Notably, while this letter is identified with the party "moderates", it doesn't include some of the more high-profile members of the "moderate" wing of the party -- folks like Elissa Slotkin, Abigail Spanberger, or Lauren Underwood. Indeed, nine names is a rather infirm showing. So who are the Dems that did sign on? Are they "usual suspect" sorts, or surprises? Here's the list:
- Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey
- Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia
- Filemon Vela of Texas
- Jared Golden of Maine
- Henry Cuellar of Texas
- Vicente Gonzalez of Texas
- Ed Case of Hawaii
- Jim Costa of California
- Kurt Schrader of Oregon
Rep. Gottheimer is at the helm of the "Problem
Starters Solvers Caucus," and this sort of letter has his fingerprints all over it -- the only signatories who aren't part of the cause are Reps. Vela and Case (though again it's perhaps more notably how few PSC members signed (not even a third, by my count). Case has always been far too moderate for the deep blue hue of Hawaii; I don't know too much about Vela (or Rep. Gonzalez). Bourdeaux is a freshman congresswoman and a rare R-to-D House flip in 2020; she represents a swingy district but I still expect better. Reps. Golden and Schrader broke from the Democratic Caucus to vote against the American Rescue Plan Act because it was too generous to too many Americans -- they've already proven themselves capable of being chaos muppets. Rep. Cuellar is one of the worst Democrats in the House -- I sincerely hope he meets the same second-times-the-charm fate as Dan Lipinski and gets ousted by Jessica Cisneros in their rematch. Jim Costa likewise seems to be completely taking his seat for granted in California -- but hey, maybe he won't have a seat anymore after redistricting!
So basically, of all the people on this letter, the only one who maybe I care about listening to is Bourdeaux -- possibly Vela too, but I doubt it. In all, though, this is a stupid push on behalf of bad politics, and the Democratic leadership should tactfully but firmly tell them to suck on a root.