2010 United States House of Representatives Elections, General Elections

Here I discuss the most important United States House of Representatives races in 2010, based on how liberal the candidate I’m endorsing is and how close the race is.

 

2010 Florida’s 8th Congressional District House Election, General Election

Incumbent Democrat Alan Grayson is known most for his explanation of the Republican health care plan: “Don’t get sick… if you do get sick, die quickly.”  It turns out he’s given to saying blunt, controversial things routinely, and as someone on his mailing list I can attest to that personally.  Substantively, all these remarks are sideshows compared to Grayson’s substantive accomplishments such as pushing for an audit of the Federal Reserve and sponsoring the Medicare You Can Buy Into Act.  But it showcases a huge reason why liberals love him: he’s willing to take the fight to conservatives not just in the halls of Congress, but in the media and on the airwaves as well.  And we liberals need to win the rhetorical war even more than legislative battles if we want to see long-term progress in this country.  Grayson is one of American liberalism’s most effective spokespeople – and that’s why we can’t afford to lose him.  I’d put Grayson on the list of the top two or three Representatives we really cannot lose this year.

Grayson’s liberal credentials – at least rhetorically – are impeccable.  Just watch this interview on Real Time with Bill Maher.  When Bill Maher mentioned that he was a progressive Democrat, Grayson confirmed it and then described his political philosophy: “Huey Long, Huey Long, you gotta put some jam on the bottom shelf where the little man can reach it.”  I was pleasantly astounded when I watched this.  First off, almost no one ever cites Huey Long, who was probably the closest to a socialist a national Democrat ever got, as a political hero, so major points to him for that.  Second off, more liberal points for Grayson for using that “jam” quote, though I think it’s actually attributed to Texas Senator Ralph Yarborough, another great liberal.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Grayson was the first person to use that Yarborough quote since Yarborough himself.  This guy is definitely a keeper.  I endorse Alan Grayson for reelection in FL-8.

Initially it looked like Grayson, despite representing a swing district, was gonna coast by this year in spite of – or perhaps because of – his antics.  He had fundraised prodigiously and had accumulated a big enough war chest to scare off many potentially dangerous challengers – so much so that I started getting exasperated whenever I saw liberals making yet another donation to him.  But, it’s a Republican year, so the guy he did end up facing – former State Senate Majority Leader Daniel Webster – is now leading him in the polls.  A Grayson loss would be a huge blow to progressives in Congress.


Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL-8).  Source: Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

2010 Virginia’s 5th Congressional District House Election, General Election

This is the race that’s being watched around the country as the incumbent Democrat Tom Perriello has courageously voted for Democratic legislation despite representing a lean-Republican district (though I think his vote for the health insurance law was a waste).  Now he’s paying the price, as he’s been running behind his Republican opponent all year, and only recently has he made up some of the gap and now stands an average of a few points behind.  He probably won’t pull it out, but he really should.  I endorse Tom Perriello for reelection in VA-5.

 

2010 Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District House Election, General Election

Democratic State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa is running against incumbent Republican Charles Djou, who was elected to this seat in May after the Democratic vote was divided between Hanabusa and Blue Dog Democrat Ed Case.  Hanabusa is relatively liberal and is a single-payer, Medicare for All supporter.  She also supports government directly creating jobs and investing in infrastructure and education.

This district lost a good liberal Representative in Neil Abercrombie (who will hopefully be elected Governor).  Hanabusa can restore that loss.  I endorse Colleen Hanabusa for HI-1.

Despite the Democratic tilt of the district, Djou has held a lead for much of the year and only now does Hanabusa have a very slim average lead of less than 1 point.

 

 

2010 New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District House Election, General Election

Running for an open seat, Ann McLane Kuster has gotten a lot of positive attention as a candidate running as an unabashed liberal, and doing, well, okay: polls show her with a slim two-point lead.  A Kuster win could be one of a few bright spots on Election Day this year.  I endorse Ann McLane Kuster for NH-2.

 

 

2010 New York’s 19th Congressional District House Election, General Election

I endorse incumbent Democrat John Hall for reelection in NY-19.  Hall is a strong liberal Democrat who’s in a swing district.  The polls have this race as quite close, with Hall having a less-than-one point lead on average.

