Down Is Up

Charlie Cook is on Hardball telling us how many seats the Democrats are going to lose, Nate Silver had a pessimistic piece out today, and they were talking about it on NPR today. And I have got to say- I can not figure out why.

When the President was elected and this congress took office, we were losing over half a million jobs a month. Now, we are gaining jobs.

In the past year and a half, they’ve stabilized the banks, the economy, and the major car companies, they passed health care reform that adds thirty million people and cuts the deficit long term while getting rid of the worst abuses of the insurance companies, extended the solvency of Medicare for a decade, we’re drawing down troops in Iraq, we are making progress with green energy, there has not been one successful terrorist attack on American soil, we’ve just signed a nuclear arms reduction treaty and re-examined our use of nuclear weapons and we are making great progress on the global stage. Hell, the DOW is up over 3,000 since we got rid of the bums. Personally, we’re getting a road paved near me that was a disaster, and it is being paid for with stimulus money. We’re gonna put some people to work and have a nice paved road! And Obama and company did it all without getting blowjobs from interns.

And we’re going to reward them by kicking a lot of them out of office. We’re a really stupid country.

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195 replies
  1. 1
    Jimmm says:

    America – land of the free, home of the not especially bright.

  2. 2
    Gus says:

    Because the 24 hour news channels rely on conflict.

  3. 3
    YellowJournalism says:

    Charlie Cook is on Hardball telling us how many seats the Democrats are going to lose, Nate Silver had a pessimistic piece out today, and they were talking about it on NPR today. And I have got to say- I can not figure out why.

    Because that’s the narrative that sells ad dollars: the mediocre meteoric rise of the Republican party!

  4. 4
    schrodinger's cat says:

    There is high probability that they may be wrong again, as they so often are. After all Hillary is not the President as per the predictions of many of these same Punditubbies.

  5. 5
    Cacti says:

    As I mentioned in the Jindal thread, call me a doubting Thomas about this conventional wisdom.

    What are they offering as an alternative? Opposing everything isn’t a platform.

  6. 6
    BrklynLibrul says:

    Nate knows his numbers as well as anyone, but those numbers will shift between now and November. Nonetheless, we live in a reactionary Nixonland moment, something Obama has continually underestimated since his election. And, ‘scuse me, the unemployment rate has nearly doubled — you need look no further, John, for an explanation.

    In other news, Tunch is fat.

  7. 7
    dmsilev says:

    Losing some seats, I believe. The Democratic majority is huge, and is largely the result of a surge of Obama voters in 2008. Losing control of either house, I would guess to be unlikely.

    Something to note: There’s a strong correlation between Presidential approval and performance in the midterms (I put this graph together back in 2006). If Obama stays at his current 50ish percent, we’re looking at a 30ish seat shift in the House, which is less than half of the current majority.

    dms

  8. 8
    lamh31 says:

    I clicked off tweety before Charlie Cook even got on there.

    here’s why: Timeline:

    George S asks President Obama a direct question about Sarah Palin’s assinine “playground” comment the other day. President Obama did not bring it up himself (he rarely does actually, but amazingly no one ever mentions that)

    President Obama, who unlike Sarah Palin, when asked a direct question, answers said questions with as much tact and truth as possible. Even though we would rather he’s have said who gives a flying… what Sarah palin said.

    Sarah Palin in her speech in NOLA responds to said answer from President in her usually “you betcha” slogany way.

    Chris Matthews on Hardball ponders should the President be getting into “the ditch” with Sarah Palin. No mention of the fact that the question was actually posed to Obama. Obama did not bring the subject of Sara Palin up at all.

    So in the span of a day or less, we’ve gone from the President signing the very significant new START policy, to why is the President “fighting” with Sara Palin. All because Sara Palin is supposedly some big deal to the MSM and GOP, even though are fav/unfav or in the toilet.

    I didn’t even watch the segment with Cook.

  9. 9
    ciotog says:

    All that is true, John, but the hemorrhaging at the state level has just begun. Massive layoffs in education, and I’m sure in other state and local institutions as well.

  10. 10
    jacy says:

    Geez, Cole, the memes aren’t going to propagate themselves, you know. It’s common knowledge that there’s no way that Dems can’t be CRUSHED come November, and I know it must be true, because half the guests on Morning Joe said so!

    OK, that’s inaccurate — I’m sure it was probably way more than half the guests, but you can’t force me to watch that crap, so I just have to guess.

    And besides, the evil Dems hurt poor little Bobby Jindal’s delicate feelings, and it just wouldn’t be right if they didn’t have to pay somehow. Also, too.

  11. 11
    Cat Lady says:

    November is an eternity way. The voting public isn’t at all interested in politics yet, and doesn’t yet understand how crazy the other guys are. The choice will be stark. I still like our chances.

  12. 12
    Cacti says:

    @lamh31:

    The librul media is always looking to create a new non-troversy.

    It’s their bread and butter.

  13. 13

    If you read Nate’s piece, he starts with a possible range for losing 15 seats up to 50 or 60 I think. IOW’s, no one knows because it is too soon with too many variables that can change before people finally decide who to vote for. Some variables are jobs and the economy, and if dems can educate voters on HCR, as well as odd ones like tea baggers dividing wingers and even winning some primaries lessening the chances they will win in the general. I don’t know what is wrong with Cook, as it sounds like he is getting swept up in the DC herd mentality hoping for and reporting for as much drama as possible. And none greater would be the wingers making a miraculous comeback, like a Sea Biscuit.

    Dems will lose seats, but a big factor in their favor is number one, the voters still personally like Obama, and it has only been two years since Bush which I am sure individual dem candidates will remind voters of when it’s time.

    The are all full of shit, and when everyone is that, it can seem like they have a clue when they don’t at this stage, and double that with tbe present volatility in our politics.

  14. 14
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole @ Top:

    Charlie Cook is on Hardball telling us how many seats the Democrats are going to lose, Nate Silver had a pessimistic piece out today, and they were talking about it on NPR today. And I have got to say- I can not figure out why.

    And the GOP is revolting (I guess I could stop there) against Steele and its own leadership organization, splintering the fundraising dollars, while the whole party turns into a game of purity dodgeball with insane right wing freaks on one side vs. murderous insane right wing freaks on the other, insisting that they are where the center is at.

    They’re breaking apart before our eyes. Who the fuck would vote for them? I really don’t see how they can win the election, despite Cook’s and Silver’s previous prognostication successes.

    Maybe I’m just a biased O-bot, though.

    .

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    There is high probability that they may be wrong again, as they so often are. After all Hillary is not the President as per the predictions of many of these same Punditubbies.

    They were also astounded that the Democrats took back both houses of Congress in 2006 when everything was going so well for the Republicans! The media acted like they were Red Sox fans and the ball had just bounced through Bill Buckner’s legs.

    Remember, a 30 percent approval rating for George W. Bush means that he’s widely popular, but a 50 percent approval rating for Barack Obama means that he’s fighting for his presidency. Pundit math strikes again.

  16. 16
    Mark S. says:

    I’m a little bit more optimistic but it is based on a hunch. In the last five years or so, there seems to be a growing number of people who don’t just prefer the Dems, or slightly dislike the GOP, but who really freaking hate the GOP. Maybe it’s a small number, but then I’ve run in to a disproportionate share.

    I think it will depend if they turn out to vote.

  17. 17
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Everything you list there is true, John. It’s just all Good News For Republicans.

  18. 18
    Cacti says:

    If the economy continues to improve going into November, what will the GOP run on?

    Vote for us, even though we opposed the recovery?

  19. 19
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Shorter John Cole:

    I can not figure out why.
    […]
    And we’re going to reward them by kicking a lot of them out of office. We’re a really stupid country.

