Wisconsin governor Scott Walker sounds a tad panicky at the results of yesterday’s special election in a deep red district, from which Walker had plucked the incumbent to serve in his cabinet (image via @williamlegate here):
Republicans can’t attribute this loss to their primary voters choosing a shitty nutbar candidate or to insufficient financial backing. The defeated Gooper was an experienced Koch-backed pol who isn’t a known kid-diddler and who “significantly outspent” his opponent, according to The Post. And he lost by 9 points in a district Trump won by 17.
We don’t want to read too much into it, but this is the “34th Democratic pickup in the 2018 cycle” vs. four seats flipped by Republicans, per The Post as linked above. And it’s part of a larger trend, with Republicans resigning or declining to run for safe seats, etc., in droves.
Add it all up, and this suggests that if we work hard enough, we can wipe the bastards out in 2018. It would be sweet indeed if Paul Ryan were tossed out on his ass — still a long shot, but possible!
Are you seeing any trends in that direction where you live? Do you think it’s visceral disgust with Trump and Republican enablers at all levels or more driven by local stuff?
O. Felix Culpa
We have seen sustained, record-level engagement with the local Democratic Party since Nov. 8, 2016. Lots of organizing and preparing for the upcoming elections, including taking back the governorship. I’m in a mostly blue area, so I’m curious to see how this plays out in the rest of our purple state. We have won some key off-year local races in reddish municipalities, so hopefully 2018 is in fact a Big Blue Wave throughout New Mexico and the entire country.
ETA: To your last question, I think the answer is “yes.” People are horrified by the golem in the WH and dissatisfied with local Republican policies and outcomes.
***** ALERT ||||| INCOMING DEMOCRATS AT ALL LEVELS |||||. REPUBLICANS SHOULD RUN FOR THE HILLS, NOT FOR OFFICE |||||. THIS IS NOT A TEST ******
Public schools are a good issue for Democrats in the Great Lakes states this year. They’re all running on it in Michigan too, and (mostly) in Ohio although Cordray could hit it harder.
I know I whine about this a lot but education is yet another issue where Democrats pay too much attention to federal and too little to state. DeVos doesn’t matter that much. Your governor matters.
In my small town which went 70% for HRC in 2016, there was one house with lots of signs for T, after the elections he switched them out to flags of different countries, IIRC I saw flags of India, Pakistan,Sweden, Brazil and also the Union Jack, the Italian flag and the French flag. I have no idea what that means. There was one house with a blue lives matter flag, that has disappeared as well.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
Delaware County PA isn’t Alabama (as much of PA outside of the SE and SW corners is supposed to be). We voted for Obama in 2012 and Clinton in 2016. The wave is being seen more in the local politics, which have been overwhelmingly Republican for decades. From a local paper after the 2017 elections
I still haven’t figured out what a “row office” is.
Edit: At the state level, our current governor, Tom Wolf, is a Dem and is up for reelection in 2018. You can imagine the Republicans are hitting that race pretty hard.
How did the other elections yesterday turn out? I’m guessing because you didn’t mention them that the D lost. I think they were all long shots, IIRC, so getting the one is great.
@O. Felix Culpa: That’s my sense too — Trump is buggering the Republican brand at every level. As I’ve shared here before, registering new voters has been my focus over the last year. I’ve done it off and on for a decade or so, but since Trump was elected, the unregistered folks I talk to seem angry and eager to get off the sideline because of the orange fart cloud.
I live in NYC, so there’s not much change in the anti-Trump feeling (it was high to begin with- one little tidbit that gives me solace- although he won the NYC Republican primary, he did NOT win in Manhattan. Manhattan Republicans didn’t want him, probably because they knew him).
But I saw an interesting exchange with my brother and sister-in-law, who are both Republicans, over this weekend. Damon Young, the writer for Very Smart Brothas came up (due to Phil Collins being played at the restaurant we were at- long story), and he’s based in Pittsburgh, as are my brother and sister-in-law. Young did great coverage a few years back of a local Pittsburgh newswoman who got in trouble for some really bigoted things she said on air. My sister-in-law tried to downplay it with “that awful woman hates everyone,” but my brother said simply, “She’s racist.”
I’ve always felt, as they are both lovely people, that their Republicanism is tied more to my sister-in-law seeking her dad’s approval and my brother having had a much better experience at my high school (when my dad started dating his mom and they moved in with us out of a very poor area into our much more affluent one), which was attended by a lot of conservative-leaning kids, many of whom became his good friends. I am feeling a little hopeful that Trump’s blatant racism is, perhaps, sparking some sense of, “Maybe you don’t stick with your political party they way you do your football team.” My brother has experience sticking with a side that is not doing good things. He’s a Bears fan.