 

2010 California’s 45th Congressional District House Election, General Election

Adam Bink of Open Left has heavily promoted Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, largely because he would be the first gay parent in Congress and he’s supportive on LBGT issues.  He’s also decently liberal on other issues as well.  I endorse Steve Pougnet for CA-45.  Pougnet’s race against incumbent Republican Mary Bono Mack hasn’t been polled, but she’s likely to win.

 

2010 Arizona’s 7th Congressional District House Election, General Election

This district leans Democratic and in a normal year incumbent Democrat Raúl Grijalva shouldn’t have any trouble winning reelection.  But it’s a Republican wave year and Grijalva has come under fire for courageously calling for a boycott of his own state in the wake of Arizona’s immigration enforcement law.  But a few polls have shown this race with Grijalva holding quite slim leads.

Grijalva, the better co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is a stellar liberal and a champion of the public option and Medicare for All.  We need him in the House.  I endorse Raúl Grijalva for reelection in AZ-7.

 

 

Medicare for All/Medicare You Can Buy Into Supporters

Finally, I’m going to do something a little uncharacteristic and offer a blanket endorsement of all cosponsors of H.R. 676, the legislation to establish a single-payer, Medicare for All health insurance system in the United States.  I feel strongly enough about Medicare for All to do this.

I know this endorsement encompasses a few Medicare for All-supporting Blue Dogs such as Joe Baca and Sanford Bishop, the latter of whom appears to be in real danger of losing his seat to his Republican opponent.  This is one of the rare instances in which I actually endorse a Blue Dog for reelection (normally I’d either stay out of the race or endorse a minor party candidate).

I will also offer a similar blanket endorsement of all cosponsors of H.R. 4789, the Medicare You Can Buy Into Act.  This is also legislation I strongly support and we can’t afford to lose any of these cosponsors.

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Are (Some) Democrats Just Brainless Tools?

I’m a proud Democrat.  I’ve been one since before I first registered to vote in 2005.  I’m an even prouder liberal.  I’ve been one since before I was a Democrat.  I consider being a liberal much more important than being a Democrat.  So when Democrats aren’t being liberal, I choose to support liberals over supporting Democrats.

This is important around election time because Democrats have often been very un-liberal in recent history.  They keep giving me reasons to not want to vote for them.  But then liberals who consider it very important to support Democrats start badgering me about how I’m being disloyal or I’m just helping the Republicans win or whatever.  Which makes me wonder – why should I care about Republicans winning if Democrats are doing a lot of damage themselves?  Not as much as Republicans would, maybe, but what’s the point in supporting a “lesser evil” when, at the end of the day, it’s still evil?

I’ll have a lot more to say about Democrats in general, and President Obama – a huge point of contention because of his high profile and unclear liberal loyalties – in particular, later on.  What bothers me right now is how, when confronted with something outrageous that Obama/Democrats have done, Obama/Democratic supporters just kinda shrug indifferently, when I KNOW they’d be howling in rage over the very same things if they’d been done by Republicans and a President John McCain or Mitt Romney.  Hell, the health insurance “reform” bill that Democrats love to support was Mitt Romney’s idea.  Would Democrats have been so supportive if had been President Romney, not Obama, who proposed it?

And no, I’m not talking about whether or not the laws the Democrats passed are incremental improvements worthy of support, or not.  I’m talking about actual bad stuff that Obama/Democrats did.  Stuff like this:

The Deal with the Hospital Industry to Kill the Public Option

and this

Confirmed: Obama authorizes assassination of U.S. citizen

Do Democrats care about this?  Is it okay because it’s coming from Democrats and Obama?  Because I can guarantee that Democrats would be talking about this nonstop if it’d been Republicans, or former President Bush, or a President McCain or Romney pulling this kinda shit.

I know Democrats are better than the other guys (though at this point, it’s starting to get close).  But if they commit these horrible acts of evil and betrayal, shouldn’t we as Democrats call them out?  And if what they do is bad enough, and they show no sign of sorrow, repentance – hell, they don’t even acknowledge that they’ve done this – isn’t there a point at which they no longer deserve our support?  Or do we go on cheering for them because, because, well, that’s what we’re trained to do.

Are Democrats just brainless tools?  You tell me.