DCCC Falls Flat On Its Face Again-- When Will They Ever Wake Up And Smell Their Own... Waste?

Progressive champion Kara Eastman defeats the DCCC, the Blue Dogs and the New Dems-- our hero

All across the country there are counties and districts where Bernie beat Hillary in 2016 (and many where Bernie got more votes on primary day than Trump as well). But the Democratic Establishment-- including the DCCC, their overpaid consultants and contractors and the lazy, feebleminded "reporters" who reprint their press releases-- repeat, ad nauseum, that only right-wing candidates (they call them "moderates, which they aren't) can win the general elections. The DCCC then tries pushing progressives out of primaries in favor of conservatives who Bernie voters certainly don't want to vote for-- Bernie voters who were more numerous than the status quo Hillary voters in 2016.

Let's look at a few counties. In Wisconsin, Bernie beat Hillary statewide 567,936 (56.6%) to 432,767 (43.1%). That say day Trump got 386,370 votes and Cruz got 531,129 votes Bernie beat both of them. Let's look at the counties that make up most of Paul Ryan's district in southeast Wisconsin, a district Trump won 52.6% to 42.3%.

Kenosha Co- Bernie- 14,612; Hillary- 10,871; Trump- 11,139
Racine Co- Bernie- 14,651; Hillary- 14,086; Trump- 11,756
Rock Co- Bernie- 17,337; Hillary- 11,248; Trump- 10,264
Walworth Co- Bernie- 8,405; Hillary- 5,174; Trump- 7,534

Nebraska's 2nd district, primarily Omaha and the rest of Douglas County went for Bernie 52.6% to 47.4% but the DCCC did all it could to undermine the Bernie-oriented candidate, Kara Eastman, in favor of the very conservative Blue Dog Brad Ashford. Despite the DCCC's poisonous efforts that made it possible for Ashford to spend $397,194 (as of April 25) to Eastman's $284,880, last night, this happened:

Pelosi, losing it, threatened to withhold DCCC general election support from progressives who beat DCCC crap candidates in primaries, so please consider contributing to Kara here. This is important. She should be able to beat freshman conservative Republican Don Bacon as long as she can get her popular progressive message out, with or without help from Pelosi and her cabal.

Let's look at CO-06 where Hoyer and Lujan are doing everything they can to force progressive Democrat Levi Tillemann out of the race to make way for corrupt conservative Jason Crow. But, again, Bernie won the district , all 3 counties:

Adams Co- Bernie- 61.0%- 38.3%
Arapahoe Co- Bernie- 53.0%- 46.3%
Douglas Co- Bernie- 49.7%- 49.6%

On Monday Vanity Fair published a somewhat confused essay by Ken Stern, "There Will Be A Backlash": Will The Bernie Democrats Risk The House?. Maybe it was just bad editing... or maybe Stern is just confused. "The hard truth," he wrote, "is that Democrats could easily push too far, too fast, and lose. But while the midterms may be a poor battleground for the left-wing revolution, the general election will give the party’s insurgents all the advantages." I don't know if he has a point of view or if he's just a bad reporter, but he's all over the map. Is he celebrating Leslie Cockburn's recent win in Virginia? He doesn't seem to have been aware that the candidate he seems to have liked, Blue Dog RD Huffstetler, withdrew from the race when he realized he wasn't connecting with Democratic voters. Why should he though-- with all his Republican ideas? He denigrated the local county-wide caucuses that picked the delegates for the convention, calling them a "rump group" and claimed her progressive platform "may be too liberal," even though her ideas are very mainstream, just not the reactionary ideas which idiots in the media somehow mistake for popular. He then seems to imply Virginia isn't a coastal state.

"The realities of 2018," he wrote, "however, are forcing both parties to make some hard and cynical calculations. Democracy is always messy, and if 2016 proved anything, it can be unpredictable and infuriating as well. Which is why local decisions, like Virginia’s 5th, are enough to make party elders in Washington lose their minds. Working under the radar, national Democratic groups can certainly pull some levers that help particular candidates, and may even flip some purple districts. Ellen Zeng, the Democratic political director at With Honor, a super PAC that supports veterans running for office, candidly described to me how party committees will direct money, facilitate valuable endorsements, share research with chosen candidates, and train up their staffs in order to tip the scales. But there is only so much they can do to guide’s democracy’s hand. When party leaders have tried to be more publicly forceful about imposing their will, it has almost always backfired."

Progressive candidates I know all hope the DCCC "trains up their staffs," a definite kiss of death for the conservatives thet stand behind... "Democrat Party leaders may think they are entitled to be kingmakers, but their efforts come across as more Boss Hogg than Boss Tweed," he wrote, trying to be funny. Fact of the matter is the DCCC comes across as Boss Hogg and Boss Tweed. But then he suddenly, inexplicably turns in the right direction.

It all leads some Democratic strategists, like Peter O’Keefe, a prominent Democratic consultant and the national treasurer of the Democratic Governors Association, to urge caution: “If the national party comes in too heavy, there will be a backlash,” he told me. “It works best when the local grassroots take the political decision-making seriously.” For O’Keefe, that means finding and promoting candidates “built for the general,” whose moderate politics can appeal across party lines. But it is plain that the local grassroots think very poorly of the national strategies and the national strategists. When I asked Corbin Trent, the communications director for the Justice Democrats and the former national campaign coordinator for Bernie Sanders, about the desire to elect the centrists who are “general-election”-ready, he practically scoffed himself off the phone with his contempt for the people and strategies that have lost the White House, the Senate, the House, and in total more than a 1,000 elected offices over the past decade. It is smart politics, in his view, to do exactly the opposite of what the D.C.-consultants might advocate.

