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SSP Daily Digest: 12/6

by: Crisitunity

Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 2:43 PM EST


AK-Sen: This shouldn't come as a surprise and I highly doubt that Joe Miller would listen to anything Mark Begich would say even if it weren't a surprise, but Begich is now encouraging Miller to drop his pointless challenge to Lisa Murkowski so Murkowski can get sworn in on schedule and the pork can continue to flow to the Last Frontier. Meanwhile, Miller is now actually saying that he would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for those meddling Inuits. In a Washington Times column, Miller blames the Native Alaskan corporations for backing Murkowski (via the Alaskans Standing Together PAC), and even (gasp! call the Fox voter fraud hotline!) putting boots on the ground to teach people how to spell "Murkowski" and bus people to the polls!!1!

FL-Sen: If you were wondering if there was still a flicker of possibility that Jeb Bush was going to run against Bill Nelson, that's pretty much extinguished: Bush himself acknowledged that over the weekend, admitting there's a major problem given his support for immigration reform (and opposition to Arizona's new law) that puts him at odds with the ascendant teabaggery. Mike Haridopolos is also letting everyone know that he wouldn't be running if Bush were going to run, but that he's gotten Bush's green light. (The latter article also includes a few additional GOP names that we haven't seen yet in connection with this race, like sophomore Rep. Tom Rooney and Adam Hasner, the former state House majority leader.)

IN-Sen: State Sen. Mike Delph is waving his arms around madly trying to get the tea partiers' attention for a possible primary against GOP apostate Richard Lugar, with a widely-circulated post to his own blog saying that he's "increasingly concerned" with Lugar's actions, especially support for the DREAM Act. The real question is whether state Treasurer Richard Mourdock gets in; Lugar's best shot at getting through, like Dan Coats in the 2010 Senate primary, is to have the multiple teabaggers cannibalizing each others' votes.

NV-Sen: Democratic Rep. Shelly Berkley is mentioning some sort of timeline for deciding on whether to run for the Senate against John Ensign (or whoever decapitates him in the GOP primary): she's saying early 2011, probably before mid-February. Worth noting: she's sitting on $1.1 million CoH, more than your average Rep. and a good head start for a Senate bid.

WV-Sen: John Raese, who has run and lost four times statewide, is pretty much ruling out another run for office, aware that it's probably not a good investment of his family fortune. Also, he says he's "worn out" (and probably wants to spend more time with his new glass conservatory). As for who will actually run, Shelly Moore Capito is naturally at the top of the GOP's wish list, but it sounds like she's more interested in running for Governor in 2012, making a run from some other self-funding B-lister against Manchin seem likely.

MN-Gov: Tom Emmer's legal team, over the weekend, pulled a large number of frivolous challenges: 2,600 of them, all from Hennepin County (Minneapolis). Between this token act of perceptions-management, and signals from Emmer attorney (and ex-state supreme court chief justice) Eric Magnuson that Emmer isn't likely to prevail, it looks like we may actually get some resolution on this sooner rather than later.

CA-11: I'm not sure if anyone was still wondering if David Harmer had conceded this race, as Jerry McNerney declared victory nearly a month ago and the AP also called it a few weeks ago, but he finally pulled the plug over the weekend. Harmer says he has no plans to run again.

VA-09: Um, oooops. Here's one veteran Dem who seems to have gotten caught with his pants down, when a late move in the polls in what had previously seemed an OK race (recall the spike in the last SurveyUSA poll of this race) seemed to come too late for him to do a last-minute ad blitz. Rick Boucher had by far the most money left over of any House Dem who lost: $699K. (Chris Carney came in second with $262K.)

House: Here's a long pointless list of races where the loser is operating in the usual "not ruling another run in or out" post-election mode: Glenn Nye in VA-02, Tom Perriello in VA-05, Chet Edwards in TX-17, Patrick Murphy in PA-08, and Republican Ilario Pantano in NC-07.

DCCC: Another changing of the guard at the DCCC: Robby Mook is taking over as executive director, from Jon Vogel. He's following the same path as Vogel, having led the DCCC's independent expenditure arm during the 2010 cycle.

NY-St. Sen.: The last two races in the New York state Senate are more or less resolved. Suzi Oppenheimer, as expected, has been declared the victor, and GOP opponent Bob Cohen has conceded. Craig Johnson, on the other hand, has lost, or at least was on the wrong end of the recount, although he plans to appeal. Assuming nothing changes in SD-7, the GOP will control the Senate 32-30 for this session.

Redistricting: In Massachusetts, Democratic Secretary of State Bill Galvin is floating the idea of switching to an independent redistricting commission (albeit one that would apparently be non-binding). That's odd, since if there's one state where the Dems have firm control of the trifecta, it's the Bay State. As you might expect, Dem legislative leaders are expressing little interest in the idea. They're moving full speed ahead on the 2012 process, with state Senate president pro tem Stan Rosenberg in charge just as he was in 2002. As far as tea leaves for who might get protected in the elimination of that tenth House seat: I'm not sure if Rosenberg would be considered a John Olver ally, but it's worth noting that Rosenberg is, like Olver, from Amherst, and succeeded Olver in the state Senate, taking over Olver's old seat in 1991 upon Olver's special election to the House.

Crisitunity :: SSP Daily Digest: 12/6
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Minor grammar point:
"Inuit" is the plural form, not "Inuits".

MN-Gov
The Emmer's campaign is now only challenged 700-something ballots, far less than what can change the outcome of the race.  Id love to predict they dont file a lawsuit as there isnt any path to victory and the public will clearly not like a prolonged court battle for a losing cause.  But, well, politics...

I apologize in advance for this rant,
but I am a little cranky and quite cold (it's fucking cold here, man) today.

I'm fairly liberal but not hardcore in my beliefs. I often say awful things in the heat of the moment, but in the vast majority of cases, I think our clashes with the other side come from ideological disagreements and not some sort of "let's destroy the country" mindset. I try to not immediately accept all of the motivations and characterizations associated with modern Republican politics, but one keeps ringing truer and truer: that Democrats are never, ever legitimately elected.

When President Obama was sworn in, he just finished winning by the largest margin in 20 years. In the House and Senate, Democrats had larger margins than the Republicans had at any time during, as Atrios put it, The Great and Glorious Republican Revolution of 1994. Nobody serious claimed that the result was faulty. The country clearly had given the Democrats the right to govern, yet that didn't matter, because...well, just because. We are, according to some, a center-right nation, if not an outright conservative one, so liberal solutions are never appropriate. We had to pay attention to what conservatives wanted, because that was only fair and only right, despite them never really doing the same when they were in power.

The Democrats certainly didn't help themselves with some decisions. Indeed, if there was one thing that could I could go back and alter, it would be a change in the rules of the Senate so that a bigger stimulus would have been possible. But regardless, win or lose, Democratic rule was never legitimate. It'd be pathetic and astonishing if it weren't such an effective notion for the Republicans.

Anyway, I think we are seeing a symptom of that when the Republicans do stuff like this. I get where they are coming from, to an extent. It honestly baffles me that the Republicans were able to get away with what they did during the last two years and were able to use it to help them win so convincingly in the last election. I don't think it's particularly fair, because the Democrats seem to try to opetrate in good faith while the Republicans intend to do little more than whip it out and piss in the punch bowl, but I don't think it's illegitimate. It might or might not be a mandate, but it's certainly an opportunity. They now have, deserved or not, a more prominent voice at the table.

Somehow, though, if the situation were reversed, I doubt we'd see the same sentiment being expressed. And as much as this saddens me and infuriates me, I just don't know how to stop it. The only solution, I guess, is to win, and then act like you won, although not unethically or unlawfully, no matter what everyone else is saying.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
Seconded
I actually happen to agree with conservatives on several issues but I could never support Republicans unless they actually started behaving like reasonable people. They have no shame.

[ Parent ]
Thirded.


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28, New Democrat, Female, TX-03 (hometown CA-26)


[ Parent ]
Here's the other thing:
I wouldn't have as much of a problem with them winning if they did it truthfully. If the public legitimately wanted specific spending cuts, and the Republicans campaigned on them, that would be one thing, but when you have Boehner talk about cutting spending, except for Social Security, Medicare, defense, and other stuff that makes up 75-85 percent of the budget, I want to put a bullet into my head. I'm willing to tolerate a little bullshit from politicians, but for safe politicians like Boehner or Bachmann to refuse to identify a single spending cut even after they have won is simply astonishing.

Now, while I don't think they were given a very broad mandate to do whatever they want, I have no doubt that they will act like they have one. I hope that they really, truly believe that the public wants them to hold hearings about global warming fraud, because that is bound to backfire.

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
Exactly why Id never vote Republican
There are policy differences and then are also process differences.  Not surprisingly, the party's whose platform is built around government not working have a problem respecting the democratic or governing process.  You could pretty much rattle off the examples; filibuster, Frist campaigning Daschle, threatening nuclear option, impeachment of Clinton, "activist judges", tea-party abuse of the constitution.

Al Franken said it best during his 08 campaign, "Republicans say government doesn't work, and then they can get elected and prove themselves right."


[ Parent ]
See below.


"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
100% with you
As a staunch progressive I'm often stuck between the belief that Democrats should be above politics and act responsibly or go bat shit crazy and just attack attack attack to win. 100% understand your frustration and I'm right there with you. Clearly the good guy shtick doesn't work for shit in today's 3 second of news world where if I DONT YELL AT YOU YOU DON'T LISTEN. I feel like we're just pretending today when we believe that having the better policy is more important that having the better tweet. I love watching PBS Newshour but I feel it's living in a fake world where rational people discuss the issues, it just doesn't matter any more. When David Brooks is attacked by a public policy institute for saying Obama isn't a communist hellbent on destroying the US how can we have a discussion. AEI is a public think tank, they are supposed to work on policy. I knew they lied and manipulated facts to support their ideas but at least the believed in policy. This isn't the Tea Party base calling Brooks crazy, it's the establishment!

If there was one Dem that did finally use Republican tactics against them it was Grayson but that annoyed the hell out of 1/2 of all Democrats proving that you can't use their tactics against them but you can't win without doing that.

For those of you who don't watch Raising Hope (which you should it's funny as hell) there is a part when the main character Jimmy fills out an application and uses tons of exclamation points to make the form more exciting. His (much smarter) friend Sabrina then asks (yells to make the point) "IS THIS MORE EXCITING OR DOES IT JUS SEEM LIKE I'M WEIRD?!" I thought that was hilarious because the ! has become more important than the sentence in front of it in today's political world.


