Huffington Post reporter, Jennifer Bendery, has a problem. She can’t tell “Fish from Fowl,” or in the case of downstate Illinois Congresswomen, Cheri Bustos (D-17th)… Ms. Bendery can’t tell a Blue Dog from a Progressive Democrat.
Why is that important?
It’s important because DC corporate Democrats, and their millionaire consultants, decided NOT to fire themselves, and thereby change party leadership. They didn’t even acknowledge that Democrats should become a “People’s Party” once again.
Instead, they are blaming others for the 2016 loss. “The Russians Did it.” “The FBI Did it.” “Those Rust Belt racist, bigoted, deplorables did it.” And so what’s DC’s solution….”We need to get better organized in rural areas cause they’re too stupid to see our brilliance.”
And that’s where Cong. Bustos’s “boot camp that’s training local progressives to run for office” comes into play… “Let’s convert them to our corporate BS.”
First, Cheri Bustos is NOT a progressive. She's a member of the Blue Dog Democratic Caucus, which is the exact opposite of a progressive Democrat. Her US. Chamber of Commerce rating in 2014 was 77%, the highest of any Illinois Democrat...and almost as high (83%) as Rodney Davis (R-Il 13th) from a neighboring district.
Second, contrary to this article, she was very aggressive when seeking the Democratic Party 2012 nomination. I know…because I called two of my congressional contacts on her behalf…it was the worst political mistake of my life.
Third, her district is NOT Blue Dog territory. From 1982 to 2006, the 17th.CD was represented by former Democratic Cong. Lane Evans. He was a founder of the Progressive Caucus. One congressional session, Evans won the most anti-Reagan voting record in the House. His Chief of Staff, Phil Hare, served from 2006 to 2011, after Evans resigned due to poor health. Hare lost in the 2010 Republican landslide, which was partly created by the Blue Dogs' opposition to progressive health care and economic reforms.
Bustos is a Blue Dog corporate Democrat and a Dog’s Breakfast for working Americans. Her Chamber of Commerce economic messaging is the exact opposite from the message Democrats need to address in downstate Illinois.
When Democrats had a 201membership in 2013-2014 - Bustos ranked as 183 most progressive Democrat. She was on the flip side of Cong. Evans and Hare.
Finally, if DC Democrats don’t change, under Illinois’ flip of the coin deadlock re-map process, the GOP could be writing the congressional map in 2020. Then Bustos will not be running in one of the MOST Democratic Downstate congressional districts since World War II. If Bustos gets a new GOP congressional map, she's Blue Dog meat.