    I am guardedly less pessimistic than most pundits, that 2010 will be not great but not disastrous, and fully confident that even if the Dems beat the odds and actually gained seats, it would be reported as a rejection of the Obama agenda

    Chris Matthews on Hardball ponders should the President be getting into “the ditch” with Sarah Palin.

    Good Lord.

  20. 20
    Xenos says:

    @JGabriel: Even if the only GOP pickup is Stupak’s seat, it will be trumpeted to the masses that an unprecedented Republican victory has taken place. Just watch. Or ignore it and take up a useful hobby, like drinking heavily.

  21. 21
    Dr. I. F. Stone says:

    We’re going to be getting rid of them because most of the country isn’t as stupid as Cole, and they recognize that most of what he wrote is pure bullshit. The health bill did nothing to shore up Medicare, and in fact, set in motion a downward spiral as the huge cuts in funding take hold. Only a complete idiot believes that the bill will reduce the deficit; most people recognize that the independent budget office support for that argument rests solely on the fact that the Office had to use the estimates and assumptions given them by Pelosi and her gang. Etc., etc., etc.

  22. 22
    zhak says:

    We are a stupid country, and we’re losing brain cells by the second.

    There are many reasons for this, but right now, we have no functional fourth estate (it’s “infotainment” and it’s also idiocracy). We have no functional opposition party. Both things are necessary for a democracy to exist, much less thrive.

    But here’s the part I don’t understand: the “message” of the right — Obama is a Socialist Marxist Nazi Muslim Kenyan and the most liberalist preznit ever ever ever — is ludicrous on its face. As far as I can tell, he’s pretty much governing to the right of Nixon and Eisenhower. (Nixon gave us the EPA, and Eisenhower our highway system: does anybody believe Obama would be up to either task?) But this message is given credence in the MSM — wholly without any proof whatsoever. And every other scattershot bit of stupidity from the right is also given plenty of airtime. So, please, someone explain to me: people have to know that the troglodytes getting all worked up is a bunch of hooey, and so is every word they grunt out. Why do politicians and the media give them so much legitimacy? Because, you know, we’re pretty much fucked as long as we have people saying “OMG! THE CENSUS IS TEH BAD! BRING BACK THE CONSTITUTION! and the media sits there and nods gravely and says, “Thank you, Erick, for that insight. You’ve made a lot of good points …”

    The Republicans are dangerously radical at this point, and no one is manning up to say so. Sure, big business is still raking in the big bucks, but one of these days, the whole shaky edifice will come crashing down. It’s woefully short-sighted.

  23. 23
    Cacti says:

    @Dr. I. F. Stone:

    I like pie.

    Thanks for sharing.

  24. 24
    Xenos says:

    @Dr. I. F. Stone: Which reminds me, where is the republican budget that makes a dent in the debt in less than 40 years?

    At some point these people are going to have to show their cards, no matter how much the media cover for them.

  25. 25
    Dr. J says:

    That bit about stupid country–I just said that to my wife. We are volunteering for Alan Grayson tomorrow (we will work with his campaign) and it is time for people to confront the incessant lies that have been the republican strategy to control the message. Marco Rubio can simply state we know the stimulus was a failure and no one challenges him to explain why the vast majority of economists in this country disagree with him. Lying with impunity.

  26. 26
    Chyron HR says:

    @Dr. I. F. Stone:

    Etc., etc., etc.

    Better hurry, you only have five minutes to fill in your actual argument. You were going to make one, right?

  27. 27

    @Dr. I. F. Stone:

    I like 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288

    Hey… My filter’s broken…

  28. 28
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    adding: Congressional and Senatorial Dems would actually have to the guts and the brains to run on those accomplishments, instead of parroting the GOP talking points fed to them via George, Davey and Candy (Yes, I’m looking at you, Jim Webb, Claire McCaskill, et al)

  29. 29
    Cacti says:

    @Chyron HR:

    The nefarious CBO conspired with Nancy “I provoke Teabaggers to spit on John Lewis” Pelosi, as part of a plot to destroy Medicare…

    The same Medicare that the GOP dislikes on principle and wants to replace with a private voucher system.

  30. 30
    demo woman says:

    @Xenos: All the dems need to do is ask what is the repub plan.
    Unfortunately, the democratic party is not known for their ability to corner their foes.

  31. 31
    riffle says:

    I’ve been feeling the same way for weeks now.

    And if the Republicans gain a majority in either house, look for a slew of irrelevant, petty, and puerile investigations of the Obama administration. It’ll be wasteful and infuriating.

    Let’s hope they don’t win a majority in either chamber.

  32. 32
    Cacti says:

    @riffle:

    Special Prosecutor Orly Taitz

  33. 33
    demo woman says:

    @Dr. I. F. Stone: Why? All I am reading is lots of gobblygook with no real facts. Are you upset because your grandma/grandpa won’t die like Sarah told you?

  34. 34
    lamh31 says:

    @lamh31

    Here is exactly what was said vis a vis
    Tweety: “let’s look at a fight brewing here. Here he President Obama reacting to Sarah Palin’s criticism of his nuclear policy”

    They then play Obama’s GMA interview with George S, no mention of the fact that George S asked a direct question referencing Palin. Then they play the part of Palin’s referencing “community organizing” in responding to Obama.

    Tweety (after some cross talk about how Palin pronounces nuclear): “Isn’t it a mistake for the President to get in a ditdh with her?”

    Ciiliza says “Yes” then Cilizza does go no to mention that the President did answer a direct question about palin, but then Cilizza adds it’s of course great for palin, cause “the President of the United States gets into a TIFF with her…”

    Tweety then reference Pat Buchanan’s Nixonian strategy of “attacking up not down” as if to said that by answering the question, Obama is attacking “down” and Palin is obviously attaking “up”

  35. 35
    Turgidson says:

    If the economy gains jobs at a healthy enough rate that the unemployment rate starts going down, I think the Dems will do surprisingly well in November. By surprisingly well, I mean a relatively small loss of seats compared to the midterm wipeouts of the past.

    The problem is, the right wing Wurlitzer will trumpet even a GOP net gain of ONE SEAT as irrefutable evidence that Obama is a radical commie sockulist and the media will spend a few weeks talking breathlessly about when impeachment proceedings will begin. Oh, I can’t wait.

  36. 36
    Svensker says:

    @ciotog:

    All that is true, John, but the hemorrhaging at the state level has just begun. Massive layoffs in education, and I’m sure in other state and local institutions as well.

    This.

    Went to get my hair cut yesterday and the salonista, who is usually Ms.Mellow, was screaming about budget cuts, and teachers getting huge salaries and bennies while people in the private sector are struggling. She ranted, baby. If our local taxes go up the “throw the bums out” sentiment won’t flag.

  37. 37
    sukabi says:

    In the next couple of months there needs to be a STRONG media effort by the WH and the Dems to toot their own horns on everything you mentioned that has been positive in the last year. Lord knows the yappers on TV aren’t going to talk about the positive unless they’re actually forced to… unless the Dems do that to counter all the negative disinformation the Repubs are spewing they will lose a bunch of seats…

    the other side to this is, there won’t be too many safe Repubs come election day either…

    Folks are just plain sick of all of them, R’s and D’s alike.

  38. 38
    Alan says:

    @Dr. J:

    I’m afraid Rubio will end up winning the general election just on name recognition. If there’s a Democrat running he or she better start getting their name out there.

  39. 39
    JGabriel says:

    @lamh31:

    Tweety then reference Pat Buchanan’s Nixonian strategy of “attacking up not down” …

    How would that work for Obama? He’s President of the United States, who exactly is up from him?

    .

