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