Post-shutdown polls are coming in and they are brutal:
* Dems lead in the generic ballot matchup by 49-38. Among independents — a key midterm constituency — those numbers are 46-35.
* Only 21 percent of Americans approve of the way the Congressional GOP is handling the federal budget, versus 77 percent who disapprove. Among independents: 20-78. Among moderates: 14-85. Among seniors: 18-79. Fewer than one in three regard the GOP favorably.
* Only 20 percent think Republicans are “interested in doing what’s best for the country,” while 77 percent think they’re “interested in what’s best for themselves politically.” Among independents: 14-83. Among moderates: 18-81. Among seniors: 24-74.
* Americans blame the GOP for the shutdown by 53-29; moderates by 60-24; indys by 49-29; and seniors by 46-35.
Crucially, large majorities think the shutdown damaged the country. Eighty six percent say it has damaged the U.S.’s image in the world, and 80 percent say it damaged the U.S. economy.
I see lots of pundits declaring that this will change, people will forget, “a year is an eternity in politics”, and so on. That’s all true. But there’s another aspect in swinging elections: recruiting good candidates. Running against an entrenched incumbent in a tough district is a lot of hard work and financial sacrifice, and that decision is being made now by potential candidates across the nation. I have to believe that the quality of Democratic challengers in this cycle will improve on the strength of polls like these, no matter whether the numbers last into the next year.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
All true indeed, but the crazies aren’t gonna get any less crazy. And listening to Charlie Pierce on Stephanie Miller, we’re seeing the shape of things to come in Virginia: The Clintons are campaigning for McAuliffe, and Rick Santorum is coming to save the day for the Cooch. Taking the house is a longshot, keeping the Senate and picking up some seats in the House is a good goal.
Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader
We need a further right movement to combat these tea party liberals.
If the Gopers are on schedule another shutdown will be attempted in a year and that could be their death rattle in both the houses and hopefully in some statewide elections too.
I don’t believe the “this is a blip, voters will forget, all will revert to the mean” punditry.
Post-government shutdown — coupled with all the whingeing over Obamacare — and face it, is not the problem that people cannot sign up fast enough? — it’s not that people are not trying —
I think we’ve just hit Katrina/joking over not finding WMDs territory, also the stage when public opinion turned against the Viet Nam war, and it was not just hippies and draft dodgers, as one would parody earlier opponents.
We do need good Democratic candidates.
For all the hard work, they might get more of a fair hearing from fed-up constituents.
am i hit with the yutsano bug here? none of my comments are showing up in the other thread.
The shutdown is Boehner’s Katrina?
okay, apparently none of my comments are showing up, so i have to try a new nick. FYWP.
@Elizabelle: Drat. Teach me to read all the way to the bottom before making my unique contribution.
the issue, as always, is GOTV… the commercials write themselves… who shut down the government to wage a war on a law that’s already passed? all that time in power and not a single jobs bill offered or investment in our country….they prevented common sense background checks on guns, refused to acknowledge that immigration reform is needed and are trying to disenfranchise voting capabilities for minorities, personal body issues for women and still looking to cut your Social Security and Medicare… what’s not to love?
Despite the soothing balm of these surveys, they are pretty meaningless. Even the generic ballot question is only minimally helpful. Why? Because everyone only gets to vote for one representative. Incumbency, gerrymandered districts and the “the other guys are all idiots, but my rep is doing okay” trumps all these other questions. I would love to see the House of Representatives swing back to majority D and for the Senate to get even more solidly D. However, even with the current bad polls for the Republicans, it is a tough road for us (though a little bit easier now).
James E Powell
It would be so cool if people who identify as independents voted in midterm elections.
Except the Tea Party wing will be more than happy to remind the voters again in February.
Its common to talk about voters as though they make up their minds at the last minute and don’t have any memories. Thats true enough as far as it goes for individual voters. But its not true for politicians and their strategists–they have to start laying out money and strategies now. If the Judge in Texas is any example the kinds of people who are starting their campaigns out now are making a very different calculation. They think that the shutdown and the sheer antipathy towards government is more like a pebble that starts an avalanche, or like the Terri Schiavo affair when the Republican party jumped the shark and really lost a lot of support.
And the decisions those people, like the Judge, make now for how they are going to run their campaigns–whether they are going to campaign against “incumbents” generically, or rail against “washington overreach” or take a public stand (as the Judge says) for honesty, probity, fairness and respect for government and government workers is going to shape the election. Because it shapes the terrain on which the REpublicans themselves will run. Sure: republican and tea party candidates are going to want to run as though the shutdown never happened. But I think its starting to look like “never forget” might be the motto of the rising Democratic candidates and if so it might not be possible for the Republicans to run away from it, or for the voters to forget it.
Something else that people are not factoring in is that Obamacare, like the attack on Senior benefits, is going to be a rolling provocation (on the one hand) and a rolling form of voter engagement (on the other). For people with a pent up demand for health care the January st deadline is way more important than this early period of pain in sighing up. If I were the Obama people I’d be more concerned to make sure that the health care providers are up to the task of seeing a few million more customers without delays or hiccups than I would worry about the sign up. Because its early experiences with health care coverage that is going to make new voters happy to register and vote democratic.
Yes, the midterms are an entire year away. But two major factors stand out to me: 1) the Teahadis have every intention of resuming their government shutdown/debt ceiling/ACA defunding insanity in January and at every subsequent opportunity, and 2) the Teahadis have demonstrated that not only do they have John Boehner completely over a barrel, they can also tell the GOP brass to get bent, since they don’t need said brass to raise funds and get (re-) elected. If the party maniacs continue to break things and ride roughshod over party leaders through next year, the GOP could very well have problems when Election Day rolls around. Voters can’t forget something if they keep getting reminded of it every couple of months.
I looked for this specific question, which is usually a pretty good bellwether of true voting intentions:
Wow. The shutdown may have moved the needle, even temporarily, in a way that mattered. Don’t waves of low ratings for Congress as a whole usually go along with overall positive evaluations of their Rep?
Now if you switch to Party ID:
Republicans: Approve 45% / Disapprove 46%
Democrats: Approve 50% / Disapprove 40%
Independents: Approve 37% / Disapprove 54%
I would LOVE to see a breakdown by district, just to see if the so-called Independents are ready to turf Republicans or Democrats disproportionately. But if the rule of thumb that an “independent” is usually a Republican with a paper bag over their head is true, Republicans may well get turfed from a few seats pleaseohpleaseohplease …
@James E Powell: In my experience, self-described “Independents” are just conservatives who are too embarrassed to call themselves Republicans. But they almost always vote Republican.
scott (the other one)
The thing is, a year IS an eternity…but what are the odds Ted Cruz and his minions don’t at least try to shut down the government again and/or something equally stupid and dangerous at least once in that time?
And a year from now, most of this country are going to find out that, worse case scenario, the ACA did not, in fact, bring about the four horsemen and, more likely, has made their lives quite a bit better.
Really? I can’t believe that some of them are actually acknowledging that 2014 might be a good year for Democrats, especially more than one year out. Makes me kind of suspicious when the MSM even considers that their usual narrative might not be right.
Interesting thought that these polling figures might encourage some otherwise cautious Democrats to run for the House.
