Turns out that Donald Trump isn’t the only sore loser. Remember the Oregon House primary in which the Democratic incumbent, Kurt Schrader, lost to progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner? Today Schrader is all sour grapes about the Democratic Party.
In his first interview since his defeat, Schrader told a local television station that he believes McLeod-Skinner will lose the race for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District in November.
“The red wave begins in Oregon – Oregon’s 5th district,” he told KATU on Thursday. “That’s unfortunate.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have both pledged their full support for McLeod-Skinner, but Schrader has yet to officially endorse her.
Schrader also revealed in the interview that there is a “significant chance” he will endorse independent centrist Betsy Johnson’s gubernatorial campaign, rather than backing Democratic nominee Tina Kotek, the former speaker of the state’s House of Representatives.
“I think people are exhausted with the extreme, far-right Trumpites. I think they’re very concerned about the socialist drift on the Democrat left,” Schrader said. “So that opens up the middle.”
But what middle? And a look at Schrader’s record suggests the party is better off without him. This article goes on to inform us that Schrader “was one of two House Democrats to vote against a package of stricter gun regulations that included raising the legal eligibility age for purchase of a semi-automatic rifle to 21. Five Republicans voted for the whole package and 10 Republicans voted for the stand-alone bill to raise the eligibility age for purchasing long guns; Schrader did not vote for the latter, either.”
So standing in the way of gun control is “centrist,” now?
Let’s see what else is “centrist” — Last year, Schrader was one of three House Democrats who used their seats on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to block a vote on a bill to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. That’s “centrist”?
More recently Ryan Grim wrote at The Intercept,
A super PAC funded by the pharmaceutical industry blew more than a million dollars in an effort to salvage the career of former Blue Dog Coalition Chair Kurt Schrader, the Oregon Democrat who cast the deciding vote against drug pricing reform in the House Energy and Commerce Committee and organized with Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., to derail President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. His opponent, Jamie McLeod-Skinner, lambasted him repeatedly as the “Joe Manchin of the House.” Because Oregon votes by mail, and some ballots were blurred and unreadable in areas favorable to Schrader, results may not be known until early next week, but despite a funding disparity of some 10 to 1, the incumbent is on the ropes.
As I wrote last year, Schrader was one of the Dem “centrists” who screwed up the plan to pass the Build Back Better reconciliation bill. They were blocking the President’s agenda while screaming that it wasn’t them, but the progressives, who were blocking the President’s agenda.
My impression of the shrinking number of Democratic “centrists” is that they sincerely believe the party belongs to them and the progressives are interlopers, even though there are a lot more people in the Progressive Caucus than in the Blue Dog Coalition. It’s that sense of entitlement that used to whiff off of die-hard Clinton supporters. They and only they were “real Democrats.”
The problem with the “centrists” is that they most closely resemble pre-Reagan era Republicans than anything else. If they have a political future, it’s more likely in a Republican party rebuilding after Trumpism collapses. If it does. We need them in the Democratic Party like we need more mosquitoes.