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November 15, 2006

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I guess George Bush wasn't born in Shays' district, but pretty close to it.

I don't know if his being "born in New Haven" means the Bushes lived there or just that he was delivered at the hospital there. I wonder if he grew up in one of the neighboring (wealthier) towns that Shays represents.

Here's what really happened in New England:

A more persuasive analysis than the all’s-well theory holds that Tuesday’s debacle reveals the limitations of the “mobilize the base” strategy, which Karl Rove devised on behalf of his boss, and which has required the Republican Party to entrust itself entirely to a hard core of taxophobes, Christianists, and dittoheads. Rove’s strategy, this analysis suggests, seemed to work only in 2000 (when Bush came in second at the ballot box) and in 2002 and 2004 (when its weaknesses were masked by fear of terrorism). Traditionally, America’s two big political parties have been loose coalitions, one center-left and one center-right. Rove transformed the Republicans into something resembling a European-style parliamentary party of the right, politically disciplined and ideologically uniform. This year, in response, many on the center-right acted like Europeans, too: they voted not the man (or woman) but the party (Democratic). That sealed the fate of Rhode Island’s popular senator Lincoln Chafee, among other remnants of moderate Republicanism. For the center part of the center-right, there was nowhere to go except to the center part of the center-left.

file this away...

In our brand new Hotline/Diageo poll, in WH '08 matchups among RVs, John McCain leads Hillary Clinton 45%-40%; he leads Barack Obama 39%-35%; and he leads John Edwards 42%-35%. But a generic Dem leads a generic GOPer 40%-27%.

John McCain: generic Republican.

I can go with that theme.

All this focusing on 2008 is really distasteful. We should be focusing on policy. Who will win the nominations depends greatly on events over the next year, such as whether there is some shift on Iraq that makes it less of an issue, what happens with the economy, whether the Dems are able to pass some legislation to begin to solve problems, and what direction the GOP goes in.

The Press is becoming the People Magazine version of politics.

Even better: a Gallup poll referenced in today's NY Daily News shows Giuliani and Hillary tied at 47%. Frame this the way conventional wisdom does: it's the GOP "dream candidate" against the Dem who "can't win", and it's dead-even. That'll tell you about the relative position of Dems and GOPers in the current environment.

The problem for the GOP is, their best hope -- the one for which the press is actively pushing -- is to nominate either McCain or Giuliani, because of their media-beloved-ness and their undeserved (esp. McCain) reputations as centrists. But these are the candidates who'll have the most trouble getting past the right-wing gauntlet in the primaries (judging by the rightie grumbling, they're still convinced the only possible GOP mistake is to fail to go far enough right). If Romney or Brownback or (please, please) Gingrich harness the standard far-right bias of the primaries and get the nomination, that "generic Republican" figure will substantially apply.

Meantime, the Dems, despite press equivalence-propaganda, have long since ceased going with their leftiest options in the primaries. Bradley was crushed by Gore; Kucinich and Sharpton were laughable, and even Dean, once he was unfairly tarred as extremist, lost quickly to an establishment-anointed candidate (yeah, Kerry was a "Massachusetts liberal" -- but the electorate apparently didn't find that disqualifying, as they came within an eyelash of making him president). The view that Hertzberg expresses in that New Yorker piece -- that the Pubs are now seen firmly as a right-wing party, leaving all centrists, even right-of-center centrists, leaning Dem -- will likely apply just as much in '08 as in '06, making ALL our candidates electable, as opposed to just two of theirs. (And that doesn't even get into the election environment, which as of this moment dramatically favors Democrats)

Did anyone watch John Edwards on The Daily Show last night? I really think he's the one to watch for '08. I confess I was marginally disappointed in his '04 showing -- his touted speaking talents didn't impress me at the convention: not only Obama and Clinton, but even Kerry gave speeches that impressed me more. But I wonder if Edwards '04 is like Clinton '88...we didn't see remotely what he was capable of, because it wasn't HIS moment (nearly every presidential nominee reaches an unprecedented peak with his own convention speech -- even the wooden Dukakis and Bush in '88 were thought to have soared). Listening to Edwards last night, I saw charm and articulateness and earnestness, all of which I think will play very well. And, as I believe Petey has argued repeatedly, Edwards is like Hillary in reverse: she is believed by many to be a wild-eyed liberal, but is in fact in some ways retrogressive; he, by virtue of his Southern-ness, will play as moderate, but might be our most progressive candiadte in a long time.

Not that I'm not open to others -- Obama; a surprise candidate; even Hillary, if it comes down to it. But I think Edwards might hold the best set of keys for '08.

Well, Mimikatz, had I seen your post first, I might have held back on what I just posted. But, there it is.

Certainly you're correct, that the next two years matter alot, and the immediate press jump to '08 indicates that what actually HAPPENS in the governing of the country matters to them not at all...the power game is the only item of interest. Plus, of course, they'll always frame the race in terms of their celebrity-conventional-wisdom (Rudy vs. Hillary, because of the potential for sparks flying).

i certainly don't plan on dwelling on horse race for '08 - not until the primaries, anyway. What struck me is that generic number because of the environment.

I think McCain is a wounded candidate, who doesn't even know he's wounded (or the press doesn't).

Mimikatz,

The Press is not primarily People magazine (except for the occasional "Are Bill and Hillary sleeping together" story). They are really just the sports page. The Dems and Repubs are just the American League and the National League. Who'll win next year's Cy Young award (the Presidency)? Just like the sports page, they divide the world between professionals (people who claim to have no values whatsoever) and "homers", people bought and paid for by one team or another. For "The Press" policy only matters to the extent it affects the outcomes (winning is everything). And cheating is ok as long as you don't get caught.

