Yesterday, the House Democrats, by a relatively tight 119-107 secret ballot vote elected a new DCCC chair to replace failed and dull-witted conservative Cheri Bustos, who wasted close to half a billion dollars in a strategy-free campaign-- unless trying to turn the House Democratic caucus into more of a corrupt conservative pigsty passes for a strategy-- only to lose a dozen House seats and scores of opportunities in a year when Biden beat Trump by over 7 million votes nationally. Not a single progressive incumbent lost; all the losers were Blue Dogs, New Dems and their fellow travelers from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. So-- of course-- the House Dems were given a choice as new DCCC chair, two corrupt New Dems from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Only one has been credibly accused of raping children, so the other one, Sean Patrick Maloney won.
One thing I love after elections is when the best of the candidates who didn't win call to tell me their plans for the next cycle. One called yesterday to tell me replans to run again and to explain why the election of Maloney-- who he detests-- helped make him decide to run again. "Maloney," he said, "will run a completely defensive campaign-- its all he knows-- and won't get in the way of progressive challengers the way the DCCC [has been doing since Rahm Emanuel was chair]... Grassroots candidates will be able to run more focused and effective campaigns without having to worry about the DCCC and their interference."
In his second try for the chair, the always dishonest and glad-handing Maloney had the same full of baloney pitch that Bustos had when she ran for the chair-- he knows how to win in a conservative Trump-district. Bustos and Maloney are similar in that their own incompetence as politicians has contributed to turning their districts' citizens against the Democratic Party. In 2012, Maloney's district, NY-18, gave Obama a 51.4% to 47.1% victory over Romney. By 2016, the district voted for Trump 49.0% to 47.1%, in part because Maloney has helped muddy the Democratic brand from a party that stands up for working men adwomen to an identity-politics mess that favors Wall Street over working families. Maloney isn't fit to be a member of Congress, let alone a leader of the DCCC.
The Democratic Party is on a suicide mission and seems likely to crash and burn in 2022. I spoke to a dozen progressives about running for DCCC chair and all of them demurred. Everyone assumes 2022 is going to be a bad year for Democrats and that the party will lose the majority. What an attitude-- one that will contribute to making that prediction-- which is hardly written in stone-- come true. If the Democrats reclaimed their populist roots, they could turn 2022 into a big victory, but with anti-populist, establishment leaders like Pelosi, Hoyer and now Maloney... not a chance. Oh, and Biden, worse than any of them. He hasn't even been sworn in yet and he's already backing away from the most moderately progressive campaign promises he made.
In her reporting for the Associated Press this morning, Alexandra Jaffe called it "adjusting the scope of his agenda to meet the challenges of governing with a narrowly divided Congress and the complications of legislating during a raging pandemic. Rather than immediately pursue ambitious legislation to combat climate change, the incoming administration may try to wrap provisions into a coronavirus aid bill. Biden’s team is also considering smaller-scale changes to the Affordable Care Act while tabling the more contentious fight over creating a public option to compete with private insurers."
By not delivering for his voters-- and especially not for the progressive activists who held their noses and powered his win-- Biden and the Democratic congressional leaders will guarantee the losses in 2022 they fear.
The media and other fools put forward this trope about how Biden was going to be like FDR, when Biden's model has always been Warren G Harding. Jaffe did it again this morning: "The maneuvering reflects a disappointing political reality for Biden, who campaigned on a pledge to address the nation’s problems with measures that would rival the scope of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation. But Democrats acknowledge that big legislative accomplishments are unlikely, even in the best-case scenario in which the party gains a slim majority in the Senate." Really? Why not pass lowering the Medicare age in the House and let McConnell choke on that in the Senate-- alienating millions of reliable voters in the process? Why not use an executive order to win out federal student loan debt anklet the Republicans make it clear that tax cuts to billionaires are more important to them than building back a viable middle class? Why not make Climate Change amelioration-- i.e., saving humanity and the planet-- the standard for every single thing that happens in government?