  40. 40
    someguy says:

    Gaining jobs? The jobs picture is still in the shitter, with many people moving out of the “unemployed” category into the “long term unemployed” category. You do know that if somebody is unemployed for 6 months, they are no longer counted as unemployed for the Department of Labor statistics that everybody trumpets, but in separate categories of unemployed. The total rate of unemployment, counting short term and various types of long term unemployment is approaching 18%. It’s nearing depression territory.

    That isn’t Obama’s fault, he inherited this fucked up Bush economy, but you can’t wish away tens of millions of unemployed with a couple hundred thousand season job uptick.

  41. 41
    jfxgillis says:

    Appropooft of nothing special, this is why I HATE Andrew Sullivan:

    One thing occurs to me as I see, for example, where Fareed Zakaria, David Frum, Andrew Stuttaford and myself have migrated in recent years. We were all Thatcherite/Reaganite conservatives of varying stripes in the 1980s. And we all feel, to varying degrees, uncomfortable in modern American conservatism.

    What else do we have in common? None of us was born here.

    There is something deeply and profoundly American about the current right, its conspiracy theories, its paranoia, its racial issues, its sexual panic, its fundamentalist timbre. Conservatives not from the South or imbued in the cultural legacy of the twentieth century – i.e. those who mistook Buckley for the forces he successfully challenged – remain on a learning curve wit respect to the some core, and especially Southern, factions on the American right.

    It is far darker and stranger than many of us ever truly grasped. And it took us a while to realize it.

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlan.....sias-.html

    Yet, he STILL doesn’t get why mainstreaming The Bell Curve infuriated liberals. Like maybe we ‘Murican hippies knew our own damn country better than some right-wing Brit?

  42. 42
    BombIranForChrist says:

    First of all, the Dems really overachieved in these last couple of elections. Dems will lose some seats via regression to the mean.

    Second, after two years of successful hippie punching, some of Obama’s supporters will sit at home. There are many hippies who believe that the reason the Left always loses is because the Left always caves, and they will stay home to make their point. To not cave, so to speak.

    But I do think things won’t get as dire as some are saying. Republicans are Republicans, after all, and even people who may feel predisposed to vote against Democrats will change their mind right quick like when they see the Republican alternative.

    And, to repeat what you said, the economy will continue to get better, hopefully.

    Speaking of hippie punching, if Obama makes a Hippy Punching pick for the Supreme Court, he will further dispirit his base. Supreme Court nominees are a big deal to activists on both sides.

  43. 43
    Annie says:

    We’re going to be getting rid of them because most of the country isn’t as stupid as Cole

    Or as smart as Palin???? Selling Obama’s competence is not easy, because the more he leads and succeeds, the more the right goes ballistic and starts saying anything to counter the actual facts…

    It’s now our responsibility to get out there and counter the right’s lies. Ads that show the icon Reagan was for nuclear disarmament. Ads that show you cannot use nuclear weapons against terrorists…Ads that show how people are spending again because they have overcome their fear of health care costs…Ads that counter Ms. Sarah and Ms. Michelle — Ms. Sarah left her little city with a hugh budget deficit; Ads that show that Ms. Michelle has benefitted from farm subsidies; Ads that show that the Republican want to kill Medicare…Counter teabag rallies…

  44. 44
    South of I-10 says:

    But, higher taxes! And ACORN, also.

  45. 45
    JMY says:

    @BombIranForChrist: That’s counter-productive don’t you think?

  46. 46
    Redshirt says:

    Got to give the evil bastids credit: It’s a good game plan.

    When in power, cut taxes and spend, spend, spend, all the while preaching fiscal responsibility and small government. When everything goes down the drain, leave office for a few years and let the Dimocrats take over…

    While you raise a populist fury about the Bums in office and their wreckless spending and out of control deficits! Get the pitchforks and torches all passed out and then reap the rewards of anti-incumbency anger…

    And the cycle begins again.

    All it might take to break it is a media that actually reported the facts. But we don’t have that media – we have various corporate and right wing propganda marketing entertainment companies, looking for ratings and profit.

    Good tricks, if you can pull them – Republicans only.

  47. 47
    Bilejones says:

    If you honestly believe a single thing you wrote about the economy, you’re a moron. If not…

  48. 48
    Turgidson says:

    @zhak:

    As far as I can tell, he’s pretty much governing to the right of Nixon and Eisenhower. (Nixon gave us the EPA, and Eisenhower our highway system: does anybody believe Obama would be up to either task?)

    I think Obama would be up to doing both of those things and more if he was president in a different ideological era. But he’s not. Even with his half-measures and compromises, he really IS the most liberal president we’ve had in at least 30 years, and maybe since Tricky Dick, whose presidential policies would make him a fairly left of center Democrat if he were a politician today, as you noted.

  49. 49
    Annie says:

    @Svensker:

    And, the Republican response…more tax cuts for the wealthy, and more deregulation so corporations are not accountable for their shoddy practices that cause employees to die…Kill medicare and kill social security…kill all social safety nets…

  50. 50
    jl says:

    @BrklynLibrul:

    I agree. The unemployment rate is doubled from before Obama. A lot of people are saying “I had a job before Obama was in, and I don’t now”. End of story and argument for those people.

    The administration’s ho-hum attitude towards designing a recovery program that tolerates a very high unemployment rate compared to previous post-WWII recessions will not help.

    Long term unemployment is probably higher than any time since WWII, thought not sure that can be verified since comparable stats to not go back that far. So there are many long term unemployed and discouraged potentially unemployed who are currently out of the labor force. So, many of them will have been laid off during Bush and reason that Bush started the mess and it’s his fault. But many will say that they expected Obama to do something to help them, and reason that he hasn’t. He seems to have just helped the bankers.

    I think the employment situation is most important factor for many.

    I also read someplace, but cannot remember where, that many people make their voting decisions four to six months before the election, depending on how things are going for themselves recently. After that, and on into the election, it their thinking consists of rationalizing a pre-existing decision for that type of voter.

    I will look for that research about timing of election decisions, and check my memory of what it found.

  51. 51
    bayville says:

    Huh?

    BoA yesterday predicted 725,000 foreclosures per month beginning in December. 1of 3 homes are underwater. 1 in 5 mortgage payments are more than 2 months late. Strip malls have a vacancy rate of 10.8% – the highest in 19 yrs, the WH (optimistically predicts unemployment to improve to 8.5% …..by 2012, oil will be $100 a barrel by June, Greece is being bailed out by the EU at this moment; Ireland will be next, the banks/investment firms are more leveraged today than they were in 2008 and Tim Geithner is still the Treasury Sec.

    And, according to you guys, this an economy on the improve?
    Welcome to GumDrop Land. Time to start another war.

  52. 52
    Joy says:

    The question I have, is what will it take for sane people to finally speak out against a media that is lazy and a party that promotes violence or at the very least does nothing to tamp it down. Everyday, in my hometown paper, the letters to the editor are primarily devoted to a small group of well known teabaggers. I have even suggested, although not published of course, that the editor just give these three idiots a revolving column of their own. Their views are constantly being interwoven on our editorial page (Springfield, Illinois). One is a real estate agent that I am sure promoted the $8000 tax credit deduction for new homeowners. No irony there. They held their tea bagger express rally at our state fairgrounds. Nothing like using state facilities to promote an event, but hey, they have paid into the “system”. We know that sane and intelligent people are out there (yes, some Republicans are included in that too) but everyone seems to want to take a step back and wait it out. Perhaps that is the best strategy because I speak until I am blue in the face at work and yet they don’t see the irony of hating the health care bill, but on the other hand they like it because their graduating college senior will be able to stay on their insurance plan. There is a total disconnect and I am at loss to understand their thinking. Until we have a media that actually stands up and reports the news as news, not entertainment, we are not able to get our message out. And I don’t buy into George S and his rationale behind asking Obama a question about Sarah Palin’s critique of his nuclear policy. It’s plain lazy, but it’s a soundbite that gets repeated over and over again.

