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October 14, 2006

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The Republicans will only lose if they hold an election.

If it gets much worse looking, Cheney is quite capable of dropping a few tactical nukes on Iran and proclaiming martial law over the expected outcry (even if it is one old lady waving her umbrella or one child drawing an inept cartoon. Given that the frontal assault fleet is expected in Iranian waters a day or so after Ramadan ends, Rove's little October surprise may be war in any case... and the reason for the WH smugness and assurance that they will remain in power.

Of course, if Cheney does that, there is no reason not to bundle his buttsky off to the Hague. I believe that they step in if the home country cannot deal with a war criminal?

Fred Barnes at the Weekly Standard:

But in the sixth year of the Bush presidency, with a GOP-run Congress, Democrats aren't the issue. Republicans are.

This explains why efforts by Bush and Republicans to target Democrats have been so unsuccessful. A veteran Republican consultant says lavish spending on TV commercials in races he's involved in has largely failed to either boost the poll numbers of his Republican candidates or drive down those of Democrats. Worse, in blue states, the Democratic crossover vote on which Republican candidates often rely has dried up. Democrats have gone home in droves.

Contrarian Craig Crawford at CQ on why Iraq works for Bush. It's because... well, just because. So there.

Good stuff, DemFromCT.

The landscape is starting to look positively surreal. It's getting possible to imagine 40+ seats without sniffing glue.

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And BTW, did you notice that there have recently been some slight modifications to the Dem '08 primary field?

The Warner declination means that Johnny Edwards is actually going to get a clear shot at Hillary. A field without Warner, Gore, or Clark has the right dynamics for Edwards to simply get more votes than HRC.

And put in historical perspective, this will be the first race where a Democrat running from the left of the primary field has a real shot to win the WH since Bobby Kennedy got shot.

I heard Fineman on Hardball yesterday. None of these guys know what to do with their narrative having so long denigrated the Dems and spoken about the invincibility of Rove and the Repubs.

My sense is the media pundits will acknowledge the wave only after it hits and they rationalize the wave only in terms of the horse race - aka timing of the Foley scandal, etc - and not in terms of the incredible misjudgements and abuse of power of Bush and the Repubs. With no honeymoon period, the Dems will be on receiving end of their Clinton-era like diatribe for 2 years leading into 2008.

The Dems need to get away from their DLC/Repub-lite corporatist leanings and make dismantling media consolidation and return to fairness doctrine and tough truth in advertising. Otherwise they will always be at a significant media disadvantage. Its like the Reuters guy gets fired for writing a book on Coulter but how many corporate media folks get fired for writing wingnut talking points as facts in news stories.

Petey, hope you stick around the next few years. Johnny E. is having a good year.

ab initio, Fineman rattling off all the tired GOP talking points as to what they need to do to win (as if they'd work) was remarkable. They are doing those things but they're not working.

The last 3 elections were rather close, with D's leading on policy. R's won all three, however, on money and superior ground game. That has never made GOP policy and philosophy popular, dominant with the public, etc. They still run their stories like the Reagan blowout of Mondale was yesterday.

I passed on the Cook Report to all our team members, and added some thoughts of my own:

I encourage each of you: do not relent. Not now. Not on November 8th.

Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. This isn't about partisan politics. This is all we can give to the hundreds of thousands who have died at the hands of foul leaders. Osama. Saddam. George.

Do not relent against Karl Rove's abyss. And if Dems emerge victorious, do not let that be enough to claim victory.

Persistance against tyrants. Humility. Grace. Humanity. These are the hallmarks that citizens of the world carry forward. These are the weapons that no extremist - no anarchic Muslim nor neocon bully nor WMD - can defeat.

Do not relent ! Courage. Compassion. Mercy. And then no-one will have died in vain.

November is not an end. It is a beginning. We must make those we elect understand that. Politics as usual will not suffice. Our soil is not magic. Our Constitution is no guarantee. Democracy is not an ideological anchor that we can tie to to weather every storm. It is us, millions of anchors, across the globe, that democracy must tie to. Our goodwill and greatheartedness and vision are the charts that the journey depends on.