[ Parent ]
I think
Andrew just above you has it right when he talks about the distinction between how something is done versus if it is done--the distinction between process and results. I imagine Obama's biggest mistake is in assuming that the public cares about the former more than the latter, which is almost certainly not true. (And is it ever true? Did the Republicans suffer at all for the way they pushed through Medicare Part D, except for those who were already opposed to it based on ideological reasons?) None of this means that he or anyone else can act unethically or illegally, but it does mean that as long as you end up getting something positive done, people don't care how it was done, if they even know at all. So, if Obama had rammed through a bigger stimulus, but it had created a much more robust recovery, it wouldn't really matter how he got it through, because the economic situation would be much better.

I think his other big mistake is not realizing that changing the tone doesn't have to conflict with getting your agenda through congress. He's been known to make nice gestures like calling Dick Cheney in the hospital when he had surgery or calling the new Republican governor of Utah when he picked Huntsman to go to China. That's all well and good, and I encourage it, but doing that doesn't mean he has to work in the way he has with Republicans in congress. I imagine he's sometimes under the delusion that if he never punches back, the Republicans will one day stop punching him, when nothing could be further from the truth.

As for Democrats, if they can find a way to connect with the people in a way that earns their support, it doesn't matter what Beltway insiders think. Like I indicated earlier, if a bigger stimulus was rammed through and it worked to create a better recovery, he'd be in fine shape, regardless of what the David Broders of the world thought.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
a poli sci prof for her American Political Behavior class
had us read "Stealth Democracy" which is a book/study of this question, policy vs process.  Not surprisingly, the scientists found the public hates process and truly view the legislative process as sauage being made.  Our electorate votes for smarty-pant politicians to deal with these issues because figuring out how to solve the deficit isn't something they want to think about.

For example, the town-hall protests over HCR pretty much ended public support for the bill because they were seeing the process spill onto their newspapers.  And since they also want to have as little role in the process as possible, they probably have little knowledge of the actual bill.  So when the process gets out of hand, they assume the policy must be, too.


[ Parent ]
which is such a sad commentary
on how easy it is to kill legislation here in America.  The polls showing Americans wishing HCR would do more just make me want to scream.

[ Parent ]
now that ive gone further along in the comments
There is some fabulous irony at play here as now the question for me is, are liberal online activists mad at Obama over policy and him appearing to water down legislation or mad at Obama for process for attempting to compromise with the GOP?

Ill say now I think its more process as Obama got a lot done on our wish list these past two years, its just that the process involved ceding much of the conversation to conservadems.  And while I'd like Obama a lot more as president if he wasn't such a whimp and called people out for filibustering, a lot less may have gotten done then.


[ Parent ]
I basically agree.
I don't know if I'd call Obama a wimp, but I think you are right. This is the only message board I frequent where I comment, but I used to go another one filled with all sorts of types of Democrats where a large number of people seem to believe he was just naturally against more liberal policy options. They seem to think that if Obama had simply demanded a public option, for instance, he would have gotten it, and the fact that he didn't do it means he's a closet Republican, or something. Me? I suspect Reid and Pelosi told him that they didn't have the votes. That may not be the easiest thing in the world to accept, but I haven't heard any ideas that are more convincing.


"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
I can't remember where I read it
But someone wrote today that whatever he does liberals think he is a corporate sell-out and conservatives think he is a Socialist. He can't win with these people. I'll settle for winning with the American people at large by actually doing some governing.

[ Parent ]
Amazingly Dumb
Every cycle there's a candidate who didn't see the loss coming and it amazes me. It's a wave election, I don't care if you've been in office since the 60's it's a wave. Spend the money now and you'll be good for the next handful of cycles. What was he going to do with his 600k? He's too old for Senate or Gov and he's never challenged. I understand having 200k after spending $10M on a race (in case you need a recount or are building up for a bigger office) but Boucher didn't spend millions so the 600k could have helped.

Amazingly arrogant to think I'm above this total Dem collapse because I'm one with the people. No matter what you're a politician and an incumbent, 1/2 the country hates you already. Add in the fact that Boucher came from the back necks of VA where they used to love ultra conservative Dems but wouldn't support a liberal for the life of them. Boucher had 2 strikes against him, the wave and being from a conservative district, failing to show up was strike 3.

Arrogant son of a .....

Compare this to what John Dingell did. Amazing the difference.


[ Parent ]
Elaborate, please.


"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
Actually, despite being in Congress for nearly three decades, Boucher's only 64.
He obviously can't run a competitive campaign anymore, though.

[ Parent ]
More losing money misers
Charles Djou still had $252k in the bank, and Bill Foster had $247k. Not sure if spending that would've saved them, but why would you hold on to that kind of cash if you're in a tough fight?

Also, Heath Shuler apparently never felt he was in much danger; he still has $1.1 million in the bank.


NC-Sen Shuler running in '16?
A Presidential year, and a bit more demographic help by then... And there's no reason why Burr would have any more name recognition in another 6 years.

[ Parent ]
If
he doesn't get redistricted to death this year then maybe.  

Proud member of the Indiana Democratic Party from IN-9.  

[ Parent ]
That would be hard.
Shuler's district takes up the panhandle so it would be difficult to alter his district by much since only one side of his district borders others.  I think that the only Dem they can redistrict out effectively will be Kissell.  McIntyre has strong connections, so he would be harder to bump.

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


[ Parent ]
The Republicans have to be careful
Both McHenry and Foxx are far right and won less than convincing victories in 2008 (around 58%).  If their districts are weakened too much, they could be vulnerable depending on the national climate, especially to a moderate Dem like Shuler.

28, Unenrolled, MA-08

[ Parent ]
Schuler as senator?
I just vomited a bit in my mouth...

[ Parent ]
Having $$$ in the Bank is a Safety Net
Political Campaign Workshop run at American University (which is a great 2 week course that non-students can take in the summer FYI) teaches people to hold onto some money ($100K) in close races until the very end. You want to make sure the final TV Ads get paid and it's amazing how often the checks bounce at the end of a race. The last thing you want is to think you have everything paid for so you dump an extra $100 K into the door to door fund and then realize too late you screwed up and the last 2 weeks of ads are now not going to be aired.

Additionally, I believe (but my AU professor disagreed with my thesis) that candidates in close elections should keep some money on hand in case the vote goes to a recount. Florida 2000 showed that having lawyers there on Day 1 is the difference when fighting for the parameters of the recount. The last thing you want is to have to wait on hiring a lawyer to raise money to pay for them and letting the other candidate persuade the judge what is in and what is out of the recount. Having $100K won't likely change enough votes thru TV but it can mean the difference of having several thousand votes counted or not, which to me is a bigger difference. I think if a race costs between $5M and $10M having $200K leftover is acceptable. Having $600K leftover and losing isn't. In bigger races (California Senate) I'd want more like $1M in my account at the end.

Shuler must have had good polling telling him it'd be close but he'd be fine. He's clearly ambitious (taking on Pelosi) and seeing him run for Senate or Governor soon wouldn't be a surprise. Actually, he (or Kissel) might seriously want to consider putting Perdue out of her misery and taking her on in a primary. Shuler knew not to run for higher office in 2010 and in 2008 he was still too new to run for Senate or Governor.

Djou's money made no difference. It's better for him to write a check to the national or state party (like Lee Fischer did for the Democrats in OH) than waste money on a gone election. I'm sure a $250K check will buy him lots of access and goodwill as a lobbyist in future endeavors.


[ Parent ]
VA-St. Sen.: Deeds to run for re-election.
This was mentioned in the Weekly Open Thread.  I'm just reposting it here.
http://voices.washingtonpost.c...

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


That's nice...
...hopefully, he'll get crushed in the primary.  Although, you never know... some people never learn.

[ Parent ]
Ha, that's rich.
He's quite well-liked in his district.

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


[ Parent ]
NY State Senate
Get the one registered dem to switch. Then it's a tie with the LG holding a lot of power. Promise him whatever to get him over. We need the Senate.  

Proud member of the Indiana Democratic Party from IN-9.  

Can't we just let the courts draw it?
If we let the courts draw the 2012 map, we could win the State Senate with basically any "neutral" map. Then we could do a "mid" decade democratic gerrymander in 2013.

I know it won't happen, but that is what I see as the best option over the long term.  


[ Parent ]
Unlike last time
the Dems now hold 2/3rds of the trifecta.  They are no longer boxed in by a GOP Gov AND a GOP Senate like last time.  I hope Cuomo is going to be directing strategy for redistricting with the Assembly and the Senate Dems.

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


[ Parent ]
I dont think Cuomo wants Dem control of the Senate
He saw what a mess they made of things for Patterson. Would not be shocked to see all parties involved cutting a deal to draw things in suck a way to keep Senate in GOP hands, Assembly safely Dem and an incumbent protection plan for the House seats.

Bottom line is nobody drawing the lines in NYS has anything to gain by making waves.

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[ Parent ]
Yes they could, and I agree that it's a good option
However, Democratic incumbents would likely have to give up their own goals and desires. That's a pretty strong reason for them to strike a "deal" that's really not so good for the rest of us.  

[ Parent ]
I
don't know what side of me is talking when I write this reply, but I don't think Democrats deserve to be in control of the NY state senate for a long time. I understand we'll lose the opportunity to gerrymander all of the seats we lost back into our hands, but that's not worth having the state senate run by ethically challenged senators who bring shame to the Democratic party and made NY voters long for the days of Republican control because some senate Democrats (Espada, Monserrate, etc) make the ethical problems of state senate Republicans look like small fry compared to the Democrats. State senate Democrats need some more time in the wilderness to figure out just because you're in the majority, slashing you're girlfriend, embezzling money, bribing voters with bags of groceries to get them to vote for you, cutting shady deals with Skelos in order to make yourself majority leader is not the way to go.

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
wouldnt even need a mid-decade redistricting
Any fair map means the GOP are done there for good.

[ Parent ]
It just got harder for this to happen as Dems might be down a seat for awhile
Democrat State Senator Kevin Parker was just found guilty of 2 criminal mischief counts for assulting a photographer:
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/l...

He faces up to 2 years in jail for this. Both counts are  misdemeanors which means he will not automatically get booted from the Senate for this but after Sen Monserratte was expelled for similar conduct I can't see Parker lasting very long.


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[ Parent ]
Republicans narrowly dodged a similar problem
http://www.nydailynews.com/blo...

Retiring State Sen. Vincent Liebell was going to be the Putnam County Executive. Not anymore.  


