Ousted Blue Dog Kurt Schrader Is Pissed

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.

Rep. Kurt Schrader in happier times.

4 thoughts on “Ousted Blue Dog Kurt Schrader Is Pissed

  1. WOOF! 

    What a take-down!

    Remind me not to p*ss-you-off, maha!

    And you're 100% right, of course!

    You take drug-lobby money to do their big-pharma bosses' dirty work, and vote against using our government's ability to leverage when negotiating contracts?

    "No bulk-buying for me!  I'm a patriot!!!"

    You're an idiot!

    No more Sam's or BJ's for you!

    Get the crap you need at your local bodega.

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  2. Two points. Incumbents from both parties have a sense of entitlement that no normal person could wrap his head around. To that point – incumbents spend between a third to half their work week raising money for the next election. This looks ridiculous when you consider the incumbent has a 95% chance of re-election. (Stay with me.)  SO why would they spend hours every week in a call center in a cube city near the capital reading from a script begging for contributions? The incumbent is vulnerable in the PRIMARY! The primary is WAY MORE SIGNIFICANT than the General election. The main reason is low turnout. A relatively small number of activists have huge leverage when total turnout is low. Both parties and ALL incumbents know what no talking heads will say out loud on any major network. Voters can take control if they organize there!

    So members of the House fundraise in case they have a Primary challenge – it’s almost the only way they can lose.

    Second point. Centrist has nothing to do with gun control or abortion. It has to do with protecting big business from taxes and regulation. THAT'S the significance of the vote to prevent the federal government from price shopping for drugs. We (the taxpayer) pay the highest rate for drugs for seniors as a matter of law – a law passed by the GOP in the Bush Administration but protected by enough sold-out Democrats to ensure windfall profits for big Pharma.

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    • Wiki turned up interesting dirt on Schrader.  Married in 1975; 5 kids; divorced in 2011. 

      "On December 31, 2016, Schrader married former Pepco lobbyist Susan Mora".

      Pepco isn't Pepsi, it's the Potomac Electric Power Company, a DC utility; it's a subsidiary of Exelon, "the largest regulated electric utility in the United States".  In 2011, Business Insider named the company (PEPCO) first on its list of "The 19 Most Hated Companies In America".  But hey, they knew how to hire (cute?) "Lobbyists"…

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