November can provide victory for one battle. But then those we elect must listen, and hear, and respond with wisdom, not with foolish hubris.

So many lives, so much sacrifice. We must try to make it right for each of them. And for each who inherit this Earth.


The landscape has changed.

-The R's no longer have the Abramoff and other more corrupt sources of cash they relied on for their off-the-books dirty tricks.
-They no longer have the big financial edge they usually have over the Dems.
-They had many more retirements as several Reps thought they could move to higher office, leaving several open seats which have been augmented by scandal-related resignations.
-Their missage has worn out its welcome along with their messenger.
-Dem fundraising is way up and candidate recruitment was good, while the GOP nominated some real duds and wackos.
-Worst of all, the R's are now experiencing the downside of aggressive gerrymandering, with several marginal seats in danger.

As Dem points out, Bush evidently still believes that the GOP will be greeted as liberators and there is no need to plan for a Dem insurgency.

But I count pretty good prospects for the Dems in the 5 "scandal seats" (FL-16, NY-26, OH-18, PA-10 and TX-22), and in 5 out of 8 open seats (AZ-08, CO-07, FL-13, IA-01, IL-06, MN-06, NY-24 and WI-08).

That means the Dems need to take only 5 incumbent seats to get control, and there are 10 seats where the Dems are leading the incumbent in independent polls. And another 20 seats, any of which the Dem could win if things fall right. And then there are 15 or so races where there could be an upset. We will get only a small fraction of the latter, possibly 3-10 of the middle group, and potentially as many as all of the first group.

Looks like 20-30, possibly up to 35 or even 40. So Petey is in reality territory.

The NRCC just threw $9 mil into House races, almost all for negative ads. (Hat tip to Josh Marshall for the link.) Where they put their money is revealing. The top seat recipients YTD are OH-18 (Ney--tops at 2.3 Mil), PA-06 (Gerlach), PA-07 (Weldon), PA-08 (Fitzpatrick), IN-08 (Hostettler), CT-02 (Simmons), IN-09 (Sodrel), IA-01 (Open-Nussle), MN-06 (Open-Kennedy), FL-22 (Shaw), NY-24 (Open-Boehlert), WA-08 (Reichert), IL-06 (Open-Hyde), PA-10 Sherwood), NM-01 (Wilson), and OH-15 (Pryce). All have gotten over $1 Mil.

The biggest recipients of the latest buys are Shaw, Padgett for Ney's seat, Gerlach, Fitzpatrick and Weldon, Geoff Davis in KY-04, and Reichert, indicating where they feel vulnerable. There are notable blanks, including nothing for Tom Reynolds and relatively little for Hostettler. Some seats are now off the map (AZ-08, Kolbe). Wealthy incumbents like Chocola in IN-02 and to some extent Taylor in NC-11 have to fund their own races.

And there are eye-openers, such as 100,000+ against Francine Busby in CA-50, and money in CA-04, CA-11, ID-01, and OH-02.

"If I were them, I'd make it $10 million" - DemFromCT

Feeling confident, eh what?

:)

The polls and the spend of the Repubs demonstrate Dems having a very good shot at taking the House. However, as many have posted races tighten towards the end. Barring a major late Oct surprise - a Dem sex scandal or OBL captured, I doubt it could impact the races much. An Iran attack even if it was spun as a response to an Iranian provocation may not have the desired impact for Repubs. In my volunteering in Repub-leaning districts I notice that low information voters are not paying much attention to much of anything. They are still into the Repub talking points on Iraq and both parties are corrupt. IMO, many will vote reflexively. But all the Dems need is slight change among indys and some repubs not voting. And the Dem base coming out in good numbers, which is likely this time. This can change the outcome in all those gerrymandered races where the partisan percentages where narrow.