[ Parent ]
Thanks to Tea Partier Greg Ball...
Who is a giant thorn in the side of the local GOP and pushed Liebell out of his re-election race and into a run for Putnam County Ex by running a primary against him.

Never thought the NY GOP would be so glad to have Greg Ball in the Senate!

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[ Parent ]
Elizabeth Edwards' condition worsens, no longer being treated.
This is so saddening.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo...

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


:(
Really liked her after all she has been through. She just seems like such a good, sweet, forgiving person. Why do these things always happen to good people?  

[ Parent ]
if you read game change
you will disagree with that.
but i hope she's nicer than they portray her, and my sympathy goes out to the family

18, Dem, CA-14 (home) CA-09 (college, next year). social libertarian, economic liberal, fiscal conservative.   Everybody should put age and CD here. :)

[ Parent ]
tax cut deal will hurt Dem GOTV in 2012
I don't want to get into a debate on the merits of Obama's capitulation "framework" agreement with Republicans on the Bush tax cuts, but can we all agree that he has just decimated his volunteer base for the re-election campaign?

Who is going to knock on doors and phonebank for him now? There must be a thousand YouTube videos like this one from 2008, in which Obama argued passionately against the tax cuts for the wealthy.


No one is going to care in 2012
except for the blogs, and for them, if not this, it would be something else.

Obama went around the country for two months arguing against tax cuts for the rich, Congress didn't do anything, they lost the majority and now they have to compromise. That's governing. They should've voted before Congress or maybe the public should've voted for a Congress that wouldn't favor the rich, but they didn't.

Anyway, I think it's ridiculous to think the volunteer base in 2012 would be anywhere near what it was in 2008. Governing is hard, ugly and messy and there was no way he was going to make anyone happy.

People will still work on Obama's campaign in 2012, just as they did Clinton in 1996. DailyKos might not, but they're not relevant anyway.  


[ Parent ]
Agree
This will have little to no effect in terms of electoral politics whatsoever. I honestly don't think any Senators, Congressmen or President Obama will be hurt much by this. Kind of sucks, but I can't debate that, just horse race stuff and I don't think this does much but get Kos and Ed mad.    

Proud member of the Indiana Democratic Party from IN-9.  

[ Parent ]
You missed user desmoinesdem's point
It is the activists who do the GOTV. If they're not motivated, the GOTV effort is hurt. From what I've seen, GOTV workers around here are almost universally part of the liberal blogsphere in some fashion.

[ Parent ]
They were never going to be motivated
and all GOTV workers don't come from the blogsphere and the blogsphere isn't entirely uncompromising. On here alone at least half of us have no problem with this.  

[ Parent ]
I disagree
Campaigns do their own GOTV, sites like Daily Kos (which are largely well off, educated, and white) aren't indicative of the Democratic base at large (which is a lot more nonwhite and poor).

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!


[ Parent ]
I can certainly see different populations of activists
But AFAIK, it's the not so well off, somewhat less educated D base that turned (somewhat) against us in '10.

And in that respect, it's probably helpful in some ways for President Obama to in general to "Sister Soljah" the DK world.

Nevertheless, the mostly white liberal educated blogsphere is a serious part of the D activist base.  


[ Parent ]
But then again, most of us (I'm a white liberal who is reasonably well educated) will be in Obama's corner
Daily Kos still only represents a small faction of that group, and that group was frankly complaining about Obama when he was running in 2008 as well (I'm sure most people remember how "Obama's not fighting back" and "Obama's ceding ground to McCain" from back then).

I fundamentally disagree with desmoinesdem's take on this thing, and frankly think it's a whole lot of bluster from certain segments who are more interested in expressing outrage than actually doing anything (either electorally or legislatively).

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!


[ Parent ]
There's a difference between
"being in Obama's corner"

and

"being energized and active in Obama's corner".

I think the liberal activist base is bigger than you suggest.

However, I have no substantive numbers. If you're right, then it's right for President Obama to do what he's doing.


[ Parent ]
My other point (which I realize I didn't make in that post)...
Is that this isn't going to be the issue that will affect whether people will or won't volunteer for Obama. desmoinesdem's over-the-top rhetoric aside, if this is really what makes our side not volunteer, then they should grow the fuck up, period.

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!


[ Parent ]
I could easily be
wrong about this, but I feel as if a lot of the people who are frustrated now are acting as I do each year around my company's Christmas party: they are pissed off, possibly livid, about something, and they are determined not to go. But in the end, they show up, just like I do every year.

When 2012 rolls around, a lot of the people who are talking trash now will probably snap back, especially if the Republican nominee is someone like Palin. Not all of them will, of course, but new people can be found. I also think that comparisons to last time are a big unfair, if only because there was such an outrageous imbalance between his campaign and McCain's campaign. Things are bound to be different, and not necessarily in a bad way, because the campaign isn't new.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
Wake up dude
GOTV efforts are 100% done by the base or unions. Moderatess rarely ever rally for GOTV efforts thus the whole reason why both parties are moving more and more to the base. The base does most grassroots stuff and votes overwhelmingly in primaries.

Unions hate this bill and the Dem base hates this even more. Obama's GOTV was different in 08 than the norm but the normal GOTV volunteer is well off, educated and white. They are either college students who can afford to get paid shit working on a campaign (or the time to not be working so they can volunteer) or someone who can afford to take the evening/weekend off to help knock on doors. Granted Obama was different, especially with African American numbers being up, but even then most of his volunteers and staff were rich, educated, whites. I was in Iowa helping knock on doors during my college break (so around Dec. 10 thru the caucus) and most of his GOTV staff were either college kids that tended to be white and from the middle to upper class or wealthier adults who were white and hard core progressives ( I know Iowa is overwhelmingly white, the point is still the same).

This is way over generalized but most African-Americans aren't in the progressive base even if they are strong Democrats. If you look at who progressives are they are 1. white 2. males 3. urban professionals 4. who earn good pay 5. are not really religious (either don't care, atheist or unsure) and 6. have much higher rates of being gay or single than other political groups. African-Americans tend to be more religious making them more culturally conservative (gay rights being an obvious example). I am not saying that people cannot be religious and progressive (my mom is) nor that religion is bad nor that African-Americans cannot be progressives.

Just for everyone's sake here is a political affiliation quiz that then describes political groups http://typology.people-press.o... At the results page you can other group types.

Obama has constantly sold out the base for compromise. I understand why, I like the guy, I was at his Presidential Announcement speech, his Kennedy endorsement, and his Inauguration, and I'm 100% with the guy, but let's not pretend he's not stabbing the base in the back time and time again. He sold us his progressive cred in the primaries and hit Hilary for doing stuff exactl like this. He took the tough stances when needed until he was elected. He even campaigned on this openly!  I don't think a progressive President would get much done but it doesn't mean you don't fight for what you believe in. And no, talking behind closed doors to Boenher isn't fighting. Obama could easily do a nightly address like Bush or Reagan did, explaining why this bill is shit. Reagan did this for his huge tax cut and won so much support Dems in the House had to concede. I never thought I'd say Obama should be more like Bush but how many nightly addresses did Bush do after 9/11 on security and Afghanistan and then on iraq? He sold both wars, not Congress. Obama could do this but how many non-state of the union night addresses has he done? I can't think of one! This bill is shit (even Reagan's budget guru said NONE of the tax cuts should be extended), it polls poorly, and it's a great issue to win back the side of independents. It also splits the Tea Party and the average DC Republican. Tea Party issue #1 is the deficit. If Obama said no tax cut for the deficit and actually fought back he could cause a nice tension between the two.

Obama even caved in to the rhetoric used on this issue. If we don't pass this bill it'll mean a large tax hike. That's BS. It's not a hike. it's a return to normal levels. If it rains 20 inches one year and the next it rains 5 inches we don't say it's a drought it every other year it's rained 5 inches too. Carville was right, if HRC gave Obama one of her balls he'd have one.


[ Parent ]
Length
Sorry way too long

[ Parent ]
What?
Social issues determine how "progressive" someone is? Frankly, minorities are a lot more progressive on economic issues and the role of government than a lot of white, college educated males (given how many of those "progressives" are more interested in making a stink about taxes on the rich than noticing the unemployment extensions and how that's going to help the poor a lot more). What you said about blacks borders on being insulting, they are every bit a part of the Democratic (and progressive) base, that they aren't as liberal on social issues doesn't change the fact that they are liberals in other areas.

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!


[ Parent ]
I'd be
all for doing some of the things you said, but I wonder if it would make any difference in the end. All of the speeches in the world aren't going to make any difference if the votes aren't there. Didn't Reagan have the support of several Southern Democrats when he tried to cut taxes for the first time?

Now, how do you know unions hate the bill? It was announced today, for one thing. For another, won't get they get the same payroll tax cuts as everyone else?

"Obama has constantly sold out the base for compromise."

Has he? On what issues? Perhaps it makes no difference in the end if the base feels one way regardless of whether it's backed up by reality, but on domestic issues, what has he done that has gone so heavily against what he campaigned? Were the votes there in any of these cases?

I won't deny he has some work to do to get back on more solid terms, but like I said earlier, I imagine a lot of these people who are bitching now will come around, particularly when the Republican nominee starts talking about closing the border, how global climate change is a fraud, and similar stuff.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
Obama has done one
And it was on Iraq.  I recently looked up FDR's Fireside Chat page on wikipedia and it was very illuminating to what Obama should have done.

[ Parent ]
Obama does fireside chats
they're called weekly addresses.  

[ Parent ]
Absolutely right on all points, people need to step outside the echo chamber......
I sent an e-mail to Josh Marshall at TPM on the subject of the tax cut deal, and why I disagree that the politics were favorable to us on this.  So many on the left point to polling that shows a majority favoring the cuts to expire on higher incomes, but in reality most taxpaying voters don't care about that.  Just because you give a certain answer to a question when prompted in a telephone survey, doesn't mean you actually care about that question or issue, that you're even thinking about it on your own time.

All anyone really cares about is that their own taxes don't go up.  No one wants to fall on their sword and accept a tax hike just so the rich do the same, which is the result that "no deal" would've produced.

And yes, the voting public would blame us, the Democrats.  We're the party with a reputation of favoring higher taxes, and that's coupled with being distrusted after a couple years of governing.

A 13-month extension on unemployment benefits and some other tangential tax cuts for middle-income folks and maybe small business ultimately is a pretty good deal given the crowd of Republican Senators we're dealing with in the Senate.  If anything, it's probably more generous than anything McConnell would've agreed to before the midterm.

Obama's goal right now is to clear the decks of as much as is politically possible, and live to fight another day--specifically, in summer/fall 2011.

