I read one of those articles suggested in the comments about Beto O’Rourke. He really sounds like an exciting candidate. And here’s a good article about turning Texas blue.
Look, between now and 2020, I’m going to be running a lot of positive articles about young, upcoming potential Democratic stars. We will have plenty of time to decide they are all worthless sell-outs later.
Let’s raise a little more money for Beto O’Rourke in the meantime.
I watched a video of Beto O’Rourke that someone posted earlier this week. I was impressed. He seemed thoughtful and well spoken and I liked the positions he held.
Doug: I just forwarded you an email I received from Beto this morning about the border wall. Everything he says in it is true. The people who live on the border (as I did for most of my life) know that crime is lower there than many places further north. Things were much better when the people on either side of the border could go back and forth without any of the drama that is being stirred up now. They hate the idea of the wall and everything it stands for.
@WaterGirl: I have really high hopes he can take out Tailgunner Ted. Let’s have Rafael live off his wife’s hedge fund money.
The gov of Washington, Jay Inslee, has been doing some great work for the state. If Patty or Maria decide they want to go do something else, he’d be a good swap out for either. And Kate Brown of Oregon could do worse than to be the first open bisexual Senator. Although it sounds like she’s got a second term in the bag.
I think there is a real shot for Beto. Not an easy shot, but it is not unrealistic to think he can win. Let’s shoot for $1,500-$2K today for him. I just gave, and we’re closing in on $1,000 already.
“I fell in love with a Mexican girl.” I grew up listening to Marty Ribbins. My father was a big fan of Marty Robbins. His favorite album was Gunfighter Ballads.
@Yutsano: It’s nice to have good options!
edit: And hope! I was thinking might have to dig out my little HOPE pin from 2007/2008.
No Drought No More
A very strange coincidence just occurred. One half hour ago, out of the blue, I decided to play Dick’s Pick of the Grateful Dead playing El Paso. That is, I was suddenly seized by that desire people get to hear a particular song NOW, and I sought it out. I first heard the Dead perform it at Winterland in San Francisco circa 1972, but had never heard Dick’s recommended cover of theirs on YouTube before (it’s every bit as fine a performance as the one I remember, too). You can imagine my surprise when I cruised on in and saw your intro to this post..
Would like to here about Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles. I heard him interviewed on NPR recently an was very impressed.
@SFBayAreaGal: Holy CrapnessEverdeen, your dad and my dad could be twinsies. My dad loves Marty Robbins, too.
@Josie: I lived in El Paso when my husband was stationed at Bliss (2010-2011), and I didn’t feel any less safe than I do anywhere else in the U.S., tbh. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a problem with Mexicans, I dunno.
I’m more on my guard in parts of rural Ohio than I ever was in El Paso or Cruces.
Thanks for posting the article about turning Texas blue, Doug. I’ve posted it many times in comments. Glad to see it frontpaged. It highlights the very grassroots good work that the Texas Organizing Project is doing. They take donations if you want to help out.
@WaterGirl: That may have been me. I posted this interview of Beto with Don Lemon on CNN after Doug Jones won. Take a look.
Can I suggest we help out some people in NY? The first congressional district is eastern Long Island, and is R+5 last time I checked. That may be winnable, and there are several Dems running in the primary. So, one to keep an eye on for now. But the second district is Peter King’s seat. It’s R+3, and there is only one Dem running, Liuba Gretchen Shirley. She seems like a good person. Here’s her site: https://liubaforcongress.com/home/
Now, of course, Peter King won with more than 60% of the vote in 2016. Unseating him won’t be easy. But it will be worth it.
@Adria McDowell: As a middle-age gay male couple, the place we’ve felt the most unsafe in the past several years is the deep south. Especially Alabama, but also to a lesser extent the Trumpy parts of Florida (ie: St. Lucie/Indian River area where some dear friends go to visit their Trumpy parents and we meet up).
Exactly, Josie. Violent crime is really low in border cities like El Paso. The El Paso/Juarez economies are inextricable entwined: families, friends and colleagues inhabit both sides of the border. it’s always been a highly functioning micro-economy. I fear for it’s destruction. Bottom line, I will contribute to Beto’s campaign.
