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Gottheimer Mobilizing The Republican Wing Of The Democratic Party Against Fair Taxes For The Rich

The title of Jonathan Chait’s column in New York Magazine today sounds like a DWT post: Josh Gottheimer Is on a Mission to Destroy Joe Biden’s Presidency… just with less incendiary graphics. This is certainly a familiar refrain to all of us who read this blog with even a little regularity: “The true archvillain of the Biden presidency is Josh Gottheimer, a New Jersey Democrat who keeps sticking the knife in Biden’s back.” Oh yes… he’s certainly one of the archest of archvillains-- and most Democratic members of Congress detest him. Here are some DWT Gottheimer posts:

Gottheimer, a corrupt Wall Street shill, is up to his old tricks: organizing other conservative Democrats too hold Democratic Party priorities hostage to his reactionary perspective. What he wants to do is— as usual— protect the unfair tax system that allows the wealthy to not pay their fair share. There are plenty of Blue Dogs and New Dems—not just Republicans— who agree with him. What he wants to do now, explained Chait, is “take out the tax hikes on the wealthy that Manchin is proposing. That would mean what’s left of the bill could still contain the spending proposals, but it would lack the revenue measures that would make it a deficit-reducer, which is Manchin’s main rationale for supporting the bill in the first place. If that revenue is gone, Manchin’s support probably collapses, and the bill dies. Which is probably fine with Gottheimer, who may be evil, but isn’t stupid. Gottheimer’s fixation seems to be insulating from taxation a slice of people so wealthy they account for a tiny percentage of even the most affluent districts… But if he wins reelection, Gottheimer will be around to organize plots to destroy the Democrats for a long time. At this point, Democrats would be better off with a Republican representing New Jersey’s Fifth District.

Writing for Punchbowl News this morning, Max Cohen, looked at how vulnerable Democrats run right to “bipartisanship,” while vulnerable Republicans just dig in to their extremism. He looked at the TV ads of several Senate incumbents up for reelection— Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Marco Rubio (R-FL)— and came to the conclusion that the Dems “want voters to know they’re reaching out to Republicans and sometimes even crossing their own party to deliver results. But endangered Senate Republicans aren’t returning the love. He neglected to mention that Hassan, Masto and Kelly are from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Hassan, for example, teamed up with the Republicans to vote down increasing the minimum wage, but instead of trying to appeal to the Democratic base is trying to appeal to conservatives.

Cohen wrote that “While the Democrats boast about bucking the party line and working across the aisle, Johnson and Rubio only mention the Democratic Party when they slam their political positions. Bipartisanship is a constant in Democrat ads. For Republicans, it’s a dirty word. The split screen offers a revealing view into how the two parties are centering their campaigns during what’s expected to be a brutal midterm election year for Democrats. For Hassan, Cortez Masto, Warnock and Kelly, showing they are willing to work with Republicans while sometimes distancing themselves from their own party is an effective strategy. And in Johnson and Rubio’s minds, hitting Democrats for the state of the economy is a winning message.”

He offered several examples. First the conservative Democratic careerists/scumbags, who don’t hold core Democratic values to begin with and think good straegy is to bash the Democratic Party:

• A Masto ads says “she stood up to her own party and blocked the tax, leading the fight to protect our jobs.”

• In one of his ads Mark Kelly says “I’m pushing for solutions today, even if it means taking on my own party, like bringing down gas prices by allowing more domestic oil production, temporarily ending the gas tax and cutting red tape to restock shelves faster.” (It might as well say “Paid for by the Republican Party” since he’s promoting their talking points.)

• Hassan, the worst of the lot, is also defensively pushing GOP talking points in her ad: “I’m taking on members of my own party to push a gas tax holiday, and I’m pushing Joe Biden to release more of our oil reserves. That’s how we lower costs and get through these times.” What a piece of shit! I wish there was a reasonable way to contribute to her defeat without electing a fascist.

“Republicans, wrote Cohen, “are taking a far different approach when discussing Democrats. Neither Johnson nor Rubio broached the topic of repudiating their own party in their ad messaging. It’s not an altogether surprising strategy considering President Joe Biden is wildly unpopular and voters are unhappy with Democrats’ handling of inflation and the economy.”

Johnson’s ad goes right on the attack against Democrats: “Democratic governance is a disaster for America.” In another ad he pushes this line: “The same liberal Democrats and media elite who falsely attacked Sen. Johnson for exposing the truth are laughing it up in Washington while America is dangerously off track.”

Rubio, who isn’t as vulnerable as Johnson and has occasionally— if unconvincingly— tried to paint himself as a “moderate” in the past, put out a fundraising appeal, to scare conservatives about Democrats: “Can you just imagine what Chuck Schumer would do if he had 51 votes? … We can’t let these radicals take over our country” and in another says “If we lose Florida, Chuck Schumer takes over the Senate. And if Chuck Schumer takes over the Senate, that means that the radical left takes over our country for a generation.”

As for GOP challengers… many of them, especially the ones in primaries, are going full on fascist. Look at that ad, “Make Rifles Great Again,” from another Q-Anon spouting football player almost as stupid as Herschel Walker. Jerone Davison is just plain confused, perhaps not understanding that the KKK migrated with the rest of the Southern reactionaries from the Democrats to the Republicans in the 1960s, just before he was born (in Mississippi). In the ad, he says “Democrats like to say that one needs an AR-15 for self defense, that no one could possibly need all 30 rounds. But when this rifle is the only thing standing between your family and a dozen angry Democrats in Klan hoods, you just might need that semiautomatic… and all 30 rounds.”

Has any Democratic candidate portrayed their opponents as a dozen angry Republicans in Klan hoods— which would be more accurate— or a dozen angry Republicans wearing swastika armbands— again, more accurate? No, for better or for worse, Democrats don’t do that. And Democratic voters for the most part wouldn’t put up with it. Davison is hoping to win a crowded primary-of-crackpots, all competing to take on very moderate former Phoenix mayor, New Dem incumbent Greg Stanton in AZ-04 (Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, and Ahwatukee), a district that was gerrymandered from a safe D+15 partisan lean to very swingy D+1.

Anyway… back to Gottheimer and his Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Last night Axios’ Hans Nicholas reported that Gang Gottheimer includes Carolyn Bourdeaux, the Georgia Blue Dog who was just defeated in the Democratic primary for exactly this kind of stunt, Hawaii Blue Dog Ed Case (who is facing a serious challenge from a working-class candidate, Sergio Alcubilla), New Dem Suzi Lee (NV), New Dem Dean Phillips, Blue Dog Mike Sherrill (NJ) and Tom Suozzi, a super-conservative Long Island New Dem who was just slaughtered in his own district in his ill-fated gubernatorial run and has endorses a candidate even to the right of him, Josh Lafazan, total his congressional seat.

“Gottheimer,” wrote Nicholas, “would need five votes to extract concessions from the Senate or House leaders.” What he really wants is to lift the $10,000 deduction cap for state and local taxes (SALT) on federal taxes, which makes odd to see Case, Lee and Phillips allowing themselves to be used as part of Gottheimer’s game-playing.


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