Back in 2007 and 2008 there were two people who seemed consistently correct in their pre-election analysis in the long primary season and then the General. One of them was Nate Silver and his 538, but his analysis was (and is) mostly about the numbers and very little about the why. The better analysis to me always came from Al Giordano over at The Field.
Perhaps it is his time living outside of the US that gives his work insights that most folks just miss as they get swept up in CW gasbag talking points. Or maybe it is his work as an organizer. Whatever the reason, he is just a hell of a reporter, observer and analyst of our political system.
A couple of days ago he had a solid post that should be required reading. Al gets straight to the massive uncertainty, why it is happening and who will be at fault if the massive GOP wave comes to past:
You may have heard that Democrats have a problem this November and are at risk of losing control of the US Congress in Tuesday’s elections. Whose fault is that? I’m going to tell you the whole truth even though many of you won’t like hearing it: If the House goes down, it’s going to be the fault of white people.
No, I’m not talking about Republicans or Tea Party bigots. I’m talking about white Democrats and liberals who don’t turn out to vote in midterm elections. Hey liberal pundits and bloggers: We have met the enemy and it is us. Look no farther than the mirror to find a scapegoat for next Tuesday’s electoral debacle if it happens.
Al goes through and explains his argument point by point and he makes a convincing case as far as I am concerned. He also tells you what to do in the next few days if you want to fight the predicted red tide:
For the Democratic Senate and House candidates in overwhelmingly white states and districts, the last and only hope is the ground war: that their field organizations and that of Organizing for America can drag enough first time voters from 2008 and other young and Hispanic folks who don’t usually vote in midterm elections and get them to the ballot box (or bring the mail-in ballot to them). Organizing for America is targeting these potential voters and also you. They want you to help make seven million phone calls this week, something, they remind, that you can do from home or work and they’ll set you up with the list, the script or even invite you to a phone bank location in your area where you can do it together with other interesting people like you who aren’t just sitting around complaining and worrying.
There is no doubt that Democrats will suffer losses next Tuesday. Almost always, the party in the White House loses some Congressional seats during the midterms. That’s the contrary nature of so much of the American electorate: If I can’t find my socks this morning, it’s the fault of the party in power. But whether Tuesday is the electoral blow-out that so many in the media are predicting, or closer to a normal midterm result, is not up to Obama, and will not be because of “what Obama did or didn’t do,” and anybody who comes around next Wednesday or beyond trying to sell that used car will get interrogated from this corner: How many phone calls did you personally make? How many voters did you personally turn out? Hit the phones, or pound sand. Armchair presidents need not apply. Between now and Tuesday, we’re all Mr. and Mrs. President. That’s how democracy was designed to work. The only missed opportunity this week will be your own.
As I prepare to make calls on Sunday and head north to PA on Monday and Tuesday to knock on doors and GOTV, I couldn’t agree with Al more. Each of of can do something to GOTV between now and when the polls close on Tuesday. You could get out and knock on doors or sign up and call from home.
There are lots of ways to get involved in getting voters to the polls. You can sign up to GOTV here, or here or here or just your contact a local GOTV effort and join in the fray.
Whatever happens we will survive. Hell, we survive the Bush years and we will survive Tuesday. And as we all know that when the dust settles on Wednesday the regular bitching and moaning will begin anew with fresh cries of doom and (of course) self-serving finger pointing. But, I think Al is spot on with this point: if you couldn’t find the time to work on GOTV (or at least fucking vote), then your opinions on politics and other matters of the day are really not important.
Now is the time to do something. Now is the time to matter. Now is the time to GOTV.
Each of you have the power here. Use it or lose it.
I chatted with Jane Kidd, chair of the Georgia Democratic Party this morning at the Farmer’s Market. She thinks there is a good chance there will a significant increase in the number of African Americans voting in the mid-term and that there may be a surprise a comin!
@stuckinred: Your mouth to [insert deity or term for providence here]’s ear.
I will get out and vote. For the Greens. Thanks for the reminder to satisfy my civic duty, though. Peace!
@Omnes Omnibus: In Georgia and Milwaukee, Wisconsin please…
I think the Democrats will do much better than expected on Tuesday, because:
1. Dems lead among registered voters in most polls
2. Many polls do not include cell phone only users, which tend to be younger, more Democratic voters
3. We have a better ground game.
Distilled: “Be more like me or suffer the consequences”.
And the key to the ground game working is GOTV.
From here on out it is all about hard work and showing up.
Everybody can be part of the effort.
Have fun here in PA next week. We run a very, very strange state – overall, registered D’s outnumber registered R’s by over 1,000,000, but geographically, the vast majority of the place is Camp Wingnut. D’s have to really beat the crap out of the vote in Allegheny County and the Delaware Valley even in the best of times to match the very, very rightwing tilt of pretty much everywhere else.
As I tend to remind people more often than I should, when the Aryan Nation was forced out of Idaho, it moved its HQ to….Pennsylvania. Are we some lucky duckies or what?
Whenever the other side starts babbling about “cell phones” and “ground game” and “the only poll that counts is the poll on election day” you know it’s over!
Buckle up, liberals, it’s going to be a bumpy ride for you and the Obamessiah the next two years…
That makes sense. If Bob in Springfield doesn’t turn out enough voters to win the election, that lets the US president off the hook. Forget about not ramming through EFCA–Gram and Gramps didn’t hold enough bake sales?
How many calls have I made? A few hundred.
Why? Because the planet will decide not to overheat? Because we’ll discover oil on the Moon, and thus won’t have to watch our gasoline-driven tractors and harvesters sputter and die, never to return to life?
@change: So do you get paid 25 cents a comment to troll these threads? If so, you’re overpaid.
@Dennis G.: Exactly!
i can only relly talk about Colorado.
i predict Bennet and Hickenlooper.
Every dem i have called says they are VERY LIKELY TO VOTE.
Nate said this…..and this is IMPORTANT.
the “enthusiam gap” may be a side effect of robocalls.
25% of the electorate has no landlines.
How do you think those people vote?
LOL. Compared to what, the garden of Earthly delights that was the Bush years?
And your boot to Boehner’s ass.
Still rogering yourself with an enormous leek?
Why do you keep telling me this?
I did ground game in York back in 2008. Good times.
First smart thing you have said, change. Maybe you should save your gloating until your side actually wins.
All that work…right down the drain…
Keep walking off that cliff, lemmings.
I love Nate Silver, but I’m wondering how accurate his House projections are. With the presidential election, he predicted the exact percentages because there were eleventy hundred polls every day, but that sure as hell ain’t the case in most of these House races. I looked at a couple of the races and there have only been three or four polls for most races and some of them differed by like 20 points.
I don’t have the statistical chops to understand what he’s doing. But I am cautiously optimistic Tuesday won’t be the bloodbath the pundits are all expecting.
We HAVE won. It’s all over but the crying and shouting from Obama’s disbelieving sheep.
@martha: Speaking of Wisconsin, have you seen the Chad Lee ads? Is he twelve?
But why leeks? Why do you feel compelled to tell me with every post that you are rogering yourself with an enormous leek?
Just keep telling yourself that. When your manic phase ends you will be very sad. It may be best not to let your teddy bear out of sight for the next few decades. You will need it often.
Oh, and I’m so glad you’re spending your weekend drunk with us. Sweet.
Why is this gimmick so rhetorically popular?
Not to mention that this specific version is completely braindead. If only “committed” political aficionados who GOTV are the ones who should be listened to above all others, then why are you desperately trying to get more fence-sitting non-GOTVers to vote come Tuesday? You just said their opinions on politics and other matters of the day are really not important.
The internets: making people lose all perspective since 1993.
@Dennis G.: I love central PA (GF used to live in Harrisburg), but politically it’s pretty top-heavy with Palindrones and other Tea Bag affiliates.
J. Michael Neal
No, I can’t, unless you want be to become a quivering nervous wreck. And I am really tired of going to campaigns and asking what I can do to help and basically being told that, if I can’t call, I’m useless. That happened this year with Mark Dayton’s people. It happened in 2008 with the Obama people. It’s happened multiple times before that.
I give up. If political campaigns wanted me to help, they’d have figured out a way to use me. They haven’t, and I just don’t need more rejection in my life. I’m done. I won’t be asking again.
If by “be more like me” you mean vote and work to GOTV, then yeah, that is a good distillation.
Our little friend change is the reason the good citizens of Idaho made it illegal to fish from a giraffe.
I just put up a couple of dozen or so pictures that Mrs. JP and I took at the Stewart/Colbert rally today. Some of the signage was hilarious.
J. Michael Neal
@lacp: My sister is in State College, and reports that it is a besieged island of sanity in a vast sea of tea.
Okay Oscar. I appreciate that you have been working to GOTV. Good.
You may be tired now and pessimistic and angry. Delayed rewards can cause people to be tired and grump and angry and defensive and . . . .
Goodness knows that working on elections involves a delayed payoff and we can lose patience with all of that.
Take a deep breath. We are almost to the finish line. We have been working. OFA has been working PCCC has been working. DNA has been working. DCCC and DSCC have been working. [various Democratic support orgs, for the uninitiated].
President Obama has been working. He is looking tired and sounding cross from time to time. We are all working.
But I will guarantee that the results will be better than if we had not done all of this. Remember the Republican forecasts about the first of September? They were going to take over Washington in a grand tsumani. They were going to take over the Senate and the House, in large majorities. [And some people were going to do bad things to us progressives.]
They aren’t saying that any more. Nobody expects the Republicans to take the Senate. The Republicans are talking about fighting hard to gain a small majority in the House. The fatcats are spending LOTS AND LOTS of money because they know that the race is on.
We are having an effect. I can’t promise anything but I think we have already won our dignity. We can hold our heads up. Now let’s go out there and win an election.
Get some rest. Thank you for working so hard. Thank you for caring so much. Sweet dreams.
I admire the eternal optimists, but have more or less resigned myself to the fact that John Boner will be the new SotH.
If the dems can keep their Senate majority, which it looks like they will, nothing good will happen over the next 2 years, but nothing too terrible will happen either.
@morzer: I only wear a size 9; someone with a bigger foot should boot Boehner.
@J. Michael Neal: My apologies – I forgot that’s the one other spot in the state where you can actually find Democrats who aren’t Teabaggers.
Surgical strikes, my friend, surgical strikes. Take out one pasty orange financial rapist buttock at a time.
Oh? Then why did Bill Clinton make that desperate bid for Charlie Crist?
They’re terrified they may lose the Senate too, now.
And everybody says at least 50 seats, probably more in the House. That’s a big a win as 1994! We’re not “fighting for a small majority, we’re coasting on a wave, baby.
The cake is already baked, and it has a GOP tsunami inside.
Count on it.
@stuckinred: I get a tingle up my leg when I read that. I do have this obscure fantasy that it all comes out differently than punditized. Am I in denial?
Which newspapers and magazines do you regularly read?
I think one of the points Al was making is that there are too many unknowns in the numbers for any predictions to be accurate. That is why Nate and others like Charlie Cook have such a wide range up.
Take the post I put up last night about Palin working with Reed to robocall PA. It turns out that the information she was telling voters was wrong:
Her calls may confuse her followers. After all, how could their grifter queen be wrong? If she says they can vote early why should mere things like laws get in the way.
In the coming 72 hours it is only about hard work. It is only about GOTV.
@Omnes Omnibus: Not quite. But he appears to be married and I think we have a law against that, so… :)
I voted early with mr. m, who’s going to be out of town on Tuesday, so I’m going to do some GOTV on Tuesday. I made all those cranky pants people mad and voted for the tax for rails and for medical marijuana too!
Well, of course, when the last concern troll has finished, Al is correct that dems that don’t vote for whatever reason get the individual blame, and the historical reason is nothing much more than common apathy, of complacency, whether the first midterm of a dem or winger president. Their guys are in power, so it is easy to talk yourself out of going to vote.
But I will shock you. The real culprit for why the wingers may well win very big, viewing objectively from an historical and non personal point, is Barrack Obama. Yes, this heresy from a card carrying Obot. But not from failure, but success.
If you go back to the biggest wins for the opposing party in a first mid term, you will find most of the time, the number of seats lost by a new presnits party, is reciprocal to the degree of success of getting his agenda passed into law. The bigger the success, the more losses he sustains. And it is for a reason that is part and parcel to the human psyche, and nothing deep and complex. It comes most purely from resentment by the opposition, and anger that motivates the busy/lazy American to get up off their butts and put down the teevee remote, or breaks them away from oh so important work at the office, to take an hour, or 5, and go vote. Often in big cities, involves the pain of standing in line, that everyone hates like the clap.
So regardless of all the pro left bullshit about Obama compromises and bipartisanship, his has been the most productive first two years in office that we have seen in many many years. In the face of dire econ times, managing to get passed the largest single discretionary spending bill in history, that was craftily termed Stimulus, but was really a massive funding of progressive/liberal ideals for the longterm. Followed by a sweeping, though imperfect HCR that even the left’s hero FDR couldn’t produce.
So Al is right, dems not voting Tuesday is to blame on a personal level, but historically, it is all on Obama.
Don’t feed the troll, if Democrats do decently well Tuesday, he’ll never be seen here again, so there’s no way you’re going to win if you argue with him. Just ignore him, he’s trying to get a rise out of you.