I’ll betcha that a ton of local polls are being planned to see how the wind is blowing among the voters who count.
Back in 2008, I thought that what got Obama elected was the idea that sprang up somewhere in the middle of the process that “we just might be able to do this.” Dangerous thing, hope.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@scott (the other one): It’s not just Teddie and the Cruzers. Paul Ryan, who thinks he’s going to be president, whom The Village thinks is budget wonk deficit hawk, and whom Jonathan Chait lazily referred to as a moderate this morning (who’s the most wrong?) tried to inject birth control into the shutdown debate.
And while I think McConnell is fairly safe in the primary and a slight favorite in the general (from what I read about him and the race), Kentucky’s gonna be fun to watch over the next year.
Yup, the “year is an eternity” bleaters are assuming that the Tea Party will be civilized from now on and that the healthcare.gov site will remain broken.
I don’t even think it’s embarrassment, in a lot of cases. They just love the way it feeds into the self-image of “I’m not a joiner, I’m not a yes-man, I’m a rugged individualist who thinks for himself and makes up his own mind about things and don’t need no fancy politician in Washington telling me what to do, whoever he is!”
Of course it’s bullshit, but what else is new.
I’m of the opinion it’s going to have an impact (hopefully large) next November, but I feel like we have to see a sustained shift in the generic congressional ballot before we start high fiving each other. There looks like there is one that started on the eve of the shutdown, but we’ll see how it goes.
Thing is, I remember i n 2009 that there were early rumblings the Democrats could be in for a rough 2010. And we know how that turned out.
A year IS a long time in politics. Intervening events can matter. And a baseball team will often win a game despite being behind in the. 6th inning. But I don’t think any manager wouldn’t prefer to lead in the 6th inning anyway.
gotta love that “the narrative” is running smack into the Wall of Reality. Even with Americans, the idea is slowly permeating that the Republicans have lost their ever lovin’ minds, despite the media fluffing. Only so much cover can be provided when the political opposition is busy running nekkid with shit all over them screaming at the top of their lungs that “the end is nigh, abandon all hope, Momma, get yer guns and meet me in the shelter!”.
@Chris: The MSM is deliriously happy right now because the ACA websites aren’t working – that means that they can smack around the President – that means far more to them then potential House races.
The consternation over the glitchy websites will fade in time, and then the media will turn and realize that the Tea Party folks are still barking mad, and that they may actually have a long-term story that needs covering. But make no mistake, if they can be condescending to the President, that trumps all other stories.
Paul in KY
@Elizabelle: Good points. We need to keep hitting the Repubs (all their candidates) over the head with this every single day until voting.
Paul in KY
@piratedan: Would like to see an ad done in just about that manner. Genial Jewish gentleman rattling those points off, chucking at how the Repubs would expect your (the stolid yeoman voter) vote after coming up with those winners.
Think they would work well in Southern/Midwest/plains states.
@hildebrand: And J. Stewart can go fuck himself, not just for focusing on the ACA site versus the fucking SHUTDOWN, but because he and his writers thought “spin this turd” was an evocative turn of phrase.
First, the usual phrase is “POLISH a turd”. The average turd is insufficiently smooth, dense or cohesive to spin at an acceptable rate.
Second, I am always squicked out by “turd” as a metaphor. It is too fucking close to smelly reality to work as a metaphor. Call someone a shit disturber? “Shit” is generalized enough to make a good metaphor. Accuse someone of “stirring the turd”? EYES BLEEDING STAHP NAOW.
Those who would suggest that time is against the Dems are seeing the same sobering data we all are. Wishcasting.
And to what JSF,TL is alluding to upthread: if reality has a liberal bias, then time itself is the ultimate corrective for rightwingery.
Not quite. Quite.
The various systematic factors and actors that led to the sequester, shutdown, and flirt with default are still operating and they will continue to operate through to December 2014. TeaBaggers aren’t going away. Ted Cruz isn’t going away. Right Wing hysteria re: blah man in White House isn’t going away. The economy isn’t going to do a 180. The thievery of the 1% isn’t going away. Unemployment isn’t going to drop to 4%. The 135 GOP House members aren’t going to suddenly die of cardiac infarctions. Rush Limbaugh will continue his foam-flecked rants. The Right Wing funding machine will continue raising money and doling it out. And so on & etc.
Thus, in a strange sort of way, it’s not “one year until the election.” GOP candidate marketing is already happening. People’s decision(s) regarding the GOP brand are being firmed.
A couple of things hit me from Sargent’s article: First: the third point in mix’s blockquote: while it’s heartening to see that huge majorities think that (presumably Congressional) Republicans only care mainly about political advantage; I wonder what the comparable figures are re Democrats (which the WP piece elides).
Secondly, the WP headline, to me, highlights the main flaw in over-analysis of these numbers:
What I don’t see (and haven’t seen), figures from reality-based reality notwithstanding, is any evidence that the GOP – and still less the Teabaggers – really give much of a flying f*** what goes outside that “conservative bubble”. And as long as they can keep their voting strength at its present levels – and despite the crowing in the wake of the shutdown/debt-ceiling
debacle, I don’t see much evidence (YET) of that changing – outside-the-bubble opinion is still going to be irrelevant.
Oh, and one more nugget from Sargent’s piece which I thought was interesting:
Sigh… one can hope….
The rump of the Republican party (the Tea Party) now views itself in the same way Imperial Japan viewed itself in the months before we nuked them. They are putting on their ritual sashes and samurai swords in preparation for the existential battle that awaits. “Creative destruction” is what they imagine they will bring to pass on America.
Since 9/11 the 27 percent have imagined “existential” battles everywhere. This is the domestic “civil war” that they crave – where heroes and legends are made. They are heading to the barricades: the slaughter should be very amusing.
question from the UK. When does the race start for the Repub Presidential nomination for 2016?
I ask because it seemed to go on forever last time and if that’s starting before your mid-term elections and you get the same amount of crazy as last time it’s going to remind a lot of people about the shut down, especially if they start flinging allegations that their opponent was for throwing in the towel – or even worse, was against it from the start.
To be fair, if you replace “rugged individualist” with “free thinker” this would describe a lot of liberals. Most liberals I know do not like to consider themselves Democrats for this exact reason – they don’t like that it signifies that they are a follower and unable to think for themselves.
Plus, the team-player, rally-round-the-flag stereotype seems to fit conservatives better. I seem to recall back in the post-9/11 era, when W was polling around 85%, right-wingers didn’t have a problem being called Republicans. It was the utter failure and embarrassment of the GWB administration (Iraq, Katrina, Schiavo, all the rest) that turned these people into “Independents”.
So here’s, perhaps, a better rule of thumb: At any given point in time, “Independents” will be mainly composed of erstwhile members of the party which is most shameful to admit being a member of.
Need to look at what “Moderates” think. The ranks of the “Independents” are bloated with hard Right Conservatives to whom the GOP are a bunch of squishy Liberals. This group would go against the GOP because they didn’t keep the government shut down and send the country into debt default.
@Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: This is not even a joke.
“Classical liberalism is a political philosophy and ideology belonging to liberalism in which primary emphasis is placed on securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government.”
Certainly makes my head explode.
