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This is cross posted at my personal blog.  The "meat" of the post is below the fold. The background is this:  IL-17 is a recently redistricted US House district brought about by Illinois losing one house seat.  Much of the old IL-17 was retained, and some of Rockford and Peoria was added to it.  The idea was to create a Democratic leaning district.

Tea Party Republican Bobby Schilling beat Phil Hare in 2010, but Cheri Bustos beat him in 2012 and is running for reelection.  More below the fold.

Let me get this straight from the start: I am supporting Cheri Bustos in her election against tea party extremist Bobby Schilling; Schilling is not above resorting to dirty tricks.

 I've even given her campaign a small amount of money.  But I am bothered by her joining the "Blue Dog" democrats (a group for moderate to conservative democrats)

But:  if she really is conservative, then I am somewhat annoyed at Senator Dick Durbin.  Sen. Durbin outright told other potential candidates that she was the party's choice for the district and that she would have the party's support.

I'd highly suggest we look for someone else; remember that in the 2012 election, Barack Obama won her district by 17 points.  She won that district by 6.

So this isn't a case of, say, having a conservative Democrat in a red region; I can completely understand accommodating conservative Democrats in Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Montana, etc.  That is NOT the situation here.

Unfortunately, on appearances, her embrace of this Blue Dogs appears to be a reaction to being in what might be a tight race.  

That might be a misreading of what a tight race means.

Many think that a close race means that there are a sizable number of "unpersuaded" voters who will decide the election. In such a case, appearing to "move to the center" might work.  But there are also races that are tight because the region is genuinely split between people who are highly unlikely to change their mind (think: North Carolina).  In the latter case, one wins by getting people to the polls and they need a reason to show up.

President's Truman's words were very wise:

I've seen it happen time after time. When the Democratic candidate allows himself to be put on the defensive and starts apologizing for the New Deal and the fair Deal, and says he really doesn't believe in them, he is sure to lose. The people don't want a phony Democrat. If it's a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat, and I don't want any phony Democratic candidates in this campaign.

But when a Democratic candidate goes out and explains what the New Deal and fair Deal really are--when he stands up like a man and puts the issues before the people--then Democrats can win, even in places where they have never won before. It has been proven time and again.

I hope that Bustos doesn't continue down this path.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Bustos' voting record sucks. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Louisiana 1976, Illinibeatle

    Too bad she is the best we can do in that district.

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:44:46 PM PST

  •  Bustos pulled the wool over voters (4+ / 0-)

    It's high time the voters boot her the fuck out and replace her with a better Dem cause she is pretty bad.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:53:16 PM PST

  •  It is a conservative district... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Louisiana 1976, FG, MKSinSA, Calamity Jean

    ...but after the way Sensata kicked their people to the curb in Freeport (and Romney made money on it, natch), I can't see anyone in IL-17 voting Republican. They kicked out Manzullo for Bustos.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:56:19 PM PST

  •  Prairie State Blue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    was on Bustos and her conservative leanings right from the start.  Within three weeks of her taking the oath, they had a post entitled Is Bustos Already Selling Out?  For their complete coverage of Cheri Bustos check out all their stories.

    Also, Howie Klein at DownWithTyranny has done an exceptional job covering her.

    I myself have written a couple of pieces at Daily Kos about Congresswoman Bustos.  Liberty,  Equality, and Trees have written several good diaries.

    I just can't figure out how an experienced activist such as Blue Ollie is willing to suspend disbelief about her true leanings.

    "The working class mind is strange and unpredictable" -- Ty Lookwell

    by Illinibeatle on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 10:08:08 PM PST

    •  I am not an activist (0+ / 0-)

      I admit that after the 2012 election (where I was in the "anyone but Schilling mode" I kind of fell asleep at the wheel.  What woke me up was Bill Edley's op-ed in the Journal Start (I linked to it).

      So, at this point, I haven't done enough research to know if she really is personally conservative or if she is making a bad political move in an effort to win the 2014 midterm.

      From what I can see (comments), it might be the former which...on one hand, heightens my respect for her but..on the other hand, would make me more willing to back a primary opponent.

      But right 2014, it his her or Schilling, and he is unacceptable.

      "Obama won. Get over it."

      by onanyes on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:50:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't get it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    She won pretty decisively against Schilling. It ain't like the 10th where Schneider won by only 3,000 votes. She won by 20,000. Granted, Phil Hare was no progressive, but it's also not like the 17th has the 10th's allergy to electing Democrats.

    So weird.

    •  actually looked up Hare (0+ / 0-)

      He was pretty damn progressive! I had no idea! I just assumed based on how Schilling beat him in 2010 he was a moderate.

      Totally baffled now!

      •  this is what helped sink Hare: (0+ / 0-)

        "At an April 2010 town hall meeting, Hare stated on camera, "I don't worry about the Constitution on this to be honest," in relation to Congressional health-care reform efforts.[14] The cameraman, who was affiliated with the St. Louis Tea Party, was heard to say "jackpot, brother!" after Hare said this, to which Hare responded, "Oh, please." Hare's communications director, Tim Schlittner, later explained that Hare's quote was "taken out of context" and he meant that "he is not worried about this health care law being ruled unconstitutional."[15] However in the same interview, Hare said, "I believe it (the Constitution) says 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'" When it was pointed out to him that was actually from the Declaration of Independence, Hare said, "It doesn't matter to me."[16]"

        from here:

        "Obama won. Get over it."

        by onanyes on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:53:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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