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First some background for those of you who have not followed South Park.  Underpants Gnomes refers to an episode of the animated series in which gnomes steal underpants as a part of a business plan.

Their business plan is:

  1. Collect Underpants
  2. ????
  3. Profit

I had a comment on a diary about Michelle Nunn's campaign for Senate.

Basically, it was in response to a complaint about purity trolls complaining about Nunn.  (I will almost certainly complain about her, but I am waiting until after she is sworn in)

I took issue with this.

While there are states, and districts, where the electorate is sufficiently batshit conservative to require that a ConservaDem runs, and it is not unreasonable to put Georgia in this column (though I would argue that it is far less of a sure thing than Mississippi or Alabama, particularly with a growing a Hispanic population, and a suburban government around Atlanta that is about to screw their taxpayers over a ballpark deal*)

My point was something different.  Specifically that the Democratic Party establishment, particularly in the House of Representatives, has a long history of dumping huge amounts of resources to, support potential Blue Dog members in uncompetitive districts, while ignoring, or spending money against more liberal Democrats.

Witness Rahm's million dollar folly in 2006.  (Dick Durban's fingerprints are on this one as well)

The DCCC, and to a lesser extent the DSCC, and the DNC seem to feel compelled to disproportionately throw resources at races, and candidates for which there is no logical justification for doing so.

So we have the Underpants Gnomes of the DCCC:

  1. Dump resources in ConservaDems in non-competitive districts
  2. Intervene in primaries in competitive districts to ensure that the most conservative Democratic candidate wins.
  3. Demoralize the base
  4. ????
  5. Win Elections(?)

To be fair, it is Nancy Pelosi who has chosen the heads of the DCCC lately, and Chris Van Hollen was a bit better than Rahm (not a difficult thing to do), so we are getting the DCCC chair, and the DCCC that Nancy Pelosi wants.

While being better than Rahm Emanuel is not a difficult thing, being worse, is a difficult thing, but Pelosi managed this when she selected Steve Israel, who she admiringly called reptilian.  (Reptilian as a compliment, still having a problem wrapping my head around this)

In addition to being a "former" member of the Blue Dog Caucus, he appears to be determined to increase their size, even at the cost of not regaining the majority in 2014.

I really cannot for the life of me figure out why they do this, and why Pelosi seems to enthusiastically endorse this strategy.

Like I said, Underpants Gnomes, and I do not understand, even when taking into consideration the Iron Rule of Organizations.

So, what to do?

Let's look below the 1,650,763.73 wavelengths per meter squiggle. (Yes, this is a metrology joke)

The basic technique to handle this is to do your own damn political homework, and if the DCCC, DSCC, or DNC come calling, get a rundown on the district, and the candidates.

It's your money, so make sure that it goes directly goes to the candidates that you favor.

It's easier with the internet, and you can donate via Actblue, and you can check out candidate web sites.

The Google machine is your friend.

Personally, I highly recommend Howie Klein's observations on these matters highly.

Here are his tags for the DCCC, DSCC, and DNC.

But note that none of this is an excuse for your not spending a half hour doing online research.

Also, when in doubt, see if there is a local candidacy to which you can contribute sweat equity as well.

*Why do I think that the ballpark deal will fuck the taxpayers of Cobb County?  Because sports venue deals always fuck the taxpayer to benefit some millionaire players and billionaire owners.
One of the reasons that I liked Howard Dean's 50 state strategy was that it placed far greater control of the candidate selection process in the hands of the local parties, who actually know the districts.
People will pursue power within an organization, even at the cost at the power of that organization.

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Comment Preferences

  •  To Be Fair to Steve Israel (11+ / 0-)

    He was chosen by Pelosi, and I am no fan of Ileana Ros Lehtinen's (R-FL) best buddy Debby Wasserman Schultz as head of the DNC (Chosen by not-the Pelosi) either.

    6/24/05: Charlie the Tuna Creator Dies En lieu of flowers, please bring mayonnaise, chopped celery and paprika.

    by LunkHead on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 09:44:02 AM PST

  •  Well that is why I stopped contributing to: (9+ / 0-)

    the DNC, DSCC and the DCCC.

    I figured when they gave 1/2 Million Dollars to Ben Nelson that my contributions to them were done.

    Same with NARAL, EMILY's List, etc.