And, for a little hope for the future, too- I took the 7-year-old out for French fries at the local German place near us on Friday. When his water and my mulled wine arrived, I lifted my glass and said to him, “Cheers!” He lifted his glass and said, “To Martin Luther King!” His school spent the whole week celebrating Dr. King; clearly it had an effect.
@O. Felix Culpa: I agree about voters. I think the lack of principled resistance to the horror is what is making even Republicans give some Democrats a chance. I think the Roy Moore thing, plus Paul Ryan’s complete lack of principle (especially in Wisconsin): plus lying idiots like Cotton and Perdue are the GOP’S biggest problems right now. Voters see there is no check on the crazy guy at the top, and there is nothing these guys will oppose (like child molestation) to support Trump. And it scares them.
Also, I think Moore, Cotton, Purdue, and Sessions are reinforcing stereotypes of older voters particularly regarding the corrupt and stupid South.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym:
One where you need to be an ‘oar to get elected?
@opiejeanne: It was a special election because Walker appointed the incumbent to his cabinet. If there were other special elections yesterday, I didn’t see any mention of them in the media. I wouldn’t withhold that info to pump sunshine up y’all’s asses.
VA was a mix of both. Danica Roem’s campaign focused on a nightmare commuter route, but local GOP congress critter Comstock is catching hell for her Trumpian votes.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym:
I love that stuff. It took me forever to figure out the local city council had no money to allocate and no power and the REAL power center was in the Board of Public Affairs :)
We didn’t get a win but for South Carolina’s District 99 race the Republican won 57% vs 43%, which is not bad for such a red state. The winner, Nancy Mace (who’s got those creepy Republican woman eyes), had much greater name recognition (first female graduate of the Citadel, previous run against Lindsay Graham). I don’t know how much she outspent her opponent but had more road signs and home canvassing by volunteers (I got five visits vs. none from the Dem), along with a ton of Facebook ads. There was very low turnout – it was the only election on the ballot in this district – but it was good to see the Democrats field an intelligent, capable candidate. The Dem, Boatwright, won in liberal Charleston County but lost big in white, working class Berkeley county. The problem is going to be how to reach those people in 2018. I know there are some who will never vote Democratic just because but I’ve got a lot of neighbors who are starting to openly voice displeasure with Trump and the Republican policies.
Major Major Major Major
Where I live I see people excited about a convicted Espionage Act violator primarying a sitting Democrat in an entirely different state, but then, I live somewhere stupid.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: In Congress, we have the odious Pat Meehan in the House and Pat Toomey in the Senate. Unfortunately Toomey just won a squeaker in 2016 and we’ve got him till 2022. But I’d love to see Meehan ousted this year.
In sadder news, TV/Movie director/producer Hugh Wilson passed away.
Best known for creating WKRP in CIncinnati, and for contributing the based-on-a-true-story episode “Turkeys Away” considered one of the funniest sitcom episodes of ANY series ever.
@Major Major Major Major: You need less cray cray friends.
Yeah – Given he won in 2016 by 35 pts., it’s a real long shot indeed, however, nuttier things have happened. When GOP leadership got rid of earmarks back in the dark days of Dubya, they removed a layer of armor (see: Cantor, Eric). If you are using the power of your committee or leadership position to bring home the bacon, it’s a snap to remain popular in your district, otherwise you live and die by philosophy.
@Betty Cracker: It isnt just Trump buggering Republicans. It’s Citizens United and its money impact. I am a very lefty Democrat in a traditional moderate Republican family. There used to be moderate Republicans that I could understand my family supporting. Now the decent guys turn into monsters as they aspire for higher office and need those big campaign bucks.
Major Major Major Major
@schrodingers_cat: for once I’m not talking about actual friends.
Illinois is seeing a huge slate of retiring lawmakers, thanks to the poisonous atmosphere brought on by Governor Rauner, fueled by the introduction of big money by the Governor himself and Richard Uihlein. They’ve got their own well-funded fake news apparatus at the local level across the state, which pumps stories into the mainstream press, who lap it up.
Thankfully, Rauner is toxic and Dems have an acceptable slate of candidates. It’s Illinois though, so they’re all at least knee-deep in muck, but taking Rauner out of office is #1.
The Moar You Know
Issa supposedly isn’t running for re-election (if you trust anything that man says you are a fool) so that’s something. But there are a lot of ways CA-49 could go bad and I’m going to be sweating this race all the way until the day of the general.
I’ll settle for Republicans discouraged enough that they don’t vote.