  53. 53
    kay says:

    I don’t know yet. I invited 60 people next Saturday to meet the local OFA organizer (who is great) and the local ODP (Ohio Democratic Party) organizer (who is young). A lot of the local Democrats have been around a really long time, and they make solid, blunt predictions, although only one on one. They subscribe to the “relentlessly positive public face” theory, so you have to corner them alone to get an honest answer.
    Very few are online at all, but they do watch a lot of cable news, because many of them are retired. I’m curious how they see this…atmosphere.
    The rsvp’s looks pretty good so far, for the party, event, whatever, so that’s probably a good sign. Maybe it’s just cabin fever. It was a long winter.

  54. 54
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    teachers getting huge salaries and bennies while people in the private sector are struggling

    I never cease to be amazed at how quickly people are willing to turn on teachers. Where are these teachers making huge salaries? I have never met one. A cursory internet search tells me that the highest paid public school teachers make about $90K/yr. Not bad, but the national average seems to be around $55K.

  55. 55
    ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty says:

    A couple of years ago, the mouths on tv and blogs were all saying that we were going to have Hillary Clinton as the Dem nominee. And the GOP might likely nominate Rudy Giuliani.

    Later in the cycle, they were saying that Sarah Palin was the hottest thing to happen in the campaign season.

    A couple of months ago HCR was said to be dead.

    Here we are, Obama was the nominee, won by a large margin over the hot McCain-Palin ticket, Giuliani is a rodeo clown on tv, and HCR is the law of the land.

    Is it okay if we have an actual campaign season and an actual election before we start counting the votes?

    Is it a slow news day and there is nothing to do but cup our ears listening for the craziest loony shit we can find out there, and then write about it obsessively?

  56. 56
    Germane Jackson says:

    The dems will lose seats b/c of the tendency of the base of the party in power to stay home during midterms, and the corresponding tendency of the party out of power to turn out in droves. We won’t lose either house, though.

  57. 57

    @bayville:

    As long as people believe they can get decent jobs and keep them for awhile, that will mitigate all the other negative stuff to a degree, and that is what we are talking about politically.

    It doesn’t look like we will have a double dip recession, and the CRE bubble hasn’t caused one, yet. But who knows.

    And yes the economy is structurally fucked up royally after 30 years of conservative ideas running the show, and it will take a long time for it to straighten itself out. And there is only so much any president or congress can do about that.

  58. 58
    Redshirt says:

    Anyone ever think we might be living in Hell right now – this is our damnation?

    When everything seems to be “Down is Up”, it makes me wonder.
    It’s a cool sci-fi concept at the least.

  59. 59
    Marc says:

    Positive results don’t matter when the Republicans have a far more effective noise machine that convinces lots of people that everything’s going to hell.

    If Democrats were half as good at messaging as the Republicans, they’d kill Republicans in almost every election.

  60. 60
    MinneapolisPipe says:

    John, don’t sweat it.

    In almost every single mid-term election for the past several decades, the president’s party has lost seats (Democrat and Republican). This is not earth-shattering news.

    Right now you have a lot of talking heads being interviewed like they’re geniuses because of their prognostications.

    The current Republican strategists (if you can call them that) have put their all their marbles on 2010. It might net them some short-term results. But it is also frought with risk. The economy is showing signs of turning around (the unemployment rate usually lags the other economic indicators because companies only start hiring after good numbers start coming in). People will suddenly realize that their cousin, parent, friend of a friend, etc who were once turned down for insurance now aren’t. General Motors will continue to employ people and they may even turn a profit.

    If what Obama is focusing on pans out, they may face some losses for ’10 but be in great shape when the larger section of voters turn out in ’12.

  61. 61
    Nick says:

    @Cacti:

    If the economy continues to improve going into November, what will the GOP run on?

    Whatever meme the media creates…the deficit, Iran, Israel, the gays, they’ll find something.

  62. 62
    kth says:

    @jl: No one unemployed is dumb enough to think they would have a job if the Republicans had been in charge. But they might be disillusioned enough to stay home. That’s how it works: their side is all fired up, ours not so much, and swing voters are less of a factor in the midterms. It isn’t that much a matter of people switching sides as of people not showing up.

    One question for all the olds at the TEA parties: what do you think your 401k would look like if the Republicans had prevailed, and lots and lots of banks had been allowed to fail? Dem candidates are in way too much of a fetal crouch; they saved this country from a second Great Depression, and should take credit accordingly. Not that we’re out of the woods, but if we had done things the way the Republican rank and file had wanted, things would be many times worse.

  63. 63
    Nick says:

    @Marc:

    If Democrats were half as good at messaging as the Republicans, they’d kill Republicans in almost every election.

    Which is why the media makes sure not to let the Democrats get good at messaging.

  64. 64

    The best news lately for dems and their fortunes in a mid term, especially the first one for a new presnit of their party is the fact that the “enthusiasm factor” for dems has been rising significantly since HCR passed. It is still some less than the wingnuts that has also risen, but the gap now in most polls I’ve seen is only 8 or 9 points. It was a lot more before HCR passed.

  65. 65
    Nick says:

    @kth: Nate points out Democrats are planning on turning out in record numbers, with an enthusiasm level the same or higher than 2006. Republicans are even MORE enthusiastic.

    So it’s not about people not showing up, it’s about there beign more of them than us.

  66. 66
    Joel says:

    The problem has less to do with Obama and more to do with the realities of the situation.

    1) The Democratic bench has turned up surprisingly thin and a lot of supposedly qualified candidates have opted not to run.

    2) People tend to gravitate towards political equilibrium. All this change is scary! OMG!

    3) A lot of Democrats occupy seats in traditionally Republican districts.

  67. 67
    slightly_peeved says:

    Nate Silver had a pessimistic piece out today

    Pessimistic by his own admission; his post was designed to lay out the worst case.

    All it means at this stage is that plenty could happen between now and November. Where were Reagan’s numbers at the same time in his first administration?

  68. 68
  69. 69
    Svensker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I never cease to be amazed at how quickly people are willing to turn on teachers. Where are these teachers making huge salaries? I have never met one. A cursory internet search tells me that the highest paid public school teachers make about $90K/yr. Not bad, but the national average seems to be around $55K.

    Teachers do get a bum rap, even in NJ where their pay is relatively good. The benefits are awesome however, and some of the teachers are bitching about the possibility of not getting a raise this year and next, which is not sitting well with people who are faced with no job at all. In NJ, the ones who really get the big salaries are the school administrators ($250K/year for principals with huge bens, is not unusual). Cops in my little incredibly safe town get $90-$100K after a few years. Highway toll takers get (with overtime, which is common) over $100K. All of them get bens based on their highest salary, retiring after 25 years, with full medical and dental bens, sometimes including the spouse. NJ State government has just cut aid to my county by 92%. Where the frack is the money for those bennies going to come from?

  70. 70
    PeakVT says:

    Now, we are gaining jobs.

    The economy is slowly gaining jobs, but the number of jobs needed is huge. If the economy were to gain 275-300k jobs per month, it would take six years to get back all of the jobs lost and not created during the recession. Obama and the Democrats have done a number of things to address the jobs picture; perhaps they’ve done all that can be done given the stupidity of our public discourse. But it’s not enough.

    I posted this before, but it’s so good I’ll flog it again (though you probably should bookmark it and read it tomorrow morning): How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America.

  71. 71
    jl says:

    @kth:

    “@jl: No one unemployed is dumb enough to think they would have a job if the Republicans had been in charge.”

    I disagree. There are many people like that, unfortunately. Like one of my parents’ neighbors who is worried Democratic over reaction to the financial crisis and heavy handed government interference will reduce the value of her private Social Security account. She is about to retire and is very worried.