Ok, ok. I make exceptions for genuine analysis, demtom. And yes, the sports pages. That is it. I will play a little.

One of the stupidest comments I have seen is that Vilsack's entry opens the way for Hillary because it clears out Iowa. Haven't people watched what Edwards has been up to? Vilsack is actually 4th in the Iowa polls. Edwards is the one who has the best base there. He is in the position to use that as a springboard. And NH second, the folks who elected two anti-war candidates?

One interesting bit of analysis is the effect an entrance by Obama would have in the Southern primaries, where Hill and Bill had counted on his bond with African-Americans to put her over.

And watch Jim Webb. His op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (Kos' excerpts) is a real populist call. Good for him. What a breath of fresh air. I could see him or Obama ending up as the VP candidate.

Murtha is not a Republican like Shayes on the Intelligence Committee, so I guess he won't get the same breaks for his idiotic attempts at spying like Shays and have to check for sterioids.

Pardon me for not realizing that Matt Taibbi has already done the "newscasting as sportscasting" bit way better than I did.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/12400846/the_low_post_matt_taibbis_election_night_diary/print


Scroll down to 11pm.

Interesting set of voting statistics. My great-great-great grandfather, a Quaker abolitionist who helped found the Pennsylvania Republican Party, must have spun his body into orbit, to see the party he gave heart and soul to become the party he fought all his life against.

DemFromCT,

how do you feel about Joe Lieberman being fawned over by the Democratic Leadership and other Senators. Handshakes, High-Fives, Hugs, Kisses!

Ned, Ted, Ed, what was that alsorans name?

"Good ol' Joe is back!" For six more years.

Hey what was that guy's name. His wife is somebody important!

:)

I agree, much too early to start predicting the outcomes or the nominees for 2008 at this point. The Hillary and McCain talk is mostly the press (which has not done all that much real reporting), and we really don't have a full deck of cards yet as to who might run.

We need to select some specific issues that are "winable" in this congress, and which will help whoever runs in 2008, and push them. Post Elections for me are always a time to read the stuff that has been stacked up for months waiting attention. So I just finished Chris Mooney's "The Republican War on Science" and realized that Russ Holt of NJ has a bill all ready to recreate the Office of Technology Assessment that Gingrich wiped out in 1994. This deserves a nice push. Holt could also get busy on election technology, as he now chairs that committee. (I think a little attention to him might be in order as he might make a good candidate to replace Lautenberg, should he retire in the next round.) Restoration of Science is potentially a winning camapign base issue.

Between now and 2008, the No Child Left Behind law needs to be assessed and either passed for another five years, or much changed. There is great dissatisfaction with this outside DC, particularly as more and more schools approach failure status, having received all too little support, given what was promised. In particular, this is an area where all our Democratic Governors ought to have a seat at the high table, and a strategy where members of congress collaborate with them would, I think, pay off, not only in terms of schools, but as Democratic Policy. We need someone in addition to Ted Kennedy to take up the leadership on this.

The new chair of Transportation and Infrastructure in the House is Jim Oberstar, MN-8-DFL. It is interesting to look at the issues that were successfully used by Democrats at the state level -- Transportation, particularly modern commuter systems are a huge hit. People want out of the gridlock, and they want an alternative to high gas prices -- Many projects are already planned, and ready to go -- others need to be kick started into the planning stages. I think this issue alone is the key to doing well in more suburban districts, if I read my state legislative races correctly.

All of these are material ways to make another case -- the case for Government doing "big" things that benefit the many -- it is the negation of the Grover Nordquist theory, something that has to be done in an intelligent way. No sense trying to sell the opposite theory, a love of big government, instead the values of doing big projects need to be demonstrated.

I could care less about Joe. The message was sent in the primary and Joe heard it. if he acts reasonable, good for him.

Make nice to him for now, then win more D seats in 2008 and make him irrelevant.

Sara,

health and education!

If our children are healthy and well educated then the world will be ours, AGAIN.

Personally I want a return to the education system our grandmoms and grand dads had.

Drills! Work! Homework! Grouping by ability. Discipline.
If remedial work is indicated, then it should be required.


DemFromCT,

I know. I know. I just wanted to tweak you a bit.
:)
Heck in 2012,, Joe will be 70 3/4.

and who was the "favorite" after the 2002 midterm ???

joezoe tortureman sound familiar ???

freepatriot,

half the time I don't understand you. Please stop muddling the language and names.

``If our children are healthy and well educated then the world will be ours, AGAIN.''

This will certainly help. But are you prepared for what needs to be done? I.e., put some substantial dough into rebuilding the public health system, universial medicare, tuition paid to a two year college, four year college, but also graduate school for anyone who can make the grade, and also enough money into the public primary and secondary school system to push per pupil expenditure up in all districts to the point where it is at least within shouting distance of the amount spent in the districts with the best schools? But all that won't help as much as you think it will unless one is also prepared to change the tax system to discourage off-shoring rather than encourage it, and to put up the dough to repair and upgrade the nation's infrastructure and the seed money to restore the manufacturing capability of the nation. And, bottom line, one needs to persuade the voting public that the nation's greatness does not consist in the ability to kill people and blow things up on the other side of the world, but rather in the quality of life our mutual cooperation provides for all who live here.

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