Friday, October 09, 2020

When Push Comes To Shove, What Do Blue Dogs Do? They Pull Off Their Masks And Show The World What They Always Are: Republicans



Two of the members of Congress I respect most, Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD) are in safe blue districts and have been working their asses off to elect other Democrats to Congress. Sometimes, it drives me crazy, though, that they are working to elect all Democrats-- from complete garbage like Oklahoma Blue Dog Kendra Horn to the top progressive challengers across the country. I had a good discussion with Ted about it but he was unshakable in his determination to elect more Democrats. Period.

To my mind, his argument is undercut, though, when conservative Democrats are seen to only help other conservative Democrats and not progressives. Progressives like Ted and Jamie are raising millions of dollars for Blue Dogs and New Dems-- as well as for progressives-- but Blue Dogs and New Dems? Let's go take a look at one of the most-- if not the most-- crucial congressional race anywhere in America: Omaha, Nebraska.

NE-02-- Omaha and the rest of Douglas County plus most of red-leaning, rural Sarpy County-- is a swing district that elects one member of Congress, just like every other district. However, NE-02, also awards an electoral vote to a presidential candidate (as does another swing district, ME-02). That's why the district is so incredibly important. Kara Eastman, a community activist and organizer, won a tough primary against an establishment candidate married to a former congressman, Blue Dog, Brad Ashford, who was beaten in 2018 by Eastman in a bitter primary. In part because of the tireless and effective organizing on behalf of Democrats up and down the ticket, both she and Biden, who is not making any efforts in Nebraska, are leading in the district. Kara is delivering him an electoral college vote.

On Wednesday evening, she beat the Trump-enabling incumbent, Don Bacon, in a debate. Moments before the debate-- in a coordinated effort by the Bacon campaign-- party-jumper Ashford-- who had already endorsed Kara-- switched his endorsement to the Republican.

That's what Blue Dogs do. I wouldn't expect Cheri Bustos, DCCC Chair and a Blue Dog herself, to care, but I would hope Ted and Jamie would take that into consideration when they help elect Blue Dog candidates. There are several Republicans running as Democrats this cycle-- just as Ashford had-- and all are possible party-jumpers like Jeff Van Drew, a New Jersey ultra-conservative who flipped into Trumpism and officially joined the GOP after voting with them for a year.

When Ashford was in Congress, he was generally considered one of the 2 or 3 most right-wing Democrats in the House and was always looking for opportunities to stab the Democrats in the back, just the way he did to Kara on Wednesday night.

Ashford first won the seat in 2014, narrowly beating GOP incumbent Terry Lee, even though he only raised $1,231,958 to Lee's $3,106,288. How did he manage that? The DCCC and Pelosi's House Majority PAC spent a little over $1.5 million slamming Lee and bolstering Ashford. One term of the conservative Ashford was more than enough for Omaha Democrats, who refused to back him again. That's when he lost to Bacon, even though he spent a million dollars more than Bacon and even though the DCCC spent $2,688,673 on his behalf, while Pelosi's SuperPAC threw in another $741,041. So... almost $3.5 million wasted trying to save the seat of a pretend-Democrat who voted with the GOP and who was hated by his own constituents! That's the DCCC!

Goal ThermometerThe following year, Ashford wanted to try again, but despite backing from the DCCC, Democratic voters weren't having anything to do with him and Kara defeated him in the primary-- at which point the DCCC basically pulled out of the race and signaled to the Republicans that the district was all their's. The GOP spent a massive $1.3 million smearing Kara and another $700,000 advertising how amazingly wonderful Bacon was. The DCCC spent a ritual $90,000 on Kara before telling donors and the media that she couldn't win. And by the way, you can contribute to Kara's campaign by clicking on the thermometer on the right. Bacon defeated Kara by less than 1 percentage point despite his mammoth financial edge.

This cycle, Ashford sent his wife in to run in his place. Kara beat her in a humiliating two to one landslide. She has kept up with Bacon on spending so far-- having spent $1,132,014 to his $1,239,832. But he has twice what she does in the bank for the final push and the GOP has spent $1,958,987 on ads calling her a communist and another $1,216,895 boosting Bacon. The DCCC and Pelosi's SuperPAC have spent $1.2 million helping Kara, much less than they've spent on right-wing Blue Dogs and corporately owned New Dems. One of the most far right Democrats in the House-- hated by his normal Democratic colleagues, many of whom hope he loses-- is Anthony Brindisi, who votes with the GOP as much as Ashford used to. The DCCC has spent $2,025,213 on his race. Pelosi's SuperPAC threw in another $632,150 and the Blue Dog PAC kicked in $473,272. Or compare the $1.2 million the DCCC and Pelosi have spent on Kara to the $2,736,430 the DCCC alone had spent on conservative New Dem candidate Carolyn Bourdeaux so far.

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At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I had a good discussion with Ted about it but he was unshakable in his determination to elect more Democrats. Period."

Since you are able to speak directly with Ted Lieu, Howie, you might point out what a complete waste our supermajority CA Democratic Legislature is. They killed a bill to restore net neutrality as well as a state-run version of M4A while still giving away the Commons to corporate interests.

If you ever do discuss this will Rep. Lieu, please post the details. Enquiring minds want to know!

At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The name 'Ted' is interchangeable with every sheepdog that posts here and every jingoistic responder here and every democrap party oligarch (AOC especially).

note: DWT's unanimous exhortation to "choke it down and vote for biden" is only a couple of weeks away. And the odds on that prediction is currently infinity to 1 in the vegas books.

11:29 illustrates the fallacy in the belief that democraps are worth a good, semi-solid shit.
they are not. they never will be. their only selling point is that they are not (the current nazi party head)... usually.

It's safe to rip off the mask for a lot of them, THIS TIME, because THIS TIME, the nazi party heads are all deserving of having their heads mounted on pikes on the national mall... and even THEIR voters are starting to agree... THIS TIME!

next time? can they find a more sane-sounding charismatic nazi? I'm guessing they can. Will they? who knows.


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