John Doolittle’s not popular with much of anyone these days. Joining the chorus from the hard right today is John Fortier of the American Enterprise Institute in a column in The Hill. Also, the DCCC’s made an amusing video called Saint or Sinner? about Doolittle (CA-04) using the COPS "Bad Boy" theme. Well worth a look.
Doolittle’s days in Congress are likely numbered, so Charlie Brown needs our support in the DFA All-Stars election, which winds up early tomorrow morning. Please note:
- If you voted the first time around, you can/must vote again to be counted this time
- Second choice votes won’t hurt your first-choice vote in any way
- Voting deadline extended from midnight to tomorrow morning 9am EDT, Thursday
Aside from its general effects, scandal had a direct role in four or five Republican House losses: Bob Ney (Ohio), Mark Foley (Fla.), Tom DeLay (Texas), Curt Weldon (Pa.) and to some extent Richard Pombo (Calif.). Especially in the cases of Ney, Foley and DeLay, Republicans would likely have held these seats had these members left the House earlier, and had Republicans nominated replacement candidates who displayed independence from their tainted predecessors.
Fortier thinks Renzi’s seat is more vulnerable than Doolittle’s. That may well be true, but Charlie Brown came within 3 points of Doolittle last fall, and Doolittle didn’t top 50%. Having come that close, having a head start on name recognition over any new GOP candidates, and having a good solid organization on the ground, Brown’s in good position to turn this district Blue.
Doolittle has troubles related to the Abramoff scandal and his wife’s consulting business. The scandal charges clearly hurt Doolittle’s reelection effort in 2006, in which he won with only 49 percent of the vote. Doolittle had previously cleared 60 percent in every election since his first in 1992. The recent FBI raid on his wife’s home office has ramped up the scandal, and could leave him vulnerable. His seat is pretty solidly Republican with Bush winning the district with 61 percent of the vote. If Doolittle’s troubles mount, Republicans will see parallels to Bob Ney’s seat (Bush won 57 percent in 2004) and Tom DeLay’s seat (Bush received 64 percent in 2004). Republicans should hold this seat if Doolittle were to vacate it early. But if he hangs on and his troubles worsen, a late resignation or a hobbled candidacy could give Democrats a chance.
Brown’s got a lot of street cred on his opposition to the War in Iraq: He’s retired military himself. And his son’s deployed to Iraq now - and not for the first time. He can be trusted to be fact- and reality-based about it.
Doolittle with former Congressmen Tom Delay (TX-22) and Henry Bonilla (TX-23). Let's help Doolittle join their ranks as former Congressmen.
Fortier’s advice to the GOP is to Cut and Run. Not from the war, but from Doolittle and Renzi. Loyalty may be important to the Bushies, but this AEI guy’s more of a hard-nosed pragmatist:
We have heard a lot about cutting and running in the context of Iraq. But if scandal pressures mount for Doolittle and Renzi, Republicans may consider cutting and running from these members early in order to improve their chances of holding their seats.
Fortier’s hoping that if the scandal-ridden members resign, the GOP’s chances to hold the seats will be improved. His hindsight’s probably right about FL-16 (Foley), since that was a very personal scandal, not directly linked to the tentacles of the Abramoff/Cunningham et al. Culture of Corruption. He may be right about TX-22 (Delay), too: Though The Hammer wasn’t on the ballot in the general election, his delayed withdrawal from the race did sow confusion over the write-in substitute candidate with the difficult hyphenated name. But I’m not so sure about OH-18 (Ney), since Republicans went down in flames all over the Buckeye State.
RECENT CALIFORNIA LTEs
From today’s Sacramento Bee. I think I heard this guy calling in to C-SPAN in the morning recently on the Republican line:
Liberals = Cancer
Re "If nothing to hide, why a raid?" letter, April 21: Liberals contend Rep. John Doolittle needs to step down. Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? Don't forget the Duke lacrosse team and how they were nearly railroaded. But that's the liberal mind-set!
More of us need to speak up and denounce this cancerous attitude of liberalism that only serves to divide and spread hate among us the American people. Rain down on the liberal fires that will destroy America.
This one’s a little wittier. And a little closer to my sentiments:
Like Duke Lacrosse or Duke Cunningham?
Rep. John Doolittle compares his situation with the Duke lacrosse team ("Doolittle defiant in face of probe," April 21). Shouldn't the proper comparison be with another Duke with whom he served in Congress? (Former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham is in prison for taking bribes.)
Maybe the most thoughtful of the bunch, and cutting the Congressman more slack than I’m inclined to do:
Will he let his wife take the fall?
The real issue in my mind is whether John Doolittle, the family man, will allow his wife to take the fall in all of this, or whether he will accept responsibility in order to save his wife from potential conviction and imprisonment. Despite his public posturing, I suspect that this is the real issue that will be weighing on Doolittle's mind as the reality of a potential federal prosecution sinks in.
It’s fair to judge a man by:
The company he keeps
Doolittle should remember that, fair or not, we are judged by our actions and the company we keep. He is paying the consequence for having convicted briber Jack Abramoff and Brent Wilkes (whom he still defends, even though Wilkes was indicted for bribery) as friends and contributors. Everything he is going through could have been avoided by using better judgment.
This one displays a healthy sense of irony:
The company he keeps
My wife wondered why I was laughing at the front page of the April 21 Bee. But there it was, in the headlines in the far-left column: "Doolittle defiant in face of probe." And below that: "Authorities hunt pork that may be tainted."
And summing it all up:
You may say that I’m a dreamer
Imagine a world in which voters no longer must hire a lobbyist to speak to their congressman. Imagine one less lapdog yapping in favor of President Bush's plundering of America. Imagine no more race and hate legislation -- no need for greed and hunger, a brotherhood of man. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one who can imagine a world without John Doolittle ... an honorable paradise regained.
Don’t let this letter-writer be the only one! Vote for Charlie Brown in the DFA All-Stars tonight! Voting closes at 9am EDT tomorrow (Thursday) morning. If you voted in the first round, you can vote again. In fact, you must vote again for your vote to count.
Here's Doolittle with Clay Shaw, who lost his bid for re-election in FL-22 to Ron Klein last November. Let's help make Doolittle an ex-Congressman, too.
MORE DOOLITTLE VIDEOS
You can catch Doolittle at his shrill, manic best in last fall’s debate with Charlie Brown, funny but in a scary way. It’ll help convince you to support Charlie in the DFA All-Stars, because Bad Boy Doolittle really must go. And here’s another from Roxbury News, also via YouTube. Be warned: This one’s really shrill, though mercifully short.
MORE DOOLITTLE BACKGROUND
More info on Doolittle from Charlie Brown. The DCCC’s put together a good timeline on matters Doolittle. For more detailed background on Doolittle, here’s search results for Daily Kos diaries. You can view Doolittle’s ratings by various interest groups at Project Vote-Smart.
Charlie with supporter and fellow veteran Paul Hackett. (To clear the visual palette of the pictures of Doolittle and all his creepy friends.)
Don’t forget to vote! Brown’s fairly likely to be facing up to a special election before November 2008, so support’s very important ASAP. So donate! And volunteer!