The other day a regular Blue America financial contributor, who gives around $100 a month to our candidates, called me to complain. He had given $50 to each of two candidates and one sent him a handwritten postcard to thank him and the other didn't bother to thank him. He loved the postcard and, when I asked, he told me he's likely to give to that candidate again but not to the other. Someone else told me he sent a candidate $100 and the candidate never said thanks but just started sending him campaign spam the next day asking for more money. That sounds pretty rude. The more common complaint-- one I get almost daily-- is about campaign spam. Believe me, I feel your pain. This was an e-mail from a donor:
I have literally been having to unsubscribe from multiple lists per day for a couple of years now. Whenever I neglect to do so, I end up flooded with multiple emails from the lists I didn't get around to unsubscribing from yet, which makes it take longer to find the new ones. I'm not interested in adding to my un-paid workload. I'll just avoid donating to anyone.
Their assumption is a blatantly unethical and obnoxious practice. They should ask people if they want to be subscribed, not just subscribe people without asking. I'm sorry you don't seem to agree or see how bad this practice is. It makes me think less of you.
We do agree with him and agree that it's a bad practice. A couple weeks ago when only 6 Democrats held the line, I started a Blue America Hold the Line ActBlue page for Cori Bush, AOC, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Jamaal Bowman. Most people are contributing an amount and splitting it evenly between everyone on the page. This guy gave $15 and each candidate got $2.14.
This woman gave $10 to each of them:
I gave each of them $50. And was immediately flooded with multiple e-mails from some of the campaigns. It's easy to unsubscribe, which is what I always do, especially if it's from a list that sends out empty messages without substance. Campaign donors are getting so angry about all the spam that the whole model is now in jeopardy. I've been talking with incumbents and candidates who are telling me their e-mails are not getting the responses they used to get and they sense that the 2008 Rahm Emanuel/Chuck Schumer "burn the lists" plan has finally worked. All that list selling, list trading, illegitimate grifters in the space, over-asking, fear-monger, dirty tricks... have made contributing online less attractive for donors. This is very bad for candidates who depend on small dollar donors.
I would recommend that when asked for a donation from an organization or a candidate, contributors first ask for a guarantee that their information will not be shared with anyone else under any circumstance. If an organization or candidate won't make that guarantee-- and, yes, Blue America started in 2005 with that guarantee and we have never violated it, ever, for anyone-- they don't deserve your contributions. Some candidates' e-mails are worth reading because they are filled with valuable information and insights... Bernie and Alan Grayson stand out and some of the serious crop of new challengers-- like Jason Call in Washington, Shervin Aazami in Los Angeles and Erica Smith in North Carolina-- are refraining from flooding e-mail boxes with the meaningless garbage that has defined worst-practices campaigns like Val Demings' and Shield PAC, a group set up to suck money out of the netroots for the Republican wing of the Democratic Party.
Shield PAC's e-mails don't mention they raise money (over a million dollars so far) for the right-wing fringe of the Democratic Party-- the villains like Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR), Ed Case (Blue Dog-HI), Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX), Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog-NJ) and Lou Correa (Blue Dog-CA) who have sabotaged Biden's Build Back Better agenda. Yesterday, in his Washington Post column, James Downie wrote that Biden's approval ratings have been dropping not because fewer Republicans like him, but because fewer Democrats do! "The share of Democrats who approve strongly of Biden’s performance," he wrote, "has declined from 54 to 44 percent... [I]f Biden’s poll numbers are dropping because of disappointed Democrats and recently disenchanted independents, caving to talking points that Republicans have flogged for months won’t fix anything."
Just 35 percent of voters say Biden has accomplished much during his first 10 months, while only 31 percent believe he’s keeping his campaign promises. Both are worse scores than Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Barack Obama received ahead of midterm drubbings two years into their presidencies.
Enter the bipartisan infrastructure deal and the Build Back Better social spending bill. The former has 63 percent support in The Post-ABC poll, including an even split among Republicans and nearly 2-to-1 backing from independents. The latter-- supposedly the more politically “risky” of the two-- does almost as well, with 58 percent backing overall, and a similar level of support from independents. If both are signed into law, it will markedly strengthen Biden’s list of accomplishments.
...The issue-- which has been the case for much of Biden’s tenure-- is the rump of conservative Democrats in both houses who have hampered the passage of BBB, and by extension the infrastructure bill that was linked to it, for so long. Even now, Sen. Joe Manchin is still raising overblown concerns about inflation.
