I have railed before about congressman Dan Lipinski who since 2004 has represented a very safe Democratic seat in the 3rd district of Illinois that he ‘inherited’ from his father. i.e., his father held it for a long time and stepped aside for his son to take it. Lipinski has had the support of the Democratic party despite the fact that his views are pretty much close to Republican positions on key issues. He is anti-LGBT and anti-women and he gets funding from the petroleum industry and big corporations.
In 2018 he was challenged in the primary by a progressive Marie Newman but she lost narrowly. She is running again to unseat him in this year’s primary but she is facing opposition from the party establishment because of their rule that they would never work again with anybody who works for a candidate that challenges an incumbent. This has scared away several consultants who dropped her campaign.
In response to Newman’s challenge, Lipinski has gone into full Republican fear-mongering mode, warning that she would join with people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to implement the dreaded progressive agenda.
Rep. Dan Lipinski, who calls himself an Illinois Democrat, is making turncoat former Democrat Jeff Van Drew look principled. At least Van Drew quit the party and joined the Republicans. Lipinski has decided to go full Republican in his Democratic primary race against Marie Newman.
Daily Kos obtained the first mailer he’s sent out this year for his reelection (you can read it below the break) and it’s a doozy. First off, the letterhead, declaring him “Our commonsense congressman,” and then the launch into full-on Republican talking points. He says he’s facing a “fierce” (that’s true) challenge from “a far-left extremist who believes that this is a Democratic majority district, its representative should be a radical progressive.” Like the entire “radical” Democratic House which supports a woman’s right to determine her own health choices. Lipinski is the sole forced birther Democrat left in the House.
It gets worse, much worse. “My opponent,” he says, launching into the written equivalent of a horror-movie whisper, “has even been endorsed by socialist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC.” Ooooooh, scary. “Also known as,” just like someone from the FBI’s most-wanted list. Then he details all those scary things she supports like “so-called ‘Medicare for All,'” which he flat-out lies about, saying it would “eliminate medicare.” And “AOC’s extreme ‘Green New Deal,'” which would take your cars and airplanes away “within ten years.” They’re going to take your car away and make you “radically upgrade” your home, he says, or tear it down.
There is a congressional caucus known as ‘blue dog Democrats’ who are generally conservative in their policy positions. That group has been reduced drastically in recent years from 54 in 2009 to 14 members in 2012 to 25 now, with most of them losing their seats to Republicans in 2010, maybe because voters may have not seen any reason to vote for a quasi-Republican when they could vote for a Republican. Lipinski is of course one of them.
Given that it is a safe Democratic seat and that whoever is the party’s choice will win in the general election, the decision by the party establishment to support Lipinski over someone much closer to what the Democratic party says they stand for tells us much about their real agenda.
This time around, Newman has picked up more endorsements, giving her a better chance of defeating Lipinski. It would give me great pleasure if she wins because it would show the party establishment that there is a limit to how much they can tilt these races in favor of their chosen candidates.