    “But they might be disillusioned enough to stay home. That’s how it works: their side is all fired up, ours not so much, and swing voters are less of a factor in the midterms. It isn’t that much a matter of people switching sides as of people not showing up.”

    I agree with that.

    My chief complaint against Obama so far is not his policy choices. I do not like many of them, but suspend judgment since I do not know all the issues involved in getting the big and very difficult policy initiatives (for example, HCR) passed in the first 18 months.

    I do believe Obama should have done a much better job as a party leader. Part of that involves keeping your supporters fired up and ready to vote in midterms.

    Obama’s apparent belief in his post-partisan schtick may produce big problems in the midterms. IMHO, sometimes Obama acts like Democrats and moderate independent voters are all David Broder. Or all read him in complete awe every morning.

  72. 72
    Nick says:

    @PeakVT: In almost every recession it took a long time to get back to where we were before.

    How long it did take for us to get back to 1929 levels during the Great Depression?

    How long did it takes to fully recover from the 1981-1982 recession?

    In both cases…years, in the former decades.

    So, yeah, it’s going to take almost Obama’s entire presidency to get back all the jobs lost. That’s not surprising.

  73. 73
    lamh31 says:

    @JGabriel:

    My guess Tweety was trying to say that Obama is wrong casue he’s attacking “down”. I.e. Obama should be above it..

  74. 74
    Nick says:

    @jl:

    Obama’s apparent belief in his post-partisan schtick may produce big problems in the midterms. IMHO, sometimes Obama acts like Democrats and moderate independent voters are all David Broder. Or all read him in complete awe every morning.

    You don’t talk to many Democrats or moderate Independents, do you?

    Yeah, many MANY of them are Broders.

    People are dumb enough to vote Republican or stay home because they’re unemployed. They’re NOT dumb enough to vote Republican or stay home because Obama was nice to Republicans. Maybe Jane Hamsher or David Sirota types, but they don’t count.

  75. 75
    Mike in NC says:

    We’re a really stupid country.

    And this is news to whom?

    The employment picture definitely IS improving, even if at a glacial pace. I started a new full-time job on Monday after 14 frickin’ months out of work (not counting a couple of shitty, no benefits, menial part-time gigs that I despised) and am now on a team with four other people who were in very similar circumstances. Going around the building and talking to others I had known from a previous assignment, they mostly had similar stories to report. Just an FYI…

  76. 76
    Tim I says:

    @BrklynLibrul: Tunch is fantastic -there can never be too much to love.

  77. 77
    ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty says:

    In four of the last five presidential elections, the Democrat got the most votes. (Bush won his first election with fewer popular votes than Gore).

    That’s over a period of twenty years.

    That was with Clinton, who was a confessed womanizer in his first national campaign, and who had failed miserably at HCR and attracted a long list of scandal stories in his second, and then Gore, who was the most boring candidate in decades, and then Obama, a black man with a scary sounding name and a short resume.

    Republican party identification has been steadily shrinking for years. Their candidates have no message right now other than “Scary! Socialism! Iran nukes! Repeal healthcare! Tax and spend!” No program for reform, no appeal to the middle class for things that will make middle classdom better, no high ideals or tangible realization of voter dreams. Basically, nothing but whiny ass sour grapes.

    What the hell is everybody afraid of?

  78. 78
    Nick says:

    @Mike in NC: You HAD some sort of employment during that 14 months?

    I was unemployed for nine months; February through November, and I didn’t get ANYTHING, lived off unemployment and handouts from my family. I’m lucky to be a rich kid…I admit that

  79. 79
    stickler says:

    MinneapolisPipe has it. It’s going to be about turnout, not some gigantic swing against Obama.

    And between the Teabaggery and the drumbeat of GOP defeat (health care now; probably a Damned Liberal confirmed for the Supreme Court), you might be seeing less than stellar turnout numbers for the Republicans. Americans love a winner, and we hate losers. If the GOP bets the house on total intransigence, and don’t actually have anything to show for it, they’re up shit crick come November.

    I’d believe predictions that the Dems will lose some seats this fall: but lose the House or the Senate? Crazy talk. To get people to the polls, the Republicans have to offer something for folks to vote FOR. Hell if I can tell what that is right now.

  80. 80
    ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty says:

    reposting thanks to insane mod filter:

    (you can delete my previous)

    In four of the last five presidential elections, the Democrat got the most votes. (Bush won his first election with fewer popular votes than Gore).

    That’s over a period of twenty years.

    That was with Clinton, who was a confessed womanizer in his first national campaign, and who had failed miserably at HCR and attracted a long list of scandal stories in his second, and then Gore, who was the most boring candidate in decades, and then Obama, a black man with a scary sounding name and a short resume.

    Republican party identification has been steadily shrinking for years. Their candidates have no message right now other than “Scary! SociaIism! Iran nukes! Repeal healthcare! Tax and spend!” No program for reform, no appeal to the middle class for things that will make middle classdom better, no high ideals or tangible realization of voter dreams. Basically, nothing but whiny ass sour grapes.

    What the hell is everybody afraid of?

  81. 81
    jl says:

    On gaining jobs:

    We recently had 1 (one) report that showed a gain in jobs, at a rate that would eliminate the increase in the stock of those unemployed due to the recent recession in about five or six years. If that recent gain in jobs continues at a rock steady pace (which it probably won’t).

    The election is in about six months.

    May be too little to late for the midterms.

    I am not alarmist and hope the damage is limited. The official GOP apparatus looks like it will help out by messing up and clowning itself, and alienating its big money contributers.

  82. 82

    @jl:

    What you say is true to a degree, but we just now leaving the policy and law passage phase of the 2 year election cycle and are entering the electoral stage and we already see some pivot on the WH’s part. And will see a lot more partisan pol theater with dems leading wingers around by their nose. The advantage of having both chambers of congress. Bush and the wingnuts did it and dems will too, by choosing leg actions that will play to our base more, and force wingers to make tough votes that compromise their allegiance with their base versus the general public.

  83. 83
    jl says:

    @Nick:

    I admit that the low infor voters I talk with are in relatively conservative area ‘Reagan Democrat’ California. They may be different than most.

    I hope you are right that the country is full of Broder fans.

    Hard to wrap my head around that concept, though.

    Edit: I am not replying anymore becuase you people are mean libs who keep crossing out everything I say. So, am out of here for the time being.

    Hope all the optimists are right. I really do. I remain a pessimist, but do think if the Dems and Obama get cracking, the damage can be limited.

  84. 84
    PeakVT says:

    All of them get bens based on their highest salary, retiring after 25 years, with full medical and dental bens, sometimes including the spouse.

    I’m not anti-government worker, but that kind of arrangement is entirely unsustainable and the government unions need to recognize it.

  85. 85
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Redshirt:

    Anyone ever think we might be living in Hell right now – this is our damnation?

    On election night in November of 2000, I left a victory party for my boss (a State Supreme Court Justice) relaxed and happy because Florida had just been called for Gore. A coworker was driving us back home (the party was two hours from where I worked) and was crushed because he was a Bush supporter. I fell asleep in the car and after he dropped me off, I went straight to bed. The next morning, I learned about the recount, and five weeks later Bush v. Gore utterly destroyed my faith in the integrity of both the U.S. Supreme Court and American democracy.

    Over the next eight years, I regularly wondered if it were possible that we had actually crashed on the way home and that I was dead and being tormented in Hell.

  86. 86
    mr. whipple says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Congrats on your new gig, Mike.

    Our little company lost(for us) a boatload of money last year, but on the upside I ended up getting a nice refund and paying not a cent in Federal tax, in part due to the $400 Obama tax cut I got.

    Shockingly, the accountant told me about the extra $400 coming thanks to Obama, and then proceeded to tell me Obama is a socialist. LOL.