On having to adjust the game plan, Bush is so toxic (or maybe so bizarre-sounding?) that he can't be counted on to make campaign appearances as in 2002. Laura more than he does.

I'm really beginning to wonder if he is all there these days.

"Dem fundraising is way up and candidate recruitment was good"

Candidate recruitment was great, not just good. The DCCC correctly understood that this cycle called for viable candidates in what were traditionally non-viable seats.

Who woulda thunk that the real 50 state program would be implemented by the ballerina rather than the wrestler...

Jodi, I'm just reading the polls and the Weekly Standard.

Yeah, I did too. WSJ, TWS are where I keep up with conservative opinions. WP, NYt -liberal. (I just can't bear the LAt)

~no traction~ for the Republican money.

Bush/Cheney has squandered the credibility. ~He who steals my purse steals nothing, he who steals my good name, everything!~

Assuming David Brooks and Mark Schield are correct in their predictions and projections on last night's News Hour -- it is the Senate by two, and the House by thirty (maybe +). If so, my own prediction is a traffic stopping Sh*t blizzard going out in all directions from the WH, and probably then from Crawford where Bushie will retire to lick his wounded ass.

As per his norm -- he has no plans for what he would do "if" other than to call in James Baker, the family fixer, and see what he can do. Nancy and Harry have established committees for "the day after" and they will be ready. First job will be to get the Media Initiative, and keep it focused on post 2006 plans, and at the same time work to keep the lame duck session from messing things up, particularly with the unpassed appropriations bills. But the Republicans in the House will be tied up in a contest for minority leader, so they may not be all that focused.

I think Howard Dean's job changes if we win -- of course he has to pay attention to organizing the caucuses and primaries just a year away from the Congressional Changover in January, but he also has to put in place even more organization in the Congressional districts we take this year, because once taken, the ground has to be laid for keeping them. Some of the districts likely to flip are not high Dem Index places, and we haven't been organized in those places for years. So Party Building will be necessary, and quickly.

I think the Governor pick-ups are of great interest, remember redistricting after the 2010 Census is a three-headed process -- two chambers of state legislatures, and a Governor. That's how the Republicans built their majority, and that is something we have to tend to if we are to unbuild it. (Which leads me to the question -- how are things going in the Texas Legislative Races this year?)

Anyhow, I'am hopeful, and obviously thinking at least part-time about after the Tsunamis matters.

I am sad about Mark Warner. He was going to be my favorite Presidential candidate of my life, which dates yonder back to the mid '60s. I thought he was tailor made to cement a new majority and bring back millions of white males of all classes.

Petey, I confidently predict Hillary is not going to win the nomination under any circumstances. I just can't see it happening....even Evan "No message - Just process" Bayh could probably persuade more voters he's electable than she. Now that Warner is gone, Edwards has phenomenal positioning -- let's see what he does with it.

By the looks and sounds of the cable news broadcasts this afternoon, I hope all those morally virtuous pharmacists can cope with the barage of scripts for Xanax come November 8. Interesting to see the so-called objective anchors showing their true panic stricken colors.

vachon, the "objective anchors" are dusting off their Clinton-era fact-less attack points. Everything from Iraq to the skyrocketing debt will be blamed on the Dem congress.

Sara,

what is the "Media Initiative?"

I was interested in your comment about party building. Very apt, in context, of course. But it made me a little dispirited in a way, because it was so apt. The political parties in this country are nothing more than election infrastructure.

There is no bureaucracy for making policy positions, and organizing to support those policies. Indeed, any insider in the party would be shocked at the notion.

I am certain that any "Media Initiative" is nothing more than a calculation about how to gain some electoral advantage.

There will be no effort to prioritize the most important issues, or to develop a meaningful consensus within the party on some position relevant to such issues. If someone had the idea to do any such thing, that person would quickly find that there is no bureaucratic mechanism for such decision making, and the whole idea of it is countercultural on the Hill.

This is a problem.

Of course, the immediate problem is slowing down the bat-shit crazy president of ours. The rest will have to wait.

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