I’m sure someone wiser than me has already said this, but…the Republican debates have been a huge disaster. At best, they’ll end up with a nominee (Romney) who has been (more or less) forced to take positions on immigration that will hurt him in the general election; at worst, they’ll have a Goldwater-like sacrificial lamb.
How did this happen? Did party elders look at the the endless series of Obama-Hilary debates, come to the conclusion that those had helped the Democratic party (I think they did too), and decide to try having their own series? Was it beyond their control?
I read a lot about how Roger Ailes would step in and make sure the primary went well, that it wouldn’t turn into a clown show, that he’d make sure an electable candidate got through. But then Bret Baier (to his credit) got all serious journalist with Romney.
Republicans may still win next November. I’m not making any predictions. But clearly they’ve shit the bed, thus far. Wha’ happen?
My theory is that goopers got the idea that Obama was avoiding debates. So therefore they’d have six million of them just to piss off demoncrats and show them who’s better. Worked out real well, for us anyway: all the oppo researchers have to do is set the DVR correctly every week.
The fact that Romney ended up being the “strongest” candidate for the longest is what happened. For all of the talk of how weak Obama was and how much trouble he was in, the majority of the so-called GOP superstars didn’t have the guts to get into the race. Just about the only one that did, Perry, imploded.
I’d also add that in 2007 the Democratic field was head and shoulders over what the GOP was able to dredge up. The Republicans just have jack shit to offer when it comes to someone who can lead a country, no matter how “reasonable” they seem (Huntsman). The media simply ignores how weak they are, and sadly certain segments of the voting population (old people) can still be scared into ignoring the weakness of the GOP (2010). And then the majority who weren’t paying attention one way or the other are surprised at what results.
It’s extremely strange. By any rights, serious career politicians ought to be trying to get that Republican nomination. Obama’s a vulnerable candidate – I’m voting for the man, but the unemployment rate alone suggests the race ought to be winnable for a Republican. Instead, we’ve one guy running because It’s His Turn, and a bunch of folks running because they’ve got a book to promote. I’m not buying Carville’s explanation that being a Republican is fundamentally untenable; a talented politico should be able to strike the right mix of red meat and Sister Souljah to get through. No one’s bothered to seriously try, though, and it baffles me.
It was supposed to be Mitt Romney and the Insane Clown Posse, but Mitt got dragged in to the insanity by the base. Now all bets are off.
The Republicans are just not as smart as some people think they are.
Dems in 2008 had two excellent candidates to choose between, Republicans in 2012 will have a half-dozen crappy, crazy candidates to choose from. The nominating process, also known as Republicanus Clowncarus, is actually revealing the truth that’s beneath all the posturing and all the lies. Strange but true.
Vlad on the Tracks
So there’re two different questions. (1) Why so many debates? (2) Why have those debates been nothing but showcase showdowns of ignorance and meanness — in a way that is not actually helping any of them, or their party?
I have no idea about (1). Maybe it’s related to the evident lack of leadership in the Republican party? There is no one in charge with sufficient clout to make them all eat their vegetables and shut. the fuck. up. In the absence of party leadership the candidates just can’t say no to more and more opportunities for a TV appearance, momentary relevance. Therefore: endless debates.
About (2): I dunno. Does one of the candidates have his or her thumb on the pulse of the right wing? If so then the fault of the right, dear Brutus, lies . . . and so on. If not, then it’s just an amazing out of control wreck, like the school bus in The Sweet Hereafter, to make a particularly inappropriate comparison.
Maybe the GOP’s owners thought they could lure a candidate in that people would like more over time. They couldn’t, for whatever reason, and now they’re left with candidates that people hate more each time they open their mouths.
@Satanicpanic: Who are these people that think that the Republicans are smart? I thought Republicans hate smarts and book learning. It is all about thinking from the gut for them.
It all comes back to the decision to unleash the id with the Tea Party, damn what may come, because they’ve made it increasingly difficult for anyone with an ounce of nuance to get through the primaries. And then they compounded that problem by scheduling 10,000 debates. It’s almost like they really don’t want to win…
The Republicans, crushed after being dumped in 2008, decided to hook up with a TrolloP, which they’ve found problematic after some great times in 2010; they’d like to dump the chick, who has turned to be fucking nuts, but…
@Satanicpanic: our problem appears to be is that neither are the voters…..