This paints with too broad a brush. I live in one of the hardcore blue states that will stay solidly Democrat. I’m going to vote, but even if I didn’t, a solid Democratic majority remains a foregone conclusion.
So the responsibility for this debacle doesn’t fall equally on all the voters. The Democrats who live in hardcore red states like Alabama and Mississippi aren’t going to affect the outcome, and the Demorats who live in hardcore blue states like Washington (not D.C.) and California and New York aren’t going to affect the outcome either.
It’s the Democrats and swing voters who live in the mixed purple states who are swinging things in this election. So talking about how it’s “my” fault doesn’t cut it. I manned the phone banks. I went door to door for Obama. But even if I didn’t, he’d still have won my state in a landslide. It’s the up-for-grabs states that are giving us a Republican house and 2 years of insane investigations and demented impeachment resolutions.
Pointing a finger at every Democratic voter is just more blame-the-victim crap. “Those Democrats deserved to be raped, they were wearing revealing clothing.” Bullshit.
It’s the swing states that are responsible. Be honest. Put the blame where it reallys deserves to go.
@Omnes Omnibus: Are they worse than Ben Quayle’s ads? Quayle even quoted his ads verbatim in his only debate.
Yes, they had quite a problem with hat back in the 90s. Wasn’t it the Clinton Administration that stepped in after that bad accident where a fellow fell off a giraffe and somehow ended up stuck in its ass.
No wonder our pal has the issues that he has…
@J. Michael Neal:
Actually there is a lot you can do. During the 2008 campaign many people did data entry instead of making calls. You can also sign up to be a poll watcher and ensure that no Teatards are suppressing the vote. You could sign up to be an election worker and even get paid for that. You could volunteer to drive elderly people to the polls on election day or for early voting. Call your local Democratic Party and they will be able to help you. It may be too late for this election but not for the next one.
@stuckinred: Yes, AA’s will turn out in super numbers and that helps us in the Senate, but not the House.
Al Giordano’s point is that the House seats are so gerrymandered into separate white and minority districts that big increases in AA and Latino votes don’t make any difference there.
It’s the white districts we’re going to lose.
If we lose. I’m pessimistic, but I also think it’s very possible that the polls are wrong because of the cell phone issue and because they may have their Likely voter models far too skewed to the Rs.
Maybe. I hope.
Somebody cheer me up!
Isn’t that cruelty to leeks?
Saying this may make me a bad team player, but I’m sure as hell not going to miss Majority Leader Harry Reid.
It will be nice to have a Senator from an actual blue state, as opposed to a purple or red state as the ranking Senate Democrat.
@Anya: They are just ordinarily bad. Lee has no chance against Tammy Baldwin, so it doesn’t really matter.
@Mark S.: Nate can only work with the polls he has. Again, how do you think the cellphone nation will vote?
We dont get polled. How would n/e 1 even know if we are enthusiatic?
And we are 25% of the electorate.
The religious right is 22%. the crazies are 24% (some overlap there).
i just dont see 50 seats.
And like dennis said….so what?
nothing will happen……except that the wingnuts will continue to alienate blacks, browns and youth.
and the demographic timer goes tick..tick..tick….
@Emerald: We have a pretty important race for governor here too.
J. Michael Neal
@Lolis: Then why don’t the campaigns tell me this? I’m sorry, but I’ve essentially been told multiple times that I’m not wanted. I know damned well that there is stuff that I could do, but I can’t just sit down and do it. If they don’t want me, they don’t get me. It’s that simple. I’m not going to go around getting told I’m useless any more.
They fucked it up.
OT: I just saw a Subaru ad featuring the Pogues’ “If I Should Fall from Grace with God.” WTF?
Yes yes, the “cell phone” effect, lol.
Delusional sheep. Right of the cliff, lemmings….
Be back Tuesday to laugh at “cell phone nation”!
Mr Stagger Lee
@lacp: Like the old joke Q: What do they call the area that is between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia?
Admins, spoof or not… please nuke this phuck.
Back away from that leek, boy. Think of what your children will look like.
@mclaren: Even if you live in a perpetual blue state, you can use the phone to call people in swing states. No matter where you live, you can make a difference.
If Oregon played Auburn, what would the final score be? I’m guessing 84-77.
Since I was a child back in the 1950s and 1960s my daddy taught me that if you didn’t vote, your opinion didn’t count. It was true 50 years ago and it is still true today.
I know we are suppose to be very sensitive to everybody, but if you are not going to vote, you can not complain about politics and expect to be taken seriously by me. It is just how I roll.
And if you want to bitch and moan about Democratic stategies I think you should have voted and done what you could to encourage others to do the same.
When we hold onto the Senate by a couple of seats, we’ll have to thank the teabaggers for Christine O’Donnell.
This election is awfully interesting.
(And infuriating but that’s another discussion.)
This weekend is when the loosely attached voters make up their minds. Known as the 72 hour deciders these people very often are the winning percentage in close elections. Generally speaking these voters break more for the incumbent.
Given the non-polling of the 30 and younger crowd due to them being cell phone only households …
I think the GOP and Tea Baggers are going to be awfully disappointed on November 3.
And THAT is when the fun starts. They’ve already gone loony-tunes from the Planet La La Land so don’t be surprised if they amp up the street violence.
And those of us who have both landline and cell phone NEVER answer the landline unless it’s a number we know. I’ve gotten very comfortable with not answering our landline phone and letting it go to voicemail.
We’ll do better than that. I would predict 54-46 with some confidence, and I still think that the GOP wave taps out at 35 seats gained in the House.
Excellent analysis. And, as some right-wingers have been saying, the real analogy isn’t ’94, it’s ’66, right after the passage of the Great Society Programs and Medicare.
Dems didn’t lose formal control of the House, but they lost 47 seats. Combine those with the Southern Democrats and that gave the conservatives effective control.
However, except for the stimulus and HCR, most of the public doesn’t know that Obama has been the most effective president since LBJ (maybe even since FDR) and has done it in less than two years, and has done it against the most organized, solid opposition in American history.
And the Professional Left doesn’t know he’s been the most progressive president since LBJ, either.
So while the stimulus and HCR may be factors, and that may be enough, the rest won’t.
@J. Michael Neal:
@Lolis: I completely agree, and will add that you can also bring food to the volunteers. I went to 3 different states to help in the 2008 primaries, and in all 3 states I had to really work to make it happen. And then when I got there I kind of had to figure out what was needed and pitch in and do it. It’s not ideal, but if you are persistent you can really make a difference.
@J. Michael Neal:
I can sympathize. I really can. My ego can get pretty fragile at times. My get up and go just got up and went. And Honey I ain’t got nooooo money. [Thank you Big Bopper.]
Might I suggest that you try something more individual? For example, you might try writing letters. After the election, you might become a one-man PR force. Winning Progressive has some good tips on writing letters to editors. You obviously have internet capability. You can get into comment thread on all kinds of newspapers. I could recommend Nola.com [new orleans].
Or something else. My point is that you don’t have to keep up with the organized effort. Individual efforts are also effective. And, whatever the results of the election, we will need support out in the field to get done all that needs to be done.
And be proud of yourself for trying. Remember, it is not shameful to fall down. It might be a shame to stay down.
Hugs [[ ]]
No, we haven’t lost our perspective. There’s just no percentage in listening to whiny-ass titty-babies who can’t be bothered to get off their asses and make an effort. If you don’t bother to vote, you’ve already disenfranchised yourself, and that says everything about your knowledge of politics, and a good deal about your character to boot.
Yes, so let me do the honors. Loblaw, you are a pompous ass and wrong , per usual. There, all better now.
Ah, that’s good!
I lived in GA for five years. Beautiful place. Sure would like to see that state get bluer.
Aerial analysis experts hired by CBS say 215,000 at today’s rally. They had counted 87,000 for Beck.
Give it five minutes and he’ll explain how he would have voted, and would have made the all the difference, but we were all mean to him, so national issues faded into insignificance.
Thanks for this reminder. I am just awful at calling – the people I call take it upon themselves to to (very kindly) tell me how I should be doing it. But I would love to drive senior citizens to the polls, or even poll watch.
@Greenhouse Guy: People don’t get nuked here. It’s one of the reasons we love this joint.
@lacp: Agreed, from York County, where we put the South in Southern Pennsylvania.
Two cities recently had trials from stuff that happened in the riots in the 60s: Birmingham Alabama and York PA.
Two places went to court over Intelligent Design: Cobb County Georgia and Dover PA.
Ugh, I really don’t have time to do much except go out and vote and remind all my friends to do it, but I will try to make at least a few GOTV calls. Allegheny and Centre counties are pretty crucial, I think.
I called maybe 100 people today, using the app at BarackObama.com. It’s easy and highly recommended. It does start to get depressing though because sooooo many calls are never picked up or have been disconnected.
But then you connect with someone who says, “oh I guess. Where’s the polling place? Oh, okay, that’s the same as last time. Yeah, I guess I’ll go,” and that makes it better.
And occasionally you connect with someone who says, “Yes, I am definitely voting and thank you for volunteering. I need to do that too.”
And that’s awesome.
Go make some calls (or better yet, knock on some doors). You’ll really hate yourself if you don’t.
How about I just vote (oh shit! I already have omgwtf!!!) and let other able-minded and bodied adults handle their own fucking business?
So you plan to shut up and bugger off then?
Putting this election in perspective, in 2006 approximately 38% of the US voting age population voted. With African-Americans turning out at ~34% of the voting age population.
With a black president I’m SURE the AA turn-out will be higher, possibly much higher, and could approach or reach 2008 levels. IF they do you can toss the polling because pollsters depend on historic statistical data to construct their likely voter screens.
Further, the GOP has doubled-down on the messaging they’ve been pushing all through this decade:
I don’t think this is “stretchable” to a prediction but it does give some balance to the 24/7 ‘Dems-R-Doooooooooooomed’ messaging that’s been coming down this election.
Truly a very unusual election. I have no idea how it’s going to play out, and frankly I don’t think anybody else – including pollsters/pundits/prognosticators – does, either.
Are you seriously this thin-skinned? Let it go already.
There were more people at the Michigan graduation ceremony than some random bullshit rally in Ohio. There were hundreds of thousands more people at the Comedy Central rally today than there were at Obama’s Chicago rally tonight.
Neither one is a fucking judgment on Obama or anybody. Stop acting like I kicked your fucking dog and called your wife a whore. Internet grudges are sad.
Well, except BoB. He got nuked three or four times, each thoroughly deserved. Now look at the pathetic shadow of himself that he has become.
No, I am just a little tired of watching you suck yourself off and contribute nothing to the discussion. Even the change troll manages to be more interesting. As for being thin-skinned, you turn up here, whine about how precious you are, get laughed at and then go into your princess sparkle pony act. Try something different. Borrow the leek that change rogers himself with. Tell us about your collection of antique tea spoons. Just quit your whining.
Well, at least I’m not the worst President since World War II anymore.
It all depends on who bothers to vote¹. Generally speaking the 65+ demographic votes “above their weight” in off-year elections. And there is a much smaller percentage turn-out of young people, independents, moderates … the so-called “loosely attached” in non-presidential years. This is why the OFA and other Dem GOTV operations are so crucial.
I’ll take two lackadaisical, unenthusiastic, “Oh, if I gotta ” votes over one rabid fanatically eager vote any day.
¹ This incredible insight is brought to you free, gratis, & without charge :-D
awwe. go easy on Loblaw, it’s hard work being the conscience of BJ and liberals, pointing out all the shallow pointlessness of it all in this mad empty game of politics. Somebody has to hand out speeding tickets at the Daytona 500, might as well be Princess Bob.
It’s so strange, isn’t it? Every conservative that posts here, it seems, just can’t stop rogering themselfs wit’ leeks.
Is that the real BoB? It’s like he’s got PTSD.
Ok, so where do I fall on the guilt/responsibility spectrum?
I gave $25 I couldn’t afford
I’ve made about 300 calls for Alan Grayson-
Did the doorknocker thing this weekend (and it’s COLD here in North Dakota)
I’m driving 60 miles on Monday to walk the streets and make calls for Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) – –
and I don’t even much LIKE Pomeroy. (I am, however, inordinately fond of Speaker Pelosi )
– less than I did in 06 and 08, more than I could afford to do now –
IS this enough? Will I still be allowed to criticize Obama and Rahm for their weak-ass policy, strategy and tactics after the election? –
Oh, wait – that’s right – I was NEVER allowed to do that on this site, without being jumped on with both feets by the General, et al.
oh, well – as long as we’re all clear that any losses are the fault of those DFH progressives like me, and the crazy Kossacks who are all working their asses off –
and never, never, NEVER the fault of the DLC, Rahm, or little Timmy Geithner – I guess it’s all good.
(and I believe in the penultimate comma, too. So there. Screw the AP Stylebook AND Rahm. )
@JGabriel: I’m assuming you are implying a Fluellen-Pistol leek thing here, yes?
Ooh, I sure hope so.
I have no idea. It’s a bit sad – like watching a chicken running around without its head, spurting inconsequentialities from every orifice.
ETA: Not that BoB didn’t behave like that before he got banned.
I think that if the Democrats have a bad day, it’s going to be because they weren’t liberal enough, not that they weren’t conservative enough. And the people who are going to stay home because the Democrats didn’t live up to liberal expectations are white Democrats.