@Major Major Major Major: Oh good. BS supporters aka true lefties can get tiresome IRL.
If we get a blue wave in 2018 and 2020, I hope someone is already writing the bills we’re going to pass. We seemed… unprepared when Obama took office, and I wonder if better planning could have gotten us immigration reform and other goodies.
Republican gutting of Medicare and Social Security doesn’t seem like it’s getting enough publicity, but if it does the gop is gonna hurt, more.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@Thoroughly Pizzled: Republicans seem much better at obstructing when they are in the minority. I also hope we’re better prepared to deal with that.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: Yeah, definitely. At least we’ll have experience to guide us. I don’t think Obama was expecting to have only two years to actually govern.
@Thoroughly Pizzled: In my experience Dems don’t get double waves. We win big in one year and two years later the Rs swamp us. Hopefully Trump and the current Rs can stomp that jinx by being utterly, indubitably reprehensible and also visibly traitorous.
ETA: Also we need to GOTV, local, state and national.
Major Major Major Major
@schrodingers_cat: how’d you know they were BS supporters? ?
@Major Major Major Major: I too am surrounded by them, so I know the type.
Major Major Major Major
I dunno, we had two competing healthcare frameworks as early as the primary, Waxman’s tobacco bill, Ledbetter, I imagine Dodd-Frank already existed in draft form… now, I agree with you about having legislation ready, but we weren’t caught flat footed so much as we relied too much on normal legislative processes.
@Sab: 2006+2008 was a double wave. But GOTV will be crucial to repeating that. And a new Voting Rights Act can protect us from another backlash in 2022.
Somewhat OT –
@Thoroughly Pizzled: You just cheered me up!
The Moar You Know
@Thoroughly Pizzled: Make that 2020. Trump will veto everything passed by Dems. But yes, I agree. There’s a lot that needs to get done and we should be prepared for that.
My personal #1 priority is that law enforcement agencies around this nation must be bought to heel, foremost ICE/CBE. Their role is to help the civilian population, not declare war on us.
Mike in DC
Good. Shut it down. Gotta pull the trigger sooner or later.
@Cheryl Rofer: You go Nancy! Who will be the first media bot to concern troll the Ds. I vote for Chuck Todd.
Jen Rubin points out that Trump’s rhetorical strategy of ‘say anything that pisses off liberals’ may be backfiring. It energizes the left, while the right is (as is normal in non-presidential years) losing interest in politics. All the wrong people are paying attention.
The key thing in that case is that we need to try to go beyond winning those people for 2018 or 2020 and try to get permanent converts. This is why so many people are saying we need to make this about the Republican Party rather than Trump. He isn’t some anomaly; he’s what the party is really about and has been about for a long time. If we can convince people of that, we’ll have Democratic converts rather than temporary allies.
@Thoroughly Pizzled: Excellent point!
I think people generally underestimate the political impact of being perceived as a winner or at least of being in sync with one’s peer group. I doubt if the following would have happened if Ed Gillespie had won the last governor’s election:
I know you know this, but, there was kind of a massive financial cataclysm that made some well-laid plans go a bit agley.
Mike in DC
How many state lege seats are up for grabs in 2018? My understanding is that we lost about 1000 seats between 2010 and 2016.
We did in 2006 and 2008.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@Mike in DC: Not sure what Ballotpedia is but several searches I’ve done for this thread have led me there.
They tell me that in 2018, 25 out of 50 PA State Senate seats are up for election. Republicans currently have a 34-16 veto-breaking majority. There are 203 State House seats, all up for election. Republicans currently hold a 121-82 majority.
My sweetheart is a Federal employee who got hit by the last few shutdowns, but her view is that if the price of keeping the government open is funding the stupid Wall, then she’d rather deal with being furloughed.
@The Moar You Know:
That shouldn’t stop the Democrats from writing and passing them any more than Obama’s threat to veto stopped the Republicans from passing Obamacare repeal. Pass a bunch of bills you think people will like, and then use Republican resistance to them as a campaigning point in 2020.
@FlipYrWhig: I was mostly referring to the lull after the stimulus and Lily Ledbetter, when it seemed like Max Baucus spent the entire summer writing his health care bill. Given the circumstances, we did pretty darn well, but there’s room for improvement.
@Roger Moore: There is no need to assume that he won’t sign D bills and will remain faithful to Rs if they get an electoral drubbing. Things that may or may not happen in post 2018 elections are hard to predict right now.
All the more reason to pass the bills we like. There is literally no downside to passing good, popular bills any time we get a chance.