I think the debates have been hugely entertaining. I would rather watch
Ignoramus Americanas than Saturday Night Live. I’ve not watched this much TV since Breaking Bad, Nor have I gained so much weight from eating Kettlecorn.
The debates have given us the schadenfreude of political payback so completely, that the Bush years seem almost worth the angst and teeth-gnashing we all endured.
I don’t think it is rocket brain surgery science. They sold their collective “souls” (such as they are) to the far-est of the far right freakazoids for short-term gain, and in doing so created a monster that is devouring its creator.
What’s not to
like love ROFL over
Pandering creates an addiction in the base, and that addiction only grows stronger over time. Until the GOP goes cold turkey (Hell freezing over also too), this is what you are going to get, aided by the media’s miserable cowardice about calling these crazies out for what they are.
Maybe they don’t actually want to win. They are likely to take the senate and who knows what’s going to happen in the house (presumably they keep it if they turn out the base…). Divided government has been very good for them.
@schrodinger’s cat: Some of the Republican leaders- Rove, Ailes have the undeserved reputation of evil genius. Evil, yes; genius, no.
Why are there so many debates? Because there are a bunch of 24 hour news channels that have nothing better to do.
As for why the candidates are so crappy, it’s because there’s no longer any control over the party and you have to be completely insane to appeal to the teabaggers.
And as for Mitt, he certainly is a shitty politician. He’s robotic, patronizing, and always comes off as insincere. However, could you imagine Bob Dole or Bush I trying to get the nomination today? They would have no chance with the rabid base.
No, they really want/need to win; they’ve endlessly demagogued Obamacare, a thoroughly centrist program, and if it’s enacted, they could be in the forest for a long time…
What happened? The black guy won handily in 2008 and it broke the “elite’s” hold on the base they’d been shitting on for decades. Now the base wants on of their own, dammit, and they won’t sit back and take it anymore nosiree. And they’re likely to lose big as a result.
Vlad on the Tracks
@Irving: You wrote:
But it is certainly becominguntenable, via demographic trends. That must surely breed desperation. Hell, if I thought my political world view was playing with a less than fully loaded shot clock, I’d be in a state of freak-out, too.
But I don’t actually know what Carville’s point was in saying that.
I do not for the life of me understand why anyone in the Republican Party thought it was a good idea to hold a nauseating number of these televised “debates.” Their brand has been poisoned since Bush, only 30% of the electorate self-identifies as Republican, less than that approves of the Tea Party, and that is the noxious base these candidates are forced to appeal to.
Maybe the GOP thought they could appeal to independents with these debates? But really all they’ve done is lift the rock on conservatism, allowing the rest of the country to see the creepy-crawlies wriggling around underneath. Every successive debate has been another exercise in horror. Booing gay soldiers! Cheering capital punishment! Tell the uninsured to die, tough noogies!
I mean really, you’d have to be pretty fucking shit-faced drunk on some major Kool-Aid to think this was anything close to a winning message.
They thought they could beat up on Obama in the debates. Think, 8/9 of “our guys” on a stage pointing out how bad Obama is and by November everyone will hate him like we do. Remember how utterly shocked they were when Clinton was reelected? They think the rest of the world thinks like they do. (I was as shocked when Reagan and W were reelected so on that one thing, both parties are the same.) Republicans think anyone who spouts their BS back at them is smart so they never imagine a Palin or a Perry will be so awful at answering questions. It was like Kucinich and the UFO. Who of us didn’t cringe at that and think “I’m sooooo over you.”
Their purity tests have boxed them in so much that candidates must speak almost exclusively to the ugly id of the wingnut base. Better candidates saw that this situation would be nothing short of a disaster and wisely steered clear. So we’re left with second and third tier candidates, plus “his turn” candidate Romney. And hilarity ensues.
You misread Baier and AIles. Baier pushed Romney on credibility, not on issues. The test for Romney was whether he was up to being Fox’s standard bearer, and he failed, because he assumed that wasn’t Fox’s role.
The rush to credit Baier misreads the interview.
If you go to right-wing sites, such as the comment section of the Corner, everyone is convinced that Obama is _doomed_ in 2012 no matter who the Republican’s put up, so why not put up the most conservative guy. They live in a world where they can’t conceive of Obama actually winning reelection.