I do have a question for Doug! and other /act/blue contributors: is there a reason to go through ActBlue as opposed to direct candidate contributions?
Texas is Vicksburg.
What happens if no DACA deal? I’d hope, in order to avoid US committing a massive human rights crime, court action can block, or at least greatly delay, indiscriminate, unjust, and criminal deportations. Are there legal defense funds we can contribute to?
And, I guess from Graham’s statements today, we might know why he was sucking up to Trump so much. Tried to butter him up for a DACA deal. Didn’t work. Nothing works with the spoiled toddler Trump.
Beto’s own website uses ActBlue, so I assume the processing costs, back-end, etc are OK with Beto. I dunno about others, but I like seeing what we can raise as a group, too. And these drives are just ‘bundling’ of a sort, the $$ goes direct to his campaign (or whoever Doug sets up an ActBlue raising for in each instance), not a BJ fund. We get the BJ bragging rights, I guess. LOL.
Just wanted to write that.
@jl: Right. There is no deal attainable with addle-brained Trump. He will just parrot back whatever he last heard most forcefully. I guess the WSJ interviewed Trump before the whole ‘sh*thole’ meeting and he was saying lovey-dovey, compromise-y things.
Aryan baldy Miller must have gotten to him between the WSJ reporters and the Graham-Cotton-Durin free-for-all.
I am quite worried that Schumer will still try to Charlie Brown kick the Lucie McConnell football on DACA/shutdown.
But as Doug says, this is a time to raise interest in winnable Senate races, not the disappointments that may follow.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
From the Harper article on Texas
@No Drought No More: #7.
Serendipity is the greatest high.
Also, thinking of DACA, from what I have seen over past few days, the media isn’t going to help, in fact will work overtime to avoid reporting the truth. Probably because the truth about the big lies Trump and the GOP are peddling would be considered just too uncivil, unbalanced, rude and shocking.
I noticed that the vile Dickerson went out of his way to actively peddle GOP lies in his shitshow this weekend, and he let Cotton lie his ass off. Some have defended Dickerson here, but his journalistic malfeasance this weekend was shocking even to me, who has always considered him to be a corrupt partisan GOP hack. i don’t know if he knows how much trouble the GOP is in for 2018 and he is letting his frenzied panic show (that would be a positive view of his miserable performance), or he just figures he is a short timer now on his crurmmy public affairs talkie, so why not let his corrupt partisan hack freak flag fly out in the open.
Edit: anyway, point is, need to remember to contact media and complain when you hear them peddle BS and lies.
Beto owned Sarah Huckster Sanders on Twitter yesterday about El Paso.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: This has been my feelings for ages. Stop wasting money on tv ads. Start spending it on outreach, events, registration and fucking pay for Uber & Lyft rides to the polls if you have to.
thanks for your thoughtful answer. Definitely food for thought. Still preferring a direct contribution but I’m thinking I need to assuage my own concerns with a little research..For instance, how does ActBlue allocate their take?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissing ActBlue, I’m just saying that I need to do more research before I hit the donate button.
Seriously. Who the heck watches local teevee? Or at least watches it in real time without FFing through the commercials with the DVR. If you want to reach anybody under 50 you need another plan.
From Both Sides of the Pond
I’m not sure of his chances, but another one I’d like to see is Miguel Levario in TX-19. He is a borderlands historian from El Paso currently working at Texas Tech; he’s an amazing historian and would do well. Of course, we are talking Lubbock, so… –
(caveat: he’s a former colleague of mine and a friend)
@Raoul: You are always welcome here in the C-bus area! We have a big Pride parade and everything!
I try and avoid the rural areas in certain parts of the country, which is a shame because not everyone is a douchebag, but you just never know who will turn out to be one, sadly!
O/T–the monsters across the street. What in the everloving fuck is wrong with these people, and I’m not just talking dad’s Prince Valiant haircut. Is this what happens when you don’t get your own reality TV show?
