Firstly, I have doubts as to the validity of anyone who starts off a comment by essentially saying 'I'm not a fan of so and so... isn't so and so just so damn swell and perfect!!' However, I'm not going to get into whether or not most of these guys defending Meehan are trolls or Team Meehan Members. Why? It doesn't matter. Their argument is flawed anyway.
I'm not a fan of Meehan- he and his acolytes were downright nasty to us Deval workers back at the '05 Convention in Lowell- but enough with dumping on the guy. I have no problem with him keeping his campaign money for his own campaign use. The people who contributed to Marty Meehan contributed to Marty Meehan- not to some guy in Florida or Tennessee. Most people who contribute to candidates expect that the money will be spent on lawn signs, bumper stickers, mailings, etc. to help the actual candidate to whom they gave it.
If Marty Meehan decides that it's in his best interest to send some money to the DCCC then that's great, good for him. But if he decides that he wants to keep it in his own campaign and use it for the purposes intended by his contributors, then he shouldn't be slammed for it. If the DCCC is so incompetent and ineffectual that it is incapable of raising money from other sources, rather than shaking down incumbents, then screw them. The same goes for the individual candidates. If they are incapable of raising the money and generating the grassroots support that it takes to win, it's not Marty Meehan's fault.
Lynne touched on her disappointment in Meehan (and Lynne's in his Congressional District) - and her disappointment in people defending his selfish, greedy, slithering ways. However, I'm going to really analyze why defending Meehan is... well... stupid.
Almost everyone who has defended Meehan has done so on the premise that supporters who are contributing to his fat pockets are expressly supporting him, not anyone else. They make it sound as if he doesn't have the right to send the money supporters gave him to other campaigns. That argument is flawed at two levels: first, Meehan gives money away already. If you have such a problem with it, why start complaining now? More importantly, however, is that the bulk of Meehan's nearly 5 million dollar warchest isn't given by the average Jane and Joe. It's not from people in his Congressional District, it's from the pockets of lobbyists all over. Defending him on that premise is just giving lobbyists that much more power.
That's a pretty stinging rebuke on Democracy, right? Well, that's not the only thing that disturbs democracy from this situation. Massachusetts voters should question any congressional candidate who would want to greedily horde five million bucks. Meehan is clearly doing it for a Senate run - and more power to him for wanting to run. However, do Massachusetts voters want any candidate who has that much more money than anyone else able to run? Don't we want a competitive Senate race - if John Kerry retires?
Finally, people said that they don't want their contributions to Meehan going elsewhere. Why? Those people Meehan gives to may not share their values. Ignoring the fact that Meehan has given hundreds of thousands to other candidates or the DCCC over the course of his career anyway, supporters need to ask themselves an important question: do we want Meehan powerless and rich or powerful and slightly less rich? If Democrats don't win a majority, Meehan is going to continue in the minority... and continue to be next to useless. Democrats in the House have been about as useless as an ass on an elbow while in the minority. Even if Meehan gave to candidates who may not share his stance 100%, if Meehan helped get a majority Democrats would finally be in charge. That would mean Meehan would become at least twice as effective since we'd be able to push through Democratic bills. Heck, if Meehan gave a generous donation, he may just get the clout to push through a few of his own ideas that could directly benefit his own district. There are perks to getting Democrats elected.
So enough of this irrational defense of a greedy Congressman. He has by far more money on hand than any other safe Democrat in the House of Representatives. He's threatening Democracy by hoarding cash. He's getting large sums of money from lobbyists - this isn't people-powered money of small donations and lots of supporters. He's being an selfish SOB and that won't change until people convince him about the importance of winning on November 7th.