Politics matter to Trent, though the divide between him and the party establishment is far bigger than just the right strategy for taking back the House. For Trent, the choices are about more than beating the Republicans; it is about what the Democratic Party should be: a centrist party controlled by political apparatchiks who are only marginally better than the establishment of the right, or a truly progressive party in the Sanders/European Socialist mold. (Hint: it’s the latter.) Groups like Justice Democrats are angered by Trump, of course, but they are inspired by his success: that someone so antithetical to the traditional party structure can beat the Establishment with a mix of bluff, big promises, and the righteous anger of the outsider.

This is all a combustible mix because people like Trent are trying to rebuild the Democrat Party in their own image, and people like Hoyer are just trying to win the damn midterms. In truth, the midterms are probably the worst time for an intramural square off. Midterms are typically a referendum on the party in power, with the electorate seeking a correction, but not an overcorrection in the other direction. It is entirely possible, for instance, that the “universalist” wing of the party will capture the Democratic Party-- even if polls today suggest otherwise-- but 2018 is not the right time and place for that battle.

Doug Jones and Conor Lamb succeeded not because of the bold ideas they offered—I defy you to remember any of their specific ideas—but because they were calming antidotes to the personal awfulness of Trump and Roy Moore. Especially in this odd year, in which voters are both angry at the president and also increasingly believe the country is moving in the right direction, the reality is that it would at least be a tactical mistake for the Democrats in swing districts to offer their own overreach. It will make great theater, of course, especially enjoyable for the Republicans. But it will also likely mean two more years of uniform Republican control.

It is certainly conceivable that the shared goal of making Trump’s life as miserable as possible will engender some Democratic unity through the midterms, but it is equally likely that the universalist and the centrist wings of the parties will be in full-scale conflict before too long. The midterms may be a poor battleground for the left-wing revolution, but the general election is not. The nature of the election will change, at least in part, from a referendum on the past to a fight over a vision for the future. There, the insurgents have all the same advantages that Trump exploited: energy, anger, the endless fascination of the media with the brashest among us, and the appeal of a broad-brush plan for fixing all that ails America.

That plan may or may not survive scrutiny, but Americans do not appear in the mood for much careful scrutiny these days anyway. Moderate Democrats will have advantages, of course, namely money and infrastructure, but their reputation for fecklessness and a message that vacillates between muddled and missing puts them at some significant disadvantage. During our interview, O’Keefe asked me, perhaps a bit plaintively, “How do you blend energy with reality?” If there is a lesson of the last several years, however, it is that those two do not mix well at all. That is to the long-term advantage of those who would push our politics to the edge.

In last night's special election for legislative seat in a Trump districts, Democrat Helen Tai won. More great news in Pennsylvania state House races saw 3 socialists, Sara Innamorato (with 65%) and Summer Lee (with 68%), in Pittsburgh and Elizabeth Feidler in South Philly win as dod progressive Malcolm Kenyatta. Innamorato and Lee beat right-wing Democratic cousins Dom and Paul Costa, both incumbents. (No Republicans have filed for the seats but Dom was trying-- but failed-- to get the GOP nomination as a write-in candidate-- a real turd, like too many conservative Democrats in every part of the country.

There was huge turnout for progressive champion Jess King in PA-11, despite her Democratic opponent having withdrawn from the race. More great news: PA-01 (Bucks County) came through for Henry Wallace's progressive grandson Scott Wallace. He beat Rachel Reddick 56.2% to 35.6%. And in PA-07, Susan Wild, also a progressive edged right-wing lunatic John Morganelli (masquerading as a Democrat):

Susan Wild- 14,649 (33.2%)
John Morganelli- 13,384 (30.3%)
Greg Edwards- 11,309 (25.6%)

Bernie and his supporters were enthusiastic about Edwards but should have little problem in voting for Wild in November.

In a 5-way race for Lieutenant Governor, two progressives came in first and second and the corrupt conservative incumbent, Mike Stack, came in 4th:

John Fetterman- 284,089 (37.5%)
Nina Ahmad- 179,920 (23.7%)
Kathi Cozzone- 141,027 (18.6%)
Mike Stack- 125,687 (16.6%)
Ray Sosa- 26,923 (3.6%)

Funniest race of the night was in blood-red southwest Pennsylvania where poor Saccone got clobbered again. He's the poor idiot who got beaten by Conor Lamb. Lamb moved north to a newly-created swing district and PA-14 is unbelievably red (although about the same number of Democrats and Republicans voted. But Saccone lost out to state Senator Guy Reschenthaler, 23,245 (55.4%) to 18,734 (44.6%). What happened? Short version: "Former Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned last October amid allegations that he asked his mistress to get an abortion, has been working quietly to sink Rick Saccone’s bid for Congress... [in] much of Murphy’s old turf. The fight has gotten personal: Murphy has directed hundreds of thousands of dollars from his old campaign account to an outside group supporting Saccone’s GOP primary opponent, state Sen. Guy Reschenthaler. Murphy also sent around a cropped video clip of Saccone that he believed would damage him."

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