August 12, 2016

(Cross-posted from I'm the most upbeat guy you'll ever meet, always optimistic and if you started reading this blog any time since 2005, you never heard me say "I'm depressed." But Tuesday evening I was. (I was better by yesterday, cheery as ever.) Most people would say I might have been depressed because I had a chemo "tune-up" and got a bunch of drugs pumped into me including stuff that made me semi-delirious. But no, I'm pretty sure that wasn't it. I was even happy about that because one drug that usually takes 4-5 hours to infuse now only takes 90 minutes because I react so well to the process. And 90 minutes... instead of 4-5 hours... you can imagine! Anyway, it was the returns from Tuesday's Wisconsin primary that got me depressed Tuesday.

I knew defeating Ryan was the longest of long shots and something like that could never get me down. In fact, I thought it was funny that despite Señor Trumpanzee's obvious disdain for Ryan and despite his girl-squad-- Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin and Phyllis Schlafly-- all campaigning their black little hearts out for Nehlen, Ryan still got 84% of the vote.

Nope, it wasn't the first district that bothered me. It was the third, Ron Kind's district, which sprawls from Eau Claire, Menomonie and Stevens Point down to La Crosse and the Iowa border across from Dubuque. As I explained the other day, It's a solidly Democratic district-- PVI is D+5 and Obama won it both times by double digits-- but it is represented in Congress by reactionary corporate shill Ron Kind, an affable Wall Street pawn who is head of the New Dems (basically, the Republican wing of the Democratic Party).

Thanks to the corporate crooks he works for-- the insurance industry, Pharma and investment firms are his biggest donors-- Kind, who has no Republican opponent (the GOP loves him), had $2,247,137 cash on hand. The progressive in the race was a Berniecrat, Myron Buchholz. And, it wasn't even close:

• Ron Kind- 33,283 (81%)
• Myron Buchholz- 7,680 (19%)

Hey, you win some, you lose some... and Blue America didn't even get involved in this low-profile race (which I regret). But that isn't the point. There are 18 counties in WI-03-- all blue-- but the biggest in terms of population, the ones that determine how elections go in the district are La Crosse, Eau Claire, Portage, Grant and Wood. Bernie won every one of those counties-- in fact, Bernie won all 18 counties that make up WI-03. These were Bernie's percentages against Hillary in the primary:

• La Crosse- 62.8%
• Eau Claire- 63.9%
• Portage- 64.7%
• Grant- 59.3%
• Wood- 60.2%

There were no close calls. In La Crosse County alone, Bernie's 15,139 votes was almost double what Buchholtz got district-wide!

Now that's depressing! Had Bernie voters turned out, just in Eau Claire, La Crosse and Portage counties-- just those 3 of the 18-- the head of the New Dems wouldn't be going back to Congress in 2017 to plot with the Republicans how to pass the TPP and cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Instead another Bernie-agenda progressive would have been fighting alongside Keith Ellison, Raul Gijalva and, hopefully, Zephyr Teachout, Pramila Jayapal and Tim Canova to expand Social Security and healthcare and to help switch the country over from "free trade" to fair trade.

But nope... great that tens of thousands of western Wisconsin Democrats turned out to vote for Bernie but... why sit out the congressional primary? Why? Why? Why? Please don't let this happen in Florida, where really excellent progressives like Alan Grayson, Tim Canova and Annette Taddeo are running tough primary battles against reactionary nightmares Patrick Murphy, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Joe Garcia.

Grayson wrote about it from a Senate perspective Tuesday:

One by one, the Party Establishment has defeated progressive Senate candidates this year, elevating ConservaDems over them.

In Ohio, the Establishment helped Ted Strickland defeat P.G. Sittenfeld. The NRA gives Strickland an “A” rating.

In Illinois, the Establishment helped Tammy Duckworth defeat the President of the Chicago Urban League, Andrea Zopp.

In Maryland, the Establishment helped Chris Van Hollen defeat Rep. Donna Edwards. If she had been elected, Edwards would have been only the second African-American woman to serve in the U.S. Senate.

In Pennsylvania, the Establishment spent $3 million in the primary to push Katie McGinty across the finish line, against John Fetterman and Joe Sestak.

In Nevada, the Establishment helped Catherine Cortez Masto defeat a Black Lives Matter activist.

And here in Florida, the Party Establishment already has sunk a million dollars into a TV ad campaign to try to prevent me from winning the nomination.

...Weirdly, it’s the GOP that seems to have adopted the salutary principle of “may the best candidate win.” But on our side, the Party Politburo employs every trick in the book to dictate the outcome of our primaries. And they are using their power to purge the party of progressive champions.

We can’t let that happen. We can’t allow the Democratic Party to become the Un-Democratic Party.

This is our last chance. Ruthless party bosses have tripped up, sandbagged or decapitated virtually every other progressive Senate candidate in the entire country. If you want to see a progressive champion elected to the U.S. Senate, it’s now or never.

With just three weeks to go before our Democratic Primary, I need your help... Just remember, the Democratic Party belongs to us, not them.

The primaries in Florida are August 30-- less than 3 weeks away. If you click on the thermometer, you'll see all the Blue America-backed Florida candidates, the best in each race-- from U.S. Senate to the state House of Representatives in Tallahassee.

Please help make August 30 joyous, not depressing.

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