Christine ODonnell Defines “Worst.”


Honestly, if there was something I would have thought was pretty indefinable, it would have been the “low point” of Christine O’Donnell’s 2010 Senate bid. Not because there wasn’t one, but because…. well, did you see the campaign?

Book: Christine ODonnell Is Pretty Sorry About That Whole “Im Not A Witch” Ad Thing | New York Daily News.

That, O’Donnell wrote, was “my lowest moment of the 2010 campaign.”

“It was a wrong-headed move, made for all the wrong reasons, but it was mine,” O’Donnell wrote in “Troublemaker: Let’s Do What It Takes to Make America Great Again.”

What the hell does “all the wrong reasons” mean in this context? I’m thinking, “because I wanted to be a U.S. Senator despite all evidence pointing to my utter lack of qualifications” is not what she meant, as much as I would like it to have been. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of her in any event, so with that in mind, here’s a nice Friday video for your delectation:



When I’m Wrong, I’m Wrong

Don’t let it be said that I’m too full of myself to admit when I’m wrong. I’m certainly too full of myself for lots of other things, but not that….

I honestly believed – right up to last night – that the Dems would probably be just fine in their majorities in the 2010 elections. I was wrong.

The Dems managed to hold the Senate, though in all honestly, the numbers from last night make it clear that all us Liberals owe a debt of gratitude to Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell for that. Count that as a “Win” for #4 on my list. In fact, things have gone so badly for Sarah Palin that even when Dems lose, they still win in Alaska: Senator Murkowski looks poised to take back her seat despite being primaried by a Tea Party and Sarah Palin-backed Joe Miller. Murkowski is hardly a leftie, but she certainly looks it when compared to Joe Miller.

I am very surprised that voters went for Republicans in such large numbers, but then, Democrats and the Obama White House have done such a poor job of at least getting credit for the things they did accomplish that our current result set was probably inevitable. That would be why #1 in my list didn’t matter: even when winning, the prevaricating, overly-cautious Democrats looked like they were losing. So all those great accomplishments meant nothing to the voting public.

#3 on my list, the myth of low voter turnout, turned out to be false almost immediately. The “enthusiasm gap” seems to have had nothing to do with the loss, but rather a swing among Independents.

That leaves #’s 2 and 5. Both burned the Republicans once, the Democrats once. And if they don’t shape up, the lack of cohesive planning and vision will burn them both next election.

I am curious now what the average rate of incumbency is in the Congress, relative to say 2000? Have long-term incumbents like Harry Reid been given a pass in favour of a lot of cannon fodder candidates? Certainly at the margins, that is always true. But have the huge swings in voting habits of the American people resulted in a genuine shake-up of Washington’s elite, or just made for good television and lots of heartburn for us political watchers?

If you have any details, I’d love to hear it.


This is it! Get out there and vote!

Well, its November 2nd and if you have managed to make it all day without seeing any news, this is just a reminder that yes, it’s Election Day. Time to get out there and do your civic duty.

I don’t think there’s any question that, for Democrats, this year’s civic duty is just that: a duty. Very few of us are overly enthusiastic about what the media keeps telling us will be a drubbing. Personally, while I’ve never been sanguine about Dem’s chances, I have to admit that the constant barrage of media negativity is starting to wear on my stomach.

Thing is: no one is really polling most of these individual Congressional races and really, the pundits are largely going on feeling which is to say: largely going on the group-think of the Pundit Class. It will be interesting to see what the narrative is by tomorrow morning. You can be sure that, no matter what happens, it certainly won’t be the media’s fault for over-hyping what is supposed to be a serious matter of electing leaders. If the Republicans don’t crush the Democrats across the board – if the take the House as is now all but axiomatic in the group-think, but do no better – the question will be what is wrong with the Republicans rather than what is wrong with the media’s analysis.

So here’s my advice, gleaned from careful observation of MSNBC, and CNN: the question is how big the wave will actually be, and we really need to watch the early results to get an indication of what happens next, then we’ll need to see how it unfolds from there.


5 Reasons Democrats Will Be Just Fine in November

Far be it from me to deprive the national news media their ability to drum up hysterical psycho-drama every waking moment of the day, but I thought that I might offer a few good reasons to cast a bit of doubt on the dire predictions of the smarmy, gossipy Washington press corps so eloquently embodied in Dana Millbank and others. And while I fully understand that I have no voice on the national level, I thought I’d give you a few good reasons to be less amazed than they will profess to be come the end of this latest election cycle:

#5: Just because your “agin” one Party does not make you “fer” another:

Its hard to believe I actually need to say this out loud, but I will: just because I’m pissed at a Democrat does not mean I will vote for a Republican. There has to be a reason to believe that the Republican will do better, which as I will address below, is dubious at best right now. As fun as the media finds it to refer to the people who watch their shows and pay their salaries as “pitchfork-wielding,” knuckle-dragging thugs, the fact is that most of us do not even own pitchforks in the first place. Those of us who do probably have better uses for them. You know, because we think for ourselves.

#4: The Republican capacity to self-immolate.

Republicans had things pretty locked up in Nevada. That is, until Sharon Angle won the nomination there. Now Reid is up by 7. That is, despite a completely upside-down approval rating for Reid in his state. With other winners like Rand Paul and the rest of the Katzenjammer Kids, we can have at least some faith in the Republicans ability to mess this up. And indeed, it is a standard trait of the non-incumbent party that they tend to play Keystone Cops until such time as they simply cannot help but be more attractive than the incumbent party.