The notion that we'll hurt for volunteers in 2012 is absurd.  We won't hurt one bit for volunteers.  Nothing galvanizes activists like having an enemy against whom to compare our own leader.

I'm old enough to remember well the entire Clinton era, and Obama at all times has been in much stronger shape than Bill Clinton during the same points in his Presidency.  That's true also now.  Even without the internet in the mid-90s, it was very clear the activist left were saying all the same things as they're saying now.  And yet everyone was there for Bill come reelection time.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
Reactions depend on the '12 R nominee
If it's Palin, Gingrich, Huckabee, Santorum, Barbour, etc, the activist base will swallow and go all out again in '12.

I'm not so convinced that would be the case if Romney or Pawlenty is the nominee. (Even if they are, it's certainly possible that the wingnut demons/issues/etc could stick to them too, energizing the D base.)

But of course, that depends on a lot of events over the next couple of years.


[ Parent ]
Pawlenty/Palin
Pawlenty is no longer a moderate. He's gone bat shit crazy too. And unlike Romney I think he buys it.

Granted if Palin is the nominee I'll work harder than I will against Lieberman. That is until I see the polling where Obama is making it close in Texas against her. Then I'll stay on the couch that weekend.


[ Parent ]
No question it's important to present Pawlenty/Romney as wingnuts
but it's a harder sell, at this point in time.

And unless the sell is successful, activist numbers will be down. But fortunately, the chances of such a R candidate emerging from the R primaries with a moderate image seems relatively small.


[ Parent ]
I have two complaints
I'm not happy with Obama right now either, but I do think that at this point, anything other this outcome was unrealistic.

My first complaint is that I don't think he fought hard enough pre-election. Yes, I know, he campaigned on ending the cuts. And yes, he pushed Congress to pass the middle-class cuts. But I genuinely think he could have focused the debate and gotten his preferred outcome in the spring or early summer had he issued a veto threat. I'm not absolving skittish congressional Dems of blame, but this (unlike, say, the public option) could have been a credible veto threat at least before the fall.

My second complaint/worry, however, is this: a two-year extension makes this a campaign issue for 2012. What's he going to campaign on? NOW, we're going to raise taxes on the rich? Or is instead going to run on letting all the tax cuts expire - i.e. "I will raise your taxes"?

I don't want agree with the hysteria over this, but I also think this is genuinely going to hurt him, much more than any other action. Yes, people have short memories, so it may well fade as an issue in the next few months, but if the economy doesn't pick up more or if additional unpleasant deals get made, this risks become an inverse of GHW Bush's "Read my lips" pledge debacle.  


[ Parent ]
It's a simple message really
'I compromised in 2010 to prevent everyone from getting a tax hike, but now I need a Congress that will allow me to get the tax cuts on the rich eliminated once and for all"

Makes him look like the bigger person, willing to compromise, and doesn't change his message.


[ Parent ]
Hopefully
Although I have a sneaky suspicion they would actually like all the cuts to expire or a comprehensive tax reform package assembled. Via Matt Yglesias, Mike Konczal wrote that despite their earlier criticism of Peter Orszag's NYT columns, they've basically been following his roadmap exactly:

http://rortybomb.wordpress.com...

And Orszag basically suggested a two-year extension of all the cuts, more stimulus, then a long-term debt package and an expiration of ALL the cuts.

So that actually hints at another possibility (one that I'm very skeptical of). It's possible they intend to do a round of tax reform as part of a big long-term debt package along the lines of Bowles-Simpson. (Not a big fan of the plan personally, as its not progressive enough, but there were some good ideas.)

He seriously needs to be careful if he starts messing with Social Security. I actually don't have a problem with a modest benefits reduction or a 1-year rise in the retirement age, but a lot of Democrats do, and fairly or unfairly he's on thin ice with them. I think the base might be able to swallow raising the payroll tax cap and maybe a slight means-testing of benefits (reduced for wealthy seniors, increased for poor ones), though it'd have to be less means-tested than Bowles-Simpson. Raising the retirement age, though, will really cause problems for him among Democrats.  


[ Parent ]
He won't touch Social Security


[ Parent ]
I agree.
There's really no economic reason to do so, and there certainly isn't a political reason to do so right now.

I have to admit, while I disagree with the disappointment that some are expressing over this deal, I get where they are coming from and what they are basing it on. But what, exactly, has he done on Social Security that has earned him such anger?  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
Don't be so sure about that...
Social security has few friends on the hill, and he specifically appointed a social security hater to head his little deficit commission.

I think that he does want to attack social security in order to try and "save" it, but that will not go over well with anybody.  The dems in congress are about to go into open revolt at the moment, and Republicans will say they want to cut social security, then pull out at the last second and proclaim themselves the saviors while pinning cuts on the dems.

I don't think the Democrats will be as stupid to fall for it this time.  There is nothing in it for them to "reform" social security other than payroll tax limit hikes.


[ Parent ]
I think the reality is only a small percentage of people CARE about...
...making the rich pay higher taxes than under the Bush rates.

That's the political problem for Obama and Dems:  very few people actually CARE about making the rich pay higher taxes.

You can write off the people who up front say the tax cuts should be extended for everyone, and that's anywhere from the mid-30s to mid-40s depending on the poll.  So then you have 55-65% who support extending the current rates for only "the middle class" however defined, or for no one at all.

But in reality those are just answers to telephone survey questions, not a reflection of those people's priorities or concerns.  In reality hardly anyone is truly angry if rich people's tax rates are kept the same.

Even on the activist left, when desmoinesdem says this will hurt campaign volunteer recruitment, I think that vastly overstates how much even Democratic activists care about this.  Dubya's tax cuts are an emotional driver for very few people.  There are large numbers of activists for whom health care is a big emotional driver, torture is a driver, Afghanistan is a driver, DADT is a driver, and so on.  But really tax rates just aren't.  And that's because no one today is getting hurt from the current tax rates, like they're getting hurt by losing loved ones in war or insurance companies denying life-saving coverage or their gay loved ones being mistreated or whatever else is out there as a public issue today.  We're effectively forcing future tax hikes on our children and grandchildren, but that's too abstract to drive anyone's emotions today.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
Exactly right...
In fact, taxes are much more of a motivator on the Republican side. That's why H. W. Bush's approval of higher tax rates in 1990 did hurt him among the Republican activist base.

But I agree with DC, for the Dems, taxes have almost never been something that drives activists. I don't remember a single person back in 2004 I knew working for Kerry because Bush had lowered taxes on the rich.

You lose Paul Krugman, and that's probably about it. And Paul Krugman was already lost to Obama a long time ago anyway.  


[ Parent ]
And Krugman will still show up and vote for Obama and all other Democrats. (nm)
nm

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
I'd be curious
to read the academic literature on how often threats of withholding support and money are actually followed through. Right now, about half of Democrats are threatening to not support him or donate money to him, but I'd bet that at least half of them walk back from that in two years time.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
Obama easily will win around 90% of Democrats, same as last time......
There isn't going to be anymore intraparty bitterness over things like the Bush tax cuts or whatever else than there was over Obama beating Hillary.

In reality there's already a lot less bitterness already.  Obama's job approvals and favorables with Democrats remain sky high as always, they've eroded barely at all over the past 18 months or so.  Almost all erosion in Obama's polling has been from Republicans and indies.  The erosion with Republicans was inevitable as he predictably governed more on the left than the middle or the right, and the erosion with indies was primarily about the stubbornly bad economy and secondarily about Obama's poor communications strategy, which made his governance look worse in substance than it was.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
I could
easily be wrong about their motivations, but I suspect a lot of Democrats are forgetting why they want taxes raised. It's most certainly not just to stick to rich people, at least not for me and most others. It's to finance the government and lower deficits. That's not an unimportant issue, but it's hardly a central part of the Democratic ideology, so acting like it's some sort of backstabbing move is beyond nuts. It's unfortunate that we had to make this deal, assuming it actually goes through, but we did get something out of it. A few things, actually. Maybe they won't help that much, but they--the payroll tax cuts, the unemployment extensions, and so on--won't hurt. And while this might come back to bite us in the ass in some way, I'm not sure what other options we had to get more stimulus besides a sustained public relations campaign to whip up votes in a Republican House that might rather eat fire than vote for anything that Obama supports. It's a shitty situation, and maybe the Democrats did bring a lot of it on themselves, but taking their ball and going home rather than playing when the game isn't even remotely over won't do anyone any favors, except the Republicans.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
Far As I'm Concerned.....
...the Democratic Party might as well dissolve after this one.  We no longer have a two-party state....we have a permanent de facto Republican majority that will wave the white flag of surrender even when they have two-thirds of the electorate agreeing with them.  Why pretend otherwise?  Guess we're all Republicans as of tonight.

[ Parent ]
Well if that two thirds who agree
would like to get active and demand they are listened to, that would help enormously.

Thursday i stood with MoveOn.org outside our Congressman's office trying to rally people and get passers by to sign a petition to give to him. 12 people stopped, out of hundreds who went by on a busy New York street

Twelve.

Having two thirds support your agenda is meaningless if they don't anything to help push it.  


[ Parent ]
And
how many of those 2/3rds of people supporting that voted for a Republican senator or congressman this year?  

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
I said somewhere else
if this really mattered to people, Alexi Giannoalious, Lee Fisher, Brad Ellsworth, Russ Feingold, Roxanne Conlin, Joe Sestak, Jack Conway, Elaine Marshall, Blanche Lincoln, Robin Carnahan and Charlie Melacon would have all won their respective races and we wouldn't have had to make this deal.

At some point progressives really have to start placing the blame where it belongs...people who keep voting against not only their interests, but their beliefs.  


[ Parent ]
That's Been a Reasonable Refrain For Some Time Now....
....and it sure sounds good, but when the Democrats rubber stamp a deal to extend tax cuts for the rich, how do we continue to make the argument that people against their interests when they vote Republicans?  Given that Republicans and Democrats ultimately vote the same way on ever-increasing numbers of economic issues?  

The argument gets devastatingly hard to make when Republicans and Democrats both agree to borrow $700 billion from the Chinese to bankroll tax cut extensions for millionaires and billionaires.


[ Parent ]
Considering
Obama spent a big portion of the campaign making the case against tax cuts for the rich, as did numerous Democratic candidates, and they lost.

It wasn't devastatingly hard to make two months ago, we made it, and the people still chose Republicans.

Maybe the people don't want a difference  


[ Parent ]
Fail....
Tax cuts had nothing to do with the 2010 losses if that's what you're claiming. Nobody ran against tax cuts to the wealthy as their issue. Sorry but that's utter BS.