  87. 87
    Annie says:

    Is anyone seeing lines…or should I stop after glass of wine +2

  88. 88
    Nick says:

    @jl: I’m not optimistic, but for the opposite reason…because I think this country is full of Broder who think despite his best efforts, Obama is a partisan liberal hack who passed bills without Republican support and are made that bipartisanship isn’t working and they’re mad at Obama.

    I’m serious, I’ve heard people complain Obama isn’t bipartisan enough.

  89. 89
    mr. whipple says:

    reposting due to using the ‘wrong’ word.

    @Mike in NC:

    Congrats on your new gig, Mike.

    Our little 2 person company lost(for us) a boatload of money last year, but on the upside I ended up getting a nice refund and paying not a cent in Federal tax, in part due to the $400 Obama tax cut I got.

    Shockingly, the accountant told me about the extra $400 coming thanks to Obama, and then proceeded to tell me Obama is a soshulizt. LOL.

  90. 90
    PeakVT says:

    @Nick: Examine this graph.

  91. 91

    At this point I’m not bummed out, because they are all relying on what has always happened in the past.

    In just the past few years we’ve had unprecedented events in politics; the dumbest VP candidate, a woman and a black man running neck and neck for the Presidential nomination, a legislative triumph which has been in the making fir a century.

    What makes them think the same-old is still operating the way it always has?

  92. 92
    Nick says:

    @PeakVT: What about it? Look at the last three recession and how long it took to recover jobs from them. That should give you a little clue.

  93. 93

    @Annie:

    Is anyone seeing lines…

    Not me. But I’m special :-)

    or should I stop after glass of wine +2

    Nope just
    goin where the water tastes like wine

  94. 94
    Redshirt says:

    I’m not scared of the Republicans necessarily; what does scare me is the seeming complicity from the media to engage in the worst of the mendacious lies and slander coming from the worst of the Republicans.

    It occurs to me in true Obot fashion that Big Profit is the root of most of our problems – a media requiring profit to run will of course veer away from complicated subjects and pander down, always down to the LCD, or, The Biggest Possible Ratings, thus profits, thus continued jobs.

    Moderate the desire for profit – really, why is a health insurance company lusting after profits?! – and I think sanity would quickly return into our system.

  95. 95
    aimai says:

    Werebear (itouch) has a good point. No one could have predicted, in 2006, that in 2008 McCain would think it was a great idea to “suspend” his campaign, put Palin on the ticket, forget how many houses he had, etc…etc…etc… I think the Republicans will continue to do pretty well fucking up the country from their perch in the Senate but I don’t see which of their potential candidates in 2012 won’t be an insane screw up of drastic proportions. And I guess I think if Obama and the Dems can hang in there for two terms the demograpics are simply against the Republicans long term. More of them will die off, or go senile, and the younger generation just isn’t as dumb as the old guys.

    I think we really need to turn our attention, as a party, from trying to appease and attract older, regular, white voters to kissing them goodbye very publicly and working incredibly hard to turn out the rising teenage voters. We haven’t yet seen the good knock on effect from the tacked on changes in college funding. A serious jobs program aimed at college age students along with the health care provisions for them and we will lock up that demographic for the long term. And the long term is what matters.

    aimai

  96. 96
    PeakVT says:

    @Nick: Go read the link I posted and then you will have a clue as to why simply shrugging your shoulders is stupid.

  97. 97
    TrishB says:

    Excuse me if I can’t keep up the optimism. After 12 years with the company, I was laid off last Friday. I am one of 4000 across this particular division of the corporation. They’re an outsourcing operation and they’ve been bleeding customers for the last few years due to the economy. Most of the lost clients went under or were absorbed. I just filed for unemployment for the first time in my life, and due to the opacity of the state unemployment website combined with my company’s legalese “exit packets,” I can’t tell whether unemployment benefits will even be enough to cover my COBRA. Oh, and let’s not talk about the COBRA subsidy expiring 2 days before the lay offs.

    My vote won’t change. Hell, I grew up with the poster “War is not healthy for children or other living things,” in the garage and flower decals on the VWs. But I don’t see hope in the economy after one month of slightly less sucky employment figures.

    The current administration inherited all of this from the previous, but it doesn’t mean they can turn it around overnight. I’m not ready to call it green shoots, yet.

  98. 98
    tc125231 says:

    I hope that Silver and Cook are wrong, although Silver in particular isn’t stupid.

    American behavior over the last 30 years has undeniably been self-absorbed and, for lack of a better term, stupid.

    I blame the Baby Boomers, of which I am one.

    I hope for thne best, but see no reason to be optimistic.

  99. 99
    Annie says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    LOL…I am still seeing lines…and as always you do make my night….Loved the video — To think I used to look like that…

  100. 100
    moja31 says:

    is it really possible to overestimate the stupidity of the american electorate? the beck’s & limbaugh’s of this world have built mini empires rooted in this country’s boundless supply of idiocy, it’s one of the few growth industries left.

    until someone in the press is willing to stand up and point out that these blithering idiots are full of crap, we’re going to keep going down this road. when you live in a country where the notion that a president using a teleprompter= evidence of some great failure as a leader, is treated as a legitimate point, or a teapartier carrying a sign of obama as a witch doctor is considered to be expressing a legitimate policy grievance, is it any wonder that a party as completely devoid of ideas as the GOP is treated as a serious contender in an election?
    when the people who are given the greatest sway by the villagers are those who represent no constituency, & whose primary responsibility is to their own bank account & the cocktail party circuit, you’ve got a real problem.

  101. 101

    @TrishB:

    The current administration inherited all of this from the previous, but it doesn’t mean they can turn it around overnight. I’m not ready to call it green shoots, yet.

    Can’t speak for the other cockeyed optimists, but I certainly won’t call it green shoots. On economic matters, and our current situation, I think the public realizes in a basic way that this was a worse than normal recession, and are not expecting a rebound per usual. Perception of things heading in the right direction is mostly what the public will demand to keep dems in power and that is about the best we can hope for in the short term. If the public doesn’t have that minimal perception of what has happened, and it’s severity, and expects more and turns to the party that caused it in the first place, then we are fucked anyways. Might as well start building your personal life raft to launch on the high seas, cause this country will begin to devour itself from lack of enough brainpower to walk and chew gum at the same time.

  102. 102
    Nick says:

    @PeakVT: Nope sorry. still don’t have a clue…it takes a long time to recover job losses nowadays, we already know that, your link shows that, so I don’t see what your issue is. Maybe explanating instead of linking graphs might help.

  103. 103
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Cacti:

    What are they offering as an alternative? Opposing everything isn’t a platform.

    Unfortunately it may be more effective. Republicans are pushing buttons, every button, trying to find something that will tick off a white person. They’re not asking their base and independents to support policy, that would require more than just soundbites. All the folks like Palin and Gingrich want the people to do is emote, rage against the oppressive Other.

  104. 104
    moja31 says:

    Republican party identification has been steadily shrinking for years. Their candidates have no message right now other than “Scary! SociaIism! Iran nukes! Repeal healthcare! Tax and spend!” No program for reform, no appeal to the middle class for things that will make middle classdom better, no high ideals or tangible realization of voter dreams. Basically, nothing but whiny ass sour grapes.

    What the hell is everybody afraid of?

    i’m going to go with: that enough people actually do find that to be a compelling platform.

  105. 105
    Nick says:

    @moja31:

    i’m going to go with: that enough people actually do find that to be a compelling platform.

    Again, the left in this country continues to underestimate the stupidity of the American people. All you need if 50.1% of the public to find that a compelling platform.

  106. 106
    Xenos says:

    @TrishB: Very sorry to hear the bad news, Trish. I hope you can find something soon. Are you going to stay in Cincy?

  107. 107
    TheDude says:

    @Dr. I. F. Stone:

    My cat’s name is mittens!

