I’m still not listening to the Frustrati

A series of e-mails have been hitting my inbox from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  You know, the committee which the House Democrats have to recruit and fund Democratic candidates in House races around the country.   That’s not unusual, there’s hardly a week that goes by without some.  Usually, they’re asking for donations, but this time, it was interesting.    It was an announcement that they have recruited candidates for 60 races in Republican-held House districts.   That’s impressive, alright, but something has occurred to me.  You see, back in August, I wrote a little post about what various of the “purists” – the frustrati – needed to be doing if I was going to listen to them.

One of the things I said they needed to do was:

Identify and recruit primary challengers to members of the Blue Dog caucus, and provide them with the financial support, campaign staff, and field support needed to win that primary.

I’d like to add to that:  Opponents for Republican members.  Let’s face it, anyone who’s been following Congress this year can quickly think of at least one  Republican representative (and usually a lot more) we’d like to see shown the door in 2012.  Which is why the DCCC e-mail struck me.  You see, I haven’t seen anything like it from the various “netroots activists.”

Oh, I’ve seen a lot of griping about the President.  Heck, the amount of whining they’re doing hasn’t stopped, and despite clear evidence they’re out of step with the majority of the Democratic Party, they’re still asserting that they are the “voice of the Democratic Party base.”  But I haven’t been seeing a lot of announcements (none, really) about the “true progressives” they’ve recruited for primaries and the general election coming up.  Oh, I’ve seen a few “jump on the bandwagon” moments, but nothing that points to active recruiting.

Yes, I know the election is a year away.  But this is the time when real activists have identified potential candidates,  are finishing recruiting them,  putting together a campaign organization, and lining up support behind them.  Which is what the DCCC is doing now, not waiting until a couple of weeks before the primary/general election.  I say that because I think the “purists” will do just that – wait.  Eventually, they might find someone who contacts them.  Then, when it turns out that they were supposed to have their candidate’s nominating petitions in long before that, they’ll bitch and whine about it.  They’ll complain because a campaign staff doesn’t magically appear, and their “fundraising” doesn’t even make them competitive.  They’ll blame everyone but themselves for it, too.

They’ll moan about the people the DCCC found, they’ll bitch that they weren’t consulted, and then they’ll stomp their feet because some of them don’t meet their purity tests.   But finding the candidates who meet their standards and getting them on the ballot?  That was a job for someone else!   Which is why they’re going to be “unhappy.”  Oh, in some instances, they might claim credit for someone else’s work.

That’s why I’m still not listening to them.  Could I be wrong?  Maybe.  Maybe they’ll come up with candidates, or they have a list they’re not releasing yet.  Given past experience, I doubt it, though.   My opinion of them is still unchanged.



Filed under Politics

14 responses to “I’m still not listening to the Frustrati

  1. I hope they do wait until after it is too late to get their purity candidates on the ballots to recruit their heroes. That way there isn’t another choice on the ballot to peal much needed support from the candidate that the Party is supporting.

    Recruiting candidates is hard work. Running for office is hard work. Fund-raising is even harder work. Good for the DCCC. 60 candidates is praise-worthy.

    • One of the candidates the DCCC had in DC for an event is an unabashed progressive, who was not recruited by any of the “purist” groups. He decided to run, and has spent the past few months visiting every Democratic officeholder and party officials in NY-20 to make his case. That he was at the DCCC event shows that, even if he wasn’t recruited by the DCCC, he’s gotten enough Party support locally to be the likely candidate, and that’s a great thing. The key thing is that he has been doing the groundwork, and making the rounds … in other words, doing all the things a potential candidate should be doing right now.

  2. I think they are a little bit pre-occupied (pun intended).

    Good post!

    • True. 😆 They’re either trying to position themselves as “leaders’ (Michael Moore) or make a buck off of it (Jane Hamsher). 🙄 No, I’m not kidding. 😥

  3. Geez-Louise, I hadn’t even thought about recruitment of viable candidates for Republican-held seats! What a great point, Norbrook.

    (Boy do I feel dumb for not seeing this glaring omission from the purists’ agenda!)

    Thanks for the post!

  4. It’s funny, I had someone tweet yesterday or the day before, it’s time for a primary and I responded. No, actually, the deadlines are slipping away and the time for a primary was months ago. Shut him right up!