Hell, even on more sane conservative sites, they assume Romney would win with 320-ish EV’s.
Gin & Tonic
@Southern Beale: @Southern Beale:
And yet, in November of 2012, somewhere around 60 million people will vote for whoever survives this process on the GOP side. 60 million!
The increasing political utility of the inter-webs plus the ability to raise vast sums of private money leads to a devolution of political parties as we have know them for at least a century.
There is not one single group who has the juice to shape the way this is playing out. Like it or not, one of the things that members of political parties need to do is to believe in the mission of the greater party and sacrifice to that end.
Now both parties are made up of smaller sub groups focusing on micro issues. Our party was well served last time by two candidates who competed fiercely but weren’t willing to burn the place down to get their way. Will we be as lucky next time?
Even given the above, once the GOP has chosen their man, he will be acclaimed ta champion, a survivor tested in the toughest GOP crucible in living memory. The press will admire him and stories of courage and determination will flood the MSM.
Also, because there’s so much right wing media and right wing organizations out there. There are “regular” media debates and then there are Fox News debates, NewsMax debates, Washington Examiner debates, “American Principles Project” debates and Tea Party Express debates.
There is a vast right wing infrastructure out there whose purpose is to promote conservative ideology and churn out conservative talking points. Every one of them needs to have their ego stroked and be a part of this big extravaganza.
If this were 2012, would the Democrats have a similar infrastructure available to sponsor a string of debates? Would there be a DailyKos debate and a Center For American Progress debate? A debate by Salon and The Nation? Doubtful. Dem candidates would be so scared of looking “liberal” by attending one that they’d stay away.
Maybe things have changed, I dunno …
Davis X. Machina
Live by the 24-hour-news-cycle beast, die by the 24-hour-news-cycle beast. Gingrich is a creature of that world, and Romney is not, which is why a Gingrich spell at the top of the polls was always a matter of ‘when’, not ‘whether’.
They’d have been better advised to try another impeachment. The Clinton witch-hunt was their Spitfire summer — they forever see things in terms of it. Rather like the run-up to the Iraq war on the left.
There are *no* GOP elders. Really, there is no functioning Republican Party, as in party apparatus. It’s a collection of individual agents pursuing their individual interests. Reince Preibus? WTF? Who? All of their supposed leaders — Rush, Ailes, the rest — are not actually concerned with the fate of the GOP as a party. I think it probably started way before GWB but his “success” and that Bush family machine disguised it.
Davis X. Machina
@Gin & Tonic: For those 60 million people, it’s Team R till they die. Throw away your Federalist Papers, — or sell them to an unsuspecting AP Government student — and get a big foam ‘We’re #1’ finger. Or go to Pittsburgh when the Steelers are playing at home. That’s all you need to understand American politics — and without understanding team sports, they’re impossible to understand.
Under normal circumstances, this should have been a formality leading up to the coronation Romney, the guy whose “turn” it was.
Unfortunately for the party bosses, Mittens is completely devoid of any common touch, is transparently phony, and comes across as an entitled prick any time he’s challenged on anything.
He’s a triple threat of fail.
There are so many debates for the same reason there are so many reality TV shows: low production costs, the likelihood of a tragic flameout, novelty, celebrity and spectacle. What’s not for TV to like?
To look at it another way, these debates are like All in the Family, except everyone’s Archie Bunker, even the batty housewife.
@Southern Beale: that assumes that the message is being sent and acknowledged…. how many independents and blue dogs are watching these debates and taking notes? How likely is it that the anonymous hate machine cant make up a brand new batch of lies and half truths to sell? Hell, they make it up out of whole cloth now courtesy of their very own propaganda network. I don’t expect to our remaining watchdog media to call them on anything, not while we still have silver tongued Dave hosting all of those VSP people on Sunday and people like little Chuckie clucking about how unhelpful Democrats standing up for their few remaining principals is to those stalwart conservative lemmings.
I just saw a clip where on FOX NEWS, in a poll of who’s most likely to win, Obama got 41%, Newt got 16% and Romney got 15%! You should have seen the look on the Fox and Friends crew’s faces, they were completely shocked. To be honest, so was I!
There’s a saying. If you sleep with the devil, you might get your eyebrows singed. Well Sarah Palin and the Tea Party was the devil. They saw the energy and embraced it full circle.
