Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It’s a dog eat Blue Dog world: Dems competing against each other for campaign cash

Hah.  See that countdown over there at the top right, just below the header?  Election Day is seven weeks away, and there is a sense of panic gripping the Democrats.  It’s gotten so bad that Senate Democrat operatives are urging donors to abandon maintaining the House majority as a lost cause and make a last-ditch defense in the Senate:

One House Democratic fundraiser said that some Senate operatives are telling big donors and union officials, “The House is lost; you have to save the Senate.”

While top Senate Democrats insist they don’t use that line, some House strategists are playing their own angle. Their money pitch: House Democrats have worked overtime to pass President Barack Obama’s sweeping agenda, parts of which have been stymied in the intractable Senate.

The intense intraparty competition in the final weeks of the campaign shows that “everybody is frantically trying to raise money,” said Tony Podesta, a well-known Washington lobbyist and a top fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Following Christine O’Donnell’s upset victory in the Delaware GOP Senate Primary over liberal, establishment favorite Mike Castle, the media was all abuzz over an alleged rift in the Republican Party between the establishment and the conservative, Tea Party grassroots movement.

Not so much, anymore.  The money flow has a definite center-right swirl to it, as labor unions and the liberal base are losing enthusiasm.  Big money, third-party orchestra conductors like Karl Rove and Haley Barbour are also steering a lot of outside cash towards the Republican side. Campaign coffers that are stuffed with cash tend to smooth over any differences, despite the leftist media’s attempts to fan the flames of controversy.

The real rift is in the Democrat Party,  where the fractious coalition of constituencies is not only starting to come apart along the ideological seams, but also between Democrats in the two legislative chambers.  House Democrats are furious at the Senate for not going along with its much more liberal agenda items (Cap and Trade, Amnesty, DADT, ad nauseum); and Senate Dems are irritated at the House for pushing too hard, too soon and alienating the Vast Main Street Wing Conspiracy that became the Tea Party.

The next five weeks are going to be fun to watch.