Blue America must be shaking Jim Matheson up since we threw our support behind Claudia Wright in the upcoming primary. I know, you're thinking, could a progressive win an election in the state of "Big Love?" I think she has a chance to beat out a terrible Blue Dog, but in the end we're still sending a powerful message to the Dems. The culture to support an incumbent by Congress is very problematic for a variety of reasons. At times it's a smart play, but as we've seen with this White House, when they support a Joe Lieberman for example, they get nothing in return except for headaches.
Jim Matheson is a terrible Blue Dog who votes with Republicans to recommit bills all the time. As an example, he voted to recommit the hate crimes bill which was a favorite target for Tony Perkins and the Focus on the Family's of the extreme religious right. Luckily they lost and the bill passed.
And since we backed Claudia, Matheson suddenly stands up on the floor of Congress and demands the repeal of DADT. You see a pattern here, right?
OFA is also putting out the call to arms in support of Matheson:
Down with Tyranny:
Wednesday night Obama's inexperienced and astoundingly incompetent political team struck again. This time OFA head Mitch Stewart, who reports to conservative Democratic shill Tim Kaine at the DNC-- a bastion of people power under Howard Dean, now, once again, a failing cog in the corporate machine-- sent out an emergency letter to Utah Democrats begging Obama to help save the mangy ass of anti-healthcare, anti-Choice, anti-gay, anti-environment, anti-reform corporatist and Blue Dog Jim Matheson, whose support has been crumbling as Tuesday's primary nears. With Claudia Wright surging and Matheson panicking, OFA asked Democrats to forget Matheson's putrid voting record-- not putrid by GOP standards; he's one of the original Boehner Boys-- and remember that there was one vote sometime this year where Matheson voted with Obama:
President Obama needs us to elect strong allies who will help him continue his fight for change. This week, one of those allies-- Utah Rep. Jim Matheson-- needs our help. The primary election is June 22nd, so there's no time to lose. [Please kick me if I vote for Obama in 2012, even if the GOP runs Palin or Romney.]
Rep. Jim Matheson stood with the President in support of the Recovery Act in 2009-- creating or saving 25,000 jobs in Utah and helping millions more around the country. He fought hard for the recovery-- and was a major reason we all won this huge victory for families and small businesses. Now, we need your help to fight for him.
Can you help us get the word out? With our Neighbor to Neighbor tool, you can easily make calls from home to voters in Utah's 2nd Congressional District.
Yes, we do expect OFA to do the same thing for John Barrow because Blue America's Regina Thomas is running well in Georgia. In this time of unrest on the progressive side I think Blue America has stood tall and we're holding as many Blue Dogs accountable as possible. It took the conservative movement decades to carve up their party and we've been underway helping to elect as many progressives as we can because our policies actually would help Americans and their families instead of Big Corp.
That OFA message is terribly misleading. The stimulus was the only vote Matheson took in support of the president's agenda. This makes it sound as if he's been a stalwart supporter and it's just ... a lie. If there's one thing we should demand of the White House and Party if they intervene in primaries (which they shouldn't do in the first place) it's that they don't pull that crap on their own voters. They can make the case that Matheson has seniority or that he's more likely to beat the Republican if that's what they think, but this is really dishonest. He is not an ally of the president unless the president is ready to concede that he's working behind the scenes with Republicans to tank his own agenda. (Well ...)
I hope the membership of the OFA is savvy enough to do their own research although you can't blame them for trusting the Party and the White House not to lie to them in quite this way. Who would guess that they would try to elect someone who repeatedly votes with the Republicans over someone who will vote with the Democratic majority most of the time? To anyone who doesn't subscribe to conspiracy theories, it just doesn't make sense.
It is possible to win Utah and Georgia and Blue America did a great job in 2008. I didn't endorse a presidential candidate and neither did Blue America:
Although pressured to do so, Blue America didn't endorse anyone in the presidential primary-- or even in the general election-- last time around. In the primary we didn't feel there was anyone really worth endorsing enough to take our efforts and resources away from helping elect now Congressmembers Alan Grayson, Gary Peters, Carol Shea-Porter and Donna Edwards...
As Digby sez, please Send a Message to the Democrats.