Now they’re getting their eyebrows singed.
When all you have in the party are anti-government and don’t care about governing, just staying in power, then it’s not a wonder that Nicki Haley is lower in the polls than Obama is. In fucking South Carolina!
Obama on 60 Minutes: “Don’t judge me against the Almighty, judge me against the alternative”.
I’m watching Obama on 60 Minutes right now and there just isn’t a GOPer who can hold a candle to him.
Which is ludicrous. Obama’s worst-case scenario is 19 states with a total of 232 electoral votes: CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, MA, MD, MI, MN, NJ, NM, NY, OR, RI, VT, WA, WI. Add OH and PA and you’re at 270.
When is the last time a Republican Sister Souljah’d though? Every now and then somebody will go off the reservation for fifteen minutes. Then Rush will call them on it and they’ll genuflect.
What was the debate schedule like among Democrats in 1992 or 2004? I kind of remember that the media buzz in 1988 was that there were too many D candidates, and that was also a case where different segments of the Dems were at each others’ throats: Dukakis vs Jackson vs Gore, with Gephardt expected to make some waves and Bruce Babbitt in the Jon Huntsman reasonable-guy-getting-no-love position.
@MikeJ: The last time a Republican did it was probably when McCain called Robertson and Falwell agent of intolerance.
That’s why Newt’s going to be their nominee. The teatard prime directive is to not be humiliated, he’s their only “intellectual” and he’s mean. He’s all they’ve got now.
Anyone catch Obama’s almost throw-away line when “complimenting” Romney’s political skills? “He’s had a lot of practice at it”.
Odie Hugh Manatee
I was just flipping through the channels and saw a clip on NatGeo with a researcher pointing out that a “very stoned rat” (injected with THC) is out in the middle of an open area, opining that THC makes the rat behave abnormally (rats stay to the sides of things, avoiding open areas). That is followed with the narrator stating that ‘THC has even worse effects on humans’ as the researcher is draping what looks like an unconscious rat over a rodent drinking bottle.
My problem with this is that I don’t have any of that excellent weed they are using! I’ve been smoking weed for over forty years now and I’ve never come across shit so good that it knocks you out (or to the point that you can’t even move).
I wonder if they need any human test subjects. I would think that the best way to see how it affects humans would be to ummm…
TEST IT ON HUMANS??!!
Like the Washington state DMV did in the late 60’s. Oh, right… the stoners beat out the straights and drunks in that test.
I hope that rat don’t drive. I don’t want him bringing down our score!
Who are these “Superstars” you are referring to. These are the superstars. The ones who aren’t running are the Husker Du candidates. Rolling Stone can claim that they are the “Best Band You’ve Never Heard of” over and over again, but they will never sell. Perry, for what it’s worth, is a fluffed superstar. 18 months of proclaiming the “Texas Miracle” couldn’t get him more than also ran status.
Daniels and Christie didn’t look at the polls against Obama, but against the rest of the Republican field, and decided No. Haley Barbor? Jim DeMint?
Don’t hold onto the myth that there are these great Republicans out there who could blow the public away and sell out Madison Square Garden. They aren’t out there.
After Gingrich flames out, who do the Republicans turn to? Tebow can’t run because he’s not 35 years old.
Note how close they are ideologically and compare the resumes of the above group the the current GOPers.
Mike in NC
There’s pretty much been a new scandal surfacing down there every week, which is hilarious given the media want to paint Nicki as some formidable future VP pick.
Christ, if it were up to our worthless media and the Beltway punditry, the GOP would have long ago settled on the Rick Perry/Paul Ryan 2012 dream team.
@burnspbesq: Huckabee-Nugent 2016.
Winning would put a serious crimp in the cash flow from the rubes. Losing, otoh, would intensify the “we must be the democrats or die trying” rabble that sends in their $20 to the hucksters like Newt, Hannity, and Beck. Intensity is amplified in the minority. Winning creates complacency. Must keep the gravy train a-rollin down the tracks.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@b-town: Does anyone have any idea how often a party wins the presidency and yet loses the senate?
@Mike in NC: Didn’t Haley, in an effort to justify drug testing welfare recipients, recently get caught fabricating a story about people buying drugs with food stamps?
Sometimes I come for the dog photos.