    Now be a good boy and go play outside in the traffic.

  108. 108
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @PeakVT: “I’m not anti-government worker, but that kind of arrangement is entirely unsustainable and the government unions need to recognize it.”

    Agreed. When we had a real industrial base with the kind of white and blue collar jobs that came with it, we had the money to pay for public benefits like this. We could afford this when we had unions in the private workforce that guaranteed a fair wage to many workers, which counterbalanced the low paying minimum wage jobs that don’t provide the government with much in the way of taxes.

    This dynamic has changed because our politicians decided to go for immediate gains for themselves and their party by selling off our good paying jobs to the lowest bidder, solely benefiting a relatively small number of rich Americans. They’re killing the ‘cow’ and are wondering why they are getting less and less ‘milk’. While the public sphere union jobholders pay taxes back into the system, these taxes are paid with public money that they have earned. It’s a closed-cycle tax and spend loop and we know that perpetual motion machines don’t exist. We need money moving in the private jobs sphere to fund their jobs via taxes and fees, and frankly the money isn’t there because so much of it has been sucked up in the Great Bank Robbery perpetrated by The Masters of the Universe and their paid minions.

    Our politicians.

    While we have watched the unions die off in the private workforce, with those jobs being replaced with low paying minimum+ wage jobs, the public workforce unions got stronger (see the California Prison Guard union for a great example of this) and exacted more and better benefits/pay for themselves. Thus the costs of funding the public jobs that are provided by the local, county, state and federal entities have sharply gone up when compared to the wages of everyone else out there in the private job sector.

    For too long our government has catered to the rich and their businesses that made them that way, all the while paying lip service to the real issues that the people of our country are facing. While I find the racist and secessionist sentiment of the raging right and teabaggers out there disgusting, I can understand why many of them are legitimately pissed off at our government. They are seeing the same thing I am seeing it’s just that they are responding differently to it because they believe that they have been poorly served by their representatives and party (this applies to both sides). That their anger is fed by lies and distortions doesn’t really matter, they’re pissed and that is that. Pissed people are nearly impossible to reason with and we are seeing that right now.

    If people have good jobs and are earning a good income they will not bitch as loudly about things like immigration and government expenditures because they will be too busy enjoying the fruits of their labor. But right now, as I see it, government jobs are the jobs people are aiming for because the private job market flat out sucks when it comes to earning a living. People with half a brain can see that this trend is unsustainable unless we have a strong, well-paid private workforce to fund it. Add illegal immigration and the jobs they hold (or as some see it, deny Americans the right to) to the mix and you have nitroglycerin just waiting to be jarred.

    A day of reckoning is coming on these issues and there will be an angry, deafening uproar when it arrives. Our representative government sold out our private workforce solely to enrich themselves and their rich buddies at the expense ourselves and the security and stability of our nation. In doing so they have divided our nation by having everyone engage in a giant finger-pointing game of ‘Whodidit’ that nobody is going to win. We are in a mess and people know it. The problem is that people differ on how we got here so now there is an ongoing struggle for control of the narrative that is further dividing our country.

    I hate being pessimistic about things but I do not see this ending well despite what Obama and the Democrats are trying to accomplish. No, they are not 100% right on the issues they have faced and dealt with (or not), but IMO they are the only option we have right now.

  109. 109
    IronyAbounds says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Average of $55,000?? My wife has taught for over 30 years and is barely making over $50k a year and can expect a reduction of around 5% for the next school year. Of course we live in Arizona, which is run by anti-public education zealots.

  110. 110
    PaulW says:

    The only thing I can hope for before the November election is that the Republicans decide to go full-tilt insane and pull a government shutdown before the election, just so Obama can finally point to them and say “I won’t get anything done if you vote them back into power. With the economy still wobbly and job growth a must, a gridlocked government is the last thing we need.”

    To everyone reading this blog, please for the love of God tell everyone in your city/county/state to NOT vote Republican.

  111. 111
    Comrade Luke says:

    – the health care debate took way longer than anyone anticipated, was an ugly spectacle, and in the end resulted in a bill that a) disproportionally targets non-voters and b) has several major features that don’t even kick in until after the election (dumbasses)

    – the housing crisis isn’t over yet, and instead of helping actual homeowners the focus has been on propping up the financial institutions behind the whole fiasco to begin with. Implementing a comprehensive cramdown program would do a world of good to help homeowners, ie voters

    – the fed/administration seems focused on inflation control over job creation

    – the people responsible for the financial crisis are still getting obscene, record pay

    And that’s aside from everything else re: incumbent party always loses seats, the non-liberal media, the desire for a horse race, etc.

    Many of the “accomplishments” of this administration have not helped voters. Voters have been watching a buch of politicians argue about minutiae while they’re still losing jobs and hearing nothing coming from Washington indicating that help is on the way.

    It’s just that simple.

  112. 112
    bjkeefe says:

    I can haz John Cole take over for Tim Kaine, plz?

  113. 113
    Brian J says:

    Simply because our margins are so large right now, it’s very likely, or pertains certain, that we will lose seats in November. The question is, will we lose 15, or 35, or even 55?

    We’re not even in August yet, not even close, and if we were, we’d still have plenty of time to turn things around. Run candidates in every potentially viable race, send Obama everywhere, raise as much money as possible, and run proudly on what has been accomplished and what will be accomplished. The results will probably be a lot more pleasant than some are now predicting.

  114. 114
    Mike says:

    “Voters have been watching a buch of politicians argue about minutiae while they’re still losing jobs and hearing nothing coming from Washington indicating that help is on the way.”

    And exactly what do they want? If we did new deal stuff, they’d be screaming socailism… Tax cuts won’t do anything, so what can be done?

    The fact is, the government is powerless at this point. There is too much debt to buy jobs like we did in the 1930’s, and there is no real way to coax businesses to actually hire. There actually is no solution to the problem, but I think you framed the situation nicely.

    I wonder what could be said or done to say that help is on the way… Even St. Ronnie (to the right) wasn’t able to do it during his recession… Sure, we can talk about the economy, but what is there to say?

    They will need to get creative in Washington… something they aren’t good at. It would be nice if Dems went on the offense once in awhile, too…

  115. 115
    Mike says:

    I was very optimistic about November until I read the Gallup poll that said that voters blamed Dems for the violence against them. That pretty much confirmed that we are living in bizarro world, and normal political rules do not apply.

    The country will snap out of it at some point, I’m sure, but the question is when… it may be too to save November.

  116. 116
    Splitting Image says:

    Feeling down, John?

    This will cheer you up. It’s electoral-vote.com’s prediction for the 2004 election, dated May 25, 2004.

    Kerry 320, Bush 218

    I’m surprised Tweety didn’t ask W. to concede on the spot.

    I do think the Republicans can gain seats (and most likely will), but they’ll need a united message to make serious inroads. The message they’d like to rally around is abolishing Social Security and Medicare, which approximately 7% of Americans want to see cut.

  117. 117
    mai naem says:

    All I try to do is persuade 10 people who normally wouldn’t vote to go out and vote. Obviously, I try and pick people who I feel will vote for my side. If everybody(except for Stone,BOB and Makewi) on BJ and other leftie blogs out there does that, the Dems will maintain decent majorities.

    I think the Obama people doing a super kick ass financial regulatory piece would help a lot. And appoint a true blue liberal to the USSC to pump the base up. Turn Don Blankenship into the devil du jour and bang away at that for a couple of months.

  118. 118
    Nick says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    Many of the “accomplishments” of this administration have not helped voters. Voters have been watching a buch of politicians argue about minutiae while they’re still losing jobs and hearing nothing coming from Washington indicating that help is on the way.

    I see you bought the media meme. It is OUR job as part of the coalition in power to show them help IS on the way.

