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Archive for the ‘Election 2010’ Category

And they lost to these bozos?

Posted by Greg on January 5, 2011

You know, it kind of boggles.

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Posted in Election 2010, The Right | Leave a Comment »

Ding dong the witch is dead

Posted by Greg on December 8, 2010

Finally, five weeks too late, failed gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer of Minnesota faces reality and concedes to Democrat Mark Dayton.

From the Star Tribune:

Republican Tom Emmer conceded the governor’s race to DFLer Mark Dayton Wednesday, bringing an end to the disputed election and clearing the way for Dayton to take office on Jan. 3.Emmer also waived his right to a recount, and the state Canvassing Board quickly certified the original election night results and declared Dayton the winner. The board signed the election certificate shortly after noon, making Dayton the governor-elect.

Those actions mean Dayton, a former U.S. senator, will become the first Democratic governor in Minnesota in two decades.

One of Dayton’s first orders of business January 3 will be to sign an executive order opting in for federal health care money – something outgoing wingnut wannabe Tim “hard times in the land of” Pawlenty has opposed in his ongoing quest to appeal to the Republican base in 2012.

Dayton inherits a $6.2 billion deficit, deteriorating infrastructure, lagging education and social programs, and a brand new GOP controlled legislature which will make it very challenging for him to undo the damage the last eight years of malfeasance have wrought.

Challenges notwithstanding, at least Minnesotans rejected Emmer’s doubling down on the previous administration’s failures.

Kudos to Emmer for concessions to reality. Unlike the Franken/Coleman recount, there were thousands of votes separating the candidates – within the margin of a state funded mandatory recount, but at the upper end to the point that barring major failures previously undetected in the initial count, there was no way for him to win.

And Jeers to Best Buy and Target who contributed mightily to backers of Emmer’s campaign, evoking a storm of protest by people who object to business interests buying elections. Minnesota law remains stronger on disclosure requirements, in many states and nationally, monied interests practically have carte blanche. Does disclosure make a difference? Too early to tell, but I like to think so. If nothing else, you know what you’re getting.

Posted in Election 2010, Minnesota | Leave a Comment »

To Hell With the Activists

Posted by Greg on November 18, 2010

To Hell With the Activists.

Murkowski ‘s win in Alaska demonstrates that sometimes the better path is to keep going.

Posted in Election 2010 | Leave a Comment »

Two anecdotes

Posted by Greg on November 3, 2010

I’ve had so many things on my mind relating to cluster known as the 2010 midterms, but today two independent things, small and insignificant, really brought home to me what happened to the Democrats this year.

First off, coming home from work I had an envelope in the mail addressed to me.  It lists “President Barack Obama” and “Democratic Headquarters” as the sender and has in big letters, “Deadline: October 29”  Note, today is November 3, the day after the election.

Naturally it’s asking me for money to help with the final days of the election.

“A day late and a dollar short” goes a long way toward how the Obama administration has governed, and particularly in how it is managing its relations with the base.

Next anecdote, I was sitting in the jacuzzi at the gym after working out this evening and there were several elderly gentlemen speaking about yesterday’s election and a couple of them were just droolingly upset about Obamacare, knowing their pensions and health care are being taken away from them, etc.  I tried to engage them for a few minutes, but it really was futile.  They have been fed a lot of nonsense by opportunists trying to scare them and sell them stuff.  It didn’t matter what the facts were, they were scared and livid and by damn, they voted.

It’s easy to talk about how the Democrats have squandered Howard Dean’s work with the Fifty State Strategy.  It’s easy to talk about how independent thinkers and donors and doers have been discouraged in an attempt to centralize and micromanage.  It’s easy to talk about how the White House strategy is too timid, too aloof, and too willing to compromise.  It’s been done before, and how it’s not speculation, we know the result.

A day late, a millions of dollars short, and the agenda up for grabs for the next two years.  Why were the Republicans allowed to control terms of debate?  A dispirited base has consequences, letting the teabaggers lie through their teeth and outright make things up without challenge has consequences.

  1. The 2008 electorate was 74% white, plus 13% black and 9% Latino. The 2010 numbers were 78, 10 and 8. So it was a considerably whiter electorate.
  2. In 2008, 18-to-29-year-olds made up 18% and those 65-plus made up 16%. Young people actually outvoted old people. This year, the young cohort was down to 11%, and the seniors were up to a whopping 23% of the electorate. That’s a 24-point flip.
  3. The liberal-moderate-conservative numbers in 2008 were 22%, 44% and 34%. Those numbers for yesterday were 20%, 39% and 41%. A big conservative jump, but in all likelihood because liberals didn’t vote in big numbers.

The fall of in young and minority voters can’t be understated.  Yes, Sharon Angle is a moron, but Harry Reid will remain a US Senator because he got 90% of the Latino vote.  Nearly comparable  numbers have been reported in California and Colorado which were also relative bright spots for Democrats.

