue sight especially helpful and we and our friends gave money to Marie Newman, Kara Eastman, Alexandria Ocasio and Kevin de Leon there. I hope when you are recruiting for 2020, you will not just be doing the DCCC's job for them but also looking for alternatives to Democrats who act like Republicans.
No need to worry about that! We have already been talking with several candidates interested in taking on some of the worst of the Blue Dogs and New Dems in 2020. You may have seen this tweet I posted Saturday:

It was in response to a couple of Ocasio-Cortez staffers:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the most spectacularly successful progressive to challenge a bad Dem this cycle. Spectacular for three reasons.
She is the whole package, one of the sharpest and highest calibre candidates to run anywhere-- someone whose politics are in historical and personal context
Joe Crowley was a quintessential villain: an ambitious, opportunistic poster child for everything-- no, really, everything-- that is wrong with congressional politics, even beyond being a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall Street.
She accomplished all this right under the nose of the mainstream media, which had basically never heard of her until the day after she beat the "next Speaker."
Alex Thompson, writing for Politico took a look at her suggestion that progressive groups put some real energy and resources into cleaning up the Democratic Party brand by encouraging and supporting candidates who primary bad Dems. "Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Saturday threw her weight behind a new national campaign to mount primaries against incumbent Democrats deemed to be ideologically and demographically out of step with their districts," he wrote. The incoming star congresswoman from New York again put the Democratic establishment on notice that she and activist groups on the left aren’t content with a Democratic-controlled House: They are determined to move the party to the left."

On a video conference call with supporters Saturday, she said "All Americans know money in politics is a huge problem, but unfortunately the way that we fix it is by demanding that our incumbents give it up or by running fierce campaigns ourselves. That's really what we need to do to save this country. That's just what it is." She added that people who take money from the special interests their committees oversee, should not be on those committees. "I don't think people who are taking money from oil and gas companies should be drafting climate legislation."
The incoming congresswoman's chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, a co-founder of Justice Democrats, was blunter.

"We need new leaders, period," he said on the call. "We gotta primary folks."

...[I]t is unusual for freshmen Democrats to throw their support behind an organization that is threatening to wage primaries against their new colleagues. And it’s unclear whether it could trigger a backlash from incumbent lawmakers who want to take advantage of their newfound majority to get things done, rather than sweating a primary challenge.

But Ocasio-Cortez has already made clear she’s looking to break the mold. During her first week in Washington, she joined a protest in Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi’s office, supporting calls for a “Green New Deal."

”It wasn’t a very polite move to do," Chakrabarti said.

Ocasio-Cortez said at the sit-in that she was not there to protest Pelosi but to support the activists and their agenda.

“Should Leader Pelosi become the next speaker of the House, we need to tell her that we’ve got her back in showing and pursuing the most progressive energy agenda that this country has ever seen,” she told them. “This is about unity. This is about solidarity.”
When Blue America started looking for someone to primary Crowley, Ocasio had just turned voting age. We never found anyone; she found us after she was already well on the way to winning (with the help of the Justice Democrats).

Taking into account ideology, the districts themselves, corruption, voting records, etc-- though not identity politics-- the House districts Blue America is trying to recruit in for primaries are below, listed alphabetically by state [Note: if we find one or two on this whole list, it will be a miracle.]:
CA-07- Ami Bera (New Dem) D+3
CA-16- Jim Costa (Blue Dog) D+9
CA-29- Tony Cardenas (New Dem) D+29
CA-31- Pete Aguilar (New Dem) D+8
CA-46- Lou Correa (Blue Dog) D+15
CA-52- Scott Peters (New Dem) D+6
CT-04- Jim Himes (New Dem) D+7
FL-23- Debbie Wasserman Schultz (New Dem) D+11
IL-03- Dan Lipinski (Blue Dog) D+6
IL-10- Brad Schneider (New Dem) D+10
MD-05- Steny Hoyer D+16
MA-06 Seth Moulton (New Dem) D+6
MA-08- Stephen Lynch D+10
MN-07- Collin Peterson (Blue Dog) R+12
NJ-01- Donald Norcross (New Dem) D+13
 NJ-05- Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog) R+3
NY-04- Kathleen Rice (New Dem) D+4
NY-05- Greg Meeks (New Dem) D+37
OR-05- Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog) PVI is even
TN-05- Jim Cooper (Blue Dog) D+7
TX-15- Vicente González (Blue Dog) D+7
TX-28- Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog) D+9
TX-34- Filemon Vela (Blue Dog) D+10
There are no newly elected freshmen on the list, even though some really terrible ones are about to take office. Let's give them a chance before we go after them.

By the way, when I tweeted the original off-the-top-of-my-head list up top, one of the biggest responses was "What about Hoyer?" He's Crowley times 10 but we're always looking for someone willing. I spoke with someone (while I was still in Istanbul) who said "maybe... but not now." Reporting for Common Dreams on Friday, Julia Conley wrote that "While progressives have been focused this week on pressuring House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to embrace bold initiatives, an interview with Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) served as a reminder that the second-ranking Democrat's vision for the party is sorely lacking, as it heads into a new term with control of the House."

On NPR's Morning Edition early Friday, Steve Inskeep asked Hoyer about Medicare for All, which 26 newly-elected Democrats support. Outspoken support for the plan helped progressive challengers including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib win their elections, while 84 percent of Democratic voters-- and 70 percent of Americans overall-- now back the proposal.