So I think this analysis kind of misses the point. The problem isn’t that white Democrats won’t vote. It’s that elected Dems think hippie-kicking is smart politics.
I sent this to my 22-year-old niece and she put it on her Facebook (via Steve Benin) . It really gets the point across.
So why are you carrying one?
You think a vote qualifies as power? Holy crap. Better run and catch up with that turnip truck. Voting is to power as a super bowl party is to stuffing a stadium up some city’s ass. Associating under party supervision is sure to keep you fucked but hey, knock yourself out.
@Anoniminous: Generally speaking? They vote above their weight, reliably, in every election.
As much of a boost Democrats will get from an increasingly diverse America (and it’s not as big as Democrats expect) the only way they will realize it is by working to turn out these voters that threaten the status quo. It’ll never end. GOTV is the most critical thing Democrats need to keep running.
Can I bring up how “princess sparkle ponies” and “leek rogering” are embarrassingly low-quality flame material instead?
0/10, and a helpful reminder that if you’re a 48 yo male who posts on a blog called Balloon Juice with posts about ponies and vegetable sodomy, your life probably didn’t turn out the way you were expecting it to.
I blame cleek myself. He seems to have this magic discombobulation effect on the nutjobs. It’s almost as if they were self-filtering.
Put the leek down, boy.
Oh, and My vote?
I don’t think it IS BoB – doesn’t have the right manic/depressive mix, nor enough complete non-sequiturs, either.
Are we feeling neglected and a tad bruised by the blue meanie Obots? So precious is the progressive flower, it only blooms with purring moonbeams and angel piss, and will bother to vote only when recognized for it’s beauty and uniqueness.
It’s even more pronounced in non-presidential elections.
Wait, you mean to tell me that when people have more advance notice, more of them show up? So if people know a month ahead of time that Stewart is hosting a rally in DC, or know a year ahead of time that a graduation ceremony is happening, more people will show up than if they find out about it the day before?
My mind is totally blown now. Next up from Bob, water is wet! Who knew?
Which is why commenter Luthe had a post earlier this week, that, to me, just took the cake.
Should be on the banner.
@Bob Loblaw: Everything else aside–show me a 48 year old, male or female, whose life turned out exactly the way they expected it to. They are either god’s chosen or the saddest folks imaginable.
I would suggest, based on the brilliant work of the WaPo op-edders, that we deploy Dick Morris more as an adjective.
Such as, when you’ve left some meat in the fridge for too long and when you throw it away you get a whiff of it and it just reeks.
This is when you say to your spouse, “shit honey, this butt roast is really Dick Morris. Get my rubber gloves and the surgical mask.”
@J. Michael Neal:
It’s probably too late for this year, but states are always short of election workers (in Minnesota, they’re called election judges). It’s more of a civic service for your whole precinct than specifically doing something for the party, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. And you get paid a miniscule amount to work a 14-hour day making sure people fill out their ballots properly! Woot!
Truly, cleek is a demigod among men, and yes, Luthe’s terse riposte should be on the banner. Perhaps if we use it enough, Luthe’s immortality may yet be secured?
Do you say that because you think there is a lot of support out there for liberal policy, such that being more liberal would result in more votes? Or because you think liberal policy is the right thing to do, so going down swinging for liberalism is worth doing regardless of the result?
Here’s the thing. I’m a liberal and I want my politicians to back liberal policies. But there aren’t very many self-described liberals out there, unfortunately, so being “more liberal,” regardless of how you define it, isn’t likely to carry the day: even energizing every liberal, politicians and voters, with pitch-perfect liberal ideas _doesn’t add up to a majority_. It just doesn’t. So what can you do to build a majority? You have to build a coalition. That coalition lives somewhere to your right.
The one way I can think of that being “more liberal” would pay off electorally would be if it managed to whip up so much enthusiasm and generate so much buzz that it actually converted non-liberals into being liberal. (Sometimes that works among Democrats; arguably that was the way Obama bested Clinton.) Does it ever work that way among the populace in general? It’d be nice, but I don’t really see it happening.
My sense is that being “more liberal” would result in never getting anything done but feeling somewhat better about ourselves and being better able to articulate what we stood for; being “more conservative” results in getting a few things done but feeling much worse about ourselves and having more trouble articulating what we stand for. Both are bad. That’s why when we had more numerical strength for Democrats than anyone had seen in a long time, it looked and felt the way it did. In retrospect, that might well look like “the good times.”
I worry about combining “butt roast” “Dick Morris” and “Rubber gloves”. You’ll get change/Loblaw all excited again.
Match=Made in Heaven
My last note was a long and tangential one, but I can be brief. Let’s say that you’re right and hippie-kicking is The Problem. How do you solve that problem?
Meanwhile, African-American voters are going to save your whiny ass, because they remember that people died in order to secure the vote for them.
And you’re going to let their sacrifice be in vain because you didn’t get your pony and, hey, it’s just a vote, right? It’s not like legal voters are blocked from being able to vote because of their race or ethnicity in 2010, right?
Against morzer? I don’t, and I’m still not clear what he’s on about. I’m pretty sure this is only the second time he’s ever replied to anything I’ve written, but something sure seems to have crawled up his ass. Oh well, I guess he’s censoring me or something to sooth his troubled mind, so that should be the merciful end of that.
That depends. Are you black? If not, you’re only allowed to criticize the White House if you’re willing to concede that all white people are racists first. And that Mexicans don’t know their history. Otherwise, you lose five points. I’m an A-rab myself (which opens up all kinds of possible multipliers and penalties in the foreign policy and civil liberties sections, but that’s only for elite number crunchers, so I’ll skip that part for now), so I get a half-point and get to skip that step. Unfortunately, I lose three points whenever I don’t explicitly say that Republican obstruction is the primary reason for Congressional inactivity every single goddamn sentence, because some things actually aren’t able to be left unsaid, believe it or not. You may think that’s unnecessarily strict, but it’s an important deduction to watch out for. And that’s just the beginning.
The calculus is all very complicated. For more information, please visit say-whatever-you-fucking-like-this-is-the-internet-for-goodness-sakes-dont-worry-about-anonymous-names-in-the-cloud-judging-you-constantly.gov.
The only two times I can recall this happening was for FDR early on, due to the fact the entire, or a lot of the country were living in tents and standing in soup lines, or for LBJ, after the national grief of tragically losing a beloved figure like JFK. Otherwise, the well for a national liberal movement is pretty shallow.
More on voter suppression:
Voter Suppression in 2010: It Begins Again
Voter Suppression 2010 Style
I’m not a minority, but I am a woman, and people still talk to this day about taking my right to vote away from me. You bet your ass I’m going to be out there taking advantage of my right until the day they drag it away from me. Because I don’t take it for granted that I will always be allowed to vote, unlike the whiny white males who talk about how the Democrats just aren’t liberal enough for them to vote for.
You’ll find the rational white males like me right there with you. Don’t judge us all by the self-pity artists and serial whiners.
OK OK I’m going to do some GOTV.
But tonight is Halloween party night.
My costume sucks. I thought I had something from last year in a bag in the closet, but it was just random costume stuff. I guess an eye patch and tiara and some psychedelic scarves and a red stripe t shirt an old mime costume makes some kind of statement. Or other. And some lizard or monster gloves of some kind.
We will see.
What a load of bullshit.
The Democrats were sent to the White House, and to Congress in overwhelming numbers, on a platform of big, sweeping change from the Bush years. They had as much of a mandate for change as any party has had in decades.
They blew it. They bent over, grabbed their ankles, and begged the Republicans to be gentle with them.
The left protested. We begged the Dems to use their majority to enact the reforms that candidates had promised and that the voters expected. We screamed, we yelled, we wrote letters.
But, sorry. Bipartisanship and keeping the Republicans happy is more important than enacting good policy, we were told.
And now people like Al want to say that the election results will be our fault?
I won’t be happy if the Dems lose as big as they are predicted to next week, but I will not, as a progressive, assume the blame for it, nor will I allow anyone to blame me.
If the Democrats get screwed in this election, they brought it on themselves. Period.
And how did you plan to get Landrieu, Lincoln, Bayh, Nelson, Lieberman on board with more radical legislation? How did you plan to corral the Blue Dogs in the House? You’ve obviously got some master plan – so let’s hear what it was.
What Al said, and most in this thread has nothing to do with “blaming” progressives. Unless they refuse to vote out of whatever reason, and not voting is the same as voting for the GOP, when you get right down to it. Unless you have some legitimate excuse, like dying, or unconsciousness.
Sometimes I think “progressives” forget how close getting healthcare reform was, and the way Bart Stupak held us to ransom before Obama stared him down.
Because reading is FUN-damental. And the NBA Cares.
Does every little thing have to have an emotional component, Mnemosyne? Have we reached such despair that meaningless rally numbers need be revered and celebrated to get us through our days? Can we cool it with the persecution complex for a change?
It is true that everyone should vote in a democracy. But they don’t vote, especially in the US. That has been known since, like this was the US, ever since the Articles of Confederation. Ever since the US has had competition in the democratic voting department, our voter turnout is less than most other developed country democracies. So, the Democrats and Obama should have known this was going to be a problem from their first day in office.
Democratic voters are worse than the GOPers and that is bad and Giordano is right about it.
But why is does his column seem to scold people like me. Why should I look in the mirror. I am going to vote and I am going to do GOTV over next few days and election night.
Should I vote more than once? That is against the law, so I hear.
I think the administration does bear some responsibility. Obama has acted like he can turn on his populist progressive schtick four weeks before an election and his supporters will get all tingly after all that stuff has been ignored for two years.
And he did not handle the economy well. That might have been unavoidable. I don’t think he knows much or is interested in economics much, and went along with the approach that consensus mainstream macroeconomics said would be enough. Too bad consensus mainstream macroeconomics of the last few decades has been a very elegant and useless example of applied mathematics with no application.
So I think it is unfair to fault Obama too much on the economy. The same criticism could be made of FDR’s first stab at fixing the economy.
But anyone who thinks that the very slow recovery, and miserable job situation, and slow motion mortgage train wreck is not a very important factor is just fooling themselves.
I sympathize with Giordino’s frustration, and in principle he is right. But at this point his scolding is like yelling at the tides, expecting them to change all of sudden.
@NR: What Democrats have actually catered to Republicans in the way you say? IMHO Democrats wrote off Republicans as a group long ago — but the conservative Democrats saw an opportunity to make nuisances of themselves, and that’s been the issue all along. If you mean that the 60-vote threshold, which is new, demands some Republican participation on every issue, then, sure, some stroking of Republicans is going to have to happen under those conditions; but the reason why that won’t go away is because Democratic senators like the filibuster because it makes them feel powerful. And Obama just made an issue of that filibuster nonsense on the Daily Show.
I keep hearing this thing about how Democrats truckle to Republicans. (Often with homophobic language, but I’m not even going to get into that here.) I just don’t know what in particular it’s referring to.
Central PA, or at least Harrisburg, isn’t as red as it used to be. As of 2008, Dauphin County has more registered Democrats than Republicans, and its Democratic congressman was primaried from the left.
I just think when you look at the approval ratings for Obamacare, or for Obama generally, or for Congressional Democrats generally, and you see they have a 49% disapproval rating – the problem isn’t that 49% think Obamacare was too ambitious or that Congress was too liberal. Maybe I’m not paying close enough attention, but “not liberal enough” isn’t one of the things I hear cited in this kind of analysis as one of the things the Democrats did wrong.
I’m going to vote, and I’m going to vote Democrat. The races I’m voting in lean Democrat (Hawaii), but they’re competitive enough that I’ll show up to do what I can. I just think that when you look at the numbers, the underlying story isn’t that voters were turned off by how liberal Democrats ended up being.
Post of the day. So much win.
What’s the penalty for reading firedoglake*?
*Except Tbogg, obviously. Because everybody knows Juicebaggers aren’t animals.
I thought DougJ programmed the trollbot to not start up again until after the election, when it was going to taunt us.
The self-pitying progressive splinter group (AKA Popular Front of Judaea) has three basic rules:
1) Whatever the Democrats did, it was not enough
2) Whatever the Democrats couldn’t do represents an act of deliberate betrayal
3) The fact that the Democrats have to deal with chronic institutional failure and obstructionism on every issue simply doesn’t count, because.
There are many real progressives who acknowledge reality and do sterling work, but the self-pitying tendency might as well be on Mars.
Tar with a broad brush, much?
You think all those progressives (like me) and the Kossacks making all those calls are doing it because they’ve been convinced of the superior centrist wisdom?
Bullshit. They’re making the calls because progressives are, by nature, street fighters – not in a curb-stomping way, in an “organize and work your asses off” way.
You think all these “centrists” you’re so fond of are the people walking the streets for Democrats this weekend?
Again, Bullshit. The “centrists” wrote a few checks in 2006 and 2008, but dirty their fingers on a telephone? Hardly
I’ve done a LOT of GOTV for the last five elections – and I’ve seen DAMN FEW – if any – “centrists” at any of the GOTV I’ve done. It’s been done – overwhelmingly – by those same DFHs you are so fond of punching – the same people who are doing it AGAIN.
