Progressive Candidates Storming the DC "Village" Barricades, Causing Fainting?

  According to Stuart Rothenberg, the PCCC is just like the Tea Party --- well except for all the millionaire PAC money, of course. But other than that, they are the same sort of crazy wacked out fringe dwelling extremists who are making it very hard for decent, God fearing centrists to run the Democratic Party:

A very liberal group, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, sounds like a tea party group of the left, given its rhetoric, strategy and tactics. Like many in the tea party, the PCCC sees itself as a protector of its party’s dominant ideology — in this case liberalism — and a judge of who constitutes a “real” Democrat.

Oooh, a liberal group. And they are protecting liberalism, no less, under the bizarre belief that their ideology should be dominant. Imagine that? Just one question: is there any other kind of Republican besides a conservative one?

But here's the rub. The PCCC is pursuing their dastardly agenda in Democratic primaries. What could be more destructive that that? Can you believe that liberals would believe they should have a voice in Democratic party elections? Who the hell do they think they are?

The PCCC has declared war on two Democratic primary candidates: businessman Brad Schneider in Illinois’ 10th district and former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chávez in New Mexico’s 1st district. Instead, the group prefers two other Democratic hopefuls, Ilya Sheyman in the Illinois district and state Sen. Eric Griego in New Mexico.

In the Illinois race, the Russian-born Sheyman, who worked as national mobilization director for, has the backing of former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and the PCCC. Katrina vanden Heuvel of the Nation magazine wrote a glowing piece about Sheyman.

The Democratic hopeful said during an interview last year that he was not running just to win the seat but to grow the power of progressives in Congress.
Sheyman, 25, and his allies have attacked primary opponent Schneider for contributing over the years to a handful of Republican candidates (including Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk and ex-Minnesota Rep. Mark Kennedy) and even for voting in one GOP primary. (A third Democrat, businessman John Tree, is not expected to be a factor in the contest.)

Well now, that's just dirty pool. Liberal groups should never attack a candidate in a primary for having supported the opposing Party with money and votes. What could possibly be wrong with such a stirring show of bipartisan loyalty? Howie wrote about this earlier:

Brad Schneider has sent a dozen or so mailers to Democratic voters in the past month attempting to brand him as a “progressive,” presumably to inoculate himself against the news, which ultimately will come out, that our buddy Brad has a dirty little secret.

Brad Schneider has spent the past decade pouring cash into the coffers of some of the worst anti-choice, homophobic, war-mongering Republicans Washington has to offer. Yesterday, Sheyman Campaign Manager Annie Weinberg gave the following quote to Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet:

"Brad can try to mislead Democrats into thinking he's a progressive because his conservative ideas can't win. But whatever his poll says, the real number you need to know is 79.

"That's the percentage of voters who said in a recent Lake Research poll that Brad Schneider's history of funding far right-wing, anti-choice Republicans raised serious doubts about his candidacy.

"We've just launched an aggressive television and mail program, we've outraised Brad over the past two quarters, and with 12,000 individual donors, 500 volunteers, and a true progressive as our candidate, we've built a campaign to win that Brad can only dream of."
...the Lake Research poll did indicate that "Brad’s most damaging negative is not just his numerous donations to Republican Mark Kirk over the course of several election cycles, but his long history of funding far-right Republicans year after year. These are politicians who want to privatize Social Security, defund Planned Parenthood, and end Medicare as we know it. We know that when voters hear about Brad's history of donations to these people it gives them serious reservations about voting for him. I mean, wouldn't you question the sincerity of someone who claims to be progressive but donated thousands of dollars to help Republicans take back Congress?”

So Brad Schneider is basically a liar who is trying to get past progressive voters by pretending to be something that he isn't. I'm guessing that's what Rothenberg likes about the guy, but he might be just a teensy bit sympathetic to actual progressives who might think that's a bit of a bait and switch.

But he's obviously right about VandenHeuvel, though. Why, Sheyman might as well have been endorsed by Hugo Chavez.

The rhetoric in PCCC attacks, not surprising given how activists at both extreme ends of the political spectrum see things, is predictable. One of the group’s emails calls Schneider a “supporter” of “right-wing Republicans,” while another inaccurately portrays Schneider as a “Blue Dog.”

It is hard to find issue differences between the two Illinois Democrats, though there certainly are differences in style and tone.

Schneider, 50, has spent years in business as a consultant and working with the pro-Israel community. Sheyman has been an activist and organizer in Illinois, Vermont and nationally. Schneider believes that his experience and his more easygoing, personable style should give him an advantage in the race, but in a low-turnout race anything is possible.

Correct. It may be that until five minutes ago he was indistinguishable from a standard Blue Dog but it'sinaccurate to literally call him one since he isn't in the congress. Shame on you PCCC.

Note that Rothenberg doesn't mention that Sheyman himself is also easygoing and personable. He's tarred with guilt by association with the crazed hippies. But Rahm Emmnuel's shall we say ... abrasive style isn't held against people he supports. Interesting.

