Punchbowl’s Heather Caygle gave Hakeem Jeffries a free ad this morning. I’ll get to it in a moment. But first let me say it made me abandon a practice I try to keep to about not fighting with Democrats on social media and e-mail lists. But I couldn’t control myself when one list I belong to promoted a Vanity Fair puff piece by Chris Smith about Michigan Blue Dog Hillary Scholten We Have No Time For Tears. It infuriated me that a list filled with values-oriented people could be led to believe that a raging Blue Dog like Scholten is a real Democrat and not just another Manchin-Sinema in disguise. So I cast caution to the wind and wrote this:
I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but the last thing congressional Democrats need are more Joe Manchins and Kyrsten Sinemas-- exactly what Blue Dog (literally; she is their candidate) Hillary Scholten is. With limited energy and limited resources, perhaps it's better to let the DCCC and Blue Dog PAC support their own anti-worker candidates while progressives try to elect more inspirational candidates who aim to support FDR values and go beyond just "lesser of two evils."
Jamie McLeod-Skinner (D-OR), for example, beat Blue Dog Kurt Schrader in the primary and needs help against an anti-Choice, anti-family Republican (far worst than Scholten's vaguely mainstream opponent). Schrader, who was the last House Democrat to have voted against raising the minimum wage has also been the BIGGEST obstacle to passing effective legislation lowering the cost of prescription drugs, his family wealth coming from Pfizer. The DCCC people are bitter she beat their beloved colleague and have no intention of helping her. (If you want to, you can here: https://tinyurl.com/4ba58s76.)
The hypocrisy of the Democratic establishment is puke-worthy. While Pelosi and her cronies rend their garments over the Roe decision and the GOP fealty to the NRA, she, Clyburn, Hoyer and Jeffries were beating the bushes to fend off the progressive challenge to Blue Dog Henry Cuellar, who has been the Republicans' favorite Democrat since he was in the Texas legislature and George W Bush was governor! He is the last-- for now-- Democrat voting with the GOP against women's choice and the last Democrat who still gets an "A" from the NRA. Pelosi and her pals succeeded. Cuellar won by around 200 votes, millions in AIPAC sewer money defeating a young Latina, Jessica Cisneros, who is a champion for what Pelosi claims to be championing in her fundraising pleas.
I hope I didn't offend too many people. But if we keep electing Manchin and Sinema Democrats, we will keep enabling MAGA.
In an “Inside The Leadership” box, Caygle offered What’s next for Jeffries’ Team Blue. “Team Blue” is the anti-progressive SuperPAC that Wall Street whore and House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, widely considered the frontrunner— only runner— to be the next Democratic leader when Pelosi leaves. “Because of this,” wrote Caygle, “a lot of people pay a lot of attention to what Jeffries says and does, us included.” Yes, Beltway media is certainly greasing the skids for the corrupt, virulently anti-progressive, corrupt Brooklyn establishment politician.
Jeffries slimy SuperPAC is run by himself and 3 other buckets of garbage: Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog-NJ), Terri Sewell (New Dem-AL) and Cheri Bustos (Blue Dog-IL), who is retiring from the House, knowing Pritzker intends to replace Dick Durbin when he retires from the Senate, with her. Caygle referred to the 3 as “a group of moderate Democrats,” even though Gottheimer is widely considered one of the furthest right Dems in the House and is almost always behind every anti-working family initiative the House Dems ever get dragged into. Jeffries’ company line— parroted word for word by Caygle is that when he “launched Team Blue PAC last year with the goal of helping incumbents fend off primary challengers, many took that as a direct shot at progressives, particularly the Squad. Jeffries has made no secret of his distaste for what he calls ‘the hard left’ and its impact on the party. The “hard left?” That’s an absurd term that only Republicans use, normally to describe supporters of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt ideals and policies.
Jeffries and his 3 right-of-center sewer money SuperPAC co-chairs “insist their goal is to keep the House majority. And, along the way, prove there’s room within the caucus for a broad ideological range of members, they say. Still, Jeffries doesn’t shy away from making his feelings known about challenges from the left to incumbent Democrats.”
Doing his best Trump imitation of projectionism and playing the victim, Jeffries— who has been surreptitiously working with AIPAC, DMFI and the crypto-billionaires to coordinate expenditures against progressives— whined that “We will not let anyone intimidate members of the House Democratic Caucus as part of an effort to bend the knee, not now, not ever.”
On the surface, Jeffries and his gang have only worked to sabotage Kina Collins (D-IL), Nina Turner (D-OH), Neal Walia (D-CO) and Imani Oakley (D-NJ), 4 people of color targeted by the 4 4 conservative Democrats who never stop crying that the “hard left” is targeting… what else? People of color.
Jeffries himself traveled to all 4 districts to campaign against Collins, Turner, Walia and Oakley. “But with those races over,” asked Caygle, “what’s next?” Jeffries was cagey. “Primary season is coming to a close but it’s not over. At the same time, there is clarity that putting the primary season behind us as quickly as possible will enable everyone to turn our attention toward ensuring that we win in November.”
Jeffries never admits he has been working and coordinating with DMFI, the crypto-billionaires and AIPAC against progressives, including progressive incumbents, a HUGE no-no, that he has tried to hide. So far he has had a hand in sabotaging Marie Newman’s reelection campaign and is now working to defeat progressive stalwarts Andy Levin and Rashida Tlaib in Michigan. He had Caygle deliver his message: “[I]t’s clear Jeffries’ group wants to send a message to progressives that they’ll have to work a lot harder to take out establishment Democrats. The Congressional Black Caucus, of which Jeffries is a senior member, has been particularly irked by the rise of far-left progressive challengers in recent cycles. Often, they say, progressive groups target Black members, such as Davis. And a number of them are still bitter about Rep. Cori Bush’s (D-MO) ouster of longtime Rep. Lacy Clay in 2020.” No mention that Lacy Clay was one of the most corrupt members of Congress in the last 30 years not serving a prison term.
On Wednesday, Bernie endorsed Jeffries’ and his allies’ two latest targets, Andy Levin and Rashida Tlaib tweeting that Levin “has taken on powerful special interests and fought for working people” and that Tlaib “has taken on powerful special interests and fought for working people in Michigan and across the country.”
I didn’t see the Congressional Progressive Caucus do much to defend their own members. They sent Marie Newman a $5,000 PAC check, but didn’t do anything to help her combat the flood of sewer money from Mark Mellman’s DMFI pouring into the district to smear her. (Mellman and Jeffries work together hand in glove in their anti-progressive jihad.) What about Rashida Tlaib and Andy Levin? I hear the Progressive Caucus is going to go to bat from them. I don’t see it yet… but it is a rumor. Are they just scared of Jeffries? Are they going to just let Jeffries pick them off one by one? You can contribute to saving Rashida Tlaib and Andy Levin here.