Sometimes I come for the snark.
But mostly I come for the totally awesome titles.
The one thing that Obama has learned that the current clowncar occupants have not: Never, ever get out of the goddamned boat.
Bring. It. On.
Ben Cisco (mobile)
Love that President Obama called the odious Steve Krofft out on every winger talking point he trotted out. Fool needed a serious mike check.
@Vlad on the Tracks:
There are thugs in charge but they aren’t ‘adults’, they’re encouraging the mental illness — Norquist (economic policy insanity) and Limbaugh (general insanity and snake-meanness). They’ve been swimming in their own sewage of willful ignorance, arrogance and bigotry for so long, listening only to Faux News loudly insisting it’s perfume, that they don’t even notice the smell anymore.
@Jesse Ewiak: wow, Obama really can pick ’em. Hillary’s people were bad at math, and Republicans don’t believe in it.
Is this the video?
How do you spell schadenfreude? :-)
@burnspbesq: is Colorado really a lock?
@Ben Cisco (mobile): He also rightly pointed out Kroft had contradicted himself a couple of times.
I think the answer to the question you’re really asking is ‘We’re seeing up close the reason why conspiracy theories are crap.’ There is no Corporate Overlords of Party Elite to steer the GOP boat into the dock. There are many of them, none of whom completely agree, many of whom gleefully want to shiv the others in the back. And even when they agree, their power is not superhuman. They have influence over the TV media and the Teabaggers, but not *control*. Even assuming the ‘Party Elite’ all want Mitt as the candidate, if the voters won’t buy that pony, that pony will remain unbought.
Most likely whoever decided on the number of debates had a plan. That plan has turned into shit, because he was not the all-powerful leader of a secret ruling cabal. It wouldn’t surprise me if he THOUGHT he was.
If you ever think that the inmates aren’t running the asylum, go back to 2010 and watch Karl Rove apologize to Rush Limbaugh on FOX for admitting that a hopeless idiot had no chance to win her senate race.
No spoilers! I bet it turns out the Mitt Romney has been dead all this time and that Gingrich marries Fiona.
@Frankensteinbeck: The problem is the party elite most definitely didn’t want Romney or they wouldn’t have had their press hacks run Huntsman, Perry, Daniels, Barbor, and Christie up the flagpole all summer long.
@Irving: who exactly you have in mind that could have been a better challenger than the current clowns? huntsman was supposed to be the ‘sane one’ and he has been showing of late, he is no different. So who else is left ?
Dem gov, two dem Senators, three out of seven dem Reps, and the fastest growing part of the state, the suburbs of Denver, is pretty blue.
Lock? Maybe not. Strong lean? Absolutely.
Not happening. The Dem establishment loves Kirsten. Warren does not lack for enemies.
Plus, Warren will be 67 years old on Election Day 2016. Gillibrand will be 49.
@burnspbesq: FEEL TEH NUGMENTUM!!
@xian: Obama won Colorado rather easily in 2008, and everyone and their dog counted Bennett out for 2010. Between a burgeoning Latino population and general Republican douchebaggery I don’t see how it could go any other way. Plus the Democratic candidate is ahead in North Dakota for Senate. I am marginally optimistic but still willing to work.
AFAIK no one has even declared against Cantwell yet. Someone is welcome to correct me here however.
@Yutsano: Isn’t there some billionaire real estate developer who always runs for statewide office out there all the time, or am I thinking Oregon.
Hey look, another meaningless post about the sun rising in the east and water being wet.
And that “they may very well win next Nov” sounds like wishful thinking to me. What’s up with that seeing as how all indications are they won’t?
@Yutsano: I thought it was going to be McKenna.
@Suffern ACE: You’re thinking of Mr. Inititive, Tim Eyman, who should always be referred to as a horse’s ass (which is a funny/depressing story if you’ve never heard it.)
Won’t voter suppression hand the election to the GOP? I think that’s the hail Mary they’re counting on.
Oh and the comment boards of Salon and other blogs are flooded with people saying that “We Dems should just stay home and teach the Democratic Party a lesson.” If those are all real liberal Dems or if they’re paid trolls is up for debate.
Ben Cisco (mobile)
@ Hill Dweller 65: Yes, I forgot to bring that up. Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving sack o crap.