Cheryl from Maryland
@Roger Moore: I agree. Even if the bills get vetoed, it means the Democrats are setting the legislative agenda. CF: what is happening in Virginia even though the Democratic Delegates are in the minority. They came out first with a progressive agenda; the Republicans are reacting by either whining or bottling the bills up in committee.
Very hard to predict. Trump’s cowardice is beyond all precedent. I’m not sure he has the courage to veto what reaches his desk. He has backed down from every single confrontation so far, and only fires people if he’ll never have to look them in the face.
Major Major Major Major
@Roger Moore: we just need to make sure they contain actual implementable policy goals, unlike the Obamacare repeals (or recent single-payer bill).
@Major Major Major Major: Great sage of Vt disagrees.
It would be sweet indeed if Paul Ryan were tossed out on his ass
From your keyboard to God’s mind.
We can help. I’ve already given more money to Randy Bryce, the challenger, than I can really afford.
Major Major Major Major
@schrodingers_cat: even he said it wasn’t a real bill.
@Major Major Major Major: So he is slightly smarter than his foot soldiers!
@Thoroughly Pizzled: Somebody was mentioning something the other day about there needing to be a lefty/liberal equivalent of ALEC, drafting ready-to0hand progressive legislation. I thought it seemed like a good idea.
The Dems lost those other races but over performed massively. It’s actually good news all around.
Easy for me to say but I agree. Democrats can’t support a white’s only immigration policy. I’m as much a partisan hack as the next gal but you have to draw lines. I was really struck by those MLK approval numbers, back in the day. LOW. Freedom didn’t poll well. Most people did not, in fact, “have a dream”. I think part of the reason white people like MLK (in hindsight) is he makes us feel better about ourselves- it’s like “see? We’re not such big assholes!”
This feels like that to me- like a “long arc” defining..thing. No “white’s only” immigration backing. Step away from that ledge. I get incrimental progress but you can’t lose 150 years.
I live in Connecticut, and I’m worried about our Gubernatorial race this year. The anti-Dannel Malloy sentiment is powerful and crosses party lines. We’ve had a Democratic legislature that didn’t address some of the structural financial problems facing the state when we had an R governor, alongside one criminal R gov who made the problem exponentially worse by refinancing debt so the payments would be lower while he was in office (even though he had a surplus) and another R who was a useless waste of time in every possible way.
No matter who gets elected, there are going to be tough choices ahead for CT, and probably a time of massive change will be required to get us moving in the right direction….but if an R gets elected, they will go to the same well, the only well they know: tax cuts and service cuts. It won’t help, will make our situation worse, but anti-Malloy sentiment might put us right back into the hands of the GOP.
@Betty Cracker: Sorry, i didn’t mean to imply that you would withhold info to make us feel better. There was another election in WI, one in SC, and one in Iowa. I found that the R won in SC, big surprise.
@schrodingers_cat:it was earlier than that on MSNBC;along about the 10 a.m. hour;pundits on with Hallie Jackson, all opining about how both sides have great arguments to pin on the other re the pending shutdown. Then they proceeded to talk about why the Dems are in trouble if they vote AGAINST a CR with no deal for the Dreamers. Nothing was said about the GOP being in trouble.
What the show was missing was a common sense pundit journalist who would outright say that the GOP is in control and it’s on them if they don’t pass a funding bill. I get so irritated with the continuing both siderism that I just switched the channel. We really do need a stronger pro Democrat pro progressive media presence.
@Roger Moore: If they tell him that signing makes him a good, brave president whom everyone will love he’ll sign in a heartbeat. Also that it mskes him look independent and leaderly.
Doesn’t seem to me that that’s an accident. Owners of MSNBC don’t want to promote that fact for some reason.
@Yarrow: So, is that an Andy Lack decision or a consensus among the suits at the management/board levels?
@geg6: thank you. I was having trouble finding the results. I’m in a dermatology surgeon’s office and the connection is poor. Waiting for a biopsy on my husband’s facial tumor. It was so tiny we only noticed it because it made his whiskers grow in a funny pattern.
@Miss Bianca: Good luck getting a billionaire to fund that. ALEC works because the Kochs fund it and its candidates.
Yikes! I hope it turns out to be benign, or at least easily treatable.
@Major Major Major Major: This. I think the Obama folks were pretty well prepared when they entered office. Oh, and they only also had to deal with the world economy collapsing at the time. Sheesh.
