Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Changes At The Congressional Progressive Caucus-- Good Ones



Starting To Lose My Temper by Nancy Ohanian

Mark Pocan (D-WI), largely responsible for accelerating the growth in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, announc3d a couple of weeks ago that he's retiring as co-chair when his term is up at the end of the year. He didn't announce, at least not publicly, that he's trying to find support for a run for the U.S. Senate seat held by one of the worst members of either house of Congress, Ron Johnson. (Johnson has announced he isn't running again but he's an inveterate liar so that announcement doesn't mean anything at all.) But Pocan's departure probably heralds some long-overdue changes at the CPC.

One would be abolishing the whole dysfunctional idea of having 2 people running the organization. It just comes from a moronic PC space that has seen the ability of the caucus to be an effective player inside the Democratic caucus diminish. The current co-chair, Pramila Jayapal would make an excellent chair on her own and although I'd rather see her replace Pelosi as speaker, I know that isn't going to happen in the 117th Congress. Jayapal is one of Congress' most skilled politicians, and I use "politician" in the best sense of the word. There's some grumbling within the caucus, as usual.

But my biggest bone of contention with the caucus is that it is watered down because almost anyone willing to pay the dues can join, no matter how not progressive they are. This I blame on Pocan, who has disputed it, pointing to a joke of a completely silly questionnaire-- without one long-form question. Whatever the case, let me just say that there are currently 11 members of the caucus with "F" ProgressivePunch scores. "F," not "A"s like most prominent progressives (Jayapal, Pocan, AOC, Barbara Lee, Raul Grijalva, Andy Levin, Jan Schakowsky, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Ro Khanna, Judy Chu, Rashida Tlaib, Joe Neguse, Jerry Nadler...) Even Pelosi and Hakeem Jeffries have "A" scores! And not even "B"s, "C"s and "D"s. I'm talking about big fat "F"s, just like a Blue Dog or New Dem-- some of whom, looking for virtual insurance policies, Pocan has allowed to join the CPC.

Let's start with one of the worst CPC members of all-- a vice chair no less, New Jersey crooked pol Donald Norcross (a New Dem). Here's the list of the "F"-rated members of the caucus in alphabetical order:
Brendan Boyle (New Dem-PA)
Angie Craig (New Dem-MN)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI)
Steven Horsford (New Dem-NV)
Andy Kim (NJ)
Dave Loebsack (IA)
Joe Morelle (New Dem-NY)
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (New Dem-FL)
Donald Norcross (New Dem-NJ)
Jimmy Panetta (New Dem-CA)
Adam Smith (New Dem-WA)
Ryan Grimm had a good explanation of what the CPC changes are all about, noting that they are meant to make it into more of a "cohesive fighting force come 2021." OK, that's needed. For one thing, there will now be meaningful membership requirements and participation requirements. I wonder if Pocan flipped out when he read this: "Under the current CPC rules, essentially any Democrat willing to write a small dues check-- $4,000 per year-- to the group can become an official member, regardless of their politics, their source of campaign financing, their voting record, or even their attendance at CPC meetings. The benefit for moderate Democrats who fear facing primary challengers from the left is that they can tout their membership as evidence of progressive bona fides without delivering anything substantive."
The proposed changes to the CPC are intended to move it in a tighter direction. “The point of the reform is to shed free riding members that claim CPC membership but aren’t actually progressive,” said one CPC member.

Jayapal said that the caucus may indeed shrink if the reforms are implemented. “It may. We’re ready for that to happen,” she said. “I just would rather have people who are really committed to the progressive caucus in the caucus and participating rather than sort of just having it as a label.”

...Pushing CPC members to vote as a bloc is an effort to find enough strength in solidarity to make credible threats to leadership or to a potential Biden administration. On the GOP side, the Freedom Caucus has exercised its power by voting as a bloc. The difference, of course, is that the right-wing’s default posture toward government programs is one of destruction, so withholding votes is less difficult, said Pocan. It’s more difficult for progressive Democrats to say no to legislation that will benefit even a small number of people, and therein lies their negotiating handicap.

...The task force set up to write the new rules included Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Jamie Raskin, Barbara Lee, Ro Khanna, Judy Chu, Lloyd Doggett, Chuy Garcia, David Cicilline, Jayapal, and Pocan. The new rules, if approved, won’t go into effect until the next Congress.

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At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this corner, weighing in with many good intentions and no punching power,

Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Jamie Raskin, Barbara Lee, Ro Khanna, Judy Chu, Lloyd Doggett, Chuy Garcia, David Cicilline, Jayapal, and Pocan!!!!

And in this corner, slinging one of the Biggest Gavels ever wielded by ANY Speaker while ensuring nothing beneficial gets past her which MIGHT benefit a mere mortal human being,

Nancy! Designer Ice Cream!! Pelo$i!!!

Gee! Who Wins, do ya think?

At 6:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nodding in agreement, 7:25.

If the CPC sheds all the charlatans, its size will be so tiny that it will prove my thesis and even you cannot deny it. The optics would be so bad that they'd be self-repudiating.
And the total of their dues won't be sufficient to even print letterhead on which to send out pleas for more money.

the party will not let a tiny insurgency of MAYBE a dozen real progressives ever influence their policy decisions nor give them balls to stand up to the nazis.

chamber tyrants pelo$i and, possibly, $cummer will not change. biden will never change. harri$ will never change. perez, bu$to$, hoyer, cliburn, murray..... hundreds will never change.

And that list of supposed 'progressives' have all been muzzled by the democrap oligarchs. Says volumes about them.

vote for democraps if you feel the need. but don't delude yourself. The party continues to become worse -- more evangelically fascist.


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