Meet the 'Bad Blues': House Democrats Who Deserve to Be Primaried by Progressives

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    • #80574
      • Total Posts: 6,257

      Few Democrats in Congress have earned faster or fiercer notoriety among progressives nationwide than Cheri Bustos. Just 10 weeks after becoming chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in early January, she imposed a new policy that blacklists any consultant or vendor who works for a primary challenger against an incumbent House Democrat. Despite withering and ongoing pushback from a wide range of progressive forces, including dozens of chapters of College Democrats and leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Bustos has been immovable. “We are an incumbent-friendly organization,” Bustos told College Democrats of Illinois leaders who challenged her about the DCCC blacklist at their convention in May.

      “Incumbents are being protected, even when their policies are out of step with their constituents,” Our Revolution board member James Zogby wrote. “The Democratic Party is hurting itself with this policy, but more importantly, it is hurting millions of Americans who need radical change right now.” Activists warn that the Bustos blacklist policy will actually undermine party growth, jeopardizing rather than protecting the party’s hold on the House. “This isn’t about keeping a majority, it’s not about Democratic priorities, and it’s not about real representation,” said a statement from Justice Democrats. “It’s about powerful insiders protecting powerful insiders against the true will of the people, no matter what the cost.”

      Bustos is in her fourth term representing the sprawling 17th District in northwest Illinois—a (slightly altered) district that was represented by the late populist Democrat Lane Evans, one of six co-founders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Bustos, a member of the corporate-allied New Democrat Coalition, is out of sync with large numbers of progressive constituents. After defeating her GOP opponent by more than 20 points in November 2016 (in a district Donald Trump won by less than 1 percent), Bustos went back to Capitol Hill and voted with President Trump more than one-third of the time in 2017-18, according to FiveThirtyEight’s tally. Whether her record at the DCCC and on the House floor will cause her problems with a progressive primary challenger next year remains to be seen.

      “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
      ~Samuel Clemens

    • #80622
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