    I give directly to the candidate and as early as possible.

    It is a shame really.  These groups would logically be better positioned than myself to strategically place the money, but no way do I trust them anymore.

    The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

    by NCJim on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 09:55:17 AM PST

  •  Oh and I like Debby. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But she sure isn't Howard.

    The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

    by NCJim on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 09:55:54 AM PST

  •  I don't hate all the candidates that the DCCC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    picks.  And some of the districts Israel's aiming for are legit swing districts.  Like in PA-08, though it's gerrymandered, it's still a good shot at unseating Tea Party Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R) and the DCCC is behind Iraq & Afghanistan war veteran Kevin Strouse (D).  Israel believes veterans can make great candidates and I won't disagree with him there.  The DCCC backed Patrick Murphy (D. PA-08) in that district and he was a decent Dem who lead the call to repeal DADT.  I also like that they're backing Andrew Romanoff (D. CO-06) to go against Birther Mike Coffman (R. CO-06).  As I remember, a lot of people here backed Romanoff on the 2010 Senate primary against Michael Bennet (D. CO) so not all of their choices are bad.  

    Funny Stuff at

    by poopdogcomedy on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 10:11:11 AM PST

    •  But there is a non-carpetbagger real Dem (4+ / 0-)

      running in the primary as well, Shaughnessy Naughton

      One that is not pro-fracking in the Delaware Valley.

      BTW, here is a money quote from a Strouse interview:

      He’s a smart, young former Army Ranger-- good qualities for any aspiring politician. But what party leaders really like is that Strouse doesn’t have particularly strong views on the country’s hottest issues.

      Immigration? Tax policy? “Certainly I have a lot of research to do,” Strouse acknowledged in an interview Thursday as he announced his candidacy in a suburban Philadelphia House district.

      Strouse’s candidacy reflects an emerging Democratic strategy for taking back the House from Republicans after the tea party takeover of 2010.

      The best way to defeat the conservative, ideologically driven GOP, Democrats say, is to field non-ideological “problem solvers” who can profit from the fed-up-with-partisanship mood of some suburban areas. These districts will offer some of the few competitive House campaigns in the country.

      This guy is literally an empty suit from out of state who was chosen by the DCC because ..... Underpants gnomes.

      I would also note that the whole veteran thing sounded good with Duckworth's first run, who entered the race after Cegelis forced the despicable Henry Hyde into retirement, and she lost after the DCCC got a million dollars dumped into her campaign.

      Duckworth is a good Representative, and she would have been a good one in 2006, but she was a lousy candidate in 2006.

      6/24/05: Charlie the Tuna Creator Dies En lieu of flowers, please bring mayonnaise, chopped celery and paprika.

      by LunkHead on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 10:35:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't fully trust Howie Klein. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I respect him to a degree but he picks and selects certain info to back candidates he likes.  Like he did an unfair analysis on Allyson Schwartz who is running for Governor but did a biased piece about John Hanger, who's even more pro-fracking.  Strouse is not an empty suite.  He's been making voter ID laws, the sequester, ENDA, marriage equality and student loans all serious issues.  I know this because I follow the campaign.  Klein seems to do a cursory research on Dems he doesn't like so he can build support for Dems he does like.  Also Klein fails to mention that Strouse's district is gerrymandered and Strouse actually needs to win some GOP support and with Independents.  Not to mention Shaughnessy Naughton is not gaining a lot of traction.  More unions back Strouse over her.

        Funny Stuff at

        by poopdogcomedy on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 10:46:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps Pelosi just slipped momentarily (0+ / 0-)

    ..with her "reptilian" comment.

    Lizard People and all..

  •  the underpants gnomes are laughing now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LunkHead, Banach MacAmbrais

    They are all wealthy elites because they figured out Step #2.

     Wanna know what Step #2 was? I bet you do. You are just begging to know.
      Well, I shouldn't tell you, but I will:

    #2) Have Goldman Sachs securitize dirty underpants, have Moody's give them a triple-A rating, and then sell the securites to pension funds.

      See? The plan was brilliant.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 11:24:46 AM PST

  •  If you actually use 'profit' as the last step (0+ / 0-)

    it makes perfect sense. Winning a seat isn't as profitable as shifting the Overton window.

    warning: snark probably above

    by NE2 on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 12:37:45 PM PST

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