Polls showed before and after the vote that people like Republicans less than Democrats.  They voted for them anyway.  The election was the Democrats’ to lose, and lose they did.

But there are some bright spots.  Yes we had help from the Tea Party, but the Senate held.  Many of the worst of the worst Tea Party candidates lost.  Sarah Palin’s endorsements turned out to be less than golden.

Better still, the remaining House Democrats are, in fact, better Democrats overall.  And Senate Democrats, being farther from the “magical” sixty, are less dependent on individual senators to allow things to get done, perhaps making it more difficult for individual troublemakers to hold legislation hostage.  Time will tell, but there is cause to be cautiously optimistic for the next couple years.

Of course, there’s the down side….election 2012 is now underway.

Posted in Election 2010, Obama Administration, The Left | 2 Comments »

Failure to report

Posted by Greg on October 20, 2010

Posted in Election 2010, Media | Leave a Comment »

I’m voting Republican because…

Posted by Greg on October 6, 2010

Posted in Election 2010 | Leave a Comment »

Presidential Imposter

Posted by Greg on September 28, 2010

From satirist Andy Borowitz:

Democrats to Employ Man Who Played Obama During 2008 Campaign

Would Hit Campaign Trail in Place of President

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – With just a month remaining until the crucial midterm elections, worried Democrats have decided to reach out to the man who played Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign, Democratic Party officials confirmed today.

“We were sitting around thinking of who we could put out there on the campaign trail to get people energized again,” said party chairman Tim Kaine.  “And then I was like, what about that guy who played Obama in ’08?  He was amazing!”

While Democratic incumbents have been shying away from appearing with President Obama at rallies in recent weeks, they are “totally jazzed” about making joint appearances with the man who portrayed Obama in 2008, Kaine said.

“When we put the word out that we were reaching out to the guy who used to play Obama, the reaction was phenomenal,” he said.  “People were like, I loved that guy.”

Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold echoed the sentiment of many Democratic officeholders when he heard that the man who played Obama during the 2008 race might be hitting the road again soon: “I was leery about appearing with the President onstage, but that other guy, come on, he was unbelievable.”

According to preliminary plans, the guy who played Obama in 2008 would be used to fire up huge crowds in key races, while the actual President Obama would remain behind in Washington giving boring speeches about electronic medical records.

Fox News offered scant coverage of the Democrats’ plans, other than to report that neither President Obama nor the man who played him in 2008 was born in the US.

Posted in Election 2010, Humor, Obama Administration | Leave a Comment »

A “love” letter to Democrats

Posted by Greg on September 22, 2010

Some great thoughts reposted with permission courtesy of my friend Isaac Higham.  His remarks are directed specifically at the DADT debacle, but conceptually they apply throughout the Democratic agenda, such as it is – which is kind of the point.

My Dear Democrats,

Let me be frank: I’m pissed.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not “I want my government back” tea party pissed.  I’m not upset because policies and changes aren’t moving fast enough for my liking. And I’m not even perturbed that you’re not as progressive as I—for I know that elections are won and governing coalitions are formed in the middle.  When I became a Democrat, I was proud to join the big tent party with a bounty of ideas.

No, I’m pissed because you are dropping the ball when you are called upon to defend the “us’es” from the barrage of Republican bullshit.

Stop letting Republicans divide the American people.

In 2004 when Bush and Rove divided the electorate with the marriage amendments across the country, Kerry said nothing.  When the Republicans divide America with their attacks on immigrants, Muslims, unionized labor and the middle class, the LGBT community, seniors and children, and all of the “us’es” hardly a peep is heard from Democrats calling them on their bullshit.  Oh sure, we battle them on the issues: immigration, religious freedom, marriage, and taxes, but we do not call them out on their calculated pitting of American versus American.

Yesterday, Republicans including John McCain outright LIED about the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and the Dream Act included as amendments to the Defense Authorization bill.

Their party blocked necessary aid for our troops (who are fighting wars THEY put them in), because they were more interested in being divisive over gays in the military and conditional pathways to citizenship for immigrants who serve in our armed forces and complete higher education.

All I heard in the aftermath was how “disappointed” we Democrats were that the Republicans let partisan politics block basic legislation the vast majority of Americans support.

Where are our “fierce advocates” we hear about every campaign season? Why do we not have more like Franken, Grayson, and Weiner who aren’t afraid to use their passion to call the Republicans on their divisiveness?

Where is the impassioned speech from my President forcefully declaring an immediate stop to the unconstitutional DADT policy and that Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for dividing Americans for partisan gain at the expense of what is best for the country and the American people?

I am a Liberal Progressive and a proud Democrat, but you still need to earn my vote—and right now you have a lot of work to do.  Grow a pair, stand up for the “us’es”, and then get back to me.

-Isaac Higham

Posted in Election 2010, Progressive Agenda, The Left | Leave a Comment »

About Obama’s base problem

Posted by Greg on September 3, 2010

My friend Mike recently posted about Obama’s gay problem.  Some good thoughts, but a little extension is necessary to get things in full perspective..

