Chris Perri’s mailer is everything wrong with U.S. politics

Chris Perri and Julie Oliver are the two Dems competing in the run-off today for Texas’ 25th Congressional District, an atrocious gerrymander that stretches between San Marcos in the south and the Fort Worth burbs in the north. The district is rated R+11, which means that it will probably take a historic blue wave + a Roy Moore situation to unseat the GOP incumbent, Roger Williams. Even though the odds are long, it’s been great to see a number of Democrats aggressively campaigning for the seat.

I’ve been most excited about Oliver’s candidacy. I appreciate her experience with poverty,  her insight into anti-poverty programs (she received Medicaid as a teen mom) and her straightforward style. Above all else, I love that she has highlighted the negative impact that the political campaign industry has had on American politics. I believe that professional strategists/consultants bear much of the blame for the mess we’re in.

For instance, this mailer that I received in my mailbox from Perri.

This is why we can’t have nice things. A Democratic primary in a solidly red district should be an opportunity to debate ideas and get progressive activists in the district engaged in local, state and national politics. However, for the career strategist running Perri’s campaign, all that matters is notching another win. That’s why we get these kinds of misleading, petty attacks late in the game (Oliver responds here). And that’s why the electorate gets disillusioned with politics and disengages from the political process. Things will never get better until we get out of this toxic cycle.

Shame on Jim Hightower for taking part in this crap. I don’t know what motivated his participation –– I would guess a personal relationship –– but it definitely undermines any respect I had for him.

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