Also, Obama did run against tax cuts to the rich in 2008 and won but then it still wasn't a top issue.

Nobody has fought on tax cuts and that's what bugs me. Obama should grab the damn mike at 8pm and give a 30 minute speech showing how adding the debt for the rich to get a bigger tax cut is crap. Don't fight behind closed doors. Make people miss 30 minutes of Grey's anatomy or CSI to win the point.


[ Parent ]
And it wouldn't have changed a damn thing
This "fight, no matter what happens and no matter the cost" is ridiculous, it's the same damn attitude that was taken during the health care debate and it's just as destructive then as it was now.

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!


[ Parent ]
Whose mic?
Since networks throw a hissy fit when he tries to interrupt their prime time lineup.

And as far as saying no one ran on tax cuts, you're wrong. A lot of Democrats used it in their races, from Grayson to Feingold to Dina Titus, John Hall, Kathy Dahlkemper, Steve Driehaus, Debbie Halvorson, Bill Foster, Carol Shea Porter, Joe Sestak, Lee Fisher, Alexi Giannalious, and Tom Periello.

Make people miss 30 minutes of Grey's anatomy or CSI to win the point.

yeah this is going to win supporters.  


[ Parent ]
Cue the broken record, this is the same nonsense I remember from December 1994......
Really no difference.  And it went on for several more years.  And yet Bill got reelected, his overall job approvals became good, his job approvals with Democrats and liberals were very good--even right through Monica and impeachment when his favorables, but not his job approvals, took a dip.

Of course some of the malcontents stayed malcontents...enough to get Dubya elected President.  Poor President Nader never had a chance.  But the electorate has changed, I suspect we won't have that scenario again.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
I Don't Recall Clinton Ever Surrendering On Anything This Huge.....
....the left was no fan of welfare reform, but that was small potatoes compared to this betrayal.

[ Parent ]
NAFTA
was much bigger than this  

[ Parent ]
Perhaps.....
....but Clinton told us during the 1992 campaign that he intended to sign NAFTA.  Anybody who knew what was going on could see that betrayal coming.

[ Parent ]
I suggest that the West Coast part of the D base isn't anti-NAFTA
It's more mixed out here -- and definitely not seen as a betrayal, at least overall.

[ Parent ]
I would agree with that
I am from SoCal (Ca-39) and there are a lot of jobs that were created due to international trade with Asia coming through the Ports of LA and Long Beach. There used to be a lot of manufacturing jobs but I think they were for the most part replaced. Going to school in Eugene, Oregon, the area has been hit hard by the loss of timber jobs and DeFazio uses that sentiment well as he is staunchly anti-trade.  

27, Dem, CA-39 (home), OR-04 (school)

[ Parent ]
Funny thing about the past, everyone thinks it was so much better than it actually was
And what betrayal? Marginal tax-rates on the rich will be slightly lower for a couple more years than they would have been otherwise. I'm not happy about it, but this melodrama borders on being comical.

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!


[ Parent ]
What Will Happen In Two Years????
That will make the Democrats less likely to surrender than they were today?

[ Parent ]
A Presidential election
either the people side with the Democrats who will argue "we compromised in 2010, but now we need to end these tax cuts" and elect them to do it, or they don't, and if the Americans make that decision, the tax cuts come back.  

[ Parent ]
We got a deal on Unemployment Benefits and SS tax cuts
If the price for that was to keep a small tax break for the rich (and yes, that's what it is), I'll take it, given the Republicans' could have forced the Democrats to swallow a tax increase on everyone (and had the Democrats take the blame on it too).

Deal making is part of politics, you don't like it, get the hell out of the game!

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!


[ Parent ]
I can understand.
Low-info voters will reflexively blame Dems when the tax cuts expire, accusing them of raising their taxes.  That is why the GOP had the upper hand in this.

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


[ Parent ]
The Same Low Information Voters.....
....will now blame Obama for the zero job creation of the next two years that stems from the tax cut extension.  By not fighting Republicans on the issue, Obama has equal ownership over this farce and tax cuts for the rich has officially become the Obama economic policy.  There was zero upside to this deal.

[ Parent ]
Turn on the TV News
and see how they're spinning it as "Obama awesome at governing!"

That's the upside.  


[ Parent ]
You mean besides getting unemployment benefits through?
Oh wait, I forgot, those were going to pass by magic!

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!


[ Parent ]
Pretty High Price To Pay For Unemployment Extension.....
....and those who need the benefits most aren't even part of the deal?  I'm a pragmatic guy and most decidedly not aligned with the Daily Kos hard-liners on most things, but this was a horrendous negotiation whatever way you slice it.  THere's plenty of blame to go around, but why is it that Republican Presidents can threaten a veto and stop legislation in its tracks, but Democratic Presidents have to move 95 yards to get the other guys to move 5?  Some spine was needed here...and we got none....as usual.

[ Parent ]
Frankly, most of that is crap
A huge chunk of Bush's domestic agenda (outside of tax-cuts for the rich) was him cutting deals with Teddy Kennedy (Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind were largely supported by Kennedy, and they were huge parts of Bush's domestic policy).

This isn't true of Bush's foreign policy, but then again, the powers of the presidency tend to be a lot more slanted towards war-powers and the like, that is you don't really need Congress to invade another country.

I have trouble with this deal, but like I said above, the complaining about "betrayal" I hear is just insane and absolutely disproportionate to what happened here, especially given that the Republicans won the freaking House by a pretty decisive margin.

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!


[ Parent ]
They Don't Get the House Till Next Month.....
...so why should that even be part of the equation?  Especially with public opinion on the Democrats' side?  Just because voters installed a new Republican House doesn't mean they're gonna rally around them on every issue. It boggles the mind how we could get so thoroughly rolled here.

[ Parent ]
The 60-vote fillibuster is still in effect
and depending on events, we may be glad for it in the '14-'16 Congress. (though I'm hopeful we won't fall below 45 Senate seats after '14).

[ Parent ]
Um, why would we fall below 45 seats after 2014?


"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
We'd have to lose seats in '12
But FL, MI, MO, MT, NE, ND, OH, VA, WV and possibly 3 or 4 others might be seriously challenged in '12. While there may be 3 or 4 offensive opportunities in that next cycle, we'll be fortunate to retain a 50-50 majority that year.

In '14, serious risks seem apparent for our seats in AK, AR, IA, LA, MT, NH, NJ, NC, and SD, and possibly 3 or 4 others. Fewer offensive opportunities seem available that cycle.

And '14 is a potential "6 year itch" cycle.

Of course, a lot can happen -- I'd hope that some of those seats at potential risk get taken off the table as the economy recovers. With the right political environment, I'd hope that we can expand our majorities.

But if I were looking at that map from an R POV, I'd be allocating resources to go for 60 in '14.  


[ Parent ]
I think we'll only lose 2-3 this cycle
and gain 1.

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


[ Parent ]
While I'm hopeful you're right
It'd be unreasonable to exclude the possibility of losing as many as 7 or 8 Senate seats in '12 -- even while retaining the Presidency.

Nevertheless, I could see scenarios where we retain everything but NE, and gain MA, 1-2 seats where a tea partier knocked off a moderate R, and NV. (best case scenario -- net gain of 2 or 3)


[ Parent ]
We're not going to lose 7-8 Senate seats when we lost only 6 this time......
If Obama gets reelected, then we don't lose 7-8 Senate seats, period.  We lost only 6 this time, in a terrible environment, and an election in which Obama gets reelected is not one that will allow the GOP to pick up a bunch more.

Realistically, Obama getting reelected most likely translates to Dems holding the Senate, with no worse than a 50-50 chance of actually holding steady at 53 or even gaining a seat or two.

The biggest factor moving forward, besides the state of hte economy and Obama's job approval, is retirements and geography.  It's just harder to beat an incumbent than to take an open seat, and it's harder for the GOP to take an open seat in a blue or purple state than in a red state.  It doesn't matter that we're defending 23 or 24 seats if there are hardly any retirements.

I'm not worried at all about the Senate.  If Obama wins again, then we'll hold the Senate.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
While I don't see us losing 7-8 Senate seats in '12
I do see that many seats at --potential-- risk even with President Obama winning re-election.

And if --all-- of those 7-8 seats have incumbents who forget how to campaign (ala that candidate from MA who shall not be named), then that many losses are quite possible with a President Obama re-election.

Just about all of the states I've named have either frosh Senators, Senators in close states, or Senators who've historically had close re-election campaigns.


[ Parent ]
But your scenario of "forgetting how to campaign" never happens across the board...
...in real life.  Every 2-year cycle there is an incumbent or two in either or both parties who runs a lousy campaign and loses.  But even in 2010, the only seat we lost where a Dem incumbent arguably ran a poor campaign was in Wisconsin.  And the only other incumbent to lose was Lincoln, who didn't run a bad campaign but was just hopeless from the get-go for voting too often for Obama's agenda from one of the country's most strongly anti-Obama states.  The other 4 seats we lost were open seats.

And the 23-10 math is overrated as a factor.  We've had too many cycles in recent history that went against the math to put too much stock in the number of seats each party is "defending."  What we've learned is that defending a lot of seats is offset by the reality that defending an incumbent is easier than defending or taking an open seat.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
Nevertheless, those seats are potentially vulnerable
when combined with others that Rs may open up, it makes for a bigger playing field against us than in '10. We need to know what the playing field is. Hopefully half or more of those seats will be taken "off the table" of competitiveness by primary season '12.

In addition, it remains to be seen whether we'll have an opposing force to the Rove billionaires in '12.

As for numbers being overrated, it's important to look at the individual states. At this time, I think maybe 12 of the 23 D Senate seats can be considered "safe" (CA, DE, HI, MD, MN, NJ, NM, NY, PA, RI, VT, WA, WI) -- and some of them can't be called "sure things" yet. I'd hope with the latest PPP numbers, MI could be added to that list soon.

However, as I did suggest before, there are scenarios where I think we could gain up to 3 Senate seats in '12 (MA, NV, and depending on Tea Party primarying, up to 2 of IN, ME, and TX), to compensate for the one lean R '12 race so far, NE.


[ Parent ]
One more thing
While the environment in '12 --should-- be kinder to us, the playing field in '12 is more difficult, at 23D-10R seats.

[ Parent ]
Huh?
First of all, your polling argument is so overly simplified that it borders on being comical:

Letting the tax cuts expire for those making over 250K is more popular than letting them all continue, but letting them all continue was by far more popular than letting them all expire, and that's the problem right there, the Republicans simply had a stronger hand on this, and arguing otherwise is naive in the extreme.