And sorry, but there’s a little damn history here – specifically, the 2006 midterms. Howard Dean’s troops worked their asses off, Rahm poured money into a bunch of losing races (anybody remember Tammy Duckworth) – and then Rahm took all the credit. And legitimized the hippie-punching all you guys are so fond of.
By all means, continue insulting the very people working the hardest for the Democrats. Because THAT will fire us up.
@morzer: I’m not just talking about the conservadems. The blame spreads to way more than just them. It goes all the way up the ladder to the House and Senate leadership, and right up to the President. The Blue Dogs and their Senate counterparts were a big part of the problem, but by no means were they the entire problem. Not even close.
To take just one example, Obama was fully on board with the whole “Gang of Six” “negotiations” back during the health care debate, long after it had become clear that not only were they not going to produce anything useful, they were actively hurting the cause of real health care reform. For fuck’s sake, Chuck Grassley said “This health insurance reform bill is going to pull the plug on grandma,” and just a couple of days later, Obama praised him and said he was negotiating in good faith. Dumbass political strategy, anyone?
@morzer: Everyone’s plan is some combination of “bully pulpit,” “LBJ-style arm twisting,” and “fuck them.” But no one explains what’s supposed to happen next if those didn’t work. Let’s say Obama holds Health Care Woodstock in Maine, and everyone loves it, and everyone who lives in Maine starts sending letters and phone calls to Snowe and Collins’s offices morning, noon, and night, and the local papers editorialize, and everyone applies every last foot-pound of force he can possibly muster. And then Snowe and Collins still vote “no.” What do you do next? No one really knows, because we all picture a political world where politicians are worried about placating their angry constituents. I don’t think Republicans are worried about that anymore. Their strategy is to vote “no” on everything, take the heat, and wait for the next election. _They don’t give a shit_, which makes them immune to pressure. Nobody knows what to do about that. I definitely don’t.
And, if you don’t want to phone bank for OFA or one of the Dem banks on Sunday and Monday, you can always call for Nat’l Organization of Women. They are also doing the phone bank thing to ensure that the horrible candidates who want rape and incest victims to have to deliver their babies, lose. I think they are @ NOW.org. Like all of the at home phone bank hotlines they give you the phone numbers, the names aand target the calls to the states they think they can make a difference. I think Emily’s List does one as well.
The other thing to remember most of these House polls are STILL generic Republican against generic Democrat. And the Reps are winning that. But when they go to named Dems and Reps the outlook looks really damned cloudy, but leaning more toward the incumbent Dem.
All we have in the next two days is GOTV actions. So make the fucking phone calls from the privacy of your own home. Stop Sharon Angle and stop Pat Toomey, help Alexi Gianoulis and yes even Harry Reid and Joe Sestak and maybe even Charlie Chris. Help Patty Murray in Washington state. Dear God help Russ Feingold. Give help to our foundering house memeber Tom Pierello and the guy who’s running in Oregon against the guy who thinks that it would be cool to dump radioactive materials on the ocean and maybe on land.
There are a few other really good progressives and liberals in major fights in the house, like Grivalja. Don’t do anything more than you want to in order to save the bluedogs. Save the liberals.
Make those phone calls folks. Save the Liberals; Save the World.
And my beloved Sooners win tonight.
So anyway, we have Sunday and Monday to affect the outcome of the election. Let’s do it!
Dude, you’re the one who decided that if Obama couldn’t get the same numbers for a rally announced the day before as they did for graduation at University of Michigan announced a year in advance, that proved the rally was OBAMA FAIL!
You can keep insisting that that apple is an orange, but you look like kind of an idiot doing it.
Just explain to us what your strategy would have been. How would you have dealt with the Conservadems and Blue Dogs? Just lay it out – show us the money. Don’t tell us that Obama never cared, we take it for granted that you believe this. Show us the political path to getting more.
@J. Michael Neal: Hey. You don’t have to call- there’s tons of other stuff to do. Data entry, knocking doors, managing volunteers, speaking to community groups, assembling walk packets, leading letter-writing campaigns, providing food… I was an FO in 2008 and we did all of these things, plus more. Talk directly to your local OFA people to get some direction….and good luck!
@FlipYrWhig: Are you serious?
Obama said this just a few days ago:
So this is what we can look forward to. Bipartisanship didn’t work the first 900 times, but he’s going to keep on trying! Because I’m sure that the new teabagger majority is going to be so much more willing to work with him!
9% unemployment has nothing to do with it, pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. Woy.
The easiest and most accurate prediction I ever made was the day after the 2008 election – if anything goes wrong, whatever goes wrong, it’ll be them hippies what’s to blame. It always is.
I mean, in March 2009 Giordano was saying this same thing, that it’s that Hamsher woman – “And what faster hope could they have to make him fail than to seek to remove Obama’s Treasury Secretary at exactly the moment when he’s begun to implement the economic recovery plan.” Yeah, keeping Geithner in there was key. That turned out well, didn’t it.
Not that he has a monopoly on the “Everything that happens is evidence that I was right all along” style. It’s the exceptions to that that are rare…
Right. As it is, the Maine Republicans now hate Snowe and Collins – for having even breathed bi-partisan air! LBJ had a much bigger majority, and there were plenty of liberal Republicans to work with. Now the political landscape is utterly changed – and yet the same game plan is supposed to apply!
Obama and dems have basically two problems, one is apathy, and the other, and most important imo, are defections from independent voters, and to a degree, the media. The true swing vote portion of the indie population is making the difference right now favoring republicans. These are folks who only pay cursory, or superficially, to the issues and politics in general. And they rate bipartisanship, or at least the effort, pretty highly. They are also vulnerable to false memes and other skull fucking nonsense from the wingnuts, especially on HCR and spending, enlarging the deficit. It is mostly bullshit they consider for choosing who to vote for, and since most are white, that is another factor that is working against Obama and dems right now. Not to mention jobs not being created, and general sluggishness of the economy. The media paying homage to winger BS, makes it hard to debunk GOP lies, also too.
I don’t know why you think liberals have the numbers out there to make up the diff. They are the smallest percentage of all voters in this country, among major ideological labels.
Maybe a need for power and relevance, but you are simply wrong, and even if you were right, there is no excuse for not voting because you are disappointed.
@NR: Your point gives me the opportunity to make another tangential comment.
Grassley was a spectacular dick during the whole process. He represents Iowa, the state that made Obama. He’s up for reelection this year. His opponent, Roxann Conlin, seems pretty cool. And he’s cruising. Why is that? Where are all the progressives bent on punishing him for his bad deeds? What happened there? The other senator is one of the Senate’s leading liberals, so it’s not like Democrats are lost causes. It makes no sense to me. And it has nothing to do with Obama; I just don’t get it, at all.
What democrats have catered to Republicans? Well, I guess Max Baucus holding up HCR for 3 months looking for republican votes in the Senate – (That never showed up _
and watering down the stimulus bill, transforming a lot of it into useless tax cuts, in the vain quest for Republican votes in the house –
and those are just the first two off the top of my head.
But going it alone isn’t going to work either. You keep ignoring what a heterogenous coalition the Dems are. You realize we even have Heath Shuler talking about replacing Pelosi with himself? Heath Shuler!
I ask again: what was your winning strategy,given the political situation of the Dems after Obama won?
One thing I will say is that in 2008 most democrats lived by Nate’s word and thought he was just awesome. Now that he is predicting doom for the democrats, a lot of democrats are trying to find a reason why he’s wrong. He still could be wrong, and hell, I HOPE he’s wrong, but we should be prepared for him to be right.
Okay, now I feel kind of bad for jumping down your throat, because it sounds like you actually want to be reasonable, unlike NR and Bob Loblaw. So I apologize for that.
You’re not going to hear it, because the media is deeply invested in keeping the right-wing narrative going. Just last week people were OUTRAGED about the interview Obama did for the New York Times Magazine based on a blog post on the New York Times website. It turned out that when you actually looked at the interview, the NY Times blogger had taken quotes out of context specifically to make it look like Obama was bashing progressives.
That’s what we’re up against — the news media is deliberately setting liberals against each other and against the president, and we keep falling for it.
It’s like I keep trying to tell people on the left when they complain about “TARP” when they really mean something like “the stimulus.” “TARP” has become a catchall phrase for “economic decisions of Obama’s that I don’t agree with,” and it covers the entire political spectrum from being mad about the auto bailout to wanting cramdown for mortgages. But by using the exact same term that the right-wingers use for being angry about the auto bailout, it allows the right-wingers to point to us and say, “See? The liberals are mad about the auto bailout, too!”
Same thing with the health insurance reforms. The media just looks at the aggregate number of people who don’t like it and never bother to report the number who don’t think it went far enough, so it allows the right to say, “See, everyone hates HCR, including liberals! We need to repeal it!”
It was worth trying to get Snowe or Collins onboard, and there was no way to know that the GOP were not negotiating in good faith at first. You can argue that the negotiations went on too long – but that’s the wisdom of hindsight.
On the tax cuts in the stimulus, again, it was worth trying to get the GOP on board, to at least some extent. Would I have kept the tax cuts, once no GOP votes were forthcoming? No, not to the extent that they made up too much of the stimulus, and the Dems were not going to take the credit for them aggressively.
Nonetheless, this still doesn’t show us what the Democrats could have done much better in terms of actually getting votes for more radical legislation.
Where’s the winning strategy?
It was worth trying to get Snowe or Collins onboard, and there was no way to know that the GOP were not negotiating in good faith at first. You can argue that the negotiations went on too long – but that’s the wisdom of hindsight.
On the tax cuts in the stimulus, again, it was worth trying to get the GOP on board, to at least some extent. Would I have kept the tax cuts, once no GOP votes were forthcoming? No, not to the extent that they made up too much of the stimulus, and the Dems were not going to take the credit for them aggressively.
Nonetheless, this still doesn’t show us what the Democrats could have done much better in terms of actually getting votes for more radical legislation.
Where’s the winning strategy?
Davis X. Machina
pulpitexecutiveorderLakoffsigningstatementsframingchallenges, that’s what.
@morzer: The political situation of the Dems after Obama won was that they had an extremely popular President riding high in the polls, a once-in-a-generation Congressional majority, and an opposition party that was utterly despised by a large majority of the country.
They responded to this situation with weak-kneed caving on every single issue. Case in point: The stimulus. Obama came right out of the gate and proposed a plan that his own advisers admitted was too small, and weighted it with tax cuts to appease Republicans – who never planned on voting for it anyway.
I don’t know why you introduce the term “centrist” into this, because it misses the point entirely. On most issues, most of the people like me on this blog, are quite liberal. So my use of the word “progressive” is really not related to ideology, it is related to attitude on process, and my comment and this thread by and large is focused on those democrats, who label themselves progressive who are advocating, or planning themselves not to vote because they are disappointed that dems haven’t been liberal enough.
But I do like your comment, first building a straw man to once again wrap yourself in the sackcloth of victim as well as declarations superior liberalness in one fell swoop.
Yes, we agree that the stimulus was not all that was needed. Now, explain to us why:
a) You think a bigger stimulus could have been passed
b) How you would have got the votes for it
c) How you would have got the votes for more radical legislation
Remember, Obama may be universally loved – but that doesn’t mean he can make Ben Nelson or Mary Landrieu into progressives.
No, I didn’t say anything was FAIL. I stated the simple fact that that specific Ohio rally was in no way the largest audience seen since the inauguration. Just simple magnitudes, that’s all, I don’t care about whatever qualifications and distinctions should or should not be made.
Obama remains enduringly and properly popular, and his ability to draw crowds is impressive as always. It’s almost like he’s really good at connecting with people or something. He should run for President I’m thinking.
Is that clearly stated enough for you, or do you need me to go for broke and say he’s a magical being of pure, harmonious energy whose very presence is able to heal the sick and the lame? Because I’m beginning to think that’s what you and your ilk really want.
@Davis X. Machina:
Oh, you mean an alternate reality in a galaxy far far away?
He could be, but here’s the thing about polls: the more data you have, the more accurate you can be. In 2008, Nate had a crapload of data, because the presidential race was being polled six ways to Sunday.
This year, he doesn’t have anywhere close to the same quality of data (which he says himself). I’m in CA-29, and if there’s been a single poll in my district, I haven’t been able to find it. So he’s having to do a lot of guesswork and take stabs in the dark.
I keep remembering when Nate did his Oscar predictions in 2009 and said that Mickey Rourke was going to win Best Actor. By all logic and previous history, Rourke should have won — except that Rourke is a massive dick and the Academy voters hate him, so they gave the award to the (also deserving) Sean Penn instead. Nate admitted afterwards that he didn’t see that coming because there was no way to predict the emotional reaction of the voters in his model (or any model, really).
So I’m hoping this is more Academy Awards 2009 than Presidential Election 2008, for obvious reasons.
And by focusing on the “simple fact,” you missed the actual point of the statement by a mile (ie that it was the largest rally seen since the inauguration, not the largest planned appearance).
But you’re very good at focusing on a minute detail while missing what the actual discussion is that’s going on around you, so I shouldn’t be too surprised.
@reality-based: But, look, if you need 60 votes and you don’t have 60 Democrats, what the fuck else are you supposed to do? It used to be that the answer the one-upping lefties liked to trot out was that you don’t compromise and if you lose, so be it, but then we just saw with the vote on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell that not compromising and losing because of it made the one-upping lefties _more_ upset.
