Heath Crunch Surprise

Blue Dog Heath Shuler of North Carolina is hanging up his congressional cleats as Democrats just don’t seem to be eager to support the guy anymore and he got stuck holding the bag on redistricting.

One of the last remaining members of the Blue Dog Coalition, Shuler was hit by congressional redistricting that made his western North Carolina district much more difficult for a Democrat to win.

The three-term congressman had been floated as a possible candidate for governor in North Carolina, but announced on Wednesday that he would not be running for that office.

Shuler did not address the new challenges that redistricting created for his electoral prospects, but in a statement on Thursday said he wanted to spend more time with his wife and two children.

“This was not an easy decision,” Shuler said. “However, I am confident that it is the right decision. It is a decision I have weighed heavily over the past few months. I have always said family comes first, and I never intended to be a career politician.”

Shuler stressed to reporters that family considerations were his sole reason for leaving Congress.

Bullshit.  He’s leaving because as a Blue Dog he has no support from the leadership…who I might add Heath ran against just after the 2010 election.  This is his just reward, and he damn well knows it.  And I’m betting there wasn’t a single member of Congress in the NC delegation back home who was sorry to see Heath get squeezed out like this by redistricting.  Dems hated him because he was an obstructive ass who voted with the GOP more often than not, Republicans hated him because he was a Dem.  He had no friends in the state, and no friends in the party leadership.  This particular reaped whirlwind knocked him right out of the House, and good riddance to his reactionary, obnoxious self.

Bye, Heath.  Your Congressional career was about as useful as your NFL one.  Here’s the Act Blue page for donations to the Dem running to replace Shuler, Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell, who will most likely be running against…surprise!…yet another GOP business tycoon who’s started out his campaign in December by loaning himself a hundred grand.  I keep saying we need more and better Dems in Congress to back President Obama.  Here’s yet another opportunity for that.

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47 replies
  1. 1
    kd bart says:

    Heath Shuler has a tendency to only last four years in a chosen profession.

  2. 2
    dr. bloor says:

    Shuler did not address the new challenges that redistricting created for his electoral prospects, but in a statement on Thursday said he wanted to spend more time with his wife and two children.

    “Having spent many years throwing interceptions to opposing cornerbacks and then to congressional Republicans, I have decided it’s time to start throwing them to my wife and kids.”

  3. 3
    Butch says:

    I think it’s time to fit politicians with no-bark collars that automatically shock when the phrase “more time with wife and children” is uttered.

  4. 4
    Bulworth says:

    One of the last remaining members of the Blue Dog Coalition

    Wait, you mean the Blue Dog Coalition is facing extinction? Good.

  5. 5
    General Stuck says:

    Oh noes. Just heard we got a third party candidate running for POTUS as a Green Party candidate. Roseanne Barr will be running against the powers that be, representing a viable choice with Presnit Obama. Any body fucks with her, she will sing act all crazy and shit. Maybe Shuler can be her number one.

  6. 6

    And there goes Rahm Emanuels’ most prized recruit from 2006.
    ~

  7. 7
    Cap'n Swag says:

    Shuler is the Village’s idea of the perfect Congressman: someone who is unafraid to cross those partisan lines, willing to strike deals even if it goes against his party, but hated by the opposing party because they can’t stand his chootspah.

    I mean, the TIME and Newsweek pieces write themselves when it comes to Shuler.

  8. 8
    Culture of Truth says:

    He was always a jackass

  9. 9
    Paul in KY says:

    @Bulworth: They ‘blue dogged’ so good they were wiped out by actual Repubs in 2010.

  10. 10
    M Riles says:

    Donating to Bothwell is flushing money down the toilet. Give to a progressive that can actually win like Susan Del Bene in WA-01

  11. 11
    jibeaux says:

    Sadly, NC is getting redistricted all to hell. Not to be Debbie Downer, but Shuler’s district getting made even less competitive means any Democrat running there doesn’t have a snowball’s chance. Joe Hackney and Brad Miller, who are decidedly non-asshats, are also getting redistricted out of a job. It just sucks ass, we kept them out of power for a century — a CENTURY — and when they weasel their way back in they redraw the lines so they can stay in. Only way to beat their large unpopularity.

  12. 12
    Culture of Truth says:

    somewhere david broder is crying dry tears

  13. 13
    rikryah says:

    good riddance. when I heard how he screwed the NC Democrats….was more than happy to see his azz go

  14. 14
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Countdown to WaPo piece titled “Shuler Decision Reveals Major Rift in Democratic House–Imperils Obama Presidency” in 3…2..1..