While we are looking a positive trends in elections & governance here’s a piece on how it’s going in my former home, AK. First, though, the headline is primarily clickbait. Dems were definitely required.
How to Turn a Red State Purple (Democrats Not Required)
Anyways, this is a fun read with the following Big Caveats: 1) the Alaska Senate was run by a similar coalition from 2007-2009 which the article fails to mention; 2) Alaska is a weird place with a lot of cultural/political/ identity idiosyncrasies that don’t necessarily translate to the lower 48; and 3) while the “three great men” narrative here is the through line of the piece, there were/are many many many folks (hundreds and thousands) who actually won these elections by being candidates and making calls and knocking on doors and working the polls and giving money and so on an so forth. Those folks always get shortchanged in these articles.
And these days, start spending it on helping potential voters jump through all the hoops Republicans are making them jump through as part of their voter suppression efforts. If we can’t overturn their voter suppression, at least we can try to help overcome it.
YES, Mary G. Beto is so bullsmark perfect. The facts are indisputable. In my wildest treams, I always wishe that Texas could secede to New Mexico. I lived there for 14 years. My ex, my son and my grandkids live there so I’ve not lost touch.
Trump’s republican party racist xenophobia (am I redundant) is throwing a bomb into a healthy, thriving ecosystem
@Raoul: Honestly, over the past decade ActBlue has almost cornered the market on on-line political fundraising on the left side of the political spectrum. If you are a candidate (or a party committee or a cause) they just make it easy peasy to set everything up. And their size & relative transparency means they can/do keep their administrative costs fairly low. The last political campaign I ran was in 2004 (the dawn of on-line campaign donations) so I can’t say for sure but I also bet they make it really easy for campaigns to process the donations at their end. At the other end, they also make donating (probably) too easy. Once you’ve made your first contribution to a candidate through ActBlue and entered your info, its kinda like Amazon one-click shopping to make additional donations either to that specific race or any other candidates that are using the ActBlue portal. It’s a slow time for political donations and they are still processing about $1 million/day–$2 billion since they started in 2004.
And no, I don’t work for them.
Most candidates just use ActBlue anyway
And Vicksburg did eventually fall.
My youngest’s first vote is going to be for him. She is very excited about it.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Or like one my Mexicans friends who would have little parties on Sundays were he would invite all the Mexicans in his apartment building over and fill out their absenty voter ballots for them, since Sunday was day off and these people worked with their hands and weren’t that comfortable with filling out forms.
@trollhattan: This is the dark side of the Quiverfull movement. It’s not just treating your wife like a brood mare. It’s controlling your children in mind and body.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: That’s a great idea. Yes!
Here is a counterpoint to Beto’s run, though indirectly.
Basically the thesis is that Doug Jones didn’t win because Roy Moore’s child molestation charges. Rather it was close before, during, and after the charges, and these charges simply entrenched his supporters. The election could have gone either way with or without them as the fundamentals were the same: people are tired of the sort of hate/identity politics that the Republicans represent (yet is necessary for them to win primaries and thus produces candidates like Roy Moore or Donald Trump).
The point is that the Democratic candidates who seem to be winning are running on local political issues, authenticity, and a return to political normalcy (Virginia, Doug Jones, and also Beto), but they aren’t winning by turning down Democratic Party support coupled with fierce liberal populism (Montana, Ossof, and also Beto). He has some hallmarks (the issues base, the authenticity, the return to normalcy) but many other aspects of his run (Bernie-or-busterism(*) coupled with a disdain of party support) are simply unforced errors. This is especially bad when the Democratic Party is not demanding anything for their support (c.f. Doug Jones run and where and how he handled donations, endorsements, and support).
Having said that, I can’t really criticize him because right now he’s the only game in town. The reason he has momentum is because better candidates (like the Castro brothers) are too cowardly to risk losing in Texas (they see it as a political death sentence). It’s the same environment in which Bill Clinton won the presidency (Cuomo and others didn’t want to risk losing to Bush post Gulf War) and Obama (other candidates didn’t want to go head-to-head vs. Hillary, ignored the “wait your turn” mentality). It seems Democratic politics rewards the brave because such actions prevent the Republican machine from building large negatives against a predicted run (c.f. Obama 2008) and Beto has that.