The skyrocketing support for Medicare for All, however, appears to have gone unnoticed by Hoyer, who replied with familiar promises of "affordable, quality healthcare" but gave no sign of backing the proposal which even a Koch Brothers-backed study estimates would save Americans $2 trillion in overall healthcare costs.

...Hoyer's interview served as a reminder that the congressman, who has served since 1981, poses as much if not more of a threat to the passage of progressive policies as Pelosi. As Jonathan Tasini, host of Working Life podcast, noted on Twitter, Hoyer has threatened other broadly popular social programs as one of the Democratic Party's most powerful members.
One fairly senior Democrat in Congress-- a Pelosi supporter-- told me he would never vote for Hoyer to lead the party. "That would be a disaster," he told me last night. "Every single bill would go through K Street. It would be like John Boehner all over again."

Meanwhile... an oldie but goodie-- as true today as it ever was-- if not more so:

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At 6:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I applaud AOC's passion. I do not think much of her tactics. The bottom of this piece proves my disdain.

DWT's list is far too few to do any good. There are now 232+- democraps in the house. Of that number, there may only be 3 or 4 who are truly leftists. Add another 20-odd and you still have an impotent and tiny insurgency. There will remain nearly 200 faithful and devoted fascists from Pelosi and hoyer on down who will never allow AOC nor Jayapal nor the 20-some cabal to pass anything that will affect their fundraising with corporations and billionaires.

AOC and those "justice democrats" need to completely separate themselves from the democrap party's corruption. There are millions who have long had it with the party, their leadershit and their refusals and betrayals. As long as those well-meaning still self-identify as democraps, we shall not ever vote for them because we know that it would only be a proxy affirmation for Pelosi, hoyer et al.

The other Sisyphean task that MUST be undertaken is to educate lefty and dormant voters. They need to know that this new separated insurgency is fully aware of why the democraps are never going to be saved; they need to be convinced that this new leftist movement won't ever fall prey to the lure of the big money; and, most important, they MUST be re-educated on successes of the past (since there are no new problems and trends... only echoes of those that we've already seen before), methods and solutions, and WHY THEY WORKED and WHY WHAT WE'VE BEEN DOING FOR 40 YEARS DOES NOT WORK (for the masses and the commons).

As has been proven for 5 decades (thinking back all the way to Nixon), when a left electorate is this fucking stupid, nothing can ever work in a democratic-ish process.

The Nazi minority will always be there, especially in a very diverse state. But as the non-whites become a minority, there is no excuse for an electorate being MORE apt to elect Nazis. The dysfunction is unfathomable... but it is still real.

I don't think AOC nor her 'justice dems' can accomplish anything but being an annoyance to the big money whore majority unless and until she/they divest themselves of the entirety of the democrap black hole.

And since the media is a huge part of the engine of corrupt politics, I have my doubts that it can even be done.

I also know that DWT will never support it because they always collapse back upon their own "stated" principles and beg stupid voters to continue to support the whoring.

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At 6:45 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Thank you Howie this is what i've been waiting for i'll agree on one point on your post GA the Justice Dems & the new upcoming progressive candidates are going to be a nuisance to Nancy & the DCCC's corrupt establishment candidates & that protest that happened in her office is a good start i'm all for anything to tackle down this corrupt establishment systemic system we've been in for years i look forward to more upcoming fresh faces jumping into the fray & then taking it from there it's a challenge & it won't be easy they have the power numbers money etc but this movement is just the beginning of something huge & good let's do this.

At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This video i saw is in regards to what Anonymous & AP posted they both make valid points on the party

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Congressional Progressive Caucus is growing. It might even top 100 members with the incoming class. Its membership is not perfect, but they now out number the Blue Dogs and New Dems. This is what I have been telling the silly 'democrap' troll for months now. The road to progressive leadership is much, much shorter through the Democratic Party than through the non-existent 3rd party channel they tout.

The Progressive Caucus has a ton of room for growth just by replacing those on the list in the article. The reality is that you are never going to 218 'true leftists' in Congress. That goal is just as silly as the idea that a 3rd party is going to rise in the next 24 months and take control of all levers of government.

At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The CPC has had numbers that should have been influential for a decade. Yet they have never had influence outside of mythical planks in platforms.

The reason is that its numbers are swelled by charlatans who opportunistically want that label to impress their imbecile voters. There are only, at the very most, a half dozen truly progressive people in the house.

for reference, which subcategories is Pelosi a member of? And yet she is among the very worst "new" and "dog" corrupt corporatist democrap whores in history. Just like $hillbillary, $he could never try to adopt the label "progressive" or her voters would just all drop dead of laughter.

The belief that the 'craps can be reborn by having good people replace bad people is delusional. First, it would take decades. But also the donors will pay billions to Pelosi, hoyer and the other 200 corrupt sociopaths to prevent any such rebirth. We saw that in 2018. Stache lost mostly because he got dick from the DCCC. AOC won in spite of getting dick from the DCCC, but she is the rarest of exceptions that proves the rule.

Also, AOC's strategy of 'primarying' bad 'craps can, has and shall be done in reverse. Guess which strategery will work? The one where billions are availed to win.

There are far more numerous districts where money can buy a seat than those where a truly great candidate can be found and can win.

For every AOC there are 10 Bryces who either get primaried by a bad 'crap or who lose to a Nazi because they get no support from the 'craps.

No... a separate, truly left movement is really the only way. Might not work (voters are still fucking morons), but the democraps are never going to allow themselves to be changed by a tiny insurgency, no matter how altruistic it is.


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