  15. 15
    Tone In DC says:

    The Redskins wasted a first round pick on this guy. Then came his damn holdout. Then came the aforementioned interceptions (and fumbles and injuries). It took Brad Johnson’s arrival for the team to get on track back in the 1990s.

    Norv Turner is a lot better coach without Shuler. Congress is much better off without him.

  16. 16
    Redshift says:

    But he said he just wanted to spend more time with his family! He said it twice! He stressed it! How can you question that?

  17. 17
    jcgrim says:

    Too bad, Heath was one of Rahm’s boy wonders he strong armed to take back the house from those evil right wingers.
    Who are Rahm’s BBFs now that his blue dogs are dropping out like bloated ticks off a dog’s back?

    Check it out. Jeb & Neil Bush aren’t far behind this group:
    http://preaprez.wordpress.com/.....m-emanuel/

  18. 18
    Zandar says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    Countdown to WaPo piece titled “Shuler Decision Reveals Major Rift in Democratic House—Imperils Obama Presidency” in 3…2..1..

    This. To be followed up by Brooks/Friedman/Will with “Congress Failed Heath Shuler”

  19. 19

    Politics is a team sport and I have no patience for politicians who do not understand that. I have no idea how he had a football career at all.

  20. 20
    Ben Cisco says:

    Another Blew Dog (and embarrassment from my state) heading out the door – here’s some traveling music for ya, bub.

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I really need to get the supersize ultrarobust Schadenfreude meter, my current heavy duty one is feeling the strain.

  22. 22
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @General Stuck:

    The Statue of Liberty accurately depicts my cowering in the corner at the receipt of this news.

  23. 23
    Brandon says:

    CaptainFwiffo: I think you’ll find it more appropriate when you are discussing Shuler and football to put the words “football career” is scare quotes.

  24. 24
    amk says:

    Isn’t shuler a dkos dahling ?

  25. 25
    Zifnab says:

    @Bulworth: Meh. I’d prefer if they just got their acts together and became more populist. No one likes watching Dems lose seats, even if it means losing shmucks like Schuler. He’s still miles ahead of Acting Republican Speaker Eric Cantor.

  26. 26
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Zifnab: Low bar, he could simply stand there and breathe and be above that toad.
    __
    He ran against his own leader. That is the simplest vote a Congresscritter can make and he blew that one. If they vote NeoConfederate, then they are NeoConfederate, branding be damned. Good riddance.

  27. 27
    piratedan says:

    @amk: no…. he’s a blue dog and as such he’s not thought of highly at all.

  28. 28
    amk says:

    Looks like komen learnt the lesson. Will restore Planned Parenthood funding per yahoo breaking news.

  29. 29
    Geeno says:

    @amk: I think he was back in ’06. They figured “best democrat we can get in NC”, but after he won and showed just how conservative he really was. Well, there was significant buyer’s remorse over there.

  30. 30
    amk says:

    @Geeno: Thanks for confirming that I wasn’t going senile. All of markos’ ‘picks’ basically sucked then ?

  31. 31
    Mike E says:

    We are ushering in the New Jim Crow Era here in NC. DINO-enabling jackasses like Heathbar do their part with glee to turn back the tide of history…hard rain’s gonna fall, and these fuckers think they’re on high ground. Good times!

  32. 32
    Waynski says:

    Thank you, Zandar for this post. I just gave some scrilla to Mr. Bothwell, which is especially sweet since my father is an active teatard in that district. I’m really hoping he’s the idiot bluehair that goes through Mr. Boswell’s donor list looking for dirt. He has the kind of time to work for the election of Rethugs and rail about runaway deficits because he collects social security and is alive because of Medicare.

  33. 33
    liberal says:

    @Zifnab:
    That’s really the nub here.

    I despise the Blue Dogs at a visceral level, yet from a nominally rational viewpoint, it seems that the correct viewpoint is “as liberal as can reasonably be expected, given the politics of the voters in the district.”

    These days that’s my take on things, with the proviso that acts that go out of their way to sabotage the party should count as big negatives.

    So…Nelson NE was (according to Amer. for Dem. Action, anyway) more liberal than any Republican senator. Given how right-wing NE is otherwise, that makes him pretty good. Except for the crap he tried to pull during the health care debate.