Hope he wins.
(*) By this I mean either a disdain the political apparatus of compromise or a predilection to “make the bad guys (e.g. the rich) pay” over the helping of their constituents.
Trump won Texas by 9, Alabama by 28
Is there any light side to the Quiverfull movement? I seriously don’t see any positive aspect of it.
My Congresscritter is the first openly bisexual congressperson. She’s running for Senate. Too bad she’s horrible—the worst kind of spineless DINO.
However, the Arizona Democratic Party has another option: immigration attorney and activist Deedra Abboud, a white Muslim woman born in Arkansas.
I can’t make this shit up.
@terry chay: The Castro brothers are dumb for not running for higher office this year. Especially Julian who currently isn’t in an elected office.
@No Drought No More: They had a great version of that song. I saw them do it in Chicago in ’74. It was an amazing show, not least because of the legendary “Wall of Sound” they were still using for that tour.
I’m going to a big Sherrod organizing event on the 22nd. The D pollworkers tell me that Democrats don’t vote the whole ballot. They’re looking at the actual ballots because there’s a paper ballot and the paper is scanned. Republicans vote the whole thing, but Democrats don’t. They do the top race, President or Senator or governor, and then leave the rest blank. Maybe we could work on getting them to do just that one thing?
@Roger Moore: Bringing back the high fashions of Little House on the Prarie?
Very happy to see this layer out so clearly!
Washington Monthly: The Story of an Erratic President and His Nativist Chief of Staff
by Nancy LeTourneau
(read the whole thing)
@Yarrow: That was the video, but someone posted it earlier this week, I think. Great video! Thanks for sharing it with us.
Seems like O’Rourke has his head screwed on right:
“She [Clinton] needs to define her vision for the country; not just say ‘Vote for me because (Trump is) so awful,” O’Rourke said. “I think that’s something Bernie Sanders did an excellent job of.”
@WaterGirl: Thanks very much. I noticed several similar accounts. TPM has a post on it too.
Trump isn’t the only authoritarian and lawless racist in the WH. And underneath Trump the racist is Trump the ignorant, very easily manipulable fool.
@WaterGirl: No problem. I’ve posted it here several times since the interview in December. Beto’s team sent it out in an email.
Saw Maggie H retweet goat blower Micky Kaus who was talking about how horrible the bipartisan deal that trump hates is. Hadn’t heard his name in forever, but I see he hasn’t changed at all.
@DougJ: Alabama had Roy Moore as the nominee, Texas will have Ted Cruz unbloodied from a Republican primary. It may be a bigger uphill climb for Texas than Alabama because of these fundamentals. Because of that the Castro bros. are afraid to throw their hat in the ring leaving the door open for Beto.
(BTW, I think it is a good thing, Beto doesn’t have strong negatives and won’t by the time of the election. The way you weaken a Democratic candidate is through building negatives: Kerry 2004, Clinton 2016, Ossof 2017, etc. The Republican apparatus is prepared for a Castro but not an O’Rourke.)
I’m just saying that Beto should spend less time reaching out to banked votes like you and me (if we lived in Texas) or hopeless votes (3rd party left wingers and working class whites in highly segregated areas), and more time on building momentum on votes that might not happen (e.g. minority votes that won’t be banked because of lack of enthusiasm and young “no collar” voters in cities such as Houston, Dallas, etc.). Doug Jones took Democratic money, some specially selected Democratic endorsements, ran a campaign on where he featured the Battle of Gettysburg, and spent almost the entire aparatus on increasing the turnout in the Black Belt. Enthusiasm comes through outreach (which Beto is trying to do though he’s not nearly as surgical in it as Jones was), but you shouldn’t throw away the entire apparatus in doing so (Doug Jones certainly didn’t, his campaign was run by the some of the same advisors that Beto disdains). So there are some wins (he has authenticity in spades), but there are some oversights. That’s what I mean by “unforced errors.” You don’t see this sort of thing in Obama’s 2008 primary win over Hillary or Doug Jones win in AL. It may take that level to win it Texas at the moment, as the unpopularity of Trump may not be enough to topple an incumbent Republican, even if Texas is turning purple at a rapid rate.
