Thursday, February 28, 2019

Hard Times For Progressives Running For Congress


How welcome are progressives in Congress? Obviously, Republicans don't want them around. But neither do large swathes of the Democratic congressional establishment. Before I get going... a little caveat. When the Democrats elected their leadership team this session, Pelosi had the most votes-- 202. But among all the other leadership jobs, the second largest number of votes went to Ted Lieu, who was running for co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee-- 161 votes. So it's not like individual members of the caucus dislike progressives. It's a leadership that is both geriatric, sclerotic, corporate and increasingly sold out. The 3 top party leaders, along with their ages and how much loot they're taken from the financial sector since 1990:
Nancy Pelosi- 79 on March 26- $4,072,569 from the Financial Sector
Steny Hoyer- 80 on June 14- $6,865,814 from the Financial Sector
Jim Clyburn- 79 on July 21- $2,939,335 from the Financial Sector
The leadership's successful candidate for DCCC chair was Illinois Blue Dog and New Dem Cheri Bustos, a protégée of-- some say Frankenstein monster of-- Rahm Emanuel. Bustos is a very anti-progressive member with a solid "F" from Progressive Punch and a lifetime crucial vote score of 51.87, the worst in her state, worse even than reactionary Blue Dogs Dan Lipinski and Brad Schneider. As soon as she was confirmed she named 3 useless New Dems as co-chair the DCCC recruitment committee.

Today she joyfully announced that that Pelosi's House Majority SuperPAC would be headed by Robby Mook, not just a conservative but an objected failed conservative. Legally, the DCCC isn't allowed to coordinate with the House Majority PAC, but if you believe that, I would be happy to make you the owner of every major bridge in America for a reasonable price. Why is Mook's appointment important? Well, last cycle, for example, the House Majority PAC brought in $95,686,237 and spent $67,812,160 of that on independent expenditures for a select few of their "favorite" Democratic candidates. Almost all the big money went to help elect conservative candidates from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party and almost none went to help progressives.

Let's take Anthony Brindisi as an example. He was one of the most conservative Democrats in the New York state legislature and a firm NRA ally, perfect for the DCCC and its affiliates like the House Leadership PAC. The PAC spent $2,505,215 beating up on GOP incumbent Claudia Tenney, Today Brindisi doesn't just sport an "F" in Congress, he is the co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition. Over in New Jersey, the SuperPAC spent $1,192,264 pounding Republican Leonard Lance plus another $891,300 in favor of his Democratic rival, New Dem Tom Malinowski. In Washington state's open 8th district, they spent $3,144,931 torturing Republican Dino Rossi with negative TV spots to help elect New Dem Kim Schrier. There were 21 expenditures of over a million dollars and 20 of them went to help elect a Blue Dog or a New Dem. The only one that went to a progressive was for Mike Levin, who many in DC assumed, incorrectly, would join the New Dems instead of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Goal ThermometerEveryone I spoke with yesterday after the Mook announcement told me it will get worse for progressives with him running the SuperPAC. "He's a bitter asshole," one well-connected Hill staffer told me. "Clinton didn't pick him [to run her miserably-failed campaign] by chance." The Blue America ActBlue 2020 congressional thermometer on the right is where you can contribute to the kinds of progressive candidates who are running on a Bernie-like platform, not on a Mookish "No-Can-Do" platform. In 2012, when Mook was Executive Director of the DCCC, the committee elected Kyrsten Sinema, with $1,994,427 he green-lit. She turned out to be the worst Democrat in Congress and head of the Blue Dogs. Mook spent over a million dollars on 26 races, almost all on behalf of conservatives. Of those 26, he managed to flip 8. Only two were progressives, Rick Nolan and Carol Shea Porter. The others were all Blue Dogs and New Dems like Sinema and Cheri Bustos on whom he spent the most money!

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At 7:32 PM, Anonymous ap215 said...


At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

has there ever been anyone more aptly named than robby MOOK?

I think what was meant was 'abject failure'.

and WTF is new about hard times for progressives? the named leadershit, their hand-picked acolytes, the rahm Emanuel cabal and the Clinton legacy... not to mention the relentless refusal of all of them to do anything progressive -- ask obamanation why he refused the entirety of the 2008 mandate.

it's all on lefty voters. we keep doing this. I cannot fathom why we continue to think that making all the same stupid moves will finally work out, after abject failure for 40 years.

we gave Pelosi the gavel in 2007. result? abject failure would have been better than her total and unilateral refusal to honor her oath or do a single thing the democraps were elected to do.

but then we did it again. same result. WTF were lefties thinking? or is that eeg flatline somehow significant.


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