If you want a classic example of the way Establishment Democrats are perfectly tone-deaf when it comes to the concerns of the working families they like to flatter themselves as representing, take a look at how the race in Washington's brand-spanking-new First District is shaping up, particularly on the Democratic side.
Because instead of backing Darcy Burner, the progressive candidate with far and away the greatest name recognition and a record of working for working-class families and their interests -- particularly when it comes to things like protecting Medicare and Social Security, and getting their children out of war zones -- the state's establishment Dems seem to be lining up behind Susan DelBene, a pro-business faux-progressive Dem with little popular support but very deep pockets.
Evidently, it's all about the money. In a year when Democrats should be listening to the anger of their constituents at the failure of Washington politicians to take care of the interests of ordinary people, these dimbulbs are going back to politics as usual and backing the candidate with the deepest pockets, not the deepest support among voters.
On the Republican side, Tea Party nutter John Koster is running largely unopposed and leads in early polling -- largely because it's a six-way race on the Democratic side right now. Things will be different in the fall, when his far-right record and rhetoric will come front and center.
A weekend Seattle Times story laid out the contours:
The Democratic establishment is coalescing behind Suzan DelBene, a former Microsoft vice president who largely self-funded her losing 2010 campaign against U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, who represents the 8th District.
But in this year of economic anxiety and the noise surrounding the Occupy movement, DelBene's opponents are taking jabs at her wealth, to appeal to struggling families.
As Darcy Burner, a progressive activist who twice lost to Reichert, says: "There's already an overrepresentation of the 1 percent in Washington, D.C."
You may notice something important missing from this story. There's plenty here touting DelBene's candidacy, for instance, but nothing telling readers how the candidates actually stack up in terms of support:
DelBene's résumé looms largest. She was appointed Gov. Chris Gregoire's Department of Revenue director after an executive career at Microsoft and Drugstore.com, among others. She and her husband, Kurt, a Microsoft president, live in a $4.8 million Lake Washington waterfront home and said she would, like last time, put her own money into her campaign.
"We talk about the American dream, yet we're in a place where we're making it harder and harder. I don't know if I would be able to tell my same story if I were growing up today," she said.
In an apparent effort to trim the field, Gregoire and Larsen endorsed DelBene, as did the state Washington State Labor Council.