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Voters Should Like The Democrats. Why Don't They?

I received an incredibly dishonest and intentionally misleading e-mail from Nancy Pelosi yesterday that began with "I'm in utter disbelief, Howie." That was the first lie. She then noted that "The latest reports just revealed Republicans are FLEEING the House" and named Mo Brooks, who announced half a year ago that he would be running for the Senate, and Louie Gohment, who announced last month that he's running for Texas Attorney General. "And now," she wrote, "Devin Nunes just announced he's RESIGNING, too!" He is resigning, basically because his district went from being an R+6 district to a D+7 district-- and because Trump offered him a high paying job.

She didn't mention that there are two dozen Democrats-- so far-- who are also FLEEING the House. But she did launch into a disingenuous lode of bullshit that gives low-info Democrats false hope-- with the purpose of draining their wallets. She's as unscrupulous at this kind of messaging as roe Republicans are. See if you can spot all the opportunities she took to mislead her readers:

Now, we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance tp RECLAIM seats like these and build the biggest Majority in history-- but ONLY if we act quickly to OUTRAISE Republicans and rush critical resources to FLIP seats like these from red to blue.

Is that so? Louie Gohmert is leaving one of the most anti-blue districts in America. The PVI is R+25. Last year Biden took just 27.2% of the vote. The local Democrat, Hank Gilbert running for Congress got about the same share of the votes. And the DCCC ignored the campaign-- as did Pelosi's super-PAC... and as they are doing right this minute as Pelosi tried using Gohmert's name too raise funds under false pretenses. Same with Mo Brooks in Alabama. His district is also invulnerable to Democratic incursion, with an R+17 PVI. Only 35.7% of the vote went to Biden last year and the Democrats' situation is so miserable there that no one even ran against Brooks.

What about this year, with those 2 retiring? There is neither a serious candidate for the Texas seat Gohmert is giving up nor for the Alabama seat Brooks is giving up. And the DCCC hasn't been recruiting anyone for either seat.

The most current YouGov poll for The Economist asked several questions relevant to Pelosi's e-mail. They asked about favorability of these individuals that I have listed from most unfavorables to fewest unfavorables (among registered voters):

  • McConnell- 66% unfavorable

  • Republican Party- 60% unfavorable

  • Pelosi- 55% unfavorable

  • Trump- 53% unfavorable

  • Kamala- 53% unfavorable

  • Democratic Party- 53% unfavorable

  • Biden- 50% unfavorable

  • Kevin McCarthy- 49% unfavorable

  • Schumer- 49% unfavorable

  • Obama- 44% unfavorable

So, there's Pelosi, with the biggest unfavorable score among Democrats-- and even more unfavorability than Trump! Only the GOP itself and Mitch McConnell have more voters disliking them than she does. On top of that, when asked if the current Congress-- the one she leads-- has accomplished more or less than Congress usually does at this point in its 2 year term, these were the results:

  • More than usual- 14%

  • About the same- 27%

  • Less than usual- 41%

  • Not sure- 23%

And who do voters blame for Congress achieving less than usual?

  • Democrats- 44%

  • Republicans- 19%

  • Both equally- 33%

  • Neither- 1%

  • Not Sure- 2%

And Pelosi is trying to wriggle out of the promise she made to step aside if she was given another term as speaker. She got her term; she's been unable to deliver a positive message to the country and she insists on dragging down the Democrats in the midterms by not retiring.

Shahid Buttar is challenging Pelosi in the Democratic primary. He's a progressive activist; she's a corporate shill. Last night he told me that she relies on widespread confusion about her policy record, which has long emphasized conservative policy priorities and self-enrichment before the public interest. Collapsing enthusiasm for corporate Democrats reflects an expanding awareness of her deep-seated conflicts of interest, as well as the institutional corruption that they defend and entrench. Below is a statement from Shahid. If you agree with what he has to say, please consider contributing to his campaign here.

Recent appreciation for her history and self-serving defense of congressional corruption via insider trading is the tip of the iceberg. From pocketing scarce PPP funds that never made it to Black & brown communities, to repeatedly engineering self-serving targeted tax cuts favoring the wealthy, this is a figure who has never put governance on behalf of her constituents, or the broader public, anywhere near the front of her agenda.
The corruption is not merely individual, or limited to Pelosi‘s cult of personality. It implicates military industrial corruption, pharmaceutical industrial corruption, police and prison industrial corruption, and continued congressional fealty to fossil fuel industries that are accelerating climate chaos and catastrophe. When Pelosi imposed Paygo rules, or imposed the DCCC blacklist, or ducked debates, or blocked a widely favored universal healthcare proposal from reaching the House floor for a vote, she served both her individual interests and those of a corrupt set of institutions that she has long defended.
Accountability for these failures in policy, politics, and ethics suggests a long overdue change in Democratic leadership.
I’m running to replace Pelosi as San Francisco’s voice in Congress because America can’t afford to wait around for House Democrats to figure it out. The vision that has fueled my activism, organizing, and advocacy for the past 20 years-- promoting human rights, sustainability, and government accountability-- stands in sharp contrast to Pelosi‘s dedication to Wall Street and her stock portfolio. San Francisco deserves better and Washington needs voices willing to speak truth to power rather than bow to it.

Too depressing-- assuming you're a progressive-- to start the day? There was an interesting piece by Rebecca Solnit in The Guardian Monday, Why are US rightwingers so angry? Because they know social change is coming, that might cheer you up a little. She predicts that the right will never win their war against progress. "While their fear and dismay," she wrote, "is often regarded as rooted in delusion, rightwingers are correct that the world is metamorphosing into something new and, to them, abhorrent. They’re likewise correct that what version of history we tell matters. The history we tell today lays the groundwork for the future we make. The outrage over the 1619 Project and the new laws trying to censor public school teachers from telling the full story of American history are a doomed attempt to hold back facts and perspectives that are already widespread. In 2018, halfway through the Trump presidency, Michelle Alexander wrote a powerful essay arguing that we are not the resistance. We, she declared, are the mighty river they are trying to dam. I see it flowing, and I see the tributaries that pour into it and swell its power, and I see that once firmly grounded statues and assumptions have become flotsam in its current."

They have succeeded in passing laws at the state level against voting rights and reproductive rights, but they have not succeeded in pushing the majority’s imaginations back to 1960 or 1920 or whenever their version of when America was great stalled out. They can win the battles, but I do not believe they will, in the end, win the war.
While the right has become far more extreme and has its tens of millions of true believers, it is morphing into a minority sect. This has prompted their desperate scramble to overturn free and fair elections and other democratic processes. White Christians, who were 80% of the population in 1976, are now 44%. Mixed-race and non-white people are rapidly becoming the majority. On issues such as climate, people of color are far more progressive; if we can make it through the huge backlash of the present moment, the possibilities are dazzling.
These are relatively concrete changes. Others are subtler and more recent, but no less important. Even in the last decade there has been an epochal shift in our expectations of how we should treat each other, and the casual cruelty and disdain targeting women, queer people, Bipoc, the disabled and those with divergent bodies that pervaded entertainment and daily life are now viewed as repugnant-- and are met with consequences in some contexts.
...Birth can be violent and dangerous, and sometimes one or the other of the two involved die. There is no guarantee about what is to come, and the shadow of climate chaos hangs over it all. We do not have time to build a better society before we address that crisis, but it is clear that the response to that crisis is building such a society. So much has already changed. The river Alexander described has swept away so much, has carried so many onward.

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