From apologies to BP to declaring the inscrutable “Repeal and Replace” agenda for both HCR and now Fin Reg, to describing the financial crisis as an “ant,” to telling the unemployed to just “get a job,” its hard to imagine how Democrats could do a better job of painting the Republicans as out-of-touch. Worse for Republicans, the outlandishly misguided behavior is not atypical, but rather reinforces classic stereotypes of the Republican Party that have traditionally hung their chances out to dry when the issue is the economy. That makes a lot of people’s stomachs hurt when it comes time to actually vote for Republicans.

#3: The Low Turnout Myth

There is no doubt but that turnout can be expected to be lower than it was in the last election. Count on the media to point that out relentlessly, regardless of who wins what, as proof that their analysis is right. But if the last election was a record-setting election – it was – and if turnout in mid-terms is generally lower than in presidential elections – it is – then predicting that turnout will be lower is not exactly the stuff of sages. And I fully expect that the turnout, while lower than the presidential election of 2008, will likely be higher than it was in the previous mid-term election.

Because while we know that mid-terms get less attention, generally, this is not one of those general years. This is not a year when people get to just kick back and be happy with their jobs and wrap Christmas presents. Things are serious and serious-minded people will come out to vote.

Another classic canard of the national news media – one which on its face is self-negating – is that because turnout is low, mid-term elections are both dominated by Conservative voters and also an opportunity for a “protest vote.” The extent to which this concept is true is the extent to which Conservative voters “protest” Liberal and Democratic administrations and no farther. One or the other has to be true, or they’re both false.

Finally, while there’s every reason to think that some people who are angry over the current state of the economy – as distinct from Conservative voters who are just extra angry for their own reasons – will want to “protest” the current administration and Congress, they’ll have to step beyond the blogs, the comments, the FaceBook posts, the cameras, the televisions, the radios, the brave talk at the water cooler and step into that curiously quiet and disquieting space known as a voting booth and actually pull the lever. Which leads me to the next point:

#2: No plan, no vote.

Protest is one thing. But no one disputes the fact that our nation is in a precarious spot right now. This is not the time to simply throw the lever against the incumbent party and feel better about yourself. Polls are showing that Americans generally favour experience over fresh faces – a fact that works better for Dems *after* the 2008 than before it. People are paying very close attention to the news and election politics right now because they need to make what most anyone sees as a very important decision at a very risky time. And when they’re in that booth, what good reason is there to vote in a Republican?

Because the Republicans have shown no new messages, no plan and much worse, absolutely no leadership in the last year and a half. There is absolutely no reason to think that we will do anything other than return to the exact same position we were in on November of 2008 if we put the same party back into power.

#1: America digs a winner

To complain about the “obstructionist” non-incumbent party is a means of applying political pressure. To complain about an incumbent party that “won’t listen to our ideas” is just whining. That was as true for Democrats as it currently is for Republicans. In order to show that you can lead, you have to win something. Right now, Republican wins are few and far between whereas the Democrats are on fire with some of the biggest legislation ever passed in my lifetime. You don’t have to like it to see that they’re winning. And winning is a powerful thing in American politics.

Democrats were able to bring the Bush Agenda to a slow, creaking halt around 2005. And they won big in 2006. By 2008, it wasn’t just that the country was in a dire situation, but rather that Republicans seemed completely ill-equiped to provide an answer that did them in. So far, Republicans have yet to have the same types of successes with the Democratic agenda. If anything, they’ve whipped up a lot of nasty, racist, belligerent protest to the Democratic agenda that dragged the HCR debates well past their welcome… and then lost, anyway.

No plan, no wins, a nasty case of foot-in-mouth and a lot of hasty assumptions about how people will vote do not necessarily add up to a winning strategy. Plan on hearing the phrase “The Republicans snatched defeat from the jaws of victory,” quite a lot by December. That’s not because they really did so badly, but because pundits so completely and intentionally misjudged what is about to happen. Certainly, Democrats will loose seats. Certainly, Republicans will crow about the victories. But the needle won’t have moved appreciably in this next election.

One final point of purely meta, purely Monday Night Football-ish kind of analysis: this is not 1994 by any measure. In 1994, Democrats had controlled Congress almost consistently for twenty years, were riddled with House scandals, were completely dysfunctional and “suffering” from a perfectly good economy where Republicans could play on greed. Republicans meanwhile had a very organized team and a “Contract With America,” which for all the silliness inherent in that title, was at least a well-laidout set of policy agenda. Democrats currently have no serious scandals brewing, have not had time to become unwelcome as a ruling Party and are very well orga-…. well, bad example.


Texas Kingmakers in the New York Humpty-Bumpty

Exile over at TAP links to an article wherein Texas Senator John Cornyn states that he’s supporting or at least endorsing the idea of NY Representative King running for Hillary’s Senate seat in 2010. This begins the race among Republicans to try to, as I said in the comments of Exile’s post, “de-pants a Kennedy.”

Count on 2010 being a very, very hot race.

Of course, as Exile sez: “If the NRSC backs Peter King in a Republican primary, I’ll seriously consider sending them a check.” I gotta agree, King would make a Republican nominee somewhere between the haplessness of a Mitt Romney and the loving grace of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. But don’t count him out if he’s got NRSC money behind him.