  34. 34
    curiousleo says:

    @jibeaux:

    Sadly, NC is getting redistricted all to hell. Not to be Debbie Downer, but Shuler’s district getting made even less competitive means any Democrat running there doesn’t have a snowball’s chance. Joe Hackney and Brad Miller, who are decidedly non-asshats, are also getting redistricted out of a job. It just sucks ass, we kept them out of power for a century—a CENTURY —and when they weasel their way back in they redraw the lines so they can stay in. Only way to beat their large unpopularity.

    So very true. Both Hackney & Miller are top shelf folks.

    The Repubs win ONE election in NC in a freaking 100yrs and they’ve set about destroying as much as they can in my lovely state.

  35. 35
    The Moar You Know says:

    So, another seat goes to the GOP and this is good news?

    Priorities, people. A Blue Dog is better than no dog at all. Or perhaps you’re all taking a good look at the current GOP clusterfuck that’s a direct result of their purity purges and thinking, “man, I want me some of that national humiliation and unelectability!”

    As you wish.

  36. 36
    Greenweaver says:

    Hey I live here in the 11th of NC. Don’t count out our famous atheist councilman yet. He is extremely liberal but popular, well spoken and not afraid to engage in reasoned discourse. I’m voting for him and I’ll probably even knock on some doors…

  37. 37
    grandpa john says:

    @Geeno: Well considering the total asshole he won the seat from It was an improvement

  38. 38
    gene108 says:

    @jibeaux:

    Right-wingers picked a good year to get all fired up. The 2010 elections will haunt this country for a decade.

    Republicans will be disproportionately represented, because of how districts get drawn.

    It really sucks guys like Miller are going to do down. He represents a good chunk of Raleigh and Northern Wake Co., which isn’t nearly as conservative as the northern parts of his district.

    I think the redistricting will keep Republicans in charge of the House for a long time.

  39. 39

    A point about Shuler: The issue was never that he was a conservative Democrat, it was that he was a DISLOYAL Democrat, who chose to undermine his party at every opportunity.

    Kind of like Joe Lieberman, but without the charm.

  40. 40
    Cap'n Swag says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Have you actually looked into what Shuler’s done? He’s basically a moderate Republican. He voted against the stimulus, against the health care law and for “Cut, Crap and Balance.” He voted against providing funding to NPR.

    What exactly is the point of having Shuler play for the Dem side if he’s going to be a key Republican vote?

  41. 41
    Ben says:

    @gene108:
    FYI, Miller announced his retirement last week…

  42. 42
    NR says:

    Bullshit. He’s leaving because as a Blue Dog he has no support from the leadership…

    Are you kidding? The Democratic leadership loves them some Blue Dogs. They’re the perfect excuse for the leadership doing what it really wants to do–implement right-wing policy.

  43. 43
    Heron says:

    I agree that it’s good to see him go, but why exactly do you think the DNC and the Obama WH aren’t friends to the Blue Dogs? I seem to recall the entire Democratic establishment running hard against Liberal-supported candidates in 2010. That’s not to mention all the scorn, from “cry-babies” to “Professional Leftist”, the national party leadership has been heaping on us for the last two years, or the time and effort they’ve put in to dismantling the protest and grass-roots movements that did so much to get Mr. Obama elected in 2008.

  44. 44
    Heron says:

    @jibeaux: The only way. You don’t have to have policies a majority genuine likes if you’ve got a computer that can draw a district so you’ll always win it.

  45. 45
    John 2.0 says:

    What’s the point of having Shuler? Because whoever wins that seat is not going to be competing against a democrat, but against Virginia Foxx and Patty McHenry to see who can be the craziest right wing loon in Western NC.

    I wasn’t a huge fan of Shuler, or his staff. But he kept the crazy capped at a moderate level for his constituency. I’ve met people from west of Asheville who, when they find out I work for the state, ask me if I’m a ‘revenuer.’ Those are the folks that are going to elect the next House member.

  46. 46
    Ryan says:

    @jcgrim: Are you not at all appreciative of the victories that the Democratic party won in the 110th and 111th congresses ONLY because Rahm was able to find Dems who could win in conservative districts and give Democrats the gavel? No? Would you have had health care even come to the floor? Do any of you recognize that it’s not just these moderate members who are more conservative than you are…that the people they REPRESENT are more conservative than you are? Have you even been to this district? It’s 15 Appalachian counties. If you want someone more progressive than Shuler, go change the minds of those 700,000 people who sent him to Washington!!! Until then, Heath is (was) the most progressive candidate that you’ll get out of that district. But go ahead. Convince yourself that this is still some sort of victory for you.

  47. 47
    BroD says:

    “Bye, Heath. Your Congressional career was about as useful as your NFL one.” Ouch,truth hurts!

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