The reason they’re having so many debates is because none of these clowns is actually campaigning. The debates have become the only real campaign events on the GOP side. I remember Iowa ’08 very well. Huckabee was working his ass off, jammin at events, hanging out with Chuck Norris and having a great time. Romney was blowing the family fortune busing around to multiple town halls a day. Edwards was pulling all night events. Clinton had the helicopter swooping her from one senior citizen center to another. Obama was hosting Oprahapalooza. Hell, I’d bet lazy-ass Fred Thompson had more campaign events in Iowa than any of the current GOP frontrunners.
The Republicans outsourced their leadership to media gasbags, religious grifters, and Grover Norquist long ago. It now seems they’ve turned over campaign strategy as well. I know conventional wisdom says you pander to the base during the primary and move to the middle in the general. But it’s important that you limit the pandering to the grange halls and try to sound sane on a formal debate stage when more than the party faithful might be watching. When there’s not much campaigning going on outside the debates, this becomes a problem. The Obama/Clinton debates were great for the party because neither ever said anything batshit crazy. At the time the left wing blogosphere was too busy fighting among themselves to realize the Democrats were actually choosing between two of the best candidates ever to run in modern times.
You might be able to win a Republican nomination by appearing on Fox News, debating once a week, and doing right wing radio interviews, but you can’t win a general election that way. Why do you think Newt is calling for 7 3 hour debates with the President? It ain’t just ego folks. He has no fucking idea how to organize an electoral strategy and actually campaign.
Yup, that’s the one.
And I don’t know how it’s spelled.
@MikeJ: McKenna is running for gov against Inslee. And IIRC state law says you can only run for one office at a time. I might have to do some further searching on that and see if Cantwell has an actual opponent yet. Not that it matters, she’s actually more popular than Murray.
@Suffern ACE: You might be thinking of Dino Rossi, who has had his ass handed to him three times now. And doesn’t seem interested (yet) in a fourth go around. Honestly I don’t know who else they got, although I’m hoping the ex-Redskin runs again. That was fun.
Hence, you’re compelling need to comment.
Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason
@burnspbesq: I worked the polls in PA in 2010. He’ll win Philly big, but the Angry Old White Folks in the “T” will all come out to vote, no matter who is running against him. PA is going to be tough for Obama in 2012. Got any other alternatives to get to 270?
I hope to god this is correct. I live in the eastern Wa. media market and the amount the GOP has spent the last 16 years going after Cantwell and Murray could fund a large army. The ads run nonstop and by the time it’s over I hate Patty and Maria almost as much as their opponents.
Palin happened. The base realized that they didnt have to have to accept the candidate the elites wanted.
That is why Romney is not gunna get the nom.
What is with this common wisdom that Dems will lose the Senate and possibly regain the House? Can anyone clarify?
@ruemara: law of averages (dems have more senate seats on the chopping block) and stupid voters and all that.
They are having all the debates so that the tea party gets to pound their message into peoples brain time after time. It’s an effective strategy to indoctrinate those who aren’t particularly bright. Republicans will be depending on those votes to help them win in 2012.
The other side of the issue of course, is that the rest of America (the land of the free and the home of the brave), get’s to see the current crop of Republicans trying to create Mordor here in the good old US of A.
Yeah, they’ve got tough races in the Senate and only a one seat majority. There’s a lot of Republican teahadists in the House who got in in 2010 and are vulnerable this time around.
With all due respect, I think you’re assuming too much that people will hand over Senate seats to republicans due to averages.
@Karen: Salon’s comment section is populated by Naderites, not Democrats.
@ruemara: with all due respect, that’s how it works in politics.
@Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason:
Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes next year. Virginia, New Hampshire, and Maine, all of which Obama won in 2008 but which I didn’t include in his worst-case scenario, add up to 21, and the demographics in Virginia are favorable (all the population growth is in NoVa which is heavily blue).
I think we could see Georgia, which has 16 electoral votes, flip in 2012. Obama lost in 2008 by about 204K. Gwinett, the fastest growing county, went from over 70 percent white in 2000 to 53 percent white in 2010.
I’m not conceding Nevada, Iowa, or North Carolina, for that matter.
I’m counting on Kay (with help from Sherrod Brown) to deliver Ohio. ;-)
And if Obama gets Florida, we’re into landslide territory.