Good news out of Arkansas yesterday – Bush marionette Tim Griffin announced that he will not seek re-election. Nothing to do with these types of polls, you understand – he just decided that after 2 terms in Congress, he wants to “spend more time with his family.”
@Jay C: Thats such a strange question to ask, though. Most people have no idea what happens in congress and they have a tendency to aggregate information from the parts they do understand (their own party or noisy members of the other party) to “all other politicians.” Someone who answers a blanket “they should all go” is someone who is spectacularly ill informed. Thats ok, I’m not arguing that ill informed people don’t vote. But their only voting choice is to throw out their own congressman. I’d be interested to see how that question breaks down regionally or state by state–that is: do more people think that in states where their representation is republican or democratic? Because that is going to tell you a lot about how people will actually vote, in the end, even if they register generic disgust at this point.
You just click through to the results and scroll down. Via the Detailed View link:
Slightly less pox on that house than Republican, but still not terrific.
The breakdown for Obama is somewhat better: 52% /46% (all voters) and 50% / 46% (registered voters).
When you breakdown Obama’s results by ID, republicans and Democrats split as you would expect, while the Independents go 46% / 52%.
It’s perfectly reasonable to point out how counter-historical it would be for Dems to capture the House next year — the presidential party gaining ANY seats in a midterm (especially at the six-year mark) is a rarity, let alone picking up the 17 needed. It’s also quite sensible to note that elections a year off aren’t clearly defined — compare George H.W. Bush’s position in November 1991 to what transpired in ’92.
But what too many pundits are doing now is brushing aside the very possibility that the current highly anti-GOP mood — which COULD lead to such a result — will endure, And that has a Debbie Downer aspect that’s just as annoying as “we’ve got this nailed” optimism. This fatalistic approach seems endemic to Democrats, especially in the post-FDR coalition years. I remember sitting with friends the Monday after Nixon fired Archibald Cox — the famous Saturday Night Massacre — and hearing one Dem friend after another decare that it wouldn’t matter, Nixon would survive it.
For what an anecdote’s worth: my 85-year-old mother has a long-time friend who’s such a long time Republican she worked for CREEP in ’72. Last week, this woman got a call from the RNC asking for money, and she told them never to call her again. (Her Democratic children almost fainted) It’s certainly possible in a year’s time she’ll float back to the GOP column. But she’s a vote that should never be in doubt for a moment. If she’s angry, it means they’ve drilled into bedrock. Which could suggest this latest adventure, like Schiavo/Katrina, is not just another passing event, but one that can reset the board.
I honestly think the ONLY way you could make the ‘tea party’ faithful actually think that non-governance is a good thing is to have social security and medicare be the first things shut down DURING a shutdown. Only when things affect them(or their direct family) directly do they actually understand things(anything).
Over half those guys still think the shutdown was ‘good’, and they WILL vote for their Republican representative as soon as the polling locations open.
@Sloane Ranger: For both sides, since Obama cannot run in 2016, we’ll start seeing candidate announcements in early 2015. It pretty much starts after the midterm elections of the presidents second year in office, but even more so when a president cannot run again.
There is a disjunction between what “Americans Think/Feel” and what “Voters Think/Feel.” If the next mid terms go according to recent history we’ll see a ~42% voter turnout which may, or may not, lead us back into the situation we’re in. PPP has been polling Congressional Districts using a Generic Democrat as the challenger and the results are encouraging. However, we need to do some work to (1) make sure the Generic Democrat IS a Democrat (and not a Repub-Lite) and (2) GOTV.
This is true, good momentum that has to be sustained. The disasters that gave the House to the Dems in 2006 did not happen in 2006, they happened in 2005: Katrina, Harriet Myers, the escalation in Iraq… In 2004, Bush was re-elected with the benefit of the doubt. It all changed in 2005 because the voters had made their verdict.
Well balls. The above should read “the ONLY way you could make the ‘tea party’ faithful actually think that non-governance is a BAD thing”
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Sloane Ranger: question from the UK. When does the race start for the Repub Presidential nomination for 2016?
Unofficially, when Willard Romney gave his concession speech last November, or for Chris Chrisie a few months before that. They officially announce their candidacies– or, what drives even me nuts, announce that they’re going to officially declare their candidacies– in the summer before the election year, IIRC. The state caucuses and primaries start in January/February (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, I think Florida), and I believe they have to file official paperwork, petitions, etc, some time in the preceding autumn.
Paul in KY
@Tractarian: If you are a ‘liberal’ and in our 2 party system, & you don’t think you should align yourself with the Democratic Party, then you have outed yourself as a ‘stupid lberal’.
Tell your friends that.
@Seth Owen: I seem to recall the same thing, but it was basically put into the sense that GOP would gain seats in the House, not necessarily win control of the House. It wasn’t until around April that the talk seriously turned to the GOP winning the House.
A problem for a lot of Dems was avoiding running on some of the Dem accomplishments. I think GOP candidates will run into same problem. A lot will try to distance themselves from the recent actions of the GOP and turn off their own base.
No guarantees, but I wouldn’t be surprised, specially given the proclivity of the GOP to continue to shoot itself in the foot, if by next summer the Dems are predicted to not only take back the House but have a decent majority.
Yes, but you can rally around the flag and still not identify as a party man. E.G. “I love this George Bush fellow, but not because he’s a Republican.”
I’ll agree that you can get indies of the “I don’t want to be a follower” variety on both sides, though.
And the dividing line between liberals and libertarians is which of those two you’re actually interested in – securing the freedom of the individual, or limiting the power of the government.
Will Boehner immediately violate the Hastert rule to avoid another government shutdown, or will he decide he has to appease the tea partiers before eventually going around them?
From a Democratic partisan point of view, I think this is “heads I win, and tails you lose”: If he immediately violates the Hastert rule, the tea partiers will be even more baying for blood in the primaries, and the GOP will end up with unelectable nuts for candidates in relatively moderate districts. But if he allows another shutdown to appease the crazies, the whole party will be even more toxic for the general election.
I think 2014 is looking pretty good, assuming we can make certain websites operational stat, and avoid similar own-goals.
Let’s be fair. Technically, this is very true. Liberals are far more interested in limited government than conservatives. We’d like to limit police power, hold criminal laws up to much stricter ‘Is anyone really being hurt?’ standards, reduce the military machine, reduce or remove the government’s enforcing of religious values, and so on and so on.
The problem is that conservatives have redefined ‘government power’ as ‘helping people’. Helping people is one of the things we’d like the government to do more of, and they want the government to stop entirely.
Higgs Boson's Mate (Crystal Set)
No doubt that the short attention span of the electorate would normally dissipate its present dislike of the GOP. OTOH, the baggers seem to believe that they’ll prevail if they discipline their weak willed fellows and go to the mattresses next time – or maybe it’s the time after that.
Lunacy cannot fail, it can only be failed.
Herbal Infusion Bagger
Conversely, the quality of GOP challengers will decline. It’s going to be hard for groups like Rove’s Crossroads or the Chamber of Commerce to get a sane GOPer to dump whatever they’re doing to go against a Tea Partyer, go through a bruising primary with insane guys in Tricorn Hats calling you a Marxist RINO traitor, and then have your ass handed to you in the general. So these numbers make any likely purge of Tea Partyers at the GOP primary level less likely.