By the way, it's pretty damn disingenuous to cite polling on this issue for your point (which is supposed to reflect the will of the people) while ignoring the election results.

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!


[ Parent ]
Bush Did A Pretty Good Job of Ignoring Election Results in 2007 and 2008....
....when he took a hard line against withdrawing troops from Iraq and vetoing the children's health care expansion.  And both of those proposals were unequivocally popular with the electorate...yet he still got the better of the Democrats on them.  Extending tax cuts for the rich in a politically similar situation for Obama is unequivocally unpopular...yet Obama never won the argument...or even bothered to try.

It speaks volumes of how pitiful the party has become if people like you are actually defending this deal in the breathless way you are.


[ Parent ]
He did?
because from where I sit, Bush's actions caused his party to lose the Presidency and MORE seats in congress and ultimately led to SCHIP being reauthorized and a pullout of combat troops from Iraq.


[ Parent ]
Bush was in his second term, and wouldn't be running for re-election
It's pretty easy to be a big man when you don't really have to worry about running for re-election.

But as the other comment mentioned, SCHIP got reauthorized, we're pulling out of Iraq, and George Bush is no longer president.

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!


[ Parent ]
Here's what might happen:
Obama wins reelection, the Democrats retake the House and keep the Senate, and they pass fundamental tax reform that removes this issue from being the dead weight it now is.

Put it this way: I can't say I am thrilled with this deal, but I am satisfied. It would have been nice for it to have been a little different, but it's definitely not unacceptable, to me at least. And if it helps him keep the White House, it'll be a good thing, because as frustrating as his presidency may sometimes be, I know it wouldn't compare to the way a Republican presidency would make me want to rip my hair out.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
he vetoed welfare reform twice
and got significant concessions in return. I still didn't like the welfare reform bill, but it wasn't as bad as the first version. Obama would cut any deal the GOP asks for. He wasn't even pretending to try.

[ Parent ]
That's very unfair to him
he made a big stink about this in the Fall.

I can't, for the life of me, understand why he gets no credit when he actually does make a big deal. I mean I've seen people say he didn't fight, then when presented with evidence that he did, say "well, it wasn't hard enough"

It's not like this came out of the clear blue sky, he's been talking about this for months. It was Congress' decision to not take a vote before the election, just as it was Congress' decision not to vote on HCR (with a public option) before the August recess of 2009 like Obama pressured them to.

I think too many people get caught up in the DailyKos/OpenLeft/FireDogLake/Huffington Post echo chamber. When a battle is lost, as it often is seeing as we live in a center right country, they feel the need to blame someone, because they present these battle as easy wins even when they're clearly not. It's unfair to say he didn't "try," he absolutely did try, and it didn't go anyway. It is possible to try and fail.

But that's all irrelevant to this blog.

As far as how it would effect Obama's reelection, which is relevant to the blog, it doesn't matter. Like I said, no one is going to say "well I WAS going to help him out, but those tax cuts" Those people would have another gripe with him, and they always would have.  


[ Parent ]
Sometimes I wonder if "more drama" would help
President Obama with (at least this portion) of the activist base.

But I'm conflicted, as I'm anti-drama.


[ Parent ]
doubt it
I think for many on the left (and the right), it's thought that there's no way you can lose a battle if you fight hard, therefore if you do, there must be something wrong, either you didn't fight, or the messaging sucked, or something.

It didn't matter how dramatic he became, if it was a battle he was going to lose, when he did, finger pointing would have occurred.


[ Parent ]
Can we please stop rewriting history or pretending that Obama got nothing for the tax cuts now?
We got a 13 month extension on unemployment benefits, we got a temporary Social Security tax cut (which will largely be a stimulus for poor and middle class workers), and Obama gets to come out of this looking like a grownup in a room full of children.

Sorry desmoinesdem, but this melodrama is really starting to getting ridiculous for me, especially over a position that is basically about whether or not the uber-rich will pay 3% more in taxes or not (this, apparently, is supposed to be worth not getting an extension on unemployment benefits).

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!


[ Parent ]
Here's a way to phrase the question:
what's a larger figure, the cost of the two-year extension on taxes for the rich on top of what Obama wanted, or the trillions more in debt we'll be in after the Republicans win the White House and make the Bush years look like a paradigm of fiscal responsibility? It sucks that it came down to this for now, but things can get better if we reelect him and this, for better or worse, moved us closer in that direction.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
exactly why I could care less about the taxes for the rich for now
This plan cuts my taxes in a very meaningful way so I'm going to be happy about it, nuff said.  Hell, I almost want to still have my current awful shit job til that payroll tax gets lowered so I can see the difference!

[ Parent ]
Sorry but Clinton
Sorry Clinton did on NUMEROUS issues. Remember the whole triangulation idea installed by Dick Morris? Clinton surrendered on NAFTA, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Health Care, and gun control and that's off the top of my head.

Clinton also caved on economic theory moving to deregulate everything like signing the horrible Gramm-Leach-Bliley act which deregulated banks! Clinton not Bush was responsible for the banks cooking the books. Bush could have done more and he clearly is at fault too just that Clinton is the one who changed the policy from the Glass-Steagall Act from 1933. The difference is when everyone was making gobs of money nobody looked up to question the stupidity of the move. Clinton continued Reagan's deregulating policies, that's a bigger surrender than Obama on tax cuts.  


[ Parent ]
DOMA, Telecommunications...
... etc.  

[ Parent ]
Clinton always kept the lines of communication open...
...with liberals even when he was selling them out.  That's a big difference with this administration, who is openly hostile to liberals now, even though those were the folks that got him elected.

[ Parent ]
I think that's revisionist history, frankly
I'm pissed at Obama too at the moment, but a little perspective is important. Clinton repeatedly pissed liberals off and nobody felt he was keeping open "lines of communication," when he tossed of Sister Souljah moments or said "the era of big government is over."

The biggest difference between then and now - and I'm borrowing from someone else's comment I read on another blog some months back - is that in the '90s you had to wait for your weekly copy of The Nation to read about how Clinton sold you out, whereas now you can log on and find thousands people bitching and moaning about the same things.  


[ Parent ]
Yes Mark, the Republicans now control everything
The Republican Overmind... err Sarah Palin and the teabaggers control everything, along with the 100+ seats the Republicans have taken from us (along with Mark Weiner, Martin Heinrich, Tim Bishop, and the others who were absolutely doomed no matter what happened!)

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!


[ Parent ]
I'm fairly positive on this.
Sure, Democrats didn't get what they wanted. The rich aren't going to get their taxes raised. The estate tax is going to be 35% instead of 55%.

But remember how Democrats spent all of 2010 vainly trying to pass a second stimulus bill?

Well, this is it. It's 300 billion dollars in stimulus (outside the extension of the Bush tax cuts) over two years to help the economy. Sure, it's tax cuts not spending and less effective - but it's far better than nothing.

When I put my partisan lens on and think like a Democratic strategist, the number one thing I want is Democratic control of the presidency. Democratic control of Congress comes second, and then perhaps Democratic governors, and so on.

A strong economy is the absolute number 1 priority right now for a Democratic president to be re-elected, and this deal helps substantially in achieving it.

http://mypolitikal.com/


[ Parent ]
I'm
more of a pragmatist. Yes, I'm ticked off that Obama will be breaking a promise he and congressional Dems have been harking for years, but there isn't much he could do anyway. Personally they should of tackled the tax issue when they still had 60 votes but what's done is done. And unfortunately Republicans were able to mask the whole tax cuts for the wealthy as aid towards small business. You should of heard Orrin Hatch on CNN yesterday arguing that tax cuts for the wealthy = small business aid. Its not a complete defeat, Obama managed to get the GOP to agree to a 13 month extension of unemployment benefits, a package of middle class tax cuts, and the tax extension is only for 2 years, its not a permanent extension.

In my opinion, its not a win and its not a loss. And all of this talk of Obama should be primaried out is stupid. While I do agree that Obama failed miserably in the PR department, he was also hamstrung by several senators such as soon to be lobbyist for Wal-Mart Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman. One advantage having Hillary as president would of been the base wouldn't of had sky high ambitions of a "new progressive era" like they did with Obama.

19, Male, Independent, CA-12


[ Parent ]
This is a horrible exaggeration
if the tax cuts had not been extended, the Republicans would have been able to blame the Democrats ad infinitum for the economic mess.  Moreover, the estate tax had to be dealt with.  At least we got the unemployment benefits extension.  Also, we got the Republicans to make the embarrassing vote to not extend middle class tax cuts.  Like Nate Silver said, the Democrats were in a terrible position with regards to taxes.

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry but this is funny
Wait the Republicans will blame the Democrats for the economy? Haha they already are. And the deficit and everything else wrong with the world even when it happened under Bush!

I'd rather fix the economy in the next 2 years than do it just lip service so we don't get blamed by Fox. Boo hoo who cares if they blame us. They already do. Even if we did do 100% of what the right does and the economy isn't fixed (which it won't be due to the exact crazy Republican ideas they're pushing) they'll still blame us.

So I take fixing the economy and the short term blame over superficially fixing the economy and getting real long term blame.

Truth > Fiction
Good Economy > Bad Economy


[ Parent ]
Doubtful
Keep in mind, the reason Obama's making this deal is to get going on START, DADT, and he's already nailed-down the unemployment extension. Should START and a DADT repeal go forward, this negativity will quickly evaporate. (Well, perhaps not among the Kos crowd, which makes up about 2% of the Democratic Party.)

For daily political commentary, visit me at http://polibeast.blogspot.com/ and http://twitter.com/polibeast

[ Parent ]
I also hope
they vote on the DREAM Act.  I feel good about its chances if they find the time to vote on it.

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


[ Parent ]
I bet 10 to 1
the Senate passes neither START nor DADT. Obama just got played.

[ Parent ]
Personally
I think START and DREAM should be dropped for now. I don't believe DREAM has the votes and ratifying START next year might be harder than if they did it now, but its still doable. DADT repeal in the defense bill should take priority. Especially since Scott Brown and several senators have indicated they will vote for it if the Democrats cede to their demands on amendments.  

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
If I had my choice of the 3
I'd choose DREAM if politics were most important

I'd choose START if policy were most important

I'd choose DADT it ethics were most important

I think you're assessment of START is good, and don't have a feel for the votes on DREAM.


[ Parent ]
I think
DREAM may have the votes.