I think there were several factors in the slow down in Democrat preferred legislation after the initial ones. Ted Kennedy dying-he was a source of a lot of law writing I think and considered the leader on healthcare right? the rise of the fake grassroots Tea Party and the explosion of private money. Ironically Obama benefitted by masses of small donations and then got killed by rich guys. the end of earmarks effectively ended compromise. Part of the 2006 and 08 blue waves came from a bunch of corruption scandals at the same time Iraq went bad so something like ending earmarks that was talked about for years seemed like a good idea at the time. I admit I had thought they were a corruption for years even though I did notice that some of the time it was exagerated or just personal opinions.
the financial crisis caught a lot of people off guard with what to do about it too. the perceptive doom predictors had actually predicted problems way way back and were ignored when the chickens coming home to roost took so long. I thought it was a bad idea back when to repeal Glass Steagal although yes I know the new kinds of products would have evaded that anyway. So the doom sayers were long out of power and we didn’t know where to find them about fixing it. But worrying about it and arguing but not reaching a consensus hobbled our progress.
I guess the only suggestion I have is have more than a few known experts in everything.
@Sab: 2006-2008 was a double wave.
No Drought No More
“Are you seeing any trends in that direction where you live”?
Californians watched the same dynamic play out here since 1980. Ever wonder why? The state’s democratic politicians certainly possess no greater talents than those elsewhere in the Union. The answer is simple enough. It’s primarily owing to the stone cold fact that republican party shot-callers began nominating ever more rabid political dingbats as candidates for state offices. Republican party racists also launched an unrelenting assault upon the state’s hispanic population (that continues to this day), and sat back to enjoy the show as their Texas allies gang raped Aunt Millie, along with everyone else in the state. When Californians finally gauged the depth of the GOP’s un-American depravity, they turned their backs on the sick pissants and have denied them positions of power ever since.
The only question in my mind became how much damage the national GOP would inflict on us all until it was overthrown. So far, that damage includes a judicial coup that placed Bush-Cheney in power; Americans having been BIG LIED into waging the 2003 War (vitally enabled, I say, by a democratic party leadership that endorsed the Big Lie, all of whom still lack the courage to admit their complicity in that catastrophic betrayal); and, of course, Trump is today president and congress is a republican circus.
And it’s not over, yet, is it?
But as California has demonstrated, and results elsewhere this year and in Michigan this week confirm, their reign on the national stage is fast approaching and inglorious end. God grant the democratic party the wisdom now to ground it into powder, and scatter it to the four winds..
@joel hanes: You and me both. Bryce raised $1.2 million last quarter which is really astounding for a first time challenger to a House majority leader. My contribution was a drop in that ocean but at least it looks like he’ll have the funds (and early enough to make a difference) to run a top flight campaign.
@dww44: I don’t know. Why not both?
@Yarrow: Last nights Chris Hayes and Laurence O’Donnell shows had people on saying, very loudly, that the impending shit show is R owned/operated. They control the legislative/executive branches, it’s on them. Maybe they have different head people running the morning/night programming? Idk.
This must happen!
@Cheryl Rofer: I was wondering what their strategy would be. I thought getting CHIP renewed for 6 years on this one month extension, then getting DACA relief on the next one. But I am not a political genius.
We shall see.
Agreed. He craves approval, he wants to see himself as winning. He will sign something by democrats and then take the glory. It will fucking drive Republicans crazy.
I”m in touch with the woman running for governor. You should help out with the campaign. She’s an indian woman.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym:
I don’t know much about Meehan, but he can’t be worse than my district’s Keith Rothfus.
Down here at the 42 Legislative District Democrats, we have swollen our membership over 200% from 2015 and won our local County Council and city council seats without difficulty. I would not want to assume that there will not be a strong opposition in 2018, but we are definitely off to a good start and have lots of enthusiasm that I hope we can sustain. We still have nowhere near as much money as the Republicans, though. Hasn’t mattered that much to date.
Just One More Canuck
@joel hanes: OT, but in response to your comment on David’s parenting post last night, my daughter is the most awesome 13 year old ever, in spite of her father’s singing skills
@Gelfling 545: I think it’d be pretty easy to paint the Rs as losers after a big D win in 2018…trump can’t stand being associated with losing on any level, so I guess I’m thinking we could play that to our advantage. Even more so if his supposed base is deserting.
@opiejeanne: Tiny in this case is good, because even if it is malignant it might be too small yet for metastasis. Probably best to get it lasered off.
Did you see the meet-up thread?
I agree with Yutsano — get after it — no matter how small…Have a friend under treatment of an early stage facial melanoma….
J R in WV
I hit up Ironstache up there with a donation a little while ago. Not giant but still. More than $27 !! The donation amount specified by the Rus Federation is not for me!
I will donate to the Democratic woman running in GA… ‘You’re not allowed in here!” in 1991, fuck that shit!!!