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Monday, November 03, 2014

Is the DCCC even pretending to win? A Tale of Two New Hampshires

by Gaius Publius

I've written several times about how corporate-controlled Democratic party leaders are "Tea-Partying" progressives — here and here — sacrificing wins over Republicans for wins over progressives. This, from DWT, is a prime example — I call it "A Tale of Two New Hampshires" (my paragraphing and bolding):
I got another email from "Nancy Pelosi" (read: the DCCC) this morning on behalf of New Hampshire conservative New Dem Ann Kuster. She's in the D+3 district that Obama won with 54% in 2012, not in the district next door that has a PVI of R+1 and which Obama only won with 50%. That's the district Carol Shea-Porter has.

Kuster, who ran as a grassroots populist, sold out to Big Business the second she got to Congress, quitting the Congressional Progressive Caucus and joining the Wall Street owned and operated New Dems. Shea-Porter, on the other hand, is a portrait of integrity and a rare example of genuine virtue in Congress. So, of course the DCCC is putting their resources behind Kuster instead of Shea-Porter.
There are just two districts in NH, and the contrast in these races is striking. Never-punished former–"bold progressive" and current–New Dem Kuster runs in a D+3 district, and reliable progressive Shea-Porter runs in an  R+1 district. Who's more at risk? The progressive, Shea-Porter. So where is DCCC money going? To the corporatist, Ann Kuster. (Think she's not a corporatist? Start here.)

Now look at the polling:
The latest polling shows both Democrats leading their crazy Republican opponents-- Shea-Porter narrowly, Kuster handily, reflections of the partisan makeup of the two districts.

The WMUR poll released Wednesday shows that when leaners are included, Kuster is ahead 53 to 30%. ... They released a poll for NH-01 that same day and it is much tighter, Carol Shea-Porter ahead of Tea Party extremist and former Congressman Frank Guinta, 44 to 40% (including leaners). 
So just on the merits — assuming they do want to retain Democratic seats — which would the DCCC choose to back? Which would you choose to back? The candidate leading by 23 points or the one ahead only four? The DCCC chose the former; they put their money into the 23-points-ahead race and stiffed the progressive in the much-closer contest. This raises the question once again: Is this organization trying to win House seats or just rid its ranks of progressives?

Read the rest; DCCC dollars are mentioned as well. If Shea-Porter loses, whom would she have to blame? I say the DCCC, who would rather lose a House seat (or a dozen of them) than let a solid progressive like Shea-Porter win. Yet these are the people who are desperate for you, Mr. and Ms. Progressive, to give them money so they can ... what?

It's a fair question and deserves an answer. Based on behavior, what is the institutional goal of the DCCC? And while you're pondering this question, consider another. If an organization — in this case, the corporate leadership of the Democratic party — doesn't want itself to succeed, what's the point of you helping them? Especially if that group hates you.

By all means, back progressives like Carol Shea-Porter. (Please back progressives like Carol Shea-Porter.) But when money-bought corporate types lose, don't feel bad about not supporting them, even if it costs the party as a whole. It may surprise you to learn this, but it's not your party until you take it back — it's theirs. They control it, and they're responsible for it.

As Richard Eskow told me in a recent interview (paraphrasing):
How much more fair can I be? I'm giving you [party leaders] two years notice. Give me a candidate I can support.
That's what it means to "re-perp the perp." If the Democrats won't give you someone to vote for, it's not your fault if you don't vote for them — it's theirs. They're the perp in the story, not you.

More after the election. I'm not letting this go and neither should you, not with a neoliberal sun set to rise on the 2016 horizon. If you haven't noticed, the president elected in 2016 has the last clear shot at truly addressing climate in the U.S., as opposed to just appearing to, or handing us Big Green–sponsored half-measures* like switching to methane for power production.

Which, if you care about climate, makes 2016 our last clear shot as well.


* "Half-measures" — The proposed EPA regulations have us switching from coal and oil to "natural gas," methane, a CO2-producing "bridge" fuel, instead of retiring carbon altogether in favor of 100% renewables. To understand why that's a problem, imagine a fire in your house, and when the firefighters show up, they douse it with a less flammable "bridge fuel" instead of just ... putting it completely out.

Now imagine the Fire Department is run by a company that sells the bridge fuel. Voilà methane and Obama's proposed regulations.