Why Isn’t EMILY’s List More Influential?

Simple; Nikki Tinker.

Ok, maybe not Tinker herself per se, but the general principle is there. The basic problem here is that EMILY’s List is simply too narrow of an issues group (you have to be pro-choice, a Democrat, and a woman to attract their endorsement), to really garner much of a profile in the broader spectrum, and it sets them too far out of the broader center-left coalition. In this instance, for example, EMILY’s List really set off some bells, and a few tempers, when they endorsed Tinker over the incumbent Congressman Steve Cohen, who has an impeccable progressive record. And for the most part they were virtually alone, and with good reason. You’re not exactly going to amass much political favor if you go around endorsing the opponents of members of Congress who agree with you on the issues on the basis of pure identity politics, to say nothing of looking marginal and petty in the process. And now Tyner is compounding it with race-baiting and Jew baiting in a Democratic primary campaign, which has basically turned everyone who might have even been remotely supportive against her, and EMILY’s List, so far as I know, has yet to rescind their endorsement.

In terms of local races, the money EMILY’s List is capable of raising for their candidates can be really, really helpful. But nationally speaking, between pigeon-holing themselves by gender (and yes I know that’s the point of the organization, to get more women in politics, but might I suggest doing that by targeting open or Republican held seats) and cutting themselves off at the knees by giving Democratic incumbents little reason to feel particularly warm to them. After all, if reliably progressive Democratic Congressman who stand with EMILY’s List can’t trust the group to reward them for their substance, what reason do they have to help, or pay mind to, EMILY’s List?