Obama is handily beating both Romney and Gingrich in Florida in the most recent poll I’ve seen. Scott will be a huge drag for Republicans next year.
Basically this. I remember some stat a week or so ago that by this time in the ’08 election cycle, Romney had already spent more than the whole GOP field has this year. Basically, the people with the money are sending it to Rove’s dark money groups this time around.
Well when you are defending 23 seats and the Republicans only 10 during tough times in a tough economy, the law of averages ain’t nothing to sneeze at. It is helpful that this situation occurs during a presidential year when more Dems and Independents are likely to vote. These numbers are almost the exact opposite of 2006 when the Dems. took the Senate. The Republicans had 10 vulnerable incumbents while the Dems only had 10 incumbents period. These situations occur in the Senate every few cycles and it’s a bitch for the party who has to defend; it spreads their money too thinly.
@dogwood: Best thing to do is go down the list and determine your resources from there. Several of these seats will stay safely Democratic, several will stay Republican, and the rest will be cat fights. The big fights I see will be Montana, Missouri, and any of the open seats (Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, etc.) so declaring gloom and doom from the outset here is self-fulfilling prophecy.
I hadn’t read that but it doesn’t surprise me. I mean Newt opened his first field office in Iowa last week. If he wins the Iowa caucuses this will look real impressive to the Villagers, but Iowa is a swing state. What troops will he call up in the general? Newt’s never bothered to cultivate friends in low places. Hell, Newt’s never run a statewide race let alone a national one. Even at the apex of his power, he wasn’t anyone the party sent out to campaign for candidates. Smoke and mirrors only gets you so far.
I was hardly declaring “gloom and doom.” I was merely stating facts. Barring something crazy I think the Dems have a good shot at keeping the Senate. While the numbers are similar to 2006, a larger number of the incumbent Republicans were vulnerable that year – 10 if I remember correctly. Trust me, if we had 10 vulnerable incumbents instead of 2 or 3, making decisions about the allocation of resources would be a headache. Especially with some decent open seat pick-up possibilities and Scott Brown looking vulnerable. If you disagree with that, I respect your opinion, but I’m sticking to my story.
1. Lesson number one is that corruption is bad for the corrupt–example number 1 is Jack Abramoff. By 2006, the national Republican party had become all about trading favors for personal gain.
2. Something happened in the Republican party following the 2006 election. Cheney lost his control of the government, someone forced Shrub to install at least minimally competent officials at Treasury and Defense. I’ve not seen any reporting that adequately explains what happened. My guess is that the G HW Bush faction of the GOP were able to impose their will, but they are folks in their late 70s, 80s and beyond and simply were unable and unwilling to forge a leadership going forward.
3. The 2008 nominee was a maverick. McCain was always a lone wolf, never part of the well greased party machinery (never had a real leadership position in the Senate, for instance). Compare McCain to Bob Dole. Dole lost but kept he party machinery intact. McCain lost and blew up the party machinery (witness: Sarah Palin).
4. The result was a leadership vacuum at the top of the GOP in 2009. Michael Steele was a huge mistake–he has mostly been a politician as grifter and was no more gifted organizationally as the nominal national leader of the party than he had been as a Maryland politician.
5. The result is that the Republican party, which has historically been a top down, everybody obeyed the behind the scenes rules, broke apart into a host of feuding warlords. Warlords are about controlling turf, not leading an army into battle. It is hard to construct conspiracy theories about the Republican party because it is so dysfunctional. Who is the Karl Rove candidate? We can tell who isn’t because, at least in the case of Herman Cain, the tell-tale signs of Rove’s technique are all too visible. Having worked with Perry, Rove didn’t even waste his time on him. But is he supporting Mittens? hard to see the evidence of that. Who is the Dick Armey candidate? Who’s the evangelical candidate? Who’s the wall street/chamber of commerce candidate? I suspect that all the people who didn’t get into the race tells us less about how they sized up their chances against Obama and more about how impossible it was to put together a set of party grandees who could give them a plausible scenario for winning the nomination.
Short version: the Republican party is currently a mess. It is not surprising, then, that it’s nomination process is a mess.
@dogwood: I think we’re talking past each other here. I agree with you: it’s nowhere near as bad as the MSM is making it out to be. And hell we might even pull off a surprise with the right candidate or a well-timed scandal somewhere. We just need to keep working.
