Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sen. Begich Joins the Blue Dogs - Immediately Removed From Blue America Fundraising Page

Alaska's newly elected Senator, Mark Begich, has been flirting with the Blue Dogs. He's made it official:

WASHINGTON – A diverse group of 15 Senate Democrats today announced the formation of a new moderate coalition that will meet regularly to shape public policy. The group’s goal is to work with the Senate leadership and the new administration to craft common-sense solutions to urgent national problems.

The Moderate Dems Working Group will meet every other Tuesday before the Democratic Caucus lunch to discuss legislative strategies and ideas. The Moderate Dems held their second meeting Tuesday to focus on the upcoming budget negotiations and the importance of passing a fiscally responsible spending plan in the Senate.

Leading the new group are Democratic Senators Evan Bayh of Indiana, Tom Carper of Delaware and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas.
“This group can be an effective advocate for compromise within a Senate that is often divided along party lines,” Sen. Mark Begich said. “We are about getting things done and finding common ground on issues of controlling federal spending and providing accountability to taxpayers.

When it comes to those issues and areas such as energy and health care, our coalition can be a voice of moderation.”

I'm sorely disappointed, but not taken entirely by surprise on this. Sen. Begich's press release goes on to name the team and feed a line of bullshit about their "goals":

Other members of the moderate coalition are Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet of Colorado, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Bill Nelson of Florida, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Mark Warner of Virginia.

At the working group meeting, Senator Bayh acknowledged that such a large group was unlikely to agree on all major issues before the Senate. Yet the Moderate Dems are joined by a shared commitment to pursue pragmatic, fiscally sustainable policies across a range of issues, such as deficit containment, health care reform, the housing crisis, educational reform, energy policy and climate change.

“We have a wonderful opportunity to break gridlock in Washington and accomplish big things for the American people, but we also have a responsibility to pursue sensible solutions that will work,” Bayh said. “Our group seeks to work collaboratively with the Obama administration and Senate leadership to make sure legislation is crafted in a practical way that will solve people’s problems. It’s going to take all of us working together in the Senate to get the 60 votes necessary to deliver the change the American people deserve.”

The Press Release isn't yet posted on Sen. Begich's site, so I'll post it in its entirety:

“The number of moderate Democrats has grown substantially in the past two Congresses – and in America. We can play a constructive role in helping our leadership and the Obama administration get things done in this new Congress,” Senator Carper said. “Now, more than ever, the Senate needs to put ideology aside, to find common ground on legislation, and to deliver results for the American people.”

“Arkansans are pragmatic and expect results from their leaders in Congress,” Senator Lincoln said. “I’m proud to play a constructive role as we work with the administration and Senate leadership to help reach consensus on important issues and serve as a voice for fiscal responsibility.

Of the working group’s formation, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “If we are going to deliver the change Americans demanded and move our country forward, it will require the courage to get past our political differences and get to work. Established organizations like Third Way and new ventures like this group offer us a new opportunity to get things done, and I support every effort that puts real solutions above political posturing.”

As an
officer of the Alaska Democratic Party, I'm fully obligated to put the most positive face on this possible.

Paint that smile on to my frown, will you?

The progressive fundraising group, Blue America, which hosted Sen. Begich for two online fundraisers and touted his candidacy through the 2008 campaign season, immediately reacted, removing Sen. Begich from their fundraising page.

Here's Sen. Evan Bayh announcing the group earlier today. Apparently, the White House has responded favorably to this coalition:


Anonymous said...

'I'm sorely disappointed, but not taken entirely by surprise on this. Sen. Begich's press release goes on to name the team and feed a line of bullshit about their "goals"'

I would be too Phil! I mean WTF is the purpose of this little enclave??
Kiss Repub A$$? And branding themselves as Moderate's? Is that like "Mavericky"??? There is already the "Party of NO" now we have another little(no) group?

Anonymous said...

Bullshit - Begich isn't a moderate. Never has been - never will be. He is just plan leberal.

Phil, I do not believe your angst. You know this is just for show. This is a trick to try and get a few more votes when Mark and Sarah face off in 5 1/2 years.

Liberals don't worry. Mark will be there on every close important vote. If the Liberals have the vote in the bag, Mark may vote the other way just for show.

Mark is a pure politician. Say and do anything to get elected. Mark has no soul He is afraid to stand up and be counted.

Unknown said...

Some possible contributing factors:

-Maybe Begich doesn't understand economics and thinks that cutting spending is a good idea in a recession.
Solution: Somebody needs to feed him a lot of Robert Reich and maybe some Robert Kuttner to get him briefed on reality-based economics and the need for government expenditure during a recession.

But also,
Maybe Begich thinks he needs to sell out and be the second coming of Ted Stevens.
Maybe Begich thinks that politics are going to be unchanged six years down the road and playing to the middle will somehow pay off.
Maybe Begich is is ignorant to the fact that most of the people in this group are soulless shells.
Maybe Begich thinks this will buy him some clout or give him leverage to work what he considers to be a progressive agenda, as if he could possibly out-horse-trade the others in the group, or persuade them more than their lobbyist overlords.