@Comrade Mary: Thank you. I was going to go looking for this, but a little thing called work was getting in the way. I was wondering if they asked that question. It’s very telling. Luckily for us, Rethugs don’t seem to listen to that kind of nonsense, polls being skewed and all.
That’s not how tribalism works. For the remaining loyal, they certainly would go ballistic about their social security and medicare being taken away, but they would blame Obama. They’ve already spoken clearly online – they don’t believe shutting down the government or causing a default would affect them in any way. If it happened, it would not be that they were wrong, it would be that Obama was persecuting them.
@Paul in KY: There are a lot of “independents who always vote Democratic.” Just because they convince themselves they’re evaluating all the choices in an open-minded way doesn’t mean it makes any difference in their votes.
When I’m knocking on doors and I have someone who’s on my list as a strong D, but who declares that he’s an independent and hasn’t made up his mind, I always think “if you want to get phone calls nonstop from now until Election Day, that’s your choice,” but I don’t say it. I’m willing to humor them.
The future’s uncertain
and the end is always near
I’m matchmaking potential pairs.
None of these matches ever elevate Santorum, I don’t see him ever emerging, and a relentless God-botherer like Huckabee still cannot escape his redneck-sounding name or accent.
Clinton-Huntsman Unity Ticket
Fellow non-American here. The race has already started. The probables and the possibles are jockeying for position as we type. The first debates won’t take place until well into 2015, but you have to be polling well by then, in the top ten if I remember, to get invited. And you have to avoid looking like an idiot — a real challenge for many of the 2012 field — because that fucks you up for the primaries that take up the first half of 2016.
Death Panel Truck
@piratedan: My wife is a special ed teacher. Her school has a behavioral program, where they deal with the incorrigibles. The teacher is a friend of my wife’s, and she told her the other day that a boy pulled down his pants, shit all over the floor, and then proceeded to rub his feces into the wall. I said to my wife, “Future Republican voter.”
The Post had an article a couple of days ago about a Republican challenger for a House of Delegates seat in a swing district, and it was all about how people were telling him “you seem like a nice enough guy, but you’re one of them.” (Except for one wingnut who tells them that Democrats want to get them on “government water, and government sewers” and thinks that’s a bad thing.) Maybe that will dissipate in a year, but right now it’s making things tough for Republicans.
@Chris: Another interesting historical tidbit is that our forefathers’ liberalism saw government as a means to protect ourselves from each other. I’m glad that the Founders had the foresight to include within the Constitution the promotion of general welfare (i.e., infrastructure to healthcare). But basically “conservatism” is liberalism run amok. Scary.
@jonas: Look at the difference between indepedents and moderates — your intuition is right that at the moment independents are far more likely to lean to the right but are embarrassed or ashamed to be called Republicans.
I think by the time we get into the primaries, you won’t even recognize the field. That’s often true, but more so as the GOP goes bonkers. Look at the 2012 GOP race. Santorum? Gingrich? Herman Cain? Really? When Mitt ‘Who?’ Romney is your establishment candidate, you have completely jumped the friggin’ shark.
@Comrade Mary: well, if you believe that a politician’s first priority is winning re-election*, then those results make sense.
*If you think about it, this is true, really no matter what. Either because they (selfishly) want to stay on the gravy train and have the perks of elected office; or because they want to do more than what they can in their current term. Usually it’s a combination of these two factors. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, if their self interest is tied into the needs/desires of their constituents (and realistically, those needs/desires may vary from national needs desires – a district with a large military base and/or military contractor may be much more interested in seeing DoD spending increased, whereas a district without those elements may wish to see spending restrained).
@Frankensteinbeck: Yes and yes.
I suspect that it’s also going to trigger a ton of really nasty Republican primary challenges, which will keep the wounds open and remind people of the late stupidity. Heritage, et. al. are promising to primary the saner Republicans who voted to reopen the government, and the Chamber of Commerce is threatening the same to everyone who voted against. I fully expect to see the Republicans reminding everyone about the shutdown, whether they vote for another one or not.
In addition to GOP self-destructive behavior, Democratic success depends a great deal on strong advocacy of ideas people believe in so that they are motivated to vote democratic. The greatest threat to Democratic resurgence at this time is “grand bargain” nonsense about cutting “entitlements” in exchange for some fig leaf crap that the GOP will just undo shortly anyway, while making social spending reductions permanent. Dispiriting the base will undo any gains that might come from GOP nonsense.
No, it’s not. They still believe in expanding government power by any normal definition. When they say ‘big government’, they mean ‘helping people’. That’s it. They think the shutdown and default would force the government to stop helping people, but keep all of the military and enforcement systems intact. When they start to rant, this is very clear.
@Herbal Infusion Bagger:
In the short term I don’t expect a purge of the teabaggers (if only because they’ll always have enough rich people to fund them) – the best, most optimistic scenario would be to have those 1%ers with an ounce of common sense sink enough money into politics to create an opposition, within the party, to the teabaggers.
Purging the teabaggers from the party? No, not in the cards. Disputing their control of the party? That’s possible. If enough rich people are interested (which is dubious in and of itself).
Of course, even if enough rich people are interested in taking on the teabaggers, they might still not be able to make headway into the party. That would leave them no choice other than grin and bear it, or move over to the Democrats altogether… although I think they’ll have a huge mental block against that too.
Paul in KY
@Redshift: See your point that you can’t say anything like that when out doing voter outreach. Sure have alot of respect for you for going foor to door like that.
@Seanly: Agree somewhat. However, the generic ballots are weak predictors of electoral results. But they are predictors. Here’s a nice summary of where things stand currently.
Paul in KY
@Botsplainer: Mix a little Biden into your tickets & stir :-)
Of the ones you mentioned, Tester – Warren would be my ‘squee’ one right now. Clinton-Tester also nice. Many fine choices on our side.
On their side, I would love to see Cruz-Palin. Especially up against one of our good tickets. We would probably get Alaska. with a Cruz-Palin tic.
@Frankensteinbeck: Well, that’s the authoritarian in them. A significant distinction between left and right, and the reason the right has traditionally been able to keep its adherents in line. It’s kind of amusing to realize that it’s capitalism that’s causing their current dysfunction, destroying their cohesiveness – increasing individual profit divides you from your fellows.
@Botsplainer: you have to remember, the Republicans usually pick the next guy in line. The exceptions were ’64 (disaster), 2000 (disaster of a different sort), and maybe ’76 (where Ford basically jumped to the front of the line).
McCain was next in line in 2008, Romney was next in line in 2012. GHW Bush was next in line in 1988, Dole in 1996. Even Reagan in 1980. Been that way since Nixon in 1960.
I’m not sure that Christie or Cruz fit into the next in line category. Paul, as a former Veep candidate might, but I doubt it. I doubt Gingrich runs, nor would I suspect Santorum to run again. Huckabee, by his showing in 2008, and remaining relevant* since may be the next in line – if he decides to run. Jeb is also a possibility because he’s a Bush and they’ve been such a fixture in the party for so long they get a speed pass.
In a sane world, it’d be Huntsman, but he’s effectively been purged at this point.
*Relatively speaking, being on Fox News and whatnot.
