Meet The Democrats' CANDIDATE X

Patient MyDD readers, let me ask you to please bear with me on this one. I'll name names-- and, of cource, have le denouement, tomorrow. For now, what I'm writing about is just an idea. Well, it's about a race for congress. The increasingly less and less popular/more and more out-of-touch with his moderate suburban constituents Republican incumbent is in trouble. He nearly lost his seat in 2004 and a vigorous, forthright ideas-and-issues-oriented challenger-- along with some luck, organization and finance-- would topple him in November. (It's kind of like when Glendale, CA, a similar district, made the switch a few years ago, sending it's out-of-step, right wing loon of a congressmen, Jim Rogan, packing with a measly 44% of the vote.)

A few weeks ago I was at a DFA meeting hosted by Jim Dean. We had just heard that Bill Casey, Pennsylvania's theo-con reactionary Democrat challeneger to theo-con reactionary Republican incumbent, Man-on-Dog Santorum, had gratuitously assured voters that had he been in the Senate instead of Santorum he would have voted exactly the same way Santorum did on Alito-- yes on confirmation and even yes on cloture! Talk turned to how unfortunate it is that national progressives have tended to buy into Schumer/DSCC hype that Casey's primacy was "inevitable" and that only he could beat Man-on-Dog, and how national progressives have tended to ignore the real grassroots progressive in the race, Chuck Pennacchio. And that led to a discussion of races closer to home.

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In Defense of Hotline's William Beutler (By Hotline's William Beutler)

I asked Beutler to respond, and he kindly assented. Matt

On Saturday morning you may have read Matt Stoller eviscerating my Washington Examiner analysis of blogger-backed primary challenges in 2006. He's since offered me this chance to explain and expand here at MyDD, and I appreciate the opportunity.

First of all, I would like to separate the op-ed from my day job, writing Hotline's Blogometer. Matt advised you to take the Blogometer with a "massive grain of salt" from here on, but I think that's unfair. My op-ed took a clear position and gave advice; the Blogometer's purpose is to give an overview of the political blogging scene. When I do make arguments there, they're generally descriptive rather than prescriptive. So I just ask that you judge the Blogometer based on the Blogometer itself.

Next, I will concede something: I was not fully informed when I wrote that that no national groups had endorsed the strategy of targeting incumbents -- I was not aware that the AFL-CIO was already backing Ciro Rodriguez. However, the MoveOn endorsement didn't come until the day the article went to press, and the DFA endorsement wasn't in the Hotline until the day after. Had I published this independently on the web, I would have had strikethrough tags at my disposal -- advantage, blogosphere. So I may have spoken too soon: Apparently Democrats are getting into Club for Growth-style primary challenges. And as I'll get to below, I think that could be a mistake.

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OH-18: Rothenberg calls Ney most vulnerable incumbents, make a pick for Democratic Primary

In today's edition of "Roll Call", Stuart Rothenberg listed OH-18 Congressman Bob Ney as the most vulnerable incumbent on his top 10 list.

Rothenberg says, and this is a direct quote from Rothenberg, "I'll be surprised if Ney hasn't been indicted by the time Election Day rolls around, and if he has any chance of surviving it's only because the Democrats may nominate Chillicothe Mayor Joe Sulzer, who is a walking political time bomb with his own political and personal baggage." Rothenberg continues to say, "Any nomral Democrat (attotney Zack Space might meet that test) should beat Ney."

http://www.rollcall.com/issues/51_85/rothenberg/12213-1.html

A Modest Proposal for dealing with the Hackett fiasco.

Over the past few days, a whole lot of folks have become outraged over the DSCC led disaster regarding Paul Hackett's ouster from the Ohio Senatorial race. Given how much this was hashed out, it really doesn't serve much point to go over the story again. However, there has been no clear idea of what response, if any makes sense. Inevitably, the extremes kicked in between the "screw the Democratic Party" and the inevitable "But unless you accept this without question, the Republican will win" counter blackmail. Neither of these options is very compelling.

Then Matt Stoller at MyDD came up with a post offering two alternatives to make a point to the Party Establishment. The Swiftian "take out Casey" and the "take out Lieberman" line. I'm not quite sure if he was serious, but the idea got me to thinking of what an effective strategy might be to send a message without doing an inane kamikaze run. The following is my own "Modest Proposal", but one that I mean seriously. If done well, this action could achieve a few goals at once, with relatively minimal risks. Those goals would be (in order of likely impact, highest to lowest):

1. Send a real message to the Schumer and Rahm (and the rest) that the days of pushing down thing by backroom dictat are ending.

2. Demonstrate that net communications technology has shifted the power balance enough that the regular active party members have to be taken seriously.

3. Assist in sending Joe Lieberman off to a well deserved career in the private sector.

4. Strengthen the Dean DNC vis a vie the DSCC and DCCC in the internal power dynamic.

How? I'll cover first the internal dynamics that make this possible, setting the context for the actual action. And then discuss the method.

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The Hacking of Hackett

Enough is enough. In my short political life, I have gained an incredible amount of enlightenment. There are entities that will do everything in order to maintain their power, even at the expense of democracy. Why?

It is quite simple: the string pullers think they have the intellectual corner on what is best for our country, my country. They will block funding, media, and do what ever they can to keep our voices silent. One area they have not controlled is here in the blogoshere.

Like many of you, I am mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it any more! I made a pledge in Washington less than a week ago, a pledge to back my band of brothers. I will not try to talk Maj. Hackett back to political life, but I will share my experience in how the party works in recruiting and dismissing possible candidates.

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Diaries

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