1. Last time there weren’t that many GOP debates, so they decided to flip the needle too far in the other direction.
2. They convinced themselves that Obama was an empty vessel but also a smooth talker and good debater, so they figured they would season their candidate a little and then he/she would mop the floor with the walking teleprompter.
One thing that always dooms the GOP’s best laid schemes is that they believe their own propaganda. Right now they think Obama is polling down in Bush-levels, so they think they just have to show up.
Thank you, dogwood. I don’t believe “the Senate is sure to flip” dogma. Thinking Obama will have coattails, and that OFA and other supporters are not taking anything for granted.
I would say CO is in the lean Dem category. Dem’s have won the top spots in the statewide and federal races since 2004. The Dem state party would have the trifecta but for one state house seat. 2010 was worse for Dem’s in PA, OH, WI, MI (and others states I cannot think of off the top of my head)
CO has a 25% Latino population and growing. If the Obama campaign takes Latino turnout as seriously as the news/intertubz say they are it will be a clincher on CO.
I’m pretty sure this puts us in a dead tie for the year, with 52 Apocalypse Now quote titles, and 52 Elvis Costello quote titles.
@different-church-lady: The only quote that comes to mind while watching the Republican debates is “I love the smell of napalm in the morning”. Making them with the sound off and making up your own dialog is fun too.
In regard to wha’ happen, it’s been discussed over and over here and in other forums, and not just in the last few days. The Republican base is driving the nomination process, courtesy of the Tea Party, and Teh Crazy that the GOP party elite has been stoking for thirty years to win elections is now in full view, weeping pustules and all.
Mitt Romney is the only one of the GOP candidates with a nodding acquaintance with reality – like him or not, you don’t get to be a successful venture capitalist without a firm grip on reality – which is why the GOP base can’t stand him. The GOP base is not concerned with reality or whether ideas work in the real world, they’re concerned with ideology, and cognitive dissonance is not a problem for them…to put it mildly. Therefore…their candidates have no choice but to out-crazy each other, and indeed some of them seem to revel in it.
“I believe all five year olds should be allowed to carry concealed handguns to school!”
“I believe all five year olds should be encouraged to carry concealed handguns to school!”
“I believe all five year olds should be REQUIRED to carry concealed handguns to school!”
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Does anyone think the GOPistocrats are writing off 2012 and positioning Jebbie for a 2016 run?
@dogwood: If we are to buy into the idea that civilized people grant respect to all opinions regardless of merit, then we’re doomed because we’ve given up the right to think.
Death Panel Truck
Let’s stop calling these things “debates.” In a debate, people argue opposing viewpoints on a single topic.
These are joint press conferences with a bunch of idiots who share the same ideology. The GOP platform can be summarized thus: Cut taxes on the rich, fuck the poor, declare war on the world. They’re each competing to see who can out-crazy the others. The craziest of all will win the nomination, and go down to ignominious defeat reminiscent of Goldwater ’64.
1. As someone else mentioned, the GOP party elders are extraordinarily aged: they make the Soviet Politburo in the 1980s look like spring chickens. These guys are mostly in their eighties and some are even older (the “young” ones are only in their mid-seventies). They’re not running anything.
2. We shouldn’t forget that current American conservatism is highly driven by an extremely elderly Australian press baron who cut his teeth on scurrilous British yellow journalism. And that’s not actually the GOP tradition: the GOP tradition is symbolized by the Taft/Bush dynasties, who are technocratic corporatists (preferably with slight hints of an aristocratic tinge), not yellow press scandal-mongers.
3. Politicos who know how campaigns are run know that Obama (perhaps more correctly, Obama+Axelrod)are very good managers of political campaigns indeed. It’s possible that scared off any number of the really seasoned GOP candidates – yes, Obama is hardly invincible, but it would be a very hard grind to beat him. The GOP grifters don’t care (they’re not going to be in the campaign all the way through anyway) but maybe the real GOP politicians saw the prospect as a very hard campaign with lots of downsides for their careers if they lost.
The “right mix” isn’t what the Tea Party is buying. Mix is a metaphor for RINO and they ain’t interested in one of those.
We also shouldn’t forget that current American conservatism is highly driven by an ideology of a young Russian girl who fled communism and decided it’s extreme opposite (selfishness) was a better life purpose.