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


[ Parent ]
I
don't know. Theoretically we only need two votes, but Ben Nelson said he isn't going to vote for it, Joe Manchin is most likely not going to vote for it. Pryor might, but only if the votes for cloture are there. There's a good chance Lugar and Murkowski might vote for it, but Scott Brown won't vote for it, saying he's against amnesty. Hatch & McCain would of voted for it, but they've both gone hard right over the fear of being teabagged and the desire to stick it to Obama in McCain's case. Collins, Snowe, and Graham are the big question marks, but I think all three would vote no if the vote is held this year.  

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
I think
Brown voiced support for it.  So did Sen. Bob Bennett, Snowe, and Collins.  Murkowski probably would and Lugar is a sure thing.  Hatch might, since he was an original co-sponsor after all.  I also think Brownback voted for it back in early 2007 when it was last up for a vote.

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


[ Parent ]
START
No way will START pass after this term ends. The Tea Party base HATES this bill. Brown will vote for it but nobody but him and Lugar will. Nelson won't.

[ Parent ]
Um
Treaties need 2/3rds vote, which I think is doable.  I believe every Dem will vote for it (it is key for national security to get this ratified) and 9-10 GOPers will now that the tax cuts impasse is ending.

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


[ Parent ]
START
Well unlike DADT and DREAM the START treaty is actually important to national security. Sorry if it's bad policy but preventing a terrorist from getting a nuke or more likely a nuke "going bad" is way more important than the policy effects of voting on this bill.

Nuclear Weapons need to be monitored not just for security but also because without continually maintenance something horrible can happen. Radiation leaks, Chernobyl like melt-downs, and even accidentally launches are possible when there is no maintenance. Most the nukes in Russia are safe but the USSR left Nukes in all their satellite states and those countries cannot afford keeping care of them. One country, I think Uzbekistan, actually had a diplomat walk into the state department trying to give the US a nuke that was in Uzbekistan (the West Wing actually had an episode where this was the central plot).

And that ignores the security side. Sure, Bin Laden finding a nuke is remotely unlikely but muslim fighters from Chechnya could. They won't target the US but they could easily dirty bomb Moscow. Or they could sell it and a dirty bomb could go off in Israel or western Europe.

I know what your point is but sometimes we need to step back and see that the policy consequences are much more important than the political consequences.


[ Parent ]
I'd take that bet


[ Parent ]
I think both will get passed.
Settling the tax cut issue was conditional to getting those two things done as well, as voiced by Republicans who want to end DADT.  There will probably still be time for the DREAM Act as well.

Plus, the DADT repeal is in the defense authorization act, which must be passed or our troops get cut off.

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


[ Parent ]
Neither passes
The Republicans have just moved the goal posts again. Remember on Health Care everyone had to be invited to get going. Then they said we needed to compromise, then we needed to scrap the bill. They moved again and again and we obliged and obliged.

Kyl said to wait until after the August recess for START. The Dems obliged. Then it was after the election. The Dems obliged. Now he says next term. Sense a theme?

Republicans have blocked defense authorization before. They play games with Republican lives, the Dems caved on that when Bush was president.


[ Parent ]
Error
Should be soldier's lives

[ Parent ]
It's after elections.
There's no need to posture anymore.

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


[ Parent ]
Posturing over?!
Republicans started posturing on Day 1 of Obama's term. Now they are hell bent on him losing the 2012 election. No need to posture anymore lol. Sorry but that's naive as hell. And yes I know that's douchy as hell but I'm sorry your completely unrealistic.  

[ Parent ]
Tell that to
Collins, Brown, Snowe, Voinovich, and maybe Kirk.

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


[ Parent ]
And no, he didn't say
next term.  He said that the tax cuts issue must be resolved first, which is what seems to be happening.

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


[ Parent ]
I don't think so.
Lieberman is pushing immensely hard on voting on the bill for ending DADT.  He even is daring Reid to keep the Senate open as long as possible to get as much done as possible.

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


[ Parent ]
More likely
Republicans like McCain will filibuster it until the new session comes in. The new session won't pass it.

[ Parent ]
Then the soldiers
don't get their paychecks, the military has to cut down on supplies, and operations unravel due to the sudden dip in funding.

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


[ Parent ]
Being Russian
(and being in Russia now) i can bet that non-ratification of START will have consequences. There are enough "hawks" in Russia, who will gladly use it as opportunity to bring back Cold War fears (at least - some of them). And don't forget - there is Presidential election (fior 6-year term) in Russia in 2012. And Putin is not so "benevolent" to US as Medvedev seems to be - he is, after all, a former  intelligence officer, and they are a very special group in Russian society.

So, from my point of view START is much more important then DADT repeal, which stands very low on the list of  my priorities..


[ Parent ]
Is there really a difference between Medvedev and Putin?
I thought they were Robin and Batman.

[ Parent ]
Some
Despite being friends - Medvedev is a lawyer, hence - somewhat greater respect for law. Putin (Intelligece officer) is led mainly by "expediency"... Medvedev respect democracy somewhat more as well. And he is much greater computer geek...

[ Parent ]
I'd be interested in hearing more about the '12 Russian election
I know some users here have diaried elections in other countries. While I gather the moderators prefer a focus on elections in English-speaking countries, I remember diaries here about elections other countries got excellent responses.

[ Parent ]
Most likely i will stay in Russia for very long time.
Closer to election - i promise you a diary. Though my first attempt at diary was unsuccessfull - no comments at all. May be - necause it was about American politics))))

[ Parent ]
I look forward to it!
FWIW, I think your first diary was 1 out of 10,000 diaries analysing the '10 election. Some other prominent posters here also had diaries with 0 responses near the election.

As for Russian politics, I think the big questions are important -- is Russia still a democracy (and how much of a democracy),

-- does anyone but Putin have a chance -- if so, what are the circumstances that make that possible

probable incidental questions -- what regions / areas (if any) still hold Communists in favor -- are there right-wing crazies there too -- what outcomes are in the best interest of Russia (and what would be in the best interest of the US -- which could be different things)

Something that would help people relate is analogies to US circumstances. And I think you're uniquely qualified to educate us about Russian politics in that respect.


[ Parent ]
Ok!
I will do it. But don't expect anything very interesring before next fall (or - summer at least). Russian "political and electoral seasons" are much shorter then those in US)))

[ Parent ]
That could end up
being the case for any number of reasons, but it's not by any means clear that's what will happen because of the compromise on taxes.

You know, I've been meaning to ask, did anyone else who still gets Obama/Organizing for America e-mails get the one about writing letters to support the freeze on federal worker pay? I clicked through to Fire Dog Lake from Krugman's blog where he was being rake over the coals for this e-mail, but while I've gotten others, I don't remember getting this one. It's entirely possible I deleted it and don't remember, but I find it odd that I don't remember it at all. And while I can't imagine they'd simply make something like that up, I am not sure what else to think.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
Two years is a long time...
He can redeem himself, if he so chooses... He does get to run against them again in 2012.

[ Parent ]
VT politics, another shumlin rival appointed to his administration
to distract us from the whole taxcut thing, which can be found at ANY POLITICAL BLOG (sorry to yell, yes i'm yelling, because this isn't what we come to SSP for.  for those who, understandably, want to vent, there are better places.  also, i'm aware of the irony of venting about venting, but I still have the nuclear bomb springfield).  anyhoo...

Deb Markowitz has been named Sec. of natural resources.  up until a few days ago when this possibility came up, it was thought she would be appointed treasurer when spaulding left to also join shumlin's administration.  With Markowitz, Racine and Bartlett in the fold, the only man out is Matt Dunne.  

Dunne is a former google exec who may return after losing statewide twice in four years.  another possibility, if he wants to serve in office soon is to be appointed treasurer.  this would allow him to rebuild his reputation as a statewide officeholder who could bide his time until governor or senator opens up.  

http://vpr.net/news_detail/89434/

Top ten signs you're an SSPer #1: your favorite song is "Panic At Tedisco" and no one understands what you mean.


I hope Shumlin does well.
(Also, if you think this is bad, you should see DKos.  It's been a firestorm there recently.)

What do you think of these appointments by Shumlin?  Is it to waylay any possible challengers or is he building a legit "team of rivals" to develop an agenda with?

Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
So little time, so much to know!


[ Parent ]
i might be biased
working as an intern for dubie and all, but i think it's kind of a patronage thing.  Granted they are all qualified so it's not lie he's hiring idiots for complex jobs, he's not, but I think his main concern is scratching their backs for helping him win after he got the nomination.  

I can see him trying to set up a successor though, possibly dunne, or markowitz.  Racine's too old, bartlett's too old and low profile, but dunne and markowitz could be governor (or LT governor, if soon to be LT gov, republican phill scott is too confrontational and shumlin wants him gone).

Finally sorry if I seemed angry, but the taxcut thing is not what we come to SSP for and it's not as though there's a lack of other sites to talk about this on.  I'm glad it's not like DKOS, or MYDD though.

Top ten signs you're an SSPer #1: your favorite song is "Panic At Tedisco" and no one understands what you mean.


[ Parent ]
Are there any of Shumlin's primary opponents
who aren't gonna be in his administration now?

[ Parent ]
matt dunne
as i mentioned is the only primary opponent who hasn't gotten a job YET.  my thought is he'll be treasurer, but who knows, he might prefer to go back to google.

Top ten signs you're an SSPer #1: your favorite song is "Panic At Tedisco" and no one understands what you mean.

[ Parent ]
Isn't State Treasurer elected?


[ Parent ]
it is
but the current treasurer spaulding, as mentioned, is stepping down to join shumlin's administration.  that means shumlin gets to appoint a new one.

Top ten signs you're an SSPer #1: your favorite song is "Panic At Tedisco" and no one understands what you mean.

[ Parent ]
d'oh, I feel like an idiot
I should've read your comment more clearly. All these questions would have been answered lol

[ Parent ]
Interesting
article from the LA times. Boxer outspent Fiorina + American Crossroads, NRSC, and all GOP friendly groups on the airwaves. Good thing Boxer started raising money for her reelection bid years ago. Also Rove's group only plopped down a million here, granted in LA county but Rove's polling might of told him it wasn't worth pouring in the millions he could of here.

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

She won by double digits and more than a million votes in the end
She wasn't losing anyway.

[ Parent ]
Okay
Politico. Just because Stabenow is up in 2012 does not mean talking about her divorce is "essential intelligence from the campaign trail."

http://www.politico.com/blogs/...

19, Male, Independent, CA-12


Congrats to Gov. Neil Abercrombie
He was recently inaugurated as the 7th governor of the great state of Hawaii and the first white male governor since John Burns in '74.