Obama likes to talk about bipartisanship. He may actually like actual bipartisanship! And Americans also say they like actual bipartisanship. And Republicans say, “Fuck you.” The point is to expose Republicans for fiddling around and acting like imbeciles instead of working on actual problems. Believe me, the mojo gained by Obama and Democrats giving lip service to bipartisanship–as much as it irritates Democratic partisans (including me)–fair outweighs the mojo that would be lost if Obama and Democrats said, “Fuck you back.” People who don’t follow politics that closely _really_ don’t like that kind of thing. Even _Bush_ made a huge thing about how in Texas he worked with Democrats, and the polarized attitude of Washington needed to change, and all that.
Politicians have to say “bipartisanship is great!” They don’t have to mean it. (Mind you, I kind of think Obama does, because deep down he thinks people are reasonable, which makes him a sweetheart of a guy but hampers some of that killer instinct.) But, what’s worse, for the foreseeable future, they actually need it. The fact that Republicans have stopped saying that they also like bipartisanship is, or will be, a PR problem.
Actually, it was a (mostly) successful quest to win the votes of Blue Dog Democrats in the House, who otherwise were threatening to vote with the Republicans. The Republicans would have been a bonus, but it was really preventing the Blue Dogs from jumping ship and defeating the bill that was the reason.
The inauguration wasn’t a rally then either. It’s been planned since the eighteenth century, in fact.
So those million people must count way less than I thought.
Yep. And if you ask them about it, they say they’re upset because Obama didn’t try hard enough, with the unspoken implication that if he had tried hard enough, it would have magically passed.
Um, no. It’s not hindsight if you were screaming at the top of your lungs at the time that the GOP was not negotiating in good faith. See, us silly DFH’s actually believed Rush Limbaugh when he gave the GOP their marching orders – “make sure this President fails. ” And if Obama had listened to us, instead of David Broder I think we’d be in better shape.
Winning strategy? Well, God, I got in epic battles about this at the time with Honorable General, don’t want to launch into any more now – remember, I’m one of those awful DFHs who actually DOES all the phone banking, including tomorrow, so I gotta get up) –
But my whole bitch about HCR at the time was that it was not only bad policy, but also bad politics. The Dems negotiated away single-payer, negotiated away the public option at the very beginning (see Daschle’s new book) for nothing – and the public option was the damn POPULAR part of HCR.
So now the GOP runs ads that say the IRS will put you in jail if you don’t buy insurance (I know it’s not true, YOU know it’s not true – but we are not the problem, are we? )
Hell, the GOP passed the Prescription drug bill by holding the vote open for hours while they bribed and threatened members. They passed the Bush tax cuts, through reconciliation, by blatantly lying about the costs. And they didn’t waste 5 minutes on the Bipartisanship Unity Unicorn while they were doing it, either. They said “this is what we are going to do, and we’re right, and damn the consequences. ”
But the Democrats? Hell, Obama is STILL validating GOP talking points – saying in the NY Magazine article that he seemed like too much of a “tax-and-spend Democrat” – Geez, you don’t VALIDATE the GOP’s talking points by using them against yourself!
Karl Rove managed to start two wars and bankrupt the country while proclaiming loudly that the Democrats were the ENEMY.
So why the hell couldn’t Obama have pointed out, from the beginning, loudly, that the people who had bankrupted the country, the GOP, were NOT SANE PEOPLE!
Instead, he tried to play nice with thugs – and it cost him, and the party, dearly At least us DFHs had no illusions about the thugs – and no qualms about calling them thugs, either.
@Wallace: No, it’s not that they weren’t liberal enough. It’s that they weren’t simple enough.
ACA is pretty damn liberal relative to where things looked in 2008, but the effectiveness of ACA is wrapped up in a lot of complexity that, well, a lot of folks on the left just don’t want to take the time to understand. And as Taibbi I think accurately points out, the tea partiers are pretty much the manifestation of the apes standing before the monolith.
But health care the US will never look the same after ACA. At no time in the future, will access to health care and costs of health care look as bad as they did prior to this year. But there’s a lot of moving parts.
The plans proposed by the left weren’t necessarily any more effective – but they were all simpler. There wasn’t really an effort, as far as I could see, to understand how the moving parts of ACA would actually operate. FinReg was the same thing. The activists want simple solutions, not necessarily better solutions.
@morzer: I would add something else that I’ve brought up a few times but that no other commenter ever likes.
(d) How you can respond to someone who says, “It’s so much money… Why don’t we start on the low end and see if things get better?”
I think that’s a sentiment that accurately reflects the views of a handful of reluctant Democrats. And I think it’s hard to make a convincing case to spending-averse Democrats that $1.3T now is the only thing that will do.
Obama’s inauguration has been planned since the eighteenth century? Wow, the founders really were forward-looking, weren’t they? Did they place the Porta-Potty order at that time, or did they wait until the early nineteenth century?
Not really. Plenty of us non-DFHs do phone-banking and GOTV. Don’t play the selfless hero in an decadent world too quickly.
Second, and more important, you keep refusing to answer the key question:
What strategy was there that Obama could have followed that would have got the votes for more radical legislation?
Just answer this one, and leave the martyrdom at the door, ok?
Actually, he didn’t. See my comment #144 — the NY Times blogger took that quote out of context. Here’s the actual quote:
ETA the link to the article:
Well, there’s the old in for a penny, in for a pound approach. Also, if fixing the roof, better to have one tile too many than five tiles too few.
@Mnemosyne: This exactly. That the generic ballot is still being referenced is the first big clue. If they had real polling, they’d reference real polling.
Nate does the best job with the data that’s out there, no question, but he can’t make polls appear.
Because 30-40% of _Democratic_ politicians don’t like the demonize-the-GOP strategy, because they need Republican votes to get reelected. They don’t like the public option because it increases the involvement of the government in health care. They don’t like a lot of things you and I like, and most of them aren’t too smart either. And they have a lot of sway over what “The Democrats” do, because without them there’s no majority.
And because the general populace really does like to think of itself as middle-of-the-road, moderate, and such. Look at the whole Jon Stewart thing, all that “both sides do it” stuff we hate! And they will respond badly to “partisanship,” or to what gets covered in the media as partisanship.
Bullshit, Obama does talk about bipartisanship but about every time he gives a speech or interview, or whatever, he also manifestly puts the blame on the GOP, for not only causing the economy to fall apart in the first place, but also that they are not willing to help fix it now. He doesn’t use the “insane” word for obvious reasons, but again you are simply wrong stating Obama doesn’t lay the onus at the GOP’s doorstep.
And on the one hand, the msm brain farts on a regular basis that Obama is blaming the wingnuts too much, and many on the left bellow he doesn’t have enough spittle and brimstone when doing it, or something.
I honestly don’t know why anyone would want to be POTUS.
the narrative on so many things hasn’t fit the facts this year.
the anti incubent rage storyline didn’t win versus the facts.
what we have is a – perhaps a self fufiling prophecy – of energized GOP/teabagger voters and stay at home dems as the narrative
are the “likely voter” models based on this?
on the historical fact that Gopers turn out in higher percentages than Dems?
we’ll have a clue on tuesday as to how good the models were.
But I have my doubts that minority turnout will match the overall models based on past elections, I expect it will be higher – I really expect a higher then normal hispanic turnout in nevada, given the scary mexican ads, and the border with arizona with it’s immigration policy…
So Nate is working on info from the polls without knowing what the exact formula for likely voter is and you can see he’s a touch nervous about it when you read his stuff closely.
given the overall state of gerrymandering, I expect the GOPers to pick up the usually GOPer seats in the house – the ones they lost in 06 or 08 in close races.
I don’t expect the bloodbath predicted. overall control of the house may await cali and alaska, oregon, washington and that exoctic state the rpesident was born in having votes counted.
@morzer: Yeah, I didn’t say _I_ thought that was a really salient concern, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like Mary Landrieu or Blanche Lincoln did. My simple theory for why the stimulus was the size it was is that politicians were scared of the number “trillion.”
This has been a good thread, but I must take leave and visit Ms. Beckinsale on Planet #9 of my dreams. later alligators.
Then why is Obama’s approval massively higher than Congressional Democrats, and even higher than most individuals in Congress? And Democrats are still enjoying higher approval ratings than Republicans.
Obama is not unpopular. He is not being punished for trying to work with the right. He and Democrats are being punished because the filibuster exists. That’s pretty much it.
I don’t mean this in a bad way, but, you’re just a guy commenting on a blog. How clever your insults are doesn’t have any effect on the state of the national well-being. There’s a wee bit of difference in the allowable rhetoric. We just had a whole stupid to-do about whether Obama saying that Republicans should “ride in back” was a Rosa Parks reference.
ETA: The Democratic politician who did the most to call out Republicans as thuggish and, basically, the enemy was Grayson. It was fun, and everybody online loved it. He’s losing. I’d like to see more rhetorical bomb-throwers myself, but it’s not a guaranteed win, far from it.
@FlipYrWhig: No, it was pretty widely held that the stimulus was a first effort. Democrats knew that the GOP wouldn’t make things easy, but they didn’t think the GOP would actively block stimulative efforts – even ones with virtually no budgetary cost. That was new. We’ve never seen a party block things that are universally supported before.
The stimulus might have been larger, but Democrats also knew that most of their head room to spend went to TARP. That’s why stimulus got spread out over 2 years the way it did. There really are economic risks to blowing the deficit up, and we’re testing them to a degree right now.
Stimulus was primarily a victim of the Bush tax cuts and wars. 2000-2008 really was creative destruction put into practice – blow up the federal budget so badly that nobody following would have the room to actually solve any problems.
@Martin: I totally agree: the Republicans decided that they could just filibuster everything, which hadn’t been done before only because of a kind of gentleman’s agreement, and count on the procedural stuff (filibusters, holds, cloture, etc.) being so arcane to the public that they would face either no backlash or a backlash that could be dismissed as whining. And they were right.
@J. Michael Neal:
I call bs. While many on this thread have been nice about telling you the multitude of things you could have done, I call bs.
There are any number of opportunities on OFA. And if there weren’t for your area, there are plenty of tools there for you to use to get things started.
Speaking as someone who actually has a phone phobia, I can tell you that your whining doesn’t ring true.
@reality-based: Perhaps you have to do things differently when you want to, say, not start wars than if you do.
It seems reality-based has decided that explaining his master plan would require too much effort. Why waste energy on non-DFHs anyway?
CW says early voting is good for Republicans and the inclement weather on election day is also good for Republicans.
However, I live near and drive by a minority-majority area early voting location and that place has been packed every freaking day. We’ve had a few republican signs up in our hood, but they were met quite quickly with Dem signs in yards.
I think this time everything is on its head. Early voters are trying to make sure their vote counts — Dems — and Dems will come on out in the rain. And if Al is right about the demographics, then that’s just sad. But it doesn’t have to be. If J. Michael actually votes, and change votes, perhaps they cancel each other out. It’s one way to think of it.
So far, early voting statistics show that registered Democrats are turning up in much larger numbers than Republicans. I’ve seen quite a bit of head-scratching by the media over this.
So much for the CW, eh? :-)
you claim you meant
Well, that’s not exactly the way you put it, is it?
What you actually said was
again – tar with a broad brush much?
What about all us “progressives” who
a. ) think that a lot of the Dem’s problems come from being way too weak-ass on policy and too accomodating in tone to Republicans – who think that Obama blew a golden opportunity by being seduced by the mythical bi-partisan unicorn, and
b.) are still working their asses off – like they do every election, Godddammit – to save Democratic seats.
c. And then getting roundly stomped on because they don’t humbly accept the wisdom of their political elders and betters.
d. And then revising dictionary definitions of words, when they get called on it.
You know what I am sick and tired of? I’m sick and tired of the Democratic Elders and Betters Losing Godddam Elections.
I am sick of DC-based party elders – who blew the elections of 2000, 2002, and 2004 – scoffing at us “naive hippies” who are the grass-roots troops who won the 2006 and 2008 elections for you.
Don’t worry, though – I’m sure on Wednesday morning, Obama will be back chasing the Mythical Bi-partisan Unicorn, Rahm will be pushing some piece of self-serving shit onto the front pages of the WaPo about how none of it was HIS fault –
and you’ll be cheerfully kicking hippies, as usual, here.
Just to complete the handbook – the smugly ineffective DC wing of the party also (AKA the Judean People’s Front) also has three basic rules:
1) Democrats can never actually do anything they promise to do, and shouldn’t even try.
2) The Democrats should never have been expected to even try, because then the Republicans and David Broder will find out the Democrats are different from Republicans and will say mean things about them.
3) The fact that the Democrats have to deal with chronic institutional failure and obstructionism means they should continue rewarding the institutional failure and obstructionism with weak-ass policy and politics that are destined to fail.
Just explain the strategy you have for getting more radical legislation passed. If you can’t do this, you are just blowing smoke.
But did you vote or are you going to?
This is a serious question. This is not the time to sit out.
Do you think that s/he remembers that the House passed cap and trade quite quickly?
@morzer: Maybe we should just retire that DFH term and the Obamabot term and a bunch of other terms we’ve been floating around wounding each other with for the past year.
You have to wonder whether reality-based has actually discouraged more voters than anything else. This sort of moaning minnie self-pity by the our own DFH Brave Sir Robin must be the biggest harshing of Democrats’ electoral mellow since Nixon.