@Death Panel Truck: I have to guiltily admit that I LOL’ed :-)
I’m an “independent who always votes Democratic” but it’s because I think state-supported party registration should be illegal. I’ve never understood why our government has a vested interest in reinforcing the party system. Furthermore, I believe the two party system is a structural impediment to our ability to solve problems as a nation, so I won’t be a contributor to that problem either. I’ll contribute (and volunteer) to candidates, but not to party structures. I acknowledge the latter is actually helpful, but I also think it makes for a lazy electorate because it alleviates the need to actually learn who the candidates and their positions are.
But there’s no question which candidates have my and the nation’s interests in mind when voting day comes around. I’m under no delusions of how ‘open-minded’ my decisions are.
When we talk about classical liberalism (which refers to the political movement of the 19th century), it is important to remember what they were fighting against, which was government rigged for the pre-industrial ruling class. It does not make much sense to compare it to current situations. The rise of progressive philosophy in the early 20th century pretty much redefined liberalism so that it has no meaningful connection to “classical” liberalism. This quote from T. Roosevelt really sums it up:
From his 1912 campaign speech.
The industrial revolution and the horrors of unregulated capitalism pretty much changed the game, although we continue to fight the same fight a century later. The Heritage Foundation still runs seminars about how this progressive tradition is what is wrong with America.
@Botsplainer: Martinez is the only woman I see on your VP list, which reminds me…I’m very interested to see which way the GOP goes in 2016:
1) “We nominated a woman and look how THAT turned out” (with, of course, no recognition that a) that woman was a fucking idiot and b) women don’t really enjoy being treated as interchangeable), or
2) “Women are interchangeable. Let’s nominate one and peel off gazillions of girl votes from Hillary.”
If it’s #2, I could see it being Kelly Ayotte, who is striving mightily to become part of the GOP comeback team by establishing her “Look! I’m not as crazy as a lot of the people I vote with!” bona fides.
I think the “next in line” rule would plainly favor Ryan, but I agree with you that I don’t think they’ll do it, and I have some doubt he’ll even run.
There is something inescapably juvenile about that guy, and I think deep down he knows it. President? I don’t think so.
He’s probably no more immature than W, but at least W sort of looked liked an adult, and was from a family with a lot of gravitas that he was able to borrow.
@KG: Ryan is the next in line. But I think CU changes the rules of the game. We’re playing billionaire bingo now.
Obviously money still drives politics. Always will. Yet Ive been reading a few accounts of how the money in the gop is no longer having the effect it once had. The baggers have been funded to a degree by local like-minded individuals. So the monied class-Wall Street, et al-are at a bit of a loss as to what to do next.
baggers are here to stay. They ARE the gop. They will favor another shutdown. This group, as evidenced by their followers, are completely disconnected from political reality. They believe that if all the establishment types stick with them, all we be wonderful. Its not their cause that failed, its their allies.
In my world, political polls are fleeting. Political memory is even less reliable. But if the gop continue shutdown/default plans, maybe we should let them proceed.
There’s also a wild card in there of R districts in which a primary challenger wins. One district over, we have Renee Ellmers, whose position is roughly “she was against it before she was for it and then she was for it but then when the polls came out she said it was a bad idea.” She is dumb as rocks and voted with the Teahadis — but they’re STILL mounting more than one primary challenger because they’re pissed at her for not going about it the way they wanted her to. I don’t know if one of those no-name assholes winning in a pretty solid R district makes the D chances better or worse. My guess is it doesn’t change it much.
This. The media is not the only group that will stick with a narrative in the face of contrary facts. These people have their story, and they’re sticking to it no matter what. If reality intervenes and their plan fails, they’ll happily blame it on their favorite villain rather than flaws in the plan.
Everyone should read Princeton professor Sam Wang talking about the generic congressional ballot and how it can be useful, and how it’s not. It’s a data point, but don’t hang your hat on it, especially not an entire year out from the elections.
@Tom Q: Yeah there were some old ladies of that ilk who turned against the Republicans over Palin. I also wonder if there isn’t a tiredness factor thats setting in. People are either excited by their candidates and feel well represented (gain status) from them or they don’t. I’m a very political person but I can well imagine getting into my 80’s and just feeling like “Fuck it, why donate to these assholes anylonger”–I’ll be well past my period of fandom and excitement by then. I sense some of that in my mother, a lifelong democrat and liberal activist. She never liked Obama–she donates and votes a straight dem ticket but she’s just too old to get excited by a candidate. The Republicans may be shooting themselves in the foot with some of their own older voters by going for more and more wildeyed hot heads. The thing that turned off the republican pearls and gloves set about Palin was she was just so classless and uneducated.
In keeping with the MO of the Masters of Deception, this morning Joe Scar said they need to pretend that it didn’t happen, and keep the GOP from going the way of the dinosaur (“Party Over Country”[tm] as usual).
@EconWatcher: Agree with you. Think, however, that Santorum has actually said he’s going to run, KG — not that it matters. It will, like 2012, be another establishmentish guy who has to fend off the psychos in the primaries. Those primaries may be even more brutal since the tea party has gone even farther down the rabbit hole, or they may be surprisingly smooth given that the business arm of the party is reasserting control.
@Paul in KY: I don’t see anyone like Tester, whose shtick depends on manly manliness that east coast liberals crave, being willing to take second banana to a woman. Its not going to happen.
@KG: I would guess that Santorum is the next in line.
He was the last one left before Romney clinched the nomination. All the rest were much more in it as grifters.
Huntsman has lots of family money, so he could go to the head of the line.
@EconWatcher: @? Martin: I don’t know… Can’t think of a time when the losing Veep on the Republican side got the next in line tag. It’s usually someone who ran in the previous presidential primary (Reagan, McCain, Romney, even Dole and GHW Bush did), a sitting VP (Nixon, GHW Bush), or some congressional figure that put in years of work (Dole, McCain in 2000). Ryan doesn’t really fit any of those categories. He won his House seat in 1998, so he’s not on the Dole/McCain level where he’s been a fixture in DC for 20-30 years. I don’t know, I keep going back to Huckabee, but I’m not sure if he wants to run…
Paul in KY
@? Martin: Although you are technically ‘Independent’ for reasons you stated, as long as you talk up the Democratic Party & vote Democratic in elections, you certainly do not fall in my ‘stupid liberal’ demographic.
I certainly read you doing that here. Keep up the good work!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@KG: nor would I suspect Santorum to run again.
I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t. He’s on a mission from God. I’m sure he and Cruz have the same views on social issues and bible thumping, but Cruz so far doesn’t seem to be hitting that note. If he does, I’d bet Santorum goes down, but he’s an honest-to-god hero to the CUlt of the Fetus and the Homophobes.
@catclub: I don’t think they really define “next in line” as “second-to-last man standing in the last primaries.” It’s more of an old boys’ club thing, and Santorum definitely doesn’t fit that. Neither does Ryan, actually, but having run on Romney’s ticket and maintained his visibility in Congress, he’s much closer to the definition than is political has-been Santorum, who barely has a friend in DC.
@catclub: Santorum probably fits the mold best… for some reason I thought he ran in 2008, and that losing twice would be a mark against him. But I misremembered.
@KG: Huckabee never had the establishment ties that Romney did. I class him with Santorum: might run (Santorum almost certainly will) but has no chance of getting the nom.
