Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Democrats wanted to lose...

I stole this from Down With Tyranny blogspot...and it makes too damn much sense, considering.

Steve Israel Failed Miserably This Cycle

Dozens of House incumbents had only nominal-- rather than serious-- opposition this cycle. But only 32 have no opposition at all. Here's the list with each district's PVI:

• Robert Aderholt (R-AL)- R+28
• Terri Sewell (New Dem-AL)- D+20
• Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)- R+7
• Kathy Castor (D-FL)- D+13
• Ted Deutch (D-FL)- D+10
• Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)- R+5
• Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)- R+2
• Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA)- R+19
• Barry Loudermilk (R-GA)- R+19
• Hank Johnson (D-GA)- D+21
• John Lewis (D-GA)- D+32
• Austin Scott, (R-GA)- R+15
• David Scott (Blue Dog-GA)- D+16
• Tom Graves (R-GA)- R+26
• Richard Neal (D-MA)- D+13
• Jim McGovern (D-MA)- D+8
• Joseph Kennedy (D-MA)- D+6
• Katherine Clark (D-MA)- D+14
• Michael Capuano (D-MA)- D+31
• Stephen Lynch (D-MA)- D+6
• Robert Pittenger (R-NC)- R+8
• Grace Meng (D-NY)- D+13
• Eliot Engel (New Dem-NY)- D+21
• Richard Hanna (R-NY)- R+3
• Bob Gibbs (R-OH)- R+6
• Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)- R+18
• Mike Doyle (D-PA)- D+15
• Charlie Dent (R-PA)- R+2
• Tim Murphy (R-PA)- R+10
• Mark Sanford (R-SC)- R+11
• John Ratcliffe (R-TX)- R+25
• Robert Scott (D-VA)- D+27

You can't blame the Republicans for not fielding candidates against Robert Scott in his D+27 Richmond district or John Lewis in his D+32 Atlanta district. Nor can you blame Democrats for not running candidates against Robert Aderholt in his R+28 north Alabama district and Tom Graves in his R+26 northwest Georgia district. In fact, all of the Democrats with no opponents are in pretty blue districts. The Republicans didn't give away any easy districts. The 2 "weakest" are both Massachusetts districts with identical PVIs of D+6. Obama won Kennedy's district 57-41% and won Lynch's district 58-41%. So... not really competitive seats.

Now, on the other side of the aisle, we have a different story. There are three seats in very competitive districts:

• Ileana Ros-Lehtinen- R+2- Obama beat Romney 53-47%
• Richard Hanna- R+3- a 49-49% tie that Romney won with a handful of votes
• Charlie Dent- R+2- Romney beat Obama narrowly, 51-48%

Ros-Lehtinen, a close friend and political crony of DCCC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has protected her in the past, was a member of Steve Israel's Center Aisle Caucus. Charlie Dent was a member of the same centrist caucus composed of Blue Dogs and other Wall Street-owned Democrats and relatively mainstream conservative Republicans. One of the premises is that the members don't oppose each other-- which was certainly a good enough reason for Nancy Pelosi to have not made him head of the DCCC. But she did. And tonight she's reaping the whirlwind-- and so are more rational Democrats and the American people.

When David Broder first wrote about the determinedly centrist Congressional Center Aisle Caucus in 2005, he almost ejaculated for joy on the editorial page of the Washington Post over the sheer civility of the project. I wonder why they didn't make him an honorary member. Broder claimed there were 47 invited members (which later grew to 60), roughly equally split between the two parties, although that membership roll isn't readily available anywhere, almost like it's being hidden. They meet, or met, secretly, in a Chinese restaurant two blocks from Capitol Hill; no joke. The caucus was founded by Republican Tim Johnson (IL) and the-Blue Dog… Steve Israel (NY) with the stated purpose of bypassing Congress' partisan ways.

Applicants for membership weren't admitted unless they recruited companion members from the opposite party. Caucus members avoided lightning-rod issues and focused only on areas that most likely would produce agreement. Under one unwritten bylaw, members vowed never to engage in political campaigns against other members. That's nice… but does it make sense to appoint the person who came up with that chairman of the DCCC? I'll answer that for you-- NO! These are the exact candidates the DCCC should be going after… but regardless of how vulnerable they are, Israel keeps the DCCC off their backs one way or the other. In a rational world, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen would have been a top tier DCCC candidate, but Steve Israel doesn't live in a rational world; he lives in a Center Aisle world and ignores the fact that Ros-Lehtinen is in a blue district that Obama won-- and by a way stronger margin than just about all of Israel's targeted districts. But Ileana gets a reelection free-pass from Israel and Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Last year Wasserman Schultz was complicit in recruiting a cardboard candidate, Manny Yevancey, who no one ever heard of, who raised zero dollars and who campaigned exactly zero days. His only job was to occupy the Democratic ballot slot so no one else could run against Wasserman Schultz's and Israel's BBF.

There are 21 seats like this in the House, winnable seats Steve Israel willfully ignored, even if they were much easier than impossible targets in deep red districts where he ran his handpicked Blue Dogs and New Dems. All of these incumbents represent districts where Obama won in 2008 and/or 2012 but where Israel has refused to back the grassroots local candidate or has frightened off anyone from running against his Republican pals:

• NJ-02- Frank LoBiondo- D+1
• MI-06- Fred Upton- R+1
• WA-08- Dave Reichert- R+1
• FL-27- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen- R+2
• PA-06- Jim Gerlach- R+2
• MN-03- Erik Paulsen- R+2
• PA-07- Pat Meehan- R+2
• MN-02- John Kline- R+2
• PA-15- Charlie Dent- R+2
• MI-08- Mike Rogers- R+2
• WA-03- Jaime Hererra Buetler- R+2
• VA-10- Frank Wolf- R+2
• CA-25- Buck McKeon- R+3
• WI-01- Paul Ryan- R+3
• MI-11- Kerry Bentivolio- R+4
• IL-06- Peter Roskam- R+4
• PA-16- Joe Pitts- R+4
• CA-49- Darrell Issa- R+4
• IL-16- Adam Kinzinger- R+4
• MI-03- Justin Amash- R+4
• MI-04- Dave Camp- R+5

Now that Israel screwed up 2014, can the Democrats win back the House in 2016? In theory, absolutely! With Steve Israel, or anyone like him, running the DCCC-- out of the question.

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