I know it's hard for you to have gathered thus far what Rothenberg himself thinks about all this, but maybe you can read between the lines here:

The winner will face freshman Republican Rep. Robert Dold, who kept the seat in GOP hands when he won Kirk’s former seat. But Illinois Democrats made this district even more Democratic than it has been for the past decade, and that makes the Republicans’ hold on it tenuous.

Republicans, of course, would much prefer to face Sheyman in the fall because they believe they can portray him as more extreme, making the district’s upscale voters uncomfortable with his aggressive style and views. And, they believe, his age and lack of real world experience apart from political activism would benefit Dold in a general election.

Right, even though the seat is more Democratic than it's been in decades.

Still, the Sheyman race is nothing compared to the "apoplectic" PCCC's hysteria in their criticism of Marty Chavez, the opponent of their endorsee Eric Griego(and, as with Sheyman, Blue America's as well.)

They are behaving very badly toward the gentlemanly, soft-spoken Chavez apparently:

Chávez, who was first elected to the state Senate 25 years ago, served three terms as mayor of the state’s largest city. Soft-spoken and emphasizing his approach as a problem-solver rather than an ideologue, he presents himself as someone who has tried to work with the business community whenever possible.

The former mayor has been endorsed by President Bill Clinton, actor Robert Redford and women’s equality advocate Lilly Ledbetter.

Not surprisingly, Chávez’s relative moderation and decisions to eschew divisive rhetoric has the PCCC apoplectic, calling the former mayor a closet Republican.

How rude. Why the soft-spoken Chavez must just be shocked by such behavior.

Well maybe not. Here's Howie again:

The first time I really became aware of what a destructive tool Chavez is, wasn't even that long ago. New Mexico's progressive congressman, Tom Udall, then a Blue America fave, was running for the open Senate seat being abandoned by Pete Domenici. Chavez wanted the Senate seat as well and went on an insane, well-financed and distorted jihad against Udall. He was confident, he bragged, that he could defeat Udall in a primary.

“Philosophically, he’s so far to the left,” Chavez said. “I’d rather not have him in the race, but that’s a challenge I’d not shy away from.”
But he did shy away from the challenge. Polling showed him consistently losing to any Republican in the general-- and to Udall in the primary. So he quit the race... and then told the Albuquerque Journal running for a mere House seat-- the one he's running for now-- was beneath him.
Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez on Tuesday tossed a bucket of ice water on any speculation that he might be considering a run for the 1st Congressional District seat.

Chavez, in a telephone interview, blasted the U.S. House of Representatives and said that jumping into the race for the open, Albuquerque-based seat is "not an option."

The House is "not a place where I want to be," said Chavez, who late last week unexpectedly abandoned his short-lived bid for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.

He said Tuesday that while the Senate remains a place where "individuals of substance gather," the House-- whose members face re-election every two years, compared with six-year terms for senators-- is "not a place for ladies and gentlemen any longer. ... They play a type of politics (that) I think is destructive."
Odd he would shy away from destructive politics. That, after all, is his hallmark. His short-lived race against Tom Udall didn't endear him to New Mexico Democrats.
Continuing his recent mean-spirited barrage against his high-polling Dem primary opponent for U.S. Senate, Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez is now accusing Rep. Tom Udall (NM-03) of "endangering our national security."

...It's one thing to criticize your primary opponent's positions, but I think this kind of over-the-top rhetoric coming directly from Chavez can only serve to turn more Dem voters against him. Chavez already has a reputation for publicly and privately trashing fellow Dems on the Albuquerque City Council, supporting Repubs and their causes and vowing to vote for Repub Sen. Pete Domenici if he ran for reelection.

Poor moderate, soft-spoken Chavez, having to put up with all that apoplectic hysteria from the left.

Rothenberg has no clue about the people he's talking about. He seems to believe, as all Villagers do, that the "business friendly" Democratic hack is also the nice, moderate type who just wants to go to Washington and "get things done." The liberals, on the other hand are all firebreathing extremists who care for nothing but their own narrow, ideological hobby horses. The truth is that the "nice, soft spoken" alleged moderates who want to get things done go to Washington and work on behalf of the narrow constituency of millionaires and corporations who bought these elections for them and treat their fellow Democrats like dirt.

Groups like the PCCC or Blue America or DFA have no billionaire sugar daddies footing the bill and they have no Fox Network telegraphing their talking points 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as the Tea Party did. They are financed by small donors throughout the country and depend on the internet to get the word out. They aren't breaking any rules --- indeed, they are explicitly playing by the rules the Party set up for grassroots groups to participate in Party elections.

I'm sorry that inconveniences the religious right and the big money boys who believe they have a God given right to rule, but here in America even liberals have a right to seek representation in their government. That's all they're trying to do.

If you'd like to make a Villager cry, throw a little cash toward Sheyman and Griego here at Blue America's 2012 page.

Update: Rothenberg thinks the differences between Sheyman and Schneider are all about tone and style? Not really:







Hullabaloo / By Digby | Sourced from

Posted at March 14, 2012, 3:24am

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