Or at least they hope it will change; otherwise, what will they have to report on 24/7?
Paul in KY
@aimai: Respect your judgement. He is a Democrat though & is supposed to be all equal rights & stuff.
If Hillary gets the nomination & reaches out to him & he thinks it’s a winning tic, then he’d show himself to be not the Democrat I thought he was to refuse it.
Hell, LBJ ran as veep under JFK to stick it to Nixon. If LBJ can abase himself that way, John Freaking Tester can do it too (IMO).
Next time couldn’t you not try to don’t not write a sentence not that people not can’t understand, please.
there’s also a feeling of antiestablishmentarianism within the GOP right now (in other words, the Tea Party), and that might bode poorly for the next in line candidate. Which is another reason I think Huckabee makes sense, he can probably bridge the gap between the two factions… maybe.
Paul in KY
@catclub: Said this before, but I have not lived a good enough life to be rewarded with Ricky Satanum as the GOP nominee.
I think the money people would arrange for an ‘accident’ or show him those pictures they have if Ricky looked like he was going to get the nomination.
Paul in KY
@catclub: Although if he did get the nom, boy oh boy would it be fun to throw Pope Francis quotes at him all day long, hee, hee!
This exactly. If you’re writing in the shadow of European absolutism, it makes sense to be concerned about the power of government, just as it makes sense if your frame of reference is a communist or fascist system. But as the American experiment proved, limiting the central government’s power means nothing if you’re just going to let someone else take over the oppressing.
And I don’t even think it was just “the industrial revolution and the horrors of unregulated capitalism” that changed the game. Before you had robber barons and wage slavery, you have plantation owners and literal slavery making the same point.
Quite true, but I have faith that the Tea Party loonies will repeat this debacle in February because Obama will balk on their budget demands of repealing the Constitution and returning to the Articles of Confederation.
Money in politics works best when it’s applied to support a real movement of voters. “Money” used to have a bigger “effect” because the money and voters were supporting the same thing. All of a sudden the super-rich are finding out that money isn’t the only thing that matters and that you can’t simply conjure a political party out of thin air.
Deb from Indiana
I know there aren’t a lot of Notre Dame fans here and as a local I’m not one myself for various and sundry reasons… but speaking of good candidates, I think the Dem Party recruit for the 2nd District of Indiana shows a lot of strength. He would be replacing Tea Partier Jackie Walorski in this gerrymandered district that she won by just over a percentage point. She was one of the members of the “suicide caucus” and is unrepentant in her vote to shut down the government.
Since the new pope took over I have seen a movement back toward the Social Justice influence of the church locally and away from the ND Business School influence. They pretty much ran this town for a long time and I do see a bit of weakening there.
Link to article from South Bend Trib:
Also: Rep. Walorski votes against plan to end shutdown, Sens. Coats and Donnelly vote for it
Walorski (from her Facebook page): “As I have said before, I do not support defaulting on our nation’s debt. Tonight, I am glad that a deal was reached to temporarily avoid default and reopen the government, allowing more time for the House and Senate to reach a long-term compromise. However, without any spending cuts or budget reforms aimed at getting our fiscal house in order, I could not support this plan.”
@KG: There certainly is that feeling, but these folks’ growing financial independence has been greatly overestimated, I think. Dick Armey, Jim DeMint and the Koch brothers stand no chance against the united cash of Wall Street and the rest of big business.
After the shutdown/debt ceiling debacle, the feeling of corporate America is that these outliers are now fucking everything up for everybody and seriously endangering markets and profits. I don’t see the party giving 2016 crazies the leeway it gave Santorum, Gingrich, Cain, etc. last year. They’re going to want to nip this shit in the bud early–that includes Huckabee, whom they know absolutely does not have national appeal and is not electable–and the combined efforts and dollars of the ‘baggers won’t be a match.
Huckabee is tainted, both for the elites and for the voter base.
@Paul in KY: eh? I think it’s entirely reasonable not to want to be considered a member of a party because of legitimate differences of belief. I’m not a “democrat” for that reason, as far as registration goes, though I’m not an idiot either – I vote pretty much 100% democrat these days, because there’s no other choice left. But I’m far to the left of democrats, so I’d poll as an independent if they ever called me.
Thanks to everyone who answered my query about the Presidential race. Funny. The Rebub candidate thing, announcements, debates, primaries etc. seemed to go on for ever last time, certainly longer than 18 months!
From this side of the pond, it seems like this is an opportunity. The polls may start to return to “normal” as time goes by and people’s attention moves on, but a good campaign by the Dems, would remind people about the shut down and consequent economic/political/diplomatic problems caused by it. By then (hopefully) the problems with the Obamacare website will have been resolved and more people than not will be pleased with the healthcare they have and willing to go out and vote for the party that got it for them – once reminded.
There was a thread here recently which identified a number of current Rep. seats that are potentially winnable for Democrats. It’s a question of getting feet on the street to canvass the neighbourhoods and get out the vote. It may not be enough to turn the House but it puts the Dems in a stronger position for 2016, which, if memory serves from previous discussions, is an even better year for House and Senate races as far as the Dems are concerned.
I imagine the republicans will nominate someone like Scott Walker. He’s got teaparty cred but isn’t directly involved in the shenanigans in Washington.
The antiestablishmentarianism in the GOP right now comes from one very specific source – the establishment has failed to defeat the evil Obama. Obama is the ultimate evil (and I could write a lengthy post just about why), and they have no use for leaders who can’t take him down. Anyone who fails will be abandoned, because they so desperately need to find someone who can. In fact, any leader who fails to defeat Obama is probably a traitor.
I disagree. The Koch Brothers spent as much on the presidential election as the entire insurance industry combined spent trying to stop the ACA, and that’s just the traceable Koch money. It’s true that sane rich people have vastly more money total than insane rich people, but only insane rich people are willing to pour every penny they can scrape up into politics. Even if the sane rich people do outspend them, the $100 million they’ve shown they’re willing to throw into an election will cause absolute havoc.
Except that, one supposes, in the Republicans’ estimation, those characteristics would look (or could be made to look) like positives – a “One Of Us” connection to the God-guns-and-pickup-trucks demographic who they deemed (and not entirely incorrectly) to be a larger and potentially more-valuable voting bloc. Failed, of course, since they were stuck with the sow’s ear of a third-tier local hack politician with limited capabilities on a national ticket: but it was, I think, a calculated choice…
Paul in KY
@sparrow: That is fine. You just have to ‘talk up’ the Democratic Party as the only sane party & hope for this country.
Not the freaking Greens, LaRoushes, Commies, etc. etc. parties that don’t mean squat in our 2 party, winner-take-all system.
Just days after the shutdown, the Sunday shows spent an inordinate amount of time complaining about PO’s “leadership”. Yesterday, their hyperbolic statements about the Obamacare website reached an almost comical level.
There is no way the Village is going to let Republicans continue to take a beating. If we have another shutdown in Jan/Feb, they’ll blame it Obama not cutting entitlements.