@Mnemosyne: I think the polls are fucked, personally. I don’t think the trend is necessarily wrong, but I expect the details are going to surprise people.
Without speaking for JMN I am pretty sure that the reasons he can’t door knock or make phone calls would also make him quite uncomfortable being an election judge.
@Suffern ACE: Someone went to a rally today…
One of the things I’ve noticed about electoral-vote.com is how much they hedge eve while still making solid declarations. I swear they must have a template that starts out, “We don’t have a lot of polling for this district…” so I am left wondering just what the hell is going to happen.
I’d be delighted. But – just remember that I am not the one who takes a perverse pride in labelling himself a DFH. Reality-based does that in every second sentence, along with proclaiming his superior insight and martyrdom. He seems to relish the term, although it adds nothing to his rhetoric of noble sacrifice. You might notice that he loves telling us that only he and his DFH comrades do any work – which is self-serving bullshit to hide his miserable lack of any political strategy, other than to lead the Charge of the DFH Light Brigade from a website safely far far away.
@reality-based: How is this any different than ‘The reason Republicans lost in 2006 and 2008 is that they didn’t run hard enough to the right?’ You are literally making the Tea Party argument with Republican crossed out and Democrat penciled in.
Everyone thinks they represent the average voter. Nobody actually does. The facts don’t reflect your substituted reality.
electoral-vote.com is not what it used to be or perhaps I am not. I look there every day, but it is just another polling aggregator much like 538. It focuses mostly on Senate races and doesn’t give much insight into house races.
James E. Powell
Grayson’s biggest problem is that he won a Republican district. If he were in a Democratic district, he’d be skating to re-election. His public persona attracted attention, sure, but the real reason there is so much outside money against him in that campaign, I saw an estimate of $2 million, is that it is a Republican district and very winnable for them. If they don’t get him, the last poll report I saw described the race as tied, they will be very pissed. If he loses, it won’t be for any reason other than he is a freshman D in an R district. Such people are not likely to hold seats in a midterm during bad economic times.
The only reason Grayson’s bombast is a problem is that he is almost alone. Republican crazies are so common that I have trouble keeping them straight. Was it this one who yelled “liar” at the president, or this one? Was it this one who became a birther, or this one?
Democrats are always quick to distance themselves from their more dramatic people. They buried Howard Dean because he had a pulse and a voice. If you are talking about branding, the Democrats could use thirty or forty Grayson’s. God knows what he says is true. I’m pretty sure if more people heard it in strong terms, they might think about it.
see, here’s what I don’t get. Why is this? (other than David Broder, et al)
1.Democrat’s say “Bipartisanship”
2. Republicans say “Fuck You”
3. Democrat’s DON’T say “Fuck you” back (because, according to you, they can’t)
4. Republicans pay no price for saying “Fuck You” – and, in fact, win big in the next election.
Tell me again why Democrats have to be bi-partisan when
a. it sucks as a policy strategy, and
b. it sucks as a political strategy.
and yes, I was fine with Obama TALKING about bi-partisanship – lip-service to High Broderism, fine, I get that.
However, his actually believing in the mythical bi-partisan unicorn meant that he – and his policy, and his party – got rolled.
And you still haven’t put your strategy for getting the votes for more radical legislation on the table. Could it be that you don’t have one, and never did?
@reality-based: And yet Obama’s approval ratings are still high and the GOPs are abysmally low.
I don’t see how what you are advocating would have resulted in anything different here.
Voters (if the polls can be trusted – we’ll see) aren’t responding to the things you think they are. You’re focusing in the wrong area.
Went out and around Anaheim today. First time this cycle I’ve been able to volunteer, and I forgot how much better it made me feel about the whole thing. I still don’t have high hopes for Tuesday, but I’ve done at least a little to stem the tide. Just wish I’d done more. (Thankfully, I think Brown/Boxer/Sanchez are going to win in California, and that will be nice. It will also be nice to be able to stop seeing Whitman/Fiorina ads 24/7.)
@morzer: The bottom line is, that’s not his job. It’s not my job. It’s the job of Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and the grossly overpaid consultants and strategists that the Democratic party employs. Obama and many other Democrats ran on a platform of big, sweeping change from the Bush years, and they won decisive victories based on that platform. If, the entire time, they had no idea how to actually deliver the change they promised, that doesn’t exactly cast them in a good light.
The Dems needed to figure out how to deliver the change they promised. It’s not our job to figure it out for them. And if the current crop of Democratic leaders can’t figure out how to do the right thing when they have 60-70% of the country behind them, then they don’t deserve to be where they are. End of story.
So you don’t have a strategy, and you just expect miracles all nicely gift-wrapped, after screaming about what a victim and a DFH you are? Funny how suddenly it isn’t your responsibility to think about the things you told us were easy if the Democrats only… did what? Apparently they just need to do.. something.
The word “impressive” does not apply here.
@morzer: “Excuse me, Mr. Engineer? That bridge you designed? It just collapsed.”
“Yeah, well, can you do any better?”
@morzer: Reality based is wearing the DFH label with pride, and should be commended for that. I also thank her for helping in the effort. If more people were willing to wear that label, life would be a lot easier. It is very easy to be discouraged and her idealism probably helps her through,. The original post, if I remember right, blamed white liberals for the upcoming loss, as some sort of way of motivating people. She took insult at that. And then somehow, a war started.
If people didn’t want her to get defensive, perhaps the original post should have clarified things a little better and perhaps people could have encouraged her in her efforts, which at this point must be exhausting. She is very correct to be upset by the way that people “inside” the Democratic Party establishment have behaved toward people like her. David Schoen, for instance, is someone who used to be “inside”, presents incredible claims in the WaPo today that he is a life long liberal so that he can trash the President for the rise in racial animosity in the country. And all those years he was on the inside and doing stuff to help the party, no one was thinking, “Gosh, this guy is a hateful scumbag mercenary who couldn’t come up with a winning strategy if his candidate was running against Hitler for Mayor of New York.” These saavy Democratic high hairs lack a certain idealism that they like to punch whenever they see it, cause it reminds them of how immoral they are. They aren’t “pragmatists”. They are just for sale. If someone is pissed off by that, well, good.
Asking her how she’s going to get the votes for more liberal legislation isn’t leading anywhere. Frankly, its the job of people in the Democratic party to figure that out, and there are times when they appear not to do that for “practical purposes”, then they lose anyway.
So honestly, all I can say is, “Reality Based”, keep going. The article is supposed to motivate people who aren’t like you and doesn’t talk about you at all. You, despite the fact that the deck is stacked against you, are making calls anyway. Whatever it is that keeps you going, fill me in, so the next time I meet someone like you who is dispirited, I can help raise their spirits, since insulting them probably doesn’t work as a motivator as well as one might think it would.
I am sorry, but wearing the DFH label as a proclamation of victim-hood is asinine and contemptible, especially in someone whose only contribution to the discussion is to tell us all that the Democrats are useless and Obama has betrayed us, while babbling about their superior virtue. Did you bother to read how allegedly only the DFHs are doing GOTV and that the rest of us can’t be bothered? That’s the most pathetic exhibition of egomania by someone who, when pushed, can’t say what Obama should have done differently, but is very sure that he must have got it all wrong. If this is an example of reality-based’s work ethic, it is shocking. FYI arrogance coupled with a complete absence of realism about how politics works is not “idealism” it’s just egomaniac exhibitionism – and believe me, that sort of pissy elitism is exactly what voters hate.
Also, Doug (not David) Schoen isn’t a member of Obama’s inner circle, much less a trusted Democrat. Caddell hasn’t been influential since Carter’s time, when he was a mix between adviser on bubba issues and the chief pollster.
Morzer, Junebug – Look, I didn’t initiate the progressive-bashing on this thread. SO I will fucking well defend myself, if you don’t mind. With your kind permission. If it doesn’t offend your delicate sensibilites and all.
And jeeze, I am so SORRY if – in response to the General’s castigation of progressives – I mention that this progressive has a long history of actually, you know, WORKING for Democrates every election.
Of COURSE I voted – so how about if I throw the challenge back to YOU TWO? How many phone calls have YOU GUYS made this cycle? How many days have YOU spent trying to get Democrats elected? Since you feel qualified to lecture, and all. Bona Fides, folks.
By the way – I”m a her.
Look, I had EPIC battles with the general, among others about this, during the HCR debate – and I ended up joining the “whip the bill” campaign Tim was doing. Morzer, Junebug, I’m sorry you weren’t around then, or don’t remember, but they went on for many and many posts – are you suggesting I do a re-cap, just for your benefit?
So sorry, I don’t fell like re-hashing every damn bit of it for a new audience (especially since it doesn’t seem to matter, now does it? I said – at the time – that the bill, besides being bad policy, would be a HUGE political problem for Dems in 2010 – and now it is. Except that you’ve all agreed that instead of questioning your OWN judgement, you’ll just blame it all on the DFHs who questioned your wisdom in the first place.
(And please, skip the condescension about how Progressives don’t really understand HCA, and how their solutions were just simpler, not better – because I fucking well DO understand it, every god-damn calculation and giveaway and loophole that the insurance companies are already driving trucks through – I don’t have the energy to re-hash all the previous argument about weaknesses of state-based exchanges, or question exactly WHO is going to enforce the anti-recission clauses, or trumpet my predictions about insurers dropping sick-kid policies, or ask – once again -how HCA looks if the GOP keeps the mandate, but drops all the rest of the stuff? Been there, done that, you guys won – now you’re just busy blaming the wrong people for the results. )
My Strategy? Would have had Obama TALKING about bi-partisanship every damn day – while legislatively ignoring it, and reminding the country WHY they hated Republicans.
1. Mid-East Bazaar Bargaining Rules 101 – don’t bargain with yourself and give anything away for nothing. Start with single payer, make a huge damn stink about it, fight tooth and nail for it – then allow yourself to be reluctantly force back to the three-legged stool WITH a public option and WITH government negotiation for better prices on drugs – both features, by the way, that were overwhelmingly popular with the voters – but given away right at the start by Rahm.
2. On stimulus? First off, don’t appoint – or listen to – Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, or anybody who ever worked at Goldman Sachs. Then, don’t give away effective stimulus in exchange for stupid tax cuts and no GOP votes. Third, put the Small-business-stuff into the stimulus bill right at the start. Fourth, Obama should have personally whipped for it. And I mean, Blue Dogs should have paid a price for opposition. Kucinich pulls a dumb stunt about voting against HCA? BAM! Obama went to his district, put on the screws. He should have played the same way with Blue Dog stimulus opposition. But more importantly, he should NEVER have validated the GOP tax cut nonsense by putting it in the bill in the first place.
3. Cap and trade passed the house quickly? Good for Pelosi, but big damn deal. It’s dead in the Senate. What – you think Obama will go to the mat for it? Fat chance.
when I said who are the grass-roots troops who won the 2006 and 2008 elections for you, I was referring to process, more than platform – specifically, the 50-state organization that Dean put in that made Democrats competitive in very unlikely purple places, the web-organizing that he pioneered, and all the registration and GOTV foot soldiers that brought out the turnout. I am NOT saying that Progressives pulled the party platform to the left (like the Tea Partiers are doing to the GOP. )
Hell, we were HAPPY with Obama’s platform. My personal faves –
* Health Care Reform with a Public Option and No Mandates!
* Strong Financial Regulation and oversight of the banks
* An end to Bush-era civil-liberties violations, and closing down Guantaunomo
* Rationalization of our foreign policies, ending Iraq/Afghanistan wars
Yeah, I was fine with the platform..AND SO WERE THE AMERicAN VOTERS – too bad he gave it all away.
Since Democrats actually passed all of that liberal legislation in the House, but couldn’t overcome the filibuster in the Senate, the solution is a very simple one – elect more Democrats. That and eliminating the filibuster are the only possible solutions.
Unfortunately, more Democrats is a solution that a lot of Democrats are rejecting, feeling that Obama and current Democrats have sold them out, when in fact, they’ve come through on the votes.
And yet Obama’s approval ratings are still high and the GOPs are abysmally low.
I’m sure that will be a great comfort on Wednesday – If Obama still has high approval numbers, yet the GOP somehow, magically has the House of Representatives.
this is my point – saying “fuck you” WORKED as an elctoral strategy for the Republicans.
1) You are not a genuine progressive, simply a member of the discontented fringe, subsisting on delusions of grandeur and possessing, mercifully, zero influence. Real progressives recognize that politics is the art of the possible, and that leading suicide charges uphill is not going to do anything but set the causes you advocate back a decade at best. They also don’t try and take sole credit for work done by a lot of people who mostly would not agree with their self-evaluation or their unproductive approach.
2) You don’t really care about these issues unless you care enough to develop a real strategy for getting the votes. If you aren’t prepared to do that, whining about how no one else cares and how noble you are is just verbal masturbation, and voters will turn away in disgust – rightly so. Politics is about living in the real world, getting things done, and not being so pure that no-one else is allowed to make things happen in an imperfect way because that might offend your entirely too delicate principles and sensibilities. The history of progressive legislation has always been one of flaws, imperfections, and gradual transformation for the better – sometimes over decades. If you are too childish to accept reality, and work for something that may not be perfected in your lifetime, you have no business in politics. Teddy Kennedy understood this, and worked his heart out, making any deal he had to, in order to gain some benefits for the people. You could learn a lot from him.