Maybe somebody should investigate who's been whispering in the Senator's ear.
Maybe somebody should wake him up to the fact that this isn't the Anchorage Assembly he's dealing with.

Unknown said...

Did he have to fill out any questionnaires for progressive groups to raise money for him? Has he gone back yet on any of the answers he gave?

Anonymous said...

ah, yes, Begich has been working hand in hand with the Repugnants since his first day in office and before.

Maybe now, phil will report on Begich joining in with the Repugnants to slash much necessary funding from the stimulus package. To cite just a few examples, he worked to cut education funding, housing funding for the poor, science funding, and healthcare funding.

Were it not for Begich's help, the stimulus package would have brought even more funding for Alaska than we ended up with.

Maybe now, phil will report on Begich's teaming up to try to kill any oversight or review of the necessity to continue to pour hundreds of billions into the failed Star Wars missile defense charade.

Maybe now, phil will report on the several times Begich has been reported voting against the Democratic party line on multiple Senate votes.

Maybe now, phil could report on Begich trying to obstruct Obama's efforts to do away with the Bush Endangered Species Act changes.

Maybe now, phil could report on Begich being the keynote speaker at the gathering of the Mod Squad PAC back on March 4th.

Maybe phil will keep ignoring Begich and hope both Begich and he can continue to fly under the radar.


Anonymous said...

I really AM disappointed. Papa Nick is rolling in his grave. Those of us who supported Mark need to really bend his ear when he comes home next month, and let him know that the Blue Dogs are NOT ACCEPTABLE to Alaskan Democrats --- that Bayh, Landrieu, and company are NOT helpful to the Obama administration and will NOT help bring the change the nation needs. We need to confront him on this at every opportunity, in public and in private.

It's time for Democrats to grow a spine. We need less Harry Reid caving in to filibuster threats to the Party Of No, and let them filibuster, which will only demonstrate how obstructive they are. IT DOES NO GOOD TO CAVE IN TO REPUBLICANS, and Mark needs to know that Alaskans expect him to be a real Democrat, not a Republican Lite Blue Dog.

Unknown said...

Although Phil will do it a bit tongue in cheek like he did with Ethan Berkowitz, because he's an officer of the Democratic Party or whatever, we can be expect, due to the introduced icon of the photoshopped picture, that there will be more to come, accompanied by Alaska's Blue Dog's face with an uncomfortably red tint.

clark said...

red would be appropriate. he should be very embarrassed about this. what a group! they're all bozos on that bus. i wonder in what ways he thinks this will improve alaska's image?

Philip Munger said...

Anon @ #5 - get your own Goddam blog if you have so much to say. You can call it "phil should despise mark begich but he doesn't" or some other fucking title...

clark said...

oh, that guy has his own site. it is called Precinct 1080.

Anonymous said...

Begich couldn't take a leadership role on something as benign as emissions testing. One term would be fine with me, or maybe challenge Palin. She wants to take only 55% of the stimulus money. She should be unemployed.

Anonymous said...

I constantly amazes me that people like phil will write their thoughts on the internet for all to see, and choose to accept comments on what he writes, but when he doesn't like a mirror held in front of him, he attacks the person holding the mirror.

Can't seem to address the subject matter, instead he reverts to ad hominem attacks ala Coulter or some other witless winger.

Anonymous said...

Ignore the Anonymous asshole Phil. Even though I don't care for Begich, I voted for him because he wasn't Stevens. Begich appears to be far from a true Progressive. Let's put up a better canidate next election.

Anonymous said...

baja and phil both seem to think ignoring reality will serve their interests just fine.

In either case, both share do seem to share in an inability to address the specifics of Begich's actions.

And in baja's case, his suggestion that we put up a better candidate next time only occurred to him after he read it elsewhere, and at that, only after he finally realized he supported and voted for someone who didn't represent his interests.

He came a bit late to the dance, shall we say.

Baja was just clueless, phil maybe just doesn't appear to want to admit he was played.

Either that or perhaps phil can justify Begich and his actions.

Seems if phil is interested in 'Spreading the word about the growing presence of progressive Alaskans and their powerful ideas',

he might want to spread the word about people who only claim to be progressive.

Anonymous said...

Since when is moving to the far left a good idea for any senator let along a senator from a state as conservative as Alaska. If you think that the senator will vote for the far left is a legitmate idea let along good politics you are all deranged. Second of all Begich has voted with the president 100% of the time so far and also so have all but 2 of the moderate dems. I think all of you need to stop dreaming and maybe work for democrats in your state so it is possible for a senator or a congressman(if you ever beat the most corrupt congressman in the nation) to vote for a more liberal agenda. until that happens you should expect your senator to vote 100% of the time with the left wing of the democratic party.