@Jay C: Yeah, I’m not talking about McCain and Kristol or the rest of the brain trust–they definitely thought Palin would pull the hillbilly vote while McCain would reassure the country club set. I’m talking about the kind of old lady formerly die hard republican voter that another poster was talking about. An actual voter not a theoretician of voters. Sometimes it turns out you can’t play too cute with your voters and try to appeal to two different demographics at the same time on the same ticket. I brought up Palin because she drove out of the party older, educated, non religious, north eastern and even Southern Republican women. Maybe they are not relevant and were dying off and stopping voting anyway but their money was still good and they are not necessarily going to open up their purses for the new crop of raging lunatics. I’d be very interested in seeing whether any of their money has ever gone to the tea party darlings after the first flush of it.
@Frankensteinbeck: As I said, though, this election is different from the last in that the establishment is finally showing strong signs of not giving the tea party any more house. I think we will see a much more concerted effort–in money, strategy and earlier timing–to tamp down the unelectables.
I do agree that the money going toward fake grassroots teabaggers is quite substantial and will create chaotic primaries, which is all to the good. I just don’t think it’s going to prevail, and I’m really interested in seeing how long it holds out.
I think the crazy will win because they have the votes, but you’re right that we need to see how things play out. That will tell us just how damaged the GOP is, and where it’s going. Right now we’re only theorizing.
My thinking is that, if Republicans lose the House, Cruz will be blamed; and he knows that. So, he has a lot at stake, here. Right now, he seems to be doubling down on the crazy. Question: given his personality, is it even possible for him to slip into the background or moderate his positions?
I’m curious to see just how strong these signs are, though.
I have a theory that the government holdup that just happened probably reassured a lot of businessmen, by showing them “see, it’s okay to support the teabaggers, because even when they go crazy, there are still enough Very Serious People in Washington to keep them under control.” I guess the flow of donations in the next year or so will show whether it’s true or not.
Paul in KY
@Raenelle: I sure hope not :-)
@Chris: Donations and what the ‘baggers do in the next two months! Yikes!
I love how TeaTards abbreviate Reagan’t actual line. They repeat, endlessly, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” This is a dumb abbreviation of the more nuanced line. The full quote, which Reagan said in 1981, is “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
No, it isn’t possible. When your idea of winning is crashing the American and global economy by deliberately defaulting on the full faith and credit of the United States, what else can you campaign on? He thinks apocalyptically. He’ll triple down, then quadruple down, and then maybe we’ll finally get to see peak wingnut.
Yes, that too. Forgot about that.
Smart teabaggers would know they’re on probation and dial back the crazy. That’s reason for hope… because I don’t think they’re smart enough to realize that. (More precisely, their voters aren’t smart enough to realize that, and they’ll interpret any dialing-back as treason… and the teabaggers in Congress want to stay there).
i dont think even Reagan believed in that limitation on his remark. His famous nine words pretty much says it all: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”
My own bet is that McConnell is already a goner (unless his opponent is so weak that he cannot motivate the teatards). I love the dig about his “Kentucky Kickback” concerning the earmark that he stupidly added to the continuing funding resolution that passed — what a colossal idiot. The thing about the GOP today is that so much power is now out of the hands of the central leadership, which is an historic change. When it comes to GOP chaos over the next few years, take the over bet.
Crazy extremists don’t do nuance, and expecting them to do so is like expecting a dog to have excellent table manners.
It’s not about smarts; from everything I’ve read, Ted Cruz is exceptionally smart. It’s about remaining connected to reality. Unfortunately, there aren’t any reality-connected teabaggers, because maintaining a connection to reality and teabagger ideology simultaneously would quickly lead to fatal levels of cognitive dissonance.
Obama added it. It’s an infrastructure investment building a dam, and he loves infrastructure investments. I’m sure he chose an investment that McConnell wouldn’t argue over. I actually think it will guarantee McConnell’s reelection. National Teabaggers may whine, but this pork will create a lot of jobs, and Kentuckians will be grateful a year from now.
From your lips to the FSM’s orechiette, as another FP’er said recently.
The Other Chuck
@Steve S: It’s not like Reagan didn’t double down on the rhetoric. “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” ring a bell? Plus, you expecting these howler monkeys to understand nuance?
Tone in DC
That is some good news. He makes Mitch McTurtle look intelligent and compassionate by comparison.
@Chris: More precisely, their voters aren’t smart enough to realize that, and they’ll interpret any dialing-back as treason… and the teabaggers in Congress want to stay there
That’s just it — they know that they were elected by crazy people who will continue to demand Moar Krazy in the coming weeks and months. They cannot and never will moderate one iota if they want to keep their jobs.
Democrats need to be focused like laser beams on state-level races where they can have a role in drawing less crazy Congressional districts and undo all these voter disenfranchisement measures. Right now, the teapartiers know that they can do whatever they want and really not fear a voter backlash. And why not? If you can just keep your opponents from voting, the world’s your oyster.
@The Other Chuck:
Another Joe Scar observation was that when he was in Congress a Dem had said, “I think the US is strong enough to handle 8 years of Reagan.” Joe was incredulous as he thought St. Ronnie was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I think the Reagan cancer has metastasized slowly but steadily.
And they might be able to muddle through if the crazy people were all just Joe Sixpacks. But the Kochs and Adelsons of the world have the money to ensure that anyone who deviates from the plan will face a fully funded primary challenger.
Here’s to epistemic closure collapsing into the Wingularity, sucking in any GOPer down close enough to the Teavent Horizon.
Thank you. Pure poetry.
To me, being an intellectual doesn’t mean knowing about intellectual issues; it means taking pleasure in them. ~ Jacob Bronowski
@Raenelle: If the Republicans lose the house Cruz and any other Republican candidate for president is toast. But they aren’t going to lose the house. They may take a drubbing but they are masters of seeing the bright lining in the train light shining in their eyes. If they dont lose the house Cruz won’t suffer at all. His believers will continue to believe that its the fault of the squishes, not of the hard liners. And the rest of the voters will be confused about what just happened and rely on the mSM to tell them how to interpret the results.
“All It Ever Does Is Rain”
Did an Old 97’s lyric just show up on Balloon Juice?
@Deb from Indiana:
Your take on South Bend area politics is appreciated. Please keep us posted.
Interesting about Pope Francis and a more receptive audience to his social teachings.
Very good to hear re Tim Griffin. Wonder what’s next in his future.
Arkansas bears watching. Mark Pryor’s up for re-election.
The biggest obstacle to the dems re-taking the House in 2014 is already obvious: the intense gerrymandering of districts the GOP controlled coming out of the 2010 elections.
EVEN SO, the problem is made vividly concrete by looking at just how aggressively meandering and thinly connected the pieces of some of these districts so created are; for example, take a look at North Carolina’s Second District (with incumbent Renee Ellmers R-NC’s smiling face at the top of the page). Look how carefully a winding 60-mile long democratic-inclined sliver is carved OUT from the very heart of the geographic area encompassing the district.
@Jay: LGM has a post on drought.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Jay: I thought Springsteen
@dmbeaster: Exactly! We need no more Grand Bargains such as those that stank up the place in 2010 if we want to win.
My big selling point in doorknocking and “influencing” is GOP attempts to privatize SS and Medicare. That’s what motivates “low information voters.”
