Wednesday, November 08, 2006


They'll Do Anything To Push The Lie That "It Was The Voices Of Corporate/Republican Appeasement Moderation That Won It For The Democrats"

Remember how I warned last month that the DINOs were going to try to claim the credit for our big landslide while simultaneously sticking a knife into the backs of the people who actually deserve the credit? Well, here's Rahm Emanuel -- a guy for whom many (if not most) of whose hand-picked choices went down in defeat (even after he lavished millions of dollars on them), even as many (if not most) of the netroots candidates he all but starved to death triumphed in spite of him -- sticking the shiv into us and Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi. And of course the GOP/Media Complex is lapping it up like cream. UPDATE: Atrios quotes

Rick Perlstein:

The Democrats have won back the House. Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), nearly tripped over himself on the way to the microphone to claim the credit. In fact, while the tidal wave in the House looks like a bit of strategic genius by Emanuel--and pundits are starting to call it that way (Howard Fineman on MSNBC noted that the Democrats even picked up a seat in Kentucky, where the 3rd District candidate was John Yarmuth--"Emanuel's fourth choice!" Fineman exclaimed, as if in awe of the power possessed by Emanuel's mere table scraps)--in race after race, it actually represents the apotheosis of forces Emanuel has doubted all long: the netroots.

In two competitive House races in the Bluegrass State, Emanuel's first choices lost by 9 and 12 points. In the 2nd District it was Colonel Mike Weaver, the cofounder of Commonwealth Democrats, a group of conservative Democratic state legislators. In the 4th, it was Ken Lucas, a former congressman whom Robert Novak recently called "moderate conservative" in a column Emanuel's "recruiting coup" in coaxing Lucas out of retirement. Both were the kind of candidates Emanuel has favored in his famous nationwide recruiting drive. Yarmuth, meanwhile, was founder of the state's first alternative newspaper, said things on the campaign trail things like "the No Child Left Behind Act ... is a plan deliberately constructed to create 'failing' schools," and called for "a universal health care system in which every citizen has health insurance independent of his or her employment."

It was a pattern repeated across the country. New Hampshire's 1st District delivered Carol Shea-Porter, a former social worker who got kicked out of a 2005 Presidential appearance for wearing a T-shirt that said turn your back on bush. That might have been her fifteen minutes of fame--if, last night, she hadn't defeated two-term Republican incumbent Jeb Bradley. For the chance to face him, however, she had to win a primary against the DCCC's preferred candidate, Jim Craig--whom Rahm Emanuel liked to much he had the unusual move of contributing $5000 to his primary campaign. Shea-Porter dominated Craig by 20 points--and then was shut out by the DCCC for general election funds.

Not all Emanuel's losing recruits were beaten in primaries. Some were beaten in the general election. Christine Jennings, a banker and former Republican gunning for Katherine Harris's former House seat lost in a squeaker to conservative Republican Vern Buchanan. Dan Seals, a black moderate in the Barack Obama mold who criticized the Democratic Party even in speeches to Democratic crowds, lost to the Republican incumbent in Emanuel's backyard, Illinois's 10th District--as did the DCCC's most talked-about recruit, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois's 6th. Emanuel poured as astonishing $3 million into her campaign. It bought her a four-point defeat. Activists say the money would have been better spent on all the promising candidates to whom Rahm wouldn't give the time of day.

Just wanted to chime in one more time and throw some cold water on the Proposal 2 exchange we recently had:

Yes. 58%
No. 42%
Pfft. Michigan's loss.

PW, I think Rahm Emmanuel is going to have a lot of trouble convincing candidates who won without DCCC support, or who received last-minute DCCC support that they need to pay much attention to him.

While this is not quite a "Watergate class" of highly independent Democrats, it should convince the Democratic leadership that the grassroots is unhappy with the corporatist monopoly.
Rahm Emanuel personally recruited Jim Marcinkowski to run for Michigan's 8th district -- and then abandoned him. No financing, no support for his campaign. Jim lost by about 4 points. If he did that well on a shoestring against Dick Cheney's protege Mike Rogers, he could have won if he'd had support. It would have been a significant victory, too, since the 8th was Debbie Stabenow's district, and only went Republican because the Republicans in the legislature disenfranchised university students.
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