@reality-based: What fucking planet are you from?
The vote blocking the close of Gitmo was 90-6. Obama signed that executive order in his first week. How did he give that away when there were 50 Democrats voting against it?
You got health care reform. It differs on details but not on outcomes. You’re pissed because you won a new car but you don’t like the color. Show me that you’ve put as much effort into understanding ACA as I have and I’ll at least give you the benefit of the doubt on this.
We got FinReg. You’re claiming we didn’t. I’m going to argue that like with HCR, based on your apparent lack of understanding of the legislation that there’s nothing that Congress could have passed that you would accept here. If you want to be a proxy for Hamsher, that’s fine, but don’t come here and pretend that you have personal objections to legislation that you aren’t willing to take the time to understand.
Obama is unwinding Iraq exactly as he promised. He never promised to get out of Afghanistan. Remember ‘I’m not opposed to all wars, just to dumb wars.’ Afghanistan was the war he agreed with. You can disagree with that position of his, but don’t claim that getting out of Afghanistan was part of his platform. It wasn’t.
Again, I’m going to call you out on not knowing what the fuck you’re talking about. You’re doing a good job of representing the pissed-off left, but I don’t think you really know why you should be pissed off. We call out the tea partiers for this shit all the time. I’m calling you out for doing it too. You’re spending a lot of time screaming about why Democrats have fucked up. Why don’t you instead takes some of that time to actually learn about the legislation you’re screaming about.
@reality-based: Let’s not give up the game before the kickoff, okay?
well, I just feel I should mention here that I managed to get through – what, 4 or 5 posts? without applying the phrases
“asinine and contemptible
” babbling about their superior virtue”
” pathetic exhibition of egomania”
” shocking work ethic”
” FYI arrogance”
” complete absence of realism”
” egomaniac exhibitionism”
” pissy elitism
to my debating adversaries.
I always thought, in my years reading this blog, that we didn’t do that? (Well, except to BoB, who always had it coming. )
Hell, we came to battle-axes and tactical nukes during the HCA passage here, and I don’t remember even the General actually name-calling before.
I was also taught, years ago in formal debate, that whoever first resorts to ad hominem loses – so, what, did I win something?
Ok, I’m going to bed. But let me just marvel for a second at just who is accusing whom of “pissy elitism. ”
pots and kettles, etc.
@Martin: Yep. Pretty much, I agree. I do want to be a bit more specific with the Senate though, than just blaming their rules.
Fuck you, you arrogant, supercilious, condescending prick. You – and your ilk – are why we lose elections. It’s the Bob Schrum school of electoral politics – “anyone who doesn’t understand the true genius of the Washington Democratic Insider Consensus is just not very bright. ”
How DARE you insinuate that anyone who disagrees with you doesn’t really understand the legislation. And then accuse ME of being a – what was the term – “pissy elitist?” And condescendingly suggest that I study Ted Kennedy? I met him twenty years ago – how long were you his best bud?
Is it remotely possible – I mean, can you even CONCEIVE OF THE POSSIBILITY – that some one may have spent a great deal of time on the minutia of the legislation, understand it very well indeed – and just DISAGREE WITH YOU?
Who the fuck do you think you are? How DARE you claim that the HCA I got – with no cost control, no single-payer, no federal enforcement, no federal-standard plain-vanilla plan, no public option, and soon to be GOP-gutted – is the car I wanted, only a different color?
I wanted the Canadian plan. I would have been fine with the German or French plan. Please point to one other industrialized nation with a health-care system remotely resembling the HCA that just passed?
And – peripheral data point, I know, but telling shorthand – while you’re at it please explain why – if this is such a victory for consumers, and all – health care stocks surged after it’s passage?
Financial Regulation? Ok, but it’s not signed yet, is it? And do you want to try to convince me that the removal of margin requirements for derivatives was a GOOD thing? Also, the Volker Rule/Too Big To Fail was watered down to “let’s do a study and maybe we’ll do something. ”
Also, Hank Paulson was whipping for the bill. If Goldman Sachs likes the bill – tell me who it was written to please
Also, re financial regulation – wake me up when the Obama adminstration realizes that HAMP means they are paying the banks $3k while they kick people out of their homes. Or when the Obama administration supports mortgage cramdown – which they should have done at the start.
Obama gets a 70% grade on Iraq – ask me again in 6 months, when the civil war really gets going – will we withdraw in the face of it?
– and a 50% grade on Afghanistan. I understand WHY he made the decision he made, I understand the Pentagon pressure and the slimy op-eds and speechesfrom the Generals (I would have fired Petraus to make a damn point)-
I just think it’s no-win, everybody KNOWS its FUBAR, and 9 months from now, when he announces we’re getting out – he’ll get blamed for having stayed so long by the left, and the right won’t give him any credit for trying for two years. So I think he should have bit the bullet now – but it’s a judgement call, I grant you.
– – – h, fuck it, I’m too tired. And you have just discouraged the hell out of me – not because of policy agreements, but by your attitude that any Democrat who disagrees with you Inside DC Kool Kids is just not very bright.
Which means ANOTHER 12 years of losing elections. Been there, done that, have the t-shirt.
Are you SURE you’re not Bob Schrum?
oh, and Morzer? in re:
don’t pretend that you have personal objections to legislation that you aren’t willing to take the time to understand.
How about if I have personal objections to legislation that understand very damn well? Am I allowed such objections?
and speaking of – I noticed you never responded to a single one of my specific dislikes of HCA. Car analogies. Cute. Wanna talk about weak state insurance commissioners, who’s gonna enforce the med-loss ratio cap and ban on recissions, and what the plans offered on the exchanges in, say, Mississippi will look like?
nor did you answer – what WILL you do if the GOP leaves the individual mandate, but repeals the rest? Will you still be here with the cute car analogies? ?
I don’t see faulting HCR has winning a car and complaining about the color. To continue the analogy, it leaks oil and is in the shop a lot, making the shopowner happy.
At the same time, millions of people are going to get coverage that never had it before. Pre-existing conditions are much harder to exploit. In the slew of ads I saw, no one touted these accomplishments.
I think 9% unemployment is the major reason for the voter impetus, and the messaging from the left, in my opinion, doesn’t seem very good at leveraging enlightened self interest. Its a harder sell to even honest conservative arguments let alone the noise machine
Where do independants go when the latest “hopey change” brings them 11% unemployment, a forclosure debacle where banks literally take homes away from people making payments and wave after wave of impeachment hearings and “I got mine, screw you”?
I don’t think anyone who is relatively new to this, understands what a massive, sloppy, frighteningly-inefficient, plodding numbers game campaigning is.
You will make hundreds of calls. Most will not answer and dump you to VM. You will actually talk to a handful of people. You will get mostly apathy if you’re calling Democrats. And you’ll get a few encouraging thanks, and maybe one or two people that you actually helped convince to go vote. The cost of this is 4 hours of calling per two or three useful calls. That’s it. AND YET WE ALL MUST TO THIS IN ORDER TO WIN!
Yes, it seems like a huge waste of time. It seems impossible, hopeless, like trying to boil the ocean with a teaspoon. And it is. Because it is horribly inefficient. It’s not like you’re calling 10 people and getting 8, or even 5, positive results. To actually win, you have to make hundreds, maybe thousands of calls, AND SO MUST EVERYONE ELSE.
I once had a summer job where I was given a large strainer on a broomhandle, and told to go filter cigarette butts off of the beach. I’d spend all day out there, picking up cigarette butts, filling bags of garbage with them, and yet, no matter what I did, there were more. No matter what I did, it seemed to have no visible effect. Campaigning feels like that.
There is no instant gratification. But, amazingly, this stuff does work, and you can win elections this way. And we have to do it, or die.
Yes, an extremely weak, ineffectual FinReg.
Yes, lets. All the exchanges are controlled by the Federal secretary of Health and Human Services, not the state insurance comissioners. The Federal secretary of HHS also enforces the ratio cap and ban on recissions, and can kick any insurer off the exchange. The states have very little power – they can add extra conditions on the plans state exchange, but not remove conditions. Read the bill.
@mclaren: If you think voting in NY doesn’t matter I’d like some of what you are smoking. Sure, it looks like Gillibrand and Schumer are going to coast to victory. But the House races are another story. I am about to go in Tuesday and suck it up and vote for a democrat who voted against HCR after he voted for it, and then suggested that the Park 51 project ought to be moved. This isn’t my ideal candidate, but we are a swing district and this one will probably be close.
(To clairfy, the state can add extra required treatment on plans for their state exchange. But they cannot remove any treatments that are deemed mandatory by the secretary of HHS). See http://www.kff.org/healthreform/upload/7908-02.pdf, page 7. DHSS defines uniform benefit packages.
I fail to see the hippie punching in Al’s post. It just isn’t there because the DFHs and progressives I know vote and they work to GOTV.
Al’s comments are directed to that larger group of white voters who lean Democratic, but mostly like to bitch about things and will only vote when it is a hip activity like in 2008. If this is you, then his post is about you. If it is not you then it is about somebody else.
The distinction is clearly in the prose if one reads it.
@Mnemosyne: I understand what you are saying completely. And there is even more bizarre stuff from Nate that I’ve seen in my district. Last I looked, every poll out there (not many, but 3 or 4) had the democratic incumbent up by about 10. Yet Nate’s models have the republican challenger as a very slight favorite. So maybe he is going to be off. Still, I think Tuesday night will require something to dull some of the pain. (The good news to me is at least unlike 1994, I think NY will manage to not elect a republican to the Governor’s mansion)
I know history and memory do not seem to be as important as the narrative you wish to believe, but I urge to to go back 18 months and read about the legislative battle to get the stimulus passed. It, like everything, was filibusterer and some GOP votes were needed. They were gotten and quickly in the face of the growing wall of NO. You can imagine that it could have been done another way, but if we went down that road we would still be debating how to get a stimulus passed and not the impact of the one pushed through.
Still, it is always easier to invent the history you like, so go with that if you must. Just don’t get upset when folks can’t take your argument seriously.
Sorry to scatter post, but another thing from the Kaiser’s foundations summary, which also lines up with my reading of the bill:
The Office of Personnel Management will arrange for 2 multi-state plans to be available to each exchange – 1 of which must be non-profit.
So each exchange, in summary, will contain insurers offering plans that cover what DHHS says they have to cover, to a scope defined by the DHHS, and they’ll be competing with at least 2 plans that are directly contracted by the federal government.
And if a state doesn’t bother to set up an exchange that fits the rules? DHHS sets up an exchange.
There are exchanges in each state, but the system is federally administered. Much like the FEHBP, which is the model for the whole thing.
? ! ? LOL
I do believe you have bounced off of every wall on this thread here at Balloon Juice. Now get some rest, so we can rewind this play of self centered progressive butthurt for the Sunday Matinee.
Al’s point–and one you completely fail to grasp–is that in our Democracy we each have to take active ownership.
You seem to think that the mere mention of that fact is the same as calling people a DFH. I know it would be easier for Obama and the Democratic Leadership to solve all of this and kick the ass of the teabagger/wingnuts while you eat cheese-doodles on the side. That would be sweet, but our Democracy does not work that way and most of the current problems with it can be traced to folks who wish/think it should. On the right they always look for the great-man-top-down solution. Your complaints about Democrats seem to be a wish that Obama and others followed that GOP road-map. Instead, they ask you to lead yourself. They ask you to take ownership of your role as a citizen of the United States.
It is your job to be part of the solution and to realized that change and progress have always been hard work. Did you really think the shit pile of the Bush years could be fixed in 18 months. Did you really think the GOP was down for the count after the 2008 election? Did you really think that there was a magical legislative path that would not have faced the same levels of obstruction? Really? Pointing out that magical thinking on your part is not hippie punching. You just use that term to protect your talking points from examination.
Voting is a sacred duty. It is soaked in blood of the named and unnamed people who were killed fighting to give you that right. I find myself with very little tolerance for people who do not respect the personal responsibility of voting and blame their indifference on somebody else.
You have the power of the vote. If you do not use it, you lose the right to bitch. Obama’s policy decisions do not take away your power. Neither do the teabaggers. You give it up if you don’t vote. If you call yourself a progressive activist you give up your ideals if you don’t vote AND/OR don’t work to GOTV. That is Al’s point and I agree with it.
@Dennis G.: do you what the pure beauty of the Stewart/Colbert rally is?
The effect cannot be relentlessly exhaustively polled….because it was 2 days before the election.
This year the pollstahs were like the bankstahs on generating foreclosure paper…..polling polling polling. Nate said the poll houses that poll the most frequently showed republican house bias effect.
If the mondo republican wave doesnt materialize…..we wont know if it was cellphone penetration or rally effect….at least not pre-election.
Nate has been sayin all along there is high uncertainty– bless Stewart and Colbert for pumping up the uncertainty.
I just dont see 50 seats….after 356 ec votes to 173 ec votes?
And all this wave talk is beyond sillie.
Lawl, everone knows teabaggers can’t surf.