Unfortunately I think Sargent’s analysis that independents are a key midterm constituency is off the mark completely. If anything, getting out the base is what matters in the midterm. Several Democratic constituencies became complacent in 2010, while Republicans were highly fired up. The exact opposite happened in 2006.
Consistent polling over decades has shown that self-described independents turn out the least and are the least informed of any political group on the democrat-independent-republican axis. Base turnout is the name of the game in elections where the nationwide average is only 40 percent turnout.
@shortstop: Santorum’s running a GOTV operation for Cucchinelli in VA, and should Cooch win (shudder)—
The mask is off. This is YOUR Republican party, America. Don’t like what you see? Vote for people who are actually INTERESTED in governing.
I have my issues with the Dems, and with the way we run campaigns in the US (we NEED public funding). But at least a fair amount of them and their staffs are interested in good governance and making a difference.
@Chris: John Galt would belong to no political party (though I think we can confidently guess what his voting patterns would look like.)
I agree completely. That was one of my earliest liberal selling points back when I was a “low information” teenager who didn’t know much but believed GOP memes (blame the 9/11 aftermath + reading way too many Tom Clancy novels) … and then I started hearing about Bush’s attempts at Social Security privatization and it was one of my earliest “wait, something’s not right here” moments.
“Social Security? What’s that?”
“Well, it’s the money you pay to the government for all your working life and then it supports you in your retirement.”
“Well, that doesn’t sound like a bad thing. They want to privatize it?”
“Well, you know the free markets are more efficient. You’ll get even more out of your retirement fund.”
“Yeah, but aren’t they also riskier? If you lose all your retirement money in the market, how are you ever going to make it back when you’re in your sixties? Shouldn’t there be a fallback amount of money that’s there for you no matter what?”
Suffice it to say that for low information voters who don’t have a particular political fetish either way, “they’re trying to gamble with your grandma’s retirement money” (or your mom’s or even yours depending on age) is a message that resonates loud and clear.
Huck is dead in the water. He paroled a rapist out of Clintonspite, guy raped & murdered again. There is a good reason ol’ Huck fled to Fox News.
Yep. There are a lot of reasons why I vote Democrat over Republican (I’m not a teenager anymore, I’m not a racist, I read science textbooks, etc). But that’s the most basic one. I have no interest in hiring people to run the government whose most basic tenet is “government can’t/doesn’t/shouldn’t do anything right.” For the same reason I wouldn’t hire a pacifist to run an army, a communist to run a business or a Yankees fan to coach the Red Sox. Hiring a Democrat doesn’t guarantee that the government will run well, but hiring a “government is the problem, not the solution” dickwad does guarantee that it won’t.
One more thing that gives me hope that these year out pollings hold some staying power is my assumption (hope?) that movements in generic congressional or party popularity polling vary from one instance to another, based on the circumstances causing all the polling. The causal event here was very much an entire Republican Party event. They all owned it, other than arguably McCain and Peter King, until the very last moment. The whole GOP was down with this, until they weren’t. So, this shutdown and debt ceiling “crisis” is not the same as, say, a Presidential scandal, or some shenanigans surrounding a particular bill where one faction of one party holds up legislation and makes itself look ridiculous, but two weeks later we look back and laugh and it’s business as usual. That stuff doesn’t taint an entire party the way this one does.
I think (again, hope? but have some anecdota to back me up) that a lot of “moderates,” “independents” and even self-identified Republicans have, in the last month, finally, FINALLY, awoken to find themselves thinking “Holy shit, this really isn’t my father’s Republican Party.” And to those folks, everything the GOP has done over the last 5 years is taking on a new light. That’s how this chapter may have longer term impact, and the short memory of voters truism potentially gets upended in this case.
I don’t think he would vote. Voting is about allowing the vulgar masses to decide things that ought to be decided by lone geniuses. John Galt would choose to withhold his vote, just as he chose to withhold his productivity.
Which is bullshit, albeit clever enough bullshit to get most people to buy it. The amount of money available for retirement is still dependent on the ratio of retirees to workers. Retirees will be trying to fund their retirement by selling stock, and the amount of money available to buy it will depend on the number of workers still saving for retirement. When there are a lot of retirees (e.g. baby boomers retiring), there will be an excess of stock on the market, pushing down prices and yields. The only way you can push up yields is to force workers to buy more stock. The situation functions exactly like the current one, only with a veneer of free market over the top. Replacing Social Security with individual stock accounts only works if putting that money into stock causes productivity to rise faster, which is a dubious proposition because there are already signs that we have more investment available than businesses know what to do with.
@aimai: My company just hired a guy who left a federal agency. He told us he had been considering leaving his old job but the shutdown made up his mind. He said the uncertainty was what made his old job unacceptable.
People remember those kinds events and what caused them
Between now and 2014 the GOP and their pundit allies of course will try heroically to rewrite history as to who caused it. I don’t think it’s going to work.
The GOP is praying for another 9/11. That’s the only thing that’s going to save them. After all, it worked the first time.
Then they’re idiots. 9/11 helped the President, not Congress.
Re your first sentence, I think the main reason it’s even “clever” is that “free market efficiency > government efficiency” is one of those truisms our culture drums into us so relentlessly that we accept it as conventional wisdom without even thinking much about it. Like “America has the best health care in the world.”
Another 9/11 under a Dem president would have them storming the ramparts.
Another 9/11 under Obama would rile up the teabaggers, but it would push a lot of people in the squishy middle to line up behind the President.
@Roger Moore: exactly. One of the “sins” Rand uses to justify killing all the moocher passengers on the trapped train was that the woman was a housewife who was so uppity as to vote on economic matters.
J R in WV
I agree. His father is one of those “Rapture is right around the Corner” pastors, who firmly believes that if you donate to him Jesus will make you rich.
If Rafael Cruz was to change a political belief, his father would send him straight to hell!
Yay, verily! That was 2005. By 2006 the voters had remembered, and were even more fed up.
I’ll repeat it..
IF you take a vote 43 TIMES TO REPEAL SAID LAW
You can’t have shyt to say about said law.
Beginning.Middle.End of story.
GOP shut out of Obamacare briefing
10/22/13 5:46 PM EDT
House Republicans have requested a briefing with Obama administration officials about the implementation of the health care reform law after hearing that House Democrats will get a briefing on the law tomorrow.
“Far too much information about Obamacare’s rollout is being concealed from the public,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner. “This snub is all the more offensive after Secretary Sebelius declined to testify at a House hearing this week. It’s time for the Obama administration to honor its promises of transparency and face some accountability.”
House Democrats will be briefed by Mike Hash, the head of the HHS Office of Health Reform, at 8:50 a.m.
@Ash Can: Absolutely right. And don’t forget primary season, when the craziest will come out to challenge the merely delusional.
The Tea Party isn’t going to let anyone forget about the shutdown, because they really do consider it to be a “victory”.
The pundits saying that people will forget want it both ways. They want voters to forget it ever happened, but they *still* want bleat about how badly Obama handled it, and about Obamacare, and how all of the polls are skewed.
The GOP has completely given up on persuading people over to their side. The lines are drawn, and you’re either with them or against them. Once people get out of the bubble, they don’t go back in.
@Deb from Indiana: you’re near SB? Transplanted Chicagoan just northeast of New Carlisle here.
Anything that gets rid of Walorski is a good thing.