Both the Democrats and Republicans are having a bit of a problem with their bases.
On the Democrat side, frustrated by the continued timidity and failure of their elected representatives, Progressives have decided to go after the Blue Dogs. The record number of retirements this year also is a result of discontent in the base.
Democrat’s best hope right now – is the Republicans self-destruct. That hope couldn’t exactly be described as forlorn anymore.
Democratic activists flooding money into a primary challenge against Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) say the race isn’t simply about defeating the incumbent. It is also about rebuking a Democratic-controlled Congress that they say isn’t pursuing an aggressive, populist agenda.
After Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter announced Monday that he would challenge Lincoln, liberal donors from groups such as MoveOn.org poured more than $1 million into his campaign, an unusually high sum for the first two days of campaigning. Liberals blasted Lincoln with anti-Washington rhetoric that sounded more like the conservative tea party movement. The groups are particularly critical of her opposition to the public option, as it is known, in the health-care bill and her support in 2008 for a Wall Street bailout.
The primary contest illustrates the challenge Democrats face in trying to please activists who worked hard to elect President Obama and congressional Democrats and now want to see results. They also want to lure independent voters who helped the party win the 2006 and 2008 elections but now express wariness about the Democratic agenda.
“As Bill Halter says, Washington is broken. It’s really remarkable when you have a strong Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate and a Democratic president and still not get a lot of things passed,” said Charles Chamberlain, political director for the activist group Democracy for America, which has encouraged its members to donate to Halter. “Some of that blame rests on Republicans, but the Democratic Party is not standing up to lead.”
On the Republican side – embarrassed by the Party’s antics, continued shift into right-wingdizzie land, and insulted by the recent RNC fundraising memo which made fun of donors… The Big donors are deserting in droves.
A Republican donor “ashamed” of a recent controversial GOP fund-raising presentation says that he “will no longer contribute” to any organized Party effort, reports Politico.Mark DeMoss, the head of a Christian public relations firm in Atlanta, wrote in a letter to RNC chair Michael Steele — which he shared with Politico — that he would continue to contribute to individual candidates.The presentation by RNC Finance Director Rob Bickhart at a GOP meeting in Boca Grande, Fla., encouraged using “fear” to solicit contributions, depicted President Obama as Batman villain the Joker, and also caricatured House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.In the letter, DeMoss called those depictions “shameful, immature and uncivil, at best.”Some wealthy contributors are shunning the Republican National Committee and donating instead to the other GOP campaign committees or directly to candidates – in many cases because of discontent with the leadership of Michael S. Steele, the party’s national chairman.
“I don’t plan to give to the Republican National Committee this cycle, and no other major donor I know is planning to either,” Christine Toretti, a Pennsylvania RNC member and a longtime major donor to the RNC and other GOP campaign committees and causes, told The Washington Times.