As we've mentioned several times lately, Republicans target and destroy senior House Democrats and committee chairmen any time the opportunity arises. The DCCC, especially under "ex"-Blue Dog Steve Israel, gives Republicans a pass. Thanks to the DCCC's refusal to help Justin Coussoule in 2010, no Democrat is even running against John Boehner this year. And without Ed Schultz, no one would even know Eric Cantor has a strong challenger and that Cantor is very vulnerable to defeat (with a 31% approval rating in his own district). The DCCC not only refuses to help his opponent, Wayne Powell, they tell Democratic donors to not give him any money. Thanks, Steve Israel! Watch this Ed Schultz clip from Wednesday-- and see the kind of Democrat Steve Israel's DCCC hates and adamantly refuses to support:
Israel has only one overarching goal-- to lard the House Democratic caucus with corrupt conservative Blue Dogs and New Dems, the kinds that were defeated en masse in the 2010 Great Blue Dog Apocalypse when grassroots Democrats refused to turn out for slimy characters like Bobby Bright, Melissa Bean, Ann Kirkpatrick (who Israel is running again-- against a progressive fighter, Wenona Baldenegro), Baron Hill, Gene Taylor, Allen Boyd, Walt Minnick, Lincoln Davis, Charlie Wilson (also running again this year with the help of the Blue Dogs, the New Dems and, of course, Israel), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Chris Carney... dozens more. Virtually all the money the DCCC sucks out of Democrats this year will be spent bolstering anti-Choice, antigay, pro-Big Business Democrats with little, if anything, to do with progressive values and principles. One of Israel's most favorite of all-- Patrick Murphy-- is a lifelong Republican who was contributing to Mitt Romney's campaign until he switched his voter registration so he could run as a Democrat-- and promptly joined the New Dems, the Republican wing of the Democratic Party.
And when it comes to giving high ranking Republicans a free pass... well, that's Israel's specialty and Boehner and Cantor aren't the only lucky-duckies. If you're a Republican chairman, you know you have nothing to worry about from Steve Israel and the DCCC. House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon is on the verge of political collapse and could be arrested as a national security threat by the FBI at any moment, but the last I heard of any interest in this race from Israel was him instructing a major Democratic donor to not contribute any money to McKeon's opponent, Dr. Lee Rogers. (There are 3 things about Rogers that drive Israel crazy: he's incorruptible, he's progressive and he's independent-minded.) And, believe me, McKeon is hardly the only vulnerable GOP chairman Israel is protecting.
Who's the most hated senior Republican in Congress after Boehner and Cantor? Right... Paul Ryan who represents WI-1, a district President Obama won in 2008. The DCCC has never-- not once-- tried to defeat Ryan. He is always given a free pass. But this year-- unlike in past years-- the DCCC forgot to make sure he would have a hapless opponent. Instead he has a dynamic opponent who can actually beat him, Rob Zerban, a Blue America-endorsed candidate. We'll come back to Rob in a moment. I want to share a memo with you, that Israel has read and is ignoring, from one of the most prominent insider Beltway Democratic firms, Democracy Corps (Stan Greenberg's, James Carville's company). "[V]oters," they report, "raise serious doubts when they hear about proposed cuts [in the Ryan Budget]-- particularly to Medicare, education, and children of the working poor. President Obama?s lead against Romney more than doubles when the election is framed as a choice between the two candidates? positions on the Ryan budget-- particularly its impact on the most vulnerable. The President makes significant gains among key groups, including independents and voters in the Rising American Electorate (the unmarried women, youth, and minority voters who drove Obama to victory in 2008.) This is an important new finding; highlighting the Ryan budget?s impact on the most vulnerable seriously weakens Romney."
This has to be explained to voters and President Obama's campaign are explaining it-- all across the country. And, in fact, so is the DCCC... also all across the country-- everywhere but in WI-1, Paul Ryan's and Rob Zerban's district. Back to their findings for a moment:
? The Ryan budget is a big target. Even described using Ryan?s own words, support for the budget barely gets majority support.
? Mitt Romney?s embrace of the Ryan budget erodes his support in a close race. Romney?s full-fledged support of the Ryan budget opens him up to attacks on big, decisive issues.
? Voters respond equally to three big critiques of the Ryan budget. Voters reject Ryan?s plan to allow the refundable child tax credit to expire, which would push the families of 2 million children back into poverty. Second, voters are deeply concerned about Ryan?s plan for Medicare and health care spending for seniors. Finally, voters strongly disapprove of cuts to education spending. These three facts about the Ryan budget are the most concerning to voters, especially unmarried women and Hispanic voters.
? Concern for the most vulnerable has a ballot box impact. After hearing balanced facts about the Ryan budget and messages on both sides, we asked voters to weigh the two Presidential candidates based on their positions on the Ryan budget and its impact on the most vulnerable. Not only does focusing on the most vulnerable not hurt the President, it helps him-- Obama?s margin widens to 9 points, with his vote climbing above 50 percent.
? Obama?s base consolidates against the Ryan budget. The Rising American Electorate (youth, minorities and unmarried women) who swept Obama into office move sharply against Romney in this survey, especially unmarried women, who shift a net 10 points.
? Hispanics value education above all. While the expiration of the child tax credit is unnerving to this key bloc, Hispanic voters are most concerned by the budget?s proposal to cut funding for education.
? Voters take a moral approach to evaluating the proposed cuts in the Ryan budget. The most compelling arguments in both focus groups and on this survey were those framed by moral concerns for the most vulnerable. This poses a real opportunity for Democrats to expose the Ryan budget in a way that is compelling for independents and undecided voters.
? The upcoming debate about whether to extend the refundable child tax credit is an opportunity for those who support it. This memo outlines the strongest attacks against allowing the benefit to expire and the strongest messages to support it.
Paul Ryan's budget would ask seniors to pay an additional $6,500 a year for the same care. Thousands of students would be forced out of technical college and other higher education, and our roads, bridges, and veterans care get defunded.
This budget is also unpopular because Ryan wants to give an additional $3 Trillion in tax cuts to the wealthiest on top of the George W. Bush tax cuts.
No wonder Mitt Romney pays only a 13.9% tax rate! Thanks Paul.