It all feels like deja vu: As with Obama, Biden won office in large part because his Republican predecessor steered the country into crisis. But since cleaning up those messes isn’t easy, as midterms approach disappointment grows. Worse, he’s impeded by moderates and conservatives in his own party who insist on watering down his signature legislation. But this time doesn’t have to be the same. The polls are clear: Passing Biden’s full legislative agenda now gives Democrats the best chance to avoid disaster in the future.
As we've been saying all year, it isn't just Manchin and it isn't even just Manchin and Sinema (who the Republicans are so delighted with that they may not even run a challenger against her in 2024). It is also a problem in the House, which still has 19 Blue Dogs-- 18 of whom are basically Republicans with "D"s next to their name, the exception being Mike Thompson, who is more a Pelosi spy inside the Blue Dog Coalition than an actual Blue Dog. Other than Thompson, the Democratic Party would be better off if every Blue Dog lost their reelection bid, preferably in a primary... but few have viable primary opponents. The one who do are Blue Dog chairman Ed Case (HI), Lou Correa (CA), Kurt Schrader (OR) and Henry Cuellar (TX). Please consider contributing to their campaigns here or by clicking on the Primary A Blue Dog thermometer below. These are the Blue Dogs, with their district's PVIs:
Sanford Bishop (GA) D+4
Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA) R+2
Ed Case (HI) D+14
Jim Cooper (TN) D+9
Luis Correa (CA) D+16
Jim Costa (CA) D+9
Charlie Crist (FL) even PVI
Henry Cuellar (TX) D+5
Jared Golden (ME) R+6
Vicente Gonzalez (TX) D+3
Josh Gottheimer (NJ) R+1
Stephanie Murphy (FL) D+3
Tom O'Halleran (AZ) R+2
Brad Schneider (IL) D+14
Kurt Schrader (OR) D+2
David Scott (GA) D+23
Mikie Sherrill (NJ) even PVI
Abigail Spanberger (VA) R+3
Mike Thompson (CA) D+22
As frequent DWT contributor Harvey Wasserman wrote for RSN.org this week, it gets worse: the corporate Democrats are paving the way for American fascism. "Clintonista Loser Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia gubernatorial race was his to win. Wasting millions on lousy, boring electronic ads, the Dems avoided on-the-ground campaigning and refused to pay grassroots door-to-door canvassers (the Republicans did pay theirs). With thinly-veiled hostility, they stonewalled the Millennial/Zoomer voters of youth and color who could easily have won the race for McAuliffe, and who hold the key to any kind of democracy-based future. And now, of course, that’s exactly who the party’s fat cat bloviators blame for the defeat… and all the future defeats they are sure to accumulate. This is the sure-fired route to fascist autocracy.
That winning route was readily available in Virginia to Terry McAuliffe and the corporate Dems. Instead, rather than update their act, they chose to lose the usual top-down way… and then to blame precisely those who could’ve won it for them
McAuliffe had no grassroots campaign to speak of. He shunned climate, class, race and infrastructure issues that are bread-and-butter to the rising tide of youthful constituents.
...[T]he Democrat corporatocracy let out a guttural howl about how the party had gone “too far to the left” when precisely the opposite was the problem. McAuliffe ran a content-free campaign based only on his not being Donald Trump in a race where Trump wasn’t running.
He failed to focus on the social justice and eco-sanity issues that have powered the Sandernista movement for five years, and that have now become mainstream to the American public. To guarantee his loss, he said something to the tune that parents have no control over their childrens’ education.
In fact, Bernie is the new Eisenhower, with social security, Medicare for all, ending poverty, homelessness and hunger, universal access to education, protecting the environment and much more have all been embraced by the vast majority of American voters. Even the demonized catch-all “socialism” is openly favored over capitalism by nearly half the millennial/zoomers.
The greatest threat to the American future is a comatose Democratic elite laying down dead for a fascist takeover by the energized, increasingly violent Trump right. They promise little and, once in power, deliver less.
Together they scream at the progressive movement that speaks for the rising generations soon to dominate the American electorate.
As they campaign against progressivism again and again and yet again, they surrender America’s entire electoral apparatus to a GOP/Steve Bannon juggernaut hell-bent on actual dictatorship.
The question is: can the American grassroots transform the Democratic Party before it’s too late?
Georgia says yes. But Virginia and the party’s knee-jerk oh-so-predicatable anti-progressive blather warns us how profoundly out-of-touch the corporate Dems are now… and how dangerous that really is.