I think he'll do a fine job and with 43-8 and 24-1 (!!!) majorities in the state house and senate respectively, I'd like to think he can govern as he pleases. First on the agenda: signing the civil unions bill Lingle vetoed.

19, male, Dem, CT-04 (home) PA-02 (college and registered)


Here
in California the 2011-2012 state assembley session started today. And what better way to start it was trying to figure out how to plug a $6 billion dollar deficit that appeared after we passed a 100 day late budget....

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
but Jerry Brown hasn't taken office yet?


[ Parent ]
Nope
but nothing in California politics seems to make sense these days.

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

[ Parent ]
These days?
Politics has always been crazy there.  (I say this as a California native)

28, Unenrolled, MA-08

[ Parent ]
Agreed, from another California native


My blog
Twitter
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28, New Democrat, Female, TX-03 (hometown CA-26)


[ Parent ]
Meh, where one party dominates, intraparty fissures arise......
Just look at South Carolina, where the GOP has severe internal splits, and you can see what happens.

Going full meta, I think from time to time how the conflicting tendencies toward community and rivalry, both inherent in tribalism, must have a genetic component.  Full-blown unity forms in response to opposition.

So I imagine in a Hawaii where the GOP is truly non-existent as a political player, the Democratic Party will merely accentuate its own internal divisions.  Those divisions by and large won't be ideological, and will look like minor things to all of us in other states where Democrats and Republicans compete across a broad ideological divide.  But they'll be treated as political life-and-death in Hawaii.

Abercrombie may or may not "govern as he pleases," even with only his fellow Democrats having to pass the bills he wants.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
MI-Pres
PPP has Obama leading Romney & Co. in Michigan.

Romney, 47-43
Huckabee, 51-39
Gingrich, 52-37
Palin 56-36

I have to say I'm surprised by these numbers. Much better than I expected.


I think PPP's post-midterm Obama trial heat polling shows 2 things......
First, most people just plain like Barack Obama as a man, and that matters a lot in a Presidential election.

Second, I think a lot of swing voters are satisfied that a GOP House is a sufficient check on national Democrats.  That simply makes them less inclined to vote out Obama, of whose governance they don't fully approve but they they don't disapprove very strongly, and they trust him a lot more with a GOP House to check, as just mentioned, whatever they consider (wrongly IMO w/r/t much of their sentiment the first couple years) his "worst" tendencies.

So the ideological reflex of these states is reasserting itself, and that gives Obama an edge in Michigan.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10


[ Parent ]
A hopeful premise
We'll see

1) If the same type of result holds true in other purplish states
2) How the trend might hold up in tea party-friendly Obama states such as NC, VA, OH, and FL.  


[ Parent ]
PPP already polled Virginia in mid-November and found Obama doing well here......
They had his job approval at a surprisingly healthy 50-45, and he defeats all prospective Republicans.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
Hope is an excellent thing
thanks for the updates!

[ Parent ]
PPP has polled
VA, NC, MO, MT and MI post-election day. The story is basically one where he is holding ground where he won and slipping where he lost. Given the results last month and some of the commentary you would be forgiven for having expected a far worse position.  

[ Parent ]
No surprise, really
Romney would keep this to single-digits, but he'd probably still lose, ala Gore w/ Tennessee in '00. The problem for any Republican, including Romney, is that Obama's destined to come out of Wayne County with a 3-to-1 margin, and Wayne's where about 20% of the vote is at. The GOP-er would have to win Oakland County, where Obama won by 14% in '08 (Kerry barely carried it), and where another 17% of the vote is at. At 50% approval, Obama probably wins 52-47 vs. generic R in Michigan.

For daily political commentary, visit me at http://polibeast.blogspot.com/ and http://twitter.com/polibeast

[ Parent ]
Quote
"PPP's final Michigan poll in 2008 found 8% more Democrats than Republicans. This poll finds the number of voters in the state identifying themselves with each party as equal."

As I said remarkable.  


[ Parent ]
Romney is probably
the only one who can win Oakland County.  

[ Parent ]
He is holding up remarkably well all things considering
I predict the tax snafu may actually turn out quite nicely. It reminds me of liberal discontent over TARP. It ended up working really well as did the auto bailouts. If jobs finally start appearing over the next two years he can run on all that in 2012 and on doing away with the cuts once and for all.

[ Parent ]
Andrew Sullivan agrees
http://andrewsullivan.theatlan...

This is the difference between tactics and strategy. The GOP has won again on tactics, but keeps losing on strategy. More broadly, as this sinks in, Obama's ownership of this deal will help restore the sense that he is in command of events, and has shifted to the center (even though he is steadily advancing center-left goals). It's already being touted as "triangulation" by some on the right even as it contains major liberal faves - unemployment insurance for another 13 months, EITC expansion, college tax credits, and a pay-roll tax cut.


[ Parent ]
Indeed
He got plenty good in return and once again looks like a grown-up while the children squabble. This is all call "governing" and as Bush said in debating Kerry "it is hard." Obama is making a decent fist of it given the circumstances.

[ Parent ]
Considering that no right wingers are squaking...
...and Grover Norquist is gushing over the deal, it's pretty clear that the Dems got the short end of the stick in a big way.

There should have been a promise of raising the debt limit and letting some votes on other issues go forward.  Right now, the "concessions" from the GOP are nothing more than throwaway items.  There's a reason why they are so incredibly excited about the deal.  


[ Parent ]
Unemployment benefits are not a "throwaway"
I always get amused when one minute something is the most important thing to world civilization and the next it is thrown under the bus for the next big drama. And I don't give a shit what Grover thinks - I will take Sullivan's opinion over his every damn time.

[ Parent ]
On closer reading
There are some great quotes in there.

"Krugman has gone from "Let's Not Make A Deal" to "better than what I expected.""

"...the result of the last election - which was dominated by the view that deficits need to be controlled and that new stimulus is evil - turned out to be ... a new bipartisan stimulus package financed by borrowing!"

"What he has done, in other words, is avoid an all-out fight over short-term taxes and spending now in the wake of a big GOP victory in order to set up the real debate about long-term taxes and spending over the next two years, leading into a pivotal 2012 election that could set the fiscal and political direction of this country for decades, an election in which he may well have much more of an advantage than he does now."

"Now for the short-term benefits of resolving this tax-and-spend dilemma so swiftly. The president urgently needs to get the new START and DADT through the Senate. DADT would be a major boost for his base - and the country's military. Getting START through is critical to his foreign policy cred. If he can pull all this off by Christmas - and the Senate should indeed stay open for an extra week - the last Congress will indeed be viewed by historians as one of the most substantive (and liberal) in recent history. And Obama will have orchestrated it - while ending up firmly planted and rebranded in the center."

Thanks so much for posting this tietack, even just to reinforce my original opinion on the matter!


[ Parent ]
Krugman did still complain a bit about
the one year length of esp the payroll tax break, but Sullivan did note:

At some point, I suspect, the Congress will have to decide between extending the payroll tax holiday or keeping the Bush tax cuts for millionaires - the double-track of the current Keynesian deal. I think Obama wins on that one, and has set up the kind of future choice the GOP really doesn't want to make.

As a self-employed type, gosh, I'm halfway wondering whether that cut applies double for me :)


[ Parent ]
Here's my latest
theory: he wins in 2012, although by what margin it's not clear, and if the Democrats win back the House and keep the Senate, tries for fundamental tax reform along the lines of a progressive consumption tax which makes things simpler and actually makes most people pay less. Perhaps it'd involve some significant cuts in corporate taxes or elimination of them entirely in exchange for pollution taxes. But basically, to use this phrase once more, we can remove this issue as a political football for a long time.

One of these days, I will be proven right about his long-term thinking. Maybe this is what will prove me right.  

"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?


[ Parent ]
He is either Reagan or Carter
No doubt in my mind.

[ Parent ]
What do you mean?


"I have never deliberately given anybody hell. I just tell the truth on the opposition-and they think it's hell."--President Harry Truman. President Obama, are you listening?

[ Parent ]
He will
either win in a landslide, or lose in a landslide.  

[ Parent ]
Indeed
Either transformational or a complete and utter disaster.

[ Parent ]
MN-Sen: Klobuchar at 59/29 approval, up 10, 14, 17 over Pawlenty, Coleman. Bachmann
http://publicpolicypolling.blo...

Safe D, methinks, especially since Pawlenty and Coleman won't actually run. My hunch is fmr. State Auditor Patricia Anderson winds up the nominee, and Klobuchar probably wins by about 13.

For daily political commentary, visit me at http://polibeast.blogspot.com/ and http://twitter.com/polibeast


Agree
Would like to see her crush Bachmann mind.

[ Parent ]
Good for our prospects for the State House
Obama and Klobuchar on the top of the ticket.  

[ Parent ]
because schumer, gillibrand and cuomo
saved so many NY seats.  or lynch saved so many people in NH, hick and bennet in CO saved so many CO dems, etc etc etc.  I think the idea of coat tails are being overly simplified.  just having one or two dems do well up ticket won't necessarily save anyone.

Top ten signs you're an SSPer #1: your favorite song is "Panic At Tedisco" and no one understands what you mean.

[ Parent ]
I'd
say Cuomo and friends saved a lot of seats actually. We picked up some R held SD seats in NY and I'd say Lynch and Hick probably saved some close calls.  

Proud member of the Indiana Democratic Party from IN-9.  

[ Parent ]
I think they saved a couple of seats
If there was a strong Republican ticket, I think as many as five more State Senate seats would've been lost; Avella would not have beat Padavan in Queens, for example.  

[ Parent ]
New York Republicans
are like Alabama Democrats were until this year. They're still holding on, but inevitably the ones that are holding on are going to fall. There's still a Republican registration advantage in most of upstate New York, and they're perfectly willing to vote for a Democrat at the top of the ticket, then vote for a Republican for Congress or state legislature. Eventually that's going to end, but for now, they're still going to dig their claws into that upstate vote.

[ Parent ]
Except Alabama Democrats are more conservative than NY Republicans!
Also GOP Senate advantage has a lot to do with the concentration of NY Dems NYC. So you have Dem districts where the Dem registration advantage is 80-20 while GOP districts are even or only slightly lean GOP. That help neutralize the Dem register voter advantages in NY.

Also NY Senate GOP is very good at using their incumbency to give out pork and buy off Dem constituencies (like muni Labor groups) in their districts.

Finally there was one Senate race where Cuomo hurt the Dens and Paladino help the GOP was the Thompson race in Buffalo.

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[ Parent ]
Perhaps
But it is always more likely in a presidential year when unhabitual voters turn up.

[ Parent ]

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