    • Exactly. It’s basic ground-level politics that if you’re serious about your “ideals” you should learn. The filing dates to be put on a ballot for a primary are often (depending on the state) months in advance of the actual primary. It takes time to get the nominating petitions signed – and you always want more than the minimum – and put together a campaign staff. Otherwise, you’re not going to be on the ballot, unless you’re doing a write-in campaign. Which, except for some smaller local elections, are mostly doomed to fail.

      That’s why I know the frustrati aren’t serious players, no matter how much they posture. If they were serious about primarying “Blue Dogs” for the last election, their recruiting should have started in 2009. If they were serious about 2012, they should have already had their candidates by now. Next year, a few days before the primary or a couple of weeks before the general? Too late.

  5. Same old same old – all talk and no action. These keyboard warriors, TV whores and their minions are not serious. Michael Moore running around telling people not to vote and I don’t where Van Jones’ head is, truthfully. I’m not against Occupy by any means, but change is going to be made in the Capitol and the White House and unless we get and keep Democrats in both places we’re up the creek. Vote! Fight voter suppression and help register people to vote.

  6. Frustrati are useless tools! Last week someone on TPV wrote a diary about a very viable candidate for Rep in an Arkansas district. Some commenter argued in several posts to “not waste your time or donations because no Dem has a chance in a Repug district”

    Even when another commenter who actually lived in the district told him people were fed up with Repugs, that this candidate already had a solid ground game in place and was busy meeting prople all over the district, the negative nellie kept it up. I think this guy was from the Daily Misery because he sounded like some of the caca they spewed in the past.

    I think it’s real important to focus on our Red states and districts. People are fed up with the Repugnants. Recent polling shows President Obama could actually take AZ. Our Senators and Reps can’t count on just having an R after their names to get elected. Schweikert and Quayle are very unpopular especially after they tried to charge people to attend town halls this past summer.

    Our redistricting here is pretty solid because it was done by an independent commission. I know it must be good because Repugnants are squealing like stuck pigs and our ignorant Gov wants to “impeach” the commissioners.

    We got to get our boots on for our candidates, both blue and blue dog whereever we live. Great diary, Kiddo. It’s good to see you back in the saddle again!

    • That’s what drives me nuts about these people. I live in a district that was considered “Safe Republican,” solidly “red.” We’re represented by a Democrat. NY-20 was “safe Republican” until 2006, and while the Republicans took it back in 2010, it doesn’t mean they’re going to keep it. Here’s four candidates Democrats already have for Congress. I might note that Joel Tyner is a progressive running against Chris Gibson, a Teapublican who took NY-20. You don’t “write off” a district – that was really what the “50 state initiative” Howard Dean had. You compete across the line, and you make the Republicans fight to keep it. You may not win, but you make them play defense a lot.

      • trs

        You are right. Dean had the right idea with the “50 state initiative,” and President Obama works a similar game. You don’t “write off” anything. It’s a sure way to lose.

        I met a member of the local frustrati last week, and he was talking big about how we need to primary the President, etc. I just asked him one question, “Who do you want as the next President? Cain? Bachmann? Paul? Perry? Romney? Because that’s really what you’re asking for.” Shut him right up.

        • The PL would really prefer a Republican President, since that’s how they make their money. The frustrati just have some idiot idea that it’ll mean an uprising, creating a progressive utopia. 🙄

          What makes them useless is that they can’t do the straightforward things to get their “agenda” ahead. It isn’t complex. You find someone who wants to run, who agrees with you. You get a staff together, raise some money, and recruit volunteers. You go out and get signatures to get them on the primary ballot. There’s a defined day to get it done, and if you’re in some states (like mine), you want at least 25% more signatures than the minimum. Then you go out and try to persuade a lot of Democratic voters that your candidate is best, and you do a lot of making sure your voters get to the polls. It’s work, but it’s not terribly complex.

          That’s the key. It’s work. It’s not exciting, it’s not pontificating on “11-dimensional chess,” it’s not pounding out blog posts detailing strategy options, or policy wishlists. It’s boring, dull, often frustrating, and you have to talk to a lot of people who don’t agree with you. But that’s the way it’s done.

      • You got that! NO RETREAT NO SURRENDER! You may not win every one but you damn well better at least fight as hard as you can. I’ve got no patience for those who give up before the fight even begins.