Not saying it is hopeless by a long shot. Just pointing out that if you read the profile on Beto, it is not all good news.
@ruemara: Exactly! For people who aren’t very engaged, they just see ads that contradict each other – this ad says candidate Democrat lied or cheated or whatever and the Democrat ad says the Republican is a bad guy. They don’t know what to do with that information, because apparently googling and research is beyond the pale for low information voters. So all ads do is cost a ton of money and annoy people.
If your neighbor, on the other hand, says candidate X did whatever, good or bad, then at least maybe they will pay attention.
I have one right-wing evangelical sister who believes the right-wing noise machine. My other sister is a low information voter, but she votes every time and she’s proud of it. Sometimes I wonder how we all came from the same family.
@No Drought No More: Dick’s Picks has about forty volumes, so that doesn’t entirely narrow it down (though not all of them feature versions of “El Paso”, and many of them were actually released after Dick’s death). Any idea which one? I’m partial to a good ’77 “El Paso” myself. I’ve always loved this song’s unusual rhythms. Robbins’ version is deservedly a standard, but the Dead made it their own.
I’ll throw some money at the ActBlue fund sometime soon.
@pamelabrown53: For good or for bad, the thermometer where I can see how much we’re doing as a group really has an impact on my giving. Sometimes it’s hard to see how my $10 or $25 or $50 or $100 will have much of an impact, but when the jackals get together the impact feels real to me.
@Yarrow: Agreed. :)
@Kay: Yes yes yes yes yes.
mai naem mobile
AZ 8 Trent Franks’ old district(he of surrogate baby fame) has a special primary end of February and the generally end of April. It’s a very red district but there’s an Indian American physician running – http://hiralforcongress.com/. There’s also a transgender candidate also – Brianna Westwood. Its a special election and it would be worth throwing a few dollars for the general.
@marcopolo: Short of mailing a paper check, it seems like for a lot of Dem candidates, the way they raise is ActBlue. So whether Doug points us to a special thermometer doesn’t change where the $$ goes or the back end costs.
J R in WV
I use Act-Blue often. When you make a donation, they then ask you for a “tip” donation and let you pick a percentage of your donation, or no tip at all. That covers their costs.
I never give them a tip, because I kick in a small monthly donation to their work. They have raised just over $2 Billion dollars since 2004! I don’t think candidates pay a nickel.
comrade scotts agenda of rage
Loved the Beto piece until it descended into Insufferable Music Snobbery. “…influential punk bands like Black Flag, Fugazi and the Dead Milkmen, but also hundreds of less famous ones.”
Amanda Fucking Marcotte probably had an orgasm reading that…except the names bands were probably too mainstream for her and her ilk.
I know, totally OT.
J R in WV
I was kind of ready to get fired up about Congressman Beto O’Rourke, until I saw his thoughts about the 2016 primaries and general election, where he seemed to believe that Senator Bernard Sanders had more specific policy proposals and better proposals than Secretary Clinton. This is arrant nonsense and doesn’t reflect well on him.
I hope he wins the general IF he wins the primary, because we need to take the Senate, I don’t think it’s possible to get to 66 which is what it takes to convict an Impeached person. But if we could get a real Democrat to run in the primary? No one who is still in favor of Bernie Sanders is really a Democrat!
And the grand jury working on Jane’s malfeasance as president of Burlington College (whatever the name is?) will probably put Bernie’s political career to bed forever.
Anyone know anything about Cathy Myers? She says she’s tied with Paul Ryan right now. I thought the leader was that guy, Iron Stash?
@Amaranthine RBG: Oh, fuck you.
@J R in WV: Thank you for that. For all of what you just said.