They think they ridin’ A-frame, but its relly just bake.
the indipensable riptionary:
and here is the estimate from CBS airborne survey.
can i remind everone that no one knew how the youth demographic would play in 2008?
it was only exitpolling that revealed 66% of that demographic voted O.
we heard the same bs about disaffected youth and youth dont vote in 2008.
but the ones that do……..will vote dem. and they havent been polled for enthusiam…….because they almost ALL only have cells.
membah, youth hates teabaggers.
a lot of this teabagger cheerleading like we see in the change troll is to pump up enthusiasm on the right.
they still mistakenly believe republicans stayed home in 2008.
and now…..im headed off to work GOTV.
@JoyfulA: Harrisburg the city is pretty much D – I remember all of the Obama signs – but you can tell when you’ve stepped exactly one inch over the city limits (all the other signs I saw in ’08 in Dauphin were for Poopdeck Pappy). Among other small changes in central PA, I think there’s a Drinking Liberally group in Lancaster.
Although it certainly is crucial to apply “agency” (the ability to accept responsibility that one can and sometimes must be considered an actor, not just a persuadable shadow) such as Al does about what people (particularly white people) can and should do… [Note: I mean to put the “Particularly in fora like this.” up here]
…I don’t think it somehow wrong or illegitimate to focus on what such people are likely to do. At least sometimes. [edited]
I certainly yelled a lot in, say, 2004 about how white people were so god-damned stupid and wrong to re-elect that son of a bitch Bush Jr., but at the same time it was okay to analyze what evidence there was and suggest or occasionally conclude what statistical associates were linked with such actions.
One can judge what one should focus on at any given time, but it is okay, and certainly often necessary, to consider what some mass of people chosen by some category are likely to do. And sometimes you can argue that course X may be made more or less likely because of policies or politicking rhetoric as well as how media coverage may spin such things.
Whatever happens we will survive. Hell, we survive the Bush years and we will survive Tuesday.
I’m less sanguine because I think we might be falling into a bad pattern: looking like post-WWI Greece or post WWII Italy where governments are regularly falling and control going back and forth every few years. Combine that with the fact that one faction is out and out crazy, and you have a recipe for disaster, particularly when te stakes are so high.
Your complaints about Democrats seem to be a wish that Obama and others followed that GOP road-map. Instead, they ask you to lead yourself. They ask you to take ownership of your role as a citizen of the United States.
This statement is a huge co-op. I said this before when it became clear how much Obama basically ignored organizing activists for health care: I’m nobody’s martyr. I’m not going to waste my time “taking ownership” over something that the political leadership doesn’t actually care about, because that’s an exercise in futility. If the leadership doesn’t care, why should I? If the leadership isn’t leading and isn’t putting my energy to good use, then I’m just slamming my head against the wall.
It’s also gonna get pretty bumpy for the other side when America gets a better look at the nutbags that the GOP sent to Congress.
Then why bother sharing this on a blog. If you are gonna quit, cause “leadership” is not doing your bidding, then banging your head against the wall on BJ seems a bit martyrish to me.
And I am really tired of going to campaigns and asking what I can do to help and basically being told that, if I can’t call, I’m useless.
Well, they’re right about that. Calling is the most cost effective and time-effective means of doing GOTV. You make more contacts than canvassing for the time you put into it, and it’s much less expensive and more effective than advertising per dollar. It’s one of those facts that is often frustrating but nevertheless true.
In any case, Obama wasn’t prepared to handle the “non-bipartisanship” case. And he didn’t care enough to organize activists to enforce bipartisanship– why were there not daily protests outside Voinovich’s offices at the behest of OFA?
‘cop-out’? Not so much.
I think your desire to be self-righteously upset because Obama was not the magical negro you wanted is the cop-out.
You have responsibilities as a citizen. They are yours. It is best to own them and act to change things. Waiting on magic will not make it happen. And getting upset when magical thinking doesn’t work is not a sound plan of action.
To each their own I guess. If magical thinking is your bag, you should not read things that might punch holes in your thinking. It seems that it just gives you agita.
Then why bother sharing this on a blog.
Because UNLIKE the Obama administration, someone on a blog comments section will pay attention to me.
If you are gonna quit, cause “leadership” is not doing your bidding,
Missing the point entirely: leadership doesn’t even care enough to ask ME to do THEIR bidding. It’s a cop-out to say that Democrats shouldn’t ask for direction from the leadership. If the leadership doesn’t care enough to put their activists to good use, then my energy is better spent elsewhere, like dealing with local zoning issues or things where my efforts are actually going to have a positive impact rather than engaging in tilting-at-windmills against a well-organized political opposition whose leadership DOES care.
Why are there not liberal activists who can find there way to the potty without Obama holding their hands?
I will answer that. Because it is easier for the lazy prog brats to piss and moan on blogs, than to actually go out and counter protest the tea baggers, for instance.
LOL, such a precious flower. What, you can’t motivate yourself to do the bidding OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. You have to have Obama personally bless your important selves and lead you to paint a sign and stand on a street corner in front of Voinovich’s office, and to do something constructive. Me ME Me ME me Me
Possibly. My argument would be that it’s one thing to be essentially a door-to-door salesman (or cold-calling salesman) and another to be a clerk neutrally instructing people on the rules of how to cast their vote. If you have social anxiety, it can be a lot easier to deal with people when you have a specific task to carry out (check names off a list, direct people to polling stations, etc.) to assist them in doing something that they came to do than if you’re showing up on their doorstep unannounced trying to sell them something they may not want.
The dynamic is different enough that it may be worth a try.
You really do not get it.
You are a citizen of the United States. That is not a free ride. It comes with rights and responsibilities. Our history is the story of the power of individuals working together–not the story of great men doing things alone.
Howard Dean was quite correct years ago when he said ‘You have the power.” You do. But you seem to be too scared or too self-important or too lazy to be responsible and accept your ownership of that power. Fine. If that is your bag then go with it. But don’t blame others for your choice. It is yours and yours alone.
‘He made me do it’ didn’t work as an excuse in grade school and it doesn’t work as an excuse for you now.
Just outta curiosity, are you talking about John Hall?
Damn bunch of whiners here upset that the front lines aren’t interested in forming their own charge. Look: leadership is necessary. An organized plan is necessary. If you don’t get that, and if you want the party leadership to abdicate that responsibility and then blame the rank-and-file for not being “bottom up enough,” then you’re setting yourself up for constant frustrations as well as a life of purity seeking because you will reject anyone that has a hint of actually leading activists. I’m no one’s martyr. I don’t tilt at windmills. If the leadership doesn’t care enough to direct the troops, I’m not going to run straight into enemy lines. You just don’t get that and want everyone’s lives to be a constant grass roots activism in the face of an apathetic leadership– you don’t get it at all. The point of activism and organizing is to put to leaders you want in charge so that you can leverage power through their leadership. Politicians who don’t want to lead their activists shouldn’t be politicians.
Dude, YOU are the front lines.
Dude, YOU are the front lines.
Correct. And I’m not charging up against the enemy for fun. I want a plan from competent leaders. And orders. Otherwise, my time is probably better spent taking care of my garden. Or at least lobbying the zoning board to approve the liquor license of a nice restaurant for my neighborhood. You know, something that will actually work.
I think liberals are basically uncomfortable with power. Grassroots organizing isn’t a feature– it is a reaction to a situation where you lack power. The point of having power is so that you can use it, and the leaders in power are support to use their position of leadership to lead their followers/activists. But grassroot organizing has become an addiction for some people: they’re addicted to being powerless and losing, and don’t like the idea of having those activists being directed to be used as tools to serve political goals by the leadership. If you’re uncomfortable with the fact that Republicans use a top-down leadership style to get what they want and put their activists to use, then maybe politics isn’t for you.
LOL, so it’s Bush envy getting your goat, and you need marching orders, like the wingnuts. If you are comfortable with the fact that Republicans use a top-down leadership style to get what they want , then maybe the democratic party isn’t for you. Maybe Jonah Goldberg was right and there are liberal fascists.
You are disappointed in Obama’s performance. I am not. You want to take your ball and go home. I will give you a lift.
You’ve disappeared for the moment. Remember, it’s Halloween and if your sugar high becomes as pronounced as your chicken count, you may have a major hangover come Wednesday.
Even Mr WereBear has gotten this fact into his very astute, but until recently oblivious, skull:
The news lies.
There is no longer any information in the news. Period. Mr WereBear was a high level person in the DC of long ago, back when you could trust Uncle Walter and the “news” didn’t have to make money. That’s all gone now.
But the older you are, the less you grasp that. This is how old people could sit in front of Fox and believe the President is actually a space alien. They are stuck in a mindset that believes “they can’t say it if it’s not true.”
The news is held to a lesser standard than advertisements for butt cream, for the luvvagawd. They can sit there and lie for hours on end, and there is no consequence to it; except sometimes they win by lying.
We watched CNN cut away from the President’s rally in the middle of all the booing. So they could leave that impression in the minds of their viewers. On purpose, just like the twiddled the mike on Howard Dean to make him look like a screaming lunatic. On purpose.
I don’t believe a word they say unless it’s on Rachel’s or Keith’s show. Because they try to broadcast facts and will admit when they screw up. I don’t always agree with them, but I think they are actual journalists.
That can’t be said of too many news outlets these days, and that is, quite simply, our biggest problem as a nation.
That’s why I love the Stewart/Colbert rally yesterday. That was their message, too.
Alan in SF
The idea that bloggers have that much influence on the electorate — or any measurable influence on the electorate — is exceedingly dubious. Where’s the evidence for that?
Late in the game for this, but reality-based’s points are perfectly fine as a prescription for “What I would have done in a political world where all Democrats are liberals.” The problem is, they aren’t. There are conservative Democrats who _don’t want_ strong HCR, single-payer, or the public option, because they think the government shouldn’t be in that business. There are conservative Democrats who _don’t want_ strong financial reform legislation, because they think the banking sector is crucial to American prosperity. There are conservative Democrats who hate all the stuff you want “the Democrats” to do. That’s the problem. You have to get them on board, because they’re part of the coalition, and without them you don’t have the votes. It’s true for politicians, and it’s true for the public.
Well, I would have liked to do some GOTV this year, but I have to work two jobs to keep the bank from taking my house away, and I just don’t have the time.
But if it makes you feel better, go ahead and blame me when the GOP takes over Congress.
If you are comfortable with the fact that Republicans use a top-down leadership style to get what they want , then maybe the democratic party isn’t for you.
I’m a democrat because I want to see liberal policies enacted, not because I view political activism as an outlet for self-fulfillment. Democrats are addicted to being out of power, it seems: their fantasy is every day getting a bunch of disenfranchised people to sign their worthless petition. Sometimes it is better to, you know, actually do something with power rather than live a repeating groundhog day of powerless agitation.
Wordy McFucking Word.
If the GOP succeeds in getting their policies through, watch the buyer’s remorse shoot to the stratosphere. You’ll hear such screaming and whining from the teabagging morons that you’ll think you’ve been dropped into Gymboree two hours from nap-time.
I voted, although I admit I didn’t participate in GOTV. :( And yeah, I’m not crazy about the Democratic Party’s performance these last two years. But they’re a damn sight better than Boehner and his Last Days crowd. I’m not going to hand out any hankies to people who didn’t bother to vote, any more than I’m going to pat some idiot teabagger on the head who sobs, “They LIED to us!”
Herein may lie your problem then. Self described liberals are the smallest ideological constituency among all in the American electorate, and aren’t a majority in the democratic party either. And even then, among all the three types of democrats, liberals have consistently given Obama the best approval marks of either conservatives or moderates in the dem family. So you are simply uninformed, not only that Obama and dems have had a very successful legislative congress, this past one, but also the ideological makeup of the dem party. I suspect you are confusing left wing dogma standards and mistaking them for “liberal” views. And you are hardly the only one making this error. The netroots is full of so called progressives, who are actually left wing ideologues, and not a lick progressive, because if they were, they would realize we have made progress the past two years.
General Stuck, now you are changing the subject. Where did I criticize any laws passed under Obama as “too conservative”? I explained myself a couple times already. If you don’t understand or want to change the subject rather than addressing the substantive points, find another thread.
Bruce (formerly Steve S.)
Well no, I’m afraid Mr. Giordano gets a couple of things very wrong right off the bat.
As Nate Silver has pointed out, white liberals are voting roughly as much in this midterm as they ever have. The difference is that white conservatives are almost unprecedentedly motivated this time around. I’m not sure why, since Jon Stewart assures us that Tea Partiers are not racists. I might have thought that the fact that our relentlessly centrist President also happens to have a dusky skin and and a funny name might have something to do with it, but since Jon says no, that can’t be it.
Also, Silver has pointed out, contra Mr. Girodano, that the Dems will likely hold the Senate not because of “districting” but simply because only 37 seats are up for election. When you think about it, losing 6-10 seats out of only 37 contested is a pretty thorough asswhupping.
LOLwut? you said you were a democrat because you wanted liberal policies enacted. Besides the fact the HCR would be considered by anyone to be relatively liberal, certainly by the right wing who consider it soshulism, I simply pointed out that the democratic party is not by default, liberal. And your disappointment and judgment of Obama lacks realistic perspective.
And don’t tell me to find another thread, I like this one and toying with a smug moron. It is a weakness, I realize. But it is a fun weakness.
@change: So what are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be celebrating with your people, and planning all that new legislation?
Obama and other elected Democrats are to blame because their words and deeds in this multifaceted American emergency (created by them and the Republicans since Reagan) have been appalling.