This week the U.S. reported the highest number of daily deaths, new infections and hospitalizations since the pandemic began. On Wednesday, the states reported 206,073 new cases of COVID-19, along with 2,873 more deaths. Yesterday it was 218,576 more new cases and 2,918 more deaths. Under Trump, the U.S. has performed worse than any other country in the world. And the states with Trumpist governors have performed far worse than the national average. This chart shows the number of cases per million residents the 15 worst Trumpist governors have inflicted on their states:
Doug Burgum (R-ND)- 106,428 cases per million residents
Kristi Noem (R-SD)- 94,215 cases per million residents
Kim Reynolds (R-IA)- 75,969 cases per million residents
Pete Ricketts (R-NE)- 68,712 cases per million residents
Gary Herbert (R-UT)- 64,307 cases per million residents
Mark Gordon (R-WY)- 60,609 cases per million residents
Bill Lee (R-TN)- 56,852 cases per million residents
Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)- 54,447 cases per million residents
Kay Ivey (R-AL)- 53,883 cases per million residents
Tate Reeves (R-MS)- 53,437 cases per million residents
Mike Parson (R-MO)- 53,345 cases per million residents
Kevin Stitt (R-OK)- 51,567 cases per million residents
Ron DeSantis (R-FL)- 47,911 cases per million residents
Doug Ducey (R-AZ)- 47,594 cases per million residents
Brian Kemp (R-GA)- 45,960 cases per million residents
"Biden’s initial focus on Capitol Hill," wrote Jaffe, "will be a multibillion-dollar coronavirus aid bill, which is certain to require significant political capital after lawmakers have been deadlocked over negotiations on Capitol Hill for months. The president-elect said Thursday on CNN that while he supports a $900 billion compromise bill introduced this week by a bipartisan group of negotiators, the bill is 'a good start' but it’s 'not enough' and he plans to ask for more when he’s in office. His team is already working on his own coronavirus relief package... [S]peaking on CNN Thursday, Biden expressed optimism about cutting deals with Republicans. He said when it comes to national security and the 'economic necessity' of keeping people employed and reinvigorating the economy, 'there’s plenty of room we can work.' Still, he acknowledged, 'I’m not suggesting it’s going to be easy. It’s going to be hard.' But here, progressives, not Republicans, could be the roadblock. Waleed Shahid, spokesperson for the liberal Justice Democrats, said progressives are 'worried and anxious' about Biden’s history of making what he called 'toxic compromises with McConnell. I think progressives will probably play a key role in trying to push Democrats to have a spine in any negotiations with Mitch McConnell,' he said. 'People will hold him accountable for what he ran on.'"
If you still haven't gotten who Joe Biden is... this is who Joe Biden is. Suck it up... you'll be living through 4 years of it. And this. Cornel West: "You see the rot at the core of the system’s embracing of the neofascist wing of the ruling class, which is Donald Trump and company. And the neoliberal wing of the ruling class, which is Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The reason some of us argue against Trump, in the form of a vote for a milquetoast, mediocre, centrist Biden-- who’s head of a rotten Democratic establishment-- is because we’re trying to stop the American march toward fascism. So that was part of the anti-fascist coalition... Now, it looks as if we’ll be wrestling with a neoliberal disaster. That’s another way of saying that the rot is there, it’s just that with Biden, the rot proceeds much more slowly. And so we still have to have mass mobilization, we still have to have serious social movement, motion and momentum. Streets, jails, pressures on Democrats in the House. Certain kinds of alliances with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. But I think we can conclude that the Democratic Party is simply unable to serve as an institutional vehicle for serious struggles for truth and justice. That’s the conclusion right now I think we have to draw. That’s why I’m spending a lot of time with Brother Nick Brana and Sister Nina Turner and with Marianne Williamson and the others with the People’s Party. But I think the crucial point here is that we’ve got to be able to have a politics of solidarity. What I mean by that is that all the talk about identity, racial identity, gender identity, sexual orientation identity, is crucial, it is indispensable, but in the end, it must be connected to a moral integrity and deep political solidarity that hones in on a financialized form of predatory capitalism. A capitalism that is killing the planet, poor people, working people here and abroad. The neoliberal versions of identity politics are exactly what Brother Adolph Reed has taught us for the last thirty years; it’s a form of class politics. And if we don’t understand that, we fall right in the trap of what we underwent with Barack Obama. And we can’t fall in that trap again."