Obama does not have a problem with gays, he has a problem with the base across the board and that is largely because he is under performing across the board.  That under performing has a real cost in the enthusiasm gap.

If people turned out in 2010 at 2008 levels, the democrats would be outright winning in NC and very, very competitive in half a dozen other close races.  As it stands we will probably hold the senate, but just barely.

Obama has not played hardball with Conservadems, let alone the GOP.  He negotiates away the store before even coming to the table.  He has not made proper use of reconciliation in the Senate, and has not been forceful about electoral consequences for the party of NO.  He has not been active in shaping policy and in selling policy in Congress.

He has not used his executive powers.  He could order a stop loss on DADT, he does not.  He could choose to not defend anti gay legislation in court, he does not.  HAMP is under *administrative* control and could work well if Obama choose to make it so.  Congress voted down the idea of a Social Security panel, Obama convened one anyway then stacked it with conservatives.  He could restore habeas corpus, he does not.

Obama has direct control of TARP funds, and there are about $500 billion to play with.  That’s a lot of stimulus IF he were to use it.  He could use it to relieve distressed debt and turn a profit for the government while doing so.  He could go after banks gouging customers by skirting credit card rules.    He can be actively involved and up front in pushing an agenda.

Another thing to consider wrt civil rights, as many people have noted recently, it’s embarrassing when many prominent GOP leaders are to the left of Obama on gay rights.  It’s embarrassing when in debates such as Fiorina/Boxer the other night the GOP candidate justifies their opposition to equal rights by quoting the sitting Democratic president.

And gays have started to notice.  You see, preferring one’s own gender does lead one toward certain conclusions on civil rights but does little to inform one’s opinions on taxation, protecting the environment, energy policy, immigration, etc.  I think it’s fair to say that a lot of gays lean democratic not because they are innately liberal so much as they see few options as the GOP has been so gawd awful hostile toward gays the last couple decades.

In a recent column Dan Savage observes that for all the rhetoric and chest beating over the past electoral cycles, the Democrats have done very little good, and the Republicans have done relatively little harm, at least in terms of revoking such advances as have been made.  Bush got a blank check from Congress, yet we have no federal marriage amendment, and DADT and DOMA were Democratic inventions.  Savage asks:

Say the GOP went to gay voters and promised to do no harm—no FMA, no more culture war nonsense, no efforts to block gay people from becoming parents—while at the same time pointing out that the Dems haven’t done much good. That argument won’t peel lefty and progressive gays and lesbians, a.k.a. the majority of gay and lesbian voters, off the Democrats. But it might convince conservative homos that they can safely vote Republican, blunting the Democrats’ advantage with small-but-significant chunk of the electorate. (There are more gay and lesbian voters than Jewish voters.)

It’s something the Democrats need to be considering.

The base is demoralized, feeling neglected and abused if not outright mislead.  That’s not good.  Obama got people out because they felt they had something to vote for.  That’s not the case this year for Democrats.  And they will pay in November if something doesn’t change, and change soon.

Posted in Election 2010, Obama Administration, Progressive Agenda | Leave a Comment »

KY-Sen: Paul says mountain-top mining “enhances” land

Posted by Greg on July 30, 2010

KY-Sen: Paul says mountain-top mining “enhances” land.

That’s not a definition of “enhance” that’s intuitive to me, but I’m not a Kentucky libertaridork.

Posted in Election 2010, Environment | Leave a Comment »

MinnPost – Tenther Tom Emmer meet Tenther Tom Jefferson

Posted by Greg on July 28, 2010

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via MinnPost – Tenther Tom Emmer meet Tenther Tom Jefferson.

Some history, and some perspective.

Posted in Election 2010, The Right | Leave a Comment »

MinnPost – D.C. Dispatches: Bachmann to start Tea Party Caucus

Posted by Greg on July 15, 2010

MinnPost – D.C. Dispatches: Bachmann to start Tea Party Caucus.

Oh, won’t she please just go away.

Posted in Election 2010, Minnesota | Leave a Comment »

Failing

Posted by Greg on July 7, 2010

Posted in Election 2010, Minnesota | Leave a Comment »

NV-Sen: Sharron Angle tells Harry Reid to stop quoting her

Posted by Greg on July 6, 2010

NV-Sen: Sharron Angle tells Harry Reid to stop quoting her.

This is nuts, even by her standards.

Posted in Election 2010, The Right | Leave a Comment »

POLITICO: Rand Paul’s America – Ben Smith – Rand Paul’s America

Posted by Greg on May 20, 2010

POLITICO: Rand Paul’s America – Ben Smith – Rand Paul’s America.

This is going to be an interesting race to watch.  Protestations notwithstanding, Paul and his ilk are NOT mainstream, even within the GOP, and as his principles and policies come to light, how much support will he really have?  Even in Kentucky?

Posted in Civil Rights, Election 2010, The Right | Leave a Comment »