  119. 119
    NobodySpecial says:

    IIRC, don’t teachers not get Social Security, which is part of the reason they HAVE those ‘bennies’?

  120. 120
    ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty says:

    I think we really need to turn our attention, as a party, from trying to appease and attract older, regular, white voters to kissing them goodbye very publicly and working incredibly hard to turn out the rising teenage voters.

    I am not absolutely sure, it’s a Friday and all, but this must rank among the ten stupidest things I have ever seen said on this blog.

    Older voters are entitlement voters. If you can’t win entitlement voters against the Republicans, you may as well pack it in.

    Jesus H. Fucking Christ.

  121. 121
    RadioOne says:

    As I see it, Charlie Cook got his post as the gold standard of poll analysis because his polling analysis invariably reflects the CW, which obviously thinks the GOP will get a similar landslide victory like they did in 1994. I mean, he thought the GOP would retain control of congress in 2006, in line with most of the pundits at the time.

    I tend to think Nate Silver is overly pessimistic, particularly on the Senate races, but I respect him. Both Cook and Silver’s analysis rely on insanely depressing Democratic voter turnout this year. Let’s hope the Democratic base shows a little more enthusiasm and turn out than the pundits predict this year.

  122. 122
    wilfred says:

    we’ve just signed a nuclear arms reduction treaty and re-examined our use of military weapons and we are making great progress on the global stage.

    Progress on the global stage? C’mon, John, that sounds like an audition for the Sunday talk shows. As for the treaty:

    Under the treaty, if ratified, each side within seven years would be barred from deploying more than 1,550 strategic warheads or 700 launchers. Because of counting rules and past reductions, neither side would have to eliminate large numbers of weapons to meet the new limits. But the treaty re-establishes an inspection regime that lapsed in December and could serve as a foundation for deeper reductions later.

    That’s like a 1000lb man losing 50 of them, or a civil militia giving up some of its ammunition. Besides, the cold war is over and there was zero probability that the US and the Commies would go to fail safe.

    As for ‘re-examining our use of military weapons’ – what does that even mean? It certainly can’t mean the hundreds of thousands of tons of ordnance we routinely pass out to friends and allies, nor the treaty to ban the use of land mines, which the Obama Administration refused to sign – along with other peace loving nations like China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar and Russia.

    Critical thinking, please.

  123. 123
    Nick says:

    @ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty:

    Older voters are entitlement voters. If you can’t win entitlement voters against the Republicans, you may as well pack it in.

    The Republicans have won these voters for the last decade. Even in 2006 and 2008. Seniors was the ONLY demographic to vote for McCain.

  124. 124
    Nick says:

    @wilfred: Good God man, do you live in the same fucking country like the rest of us? Do you not look around and see the mentally unstable militaristic society we live in? Reducing the nuclear arsenal in this country is probably one of the most radical thing one can do in a country that glorifies war and violence.

    I think you’re the one who needs a little critical thinking.

  125. 125
    Nick says:

    @Mike:

    I was very optimistic about November until I read the Gallup poll that said that voters blamed Dems for the violence against them. That pretty much confirmed that we are living in bizarro world, and normal political rules do not apply.

    Based on people I talk to, and I’ve talked to a lot, I think we need to explore the possibility that the enthusiasm gap has nothing to do with legislation or bank bailouts or the public option or whatever, but maybe the droves of politically uninterested people who got involved in 2008 and saw the town halls, tea parties, Sarah Palin, polls about healthcare, etc., the media coverage, the political process and said “oh right, this is why I’m not interested in politics” and just tuned out.

    These people only got involved in 2008 because Obama became like American Idol or whatever entertainment thing is the in thing this week.

  126. 126
    wilfred says:

    All the more reason to move towards total nuclear disarmament, or unilateral disarmament – which I would support, certainly. The upcoming conference will be a good indicator of politics versus meaningful effort/ethics.

  127. 127

    @Nick:

    Good God man, do you live in the same fucking country like the rest of us

    As a matter of fact, he doesn’t. I guess wilfred is somewhere now in the ME currently, but used to broadcast his die America diatribes from Brazil, I think. Our resident communist muslim Ex Pat American.

    Makes good points interspersed with the overdone kind. That about sum it up wilfred?

  128. 128
    ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty says:

    @Nick:

    So that’s why George Bush had such great success with his proposed scheme to privatize Social Security? Actually, if you remember, that was the beginning of his slide into the approval toilet.

    Those older voters are entitlement voters. They are Social Security and Medicare voters. Programs that the GOP has been committed to destroying for goddam decades.

    If the Democratic Party cannot sell itself to these voters, we may as well pack it in. Seriously. And this demographic is growing, not shrinking …. yet GOP party identification is shrinking in the US, down over 25% over a few years as of late last year.

    Maybe older Republicans turn out more than older Democrats do, I don’t know. Maybe the well to do older voters are more politically active than the older union voters and blue collar voters. Maybe it’s a geographical thing, but the idea that Dems should stop courting this bloc of voters is just nuts. Maybe Dems should stand up for the entitlement programs that they have created …. perhaps like Barack Obama did in his recent campaign, which he seemed to win rather handily?

    So let’s see. The sales pitch to younger voters would be, so long to the old farts! You younger folks, vote for us so that you can be assured of having the entitlements that your grandparents now hate us for!

    It must be the Friday night drinking that brings this on. Since I am not drinking myself ……

  129. 129
    Comrade Luke says:

    @Nick:

    I see you bought the media meme. It is OUR job as part of the coalition in power to show them help IS on the way.

    We told them that in ’08 and everything has gotten worse for them.

    Mainstream, low information voters aren’t as patient as we are.

  130. 130
    kay says:

    @wilfred:

    I actually think that is a gut issue for Obama, in a way that health care never was. I think he has a clear goal, and he intends to pursue that. I don’t think he views it as “political”, in a domestic sense, so not messy and inevitably compromised, but a clear choice, right or wrong. He seems to think of this as truly global, so perhaps doesn’t seek or require the approval of American media pundits and assorted idiots.

    He’s assured and confident and definitive talking about it, and quite passionate ( as passionate as a basically reserved person gets, that is). I had the feeling listening to him that this is his.

    It’s been interesting to watch.

  131. 131
    Nick says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    We told them that in ‘08 and everything has gotten worse for them. Mainstream, low information voters aren’t as patient as we are.

    Has it gotten worse for them…really? Or is that what they’re being told to believe. I know someone who was unemployed and living at home a year and a half ago and now has a new job, benefits and is buying a house (thanks to the homeowners tax credit)…and guess what? He’s complaining about “how awful everything has been since Obama took office.” Watching Fox, ABC and CNN will do that to you.

    I think if most people in this country look around, they’ll realize we’re in a hell of a lot better situation now than we were in November, 2008…but that would be liberal bias.

  132. 132
    Nick says:

    @ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty:

    So that’s why George Bush had such great success with his proposed scheme to privatize Social Security? Actually, if you remember, that was the beginning of his slide into the approval toilet.

    and yet they voted for the party and the man who wanted to try privatizing Social Security again.

  133. 133
    slag says:

    We were just talking about this very topic over dinner. There is no satisfying answer that I can find. It’s like we have separate realities happening simultaneously and more people live in the reality in which Republicans actually make sense. It’s been this way for years now and seems to be getting worse. I can only assume we’re living in a quantum physicists dream world.

  134. 134
    kay says:

    @ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty:

    I think she was just talking about demographics. Obama has really high approval ratings with 18 to 29 year olds and Hispanics. The Hispanic number gets ignored (as it did during the health care debate, amazingly, because that group favored reform over nearly any other). I don’t know why this much-sought after group of voters is now suddenly and completely unimportant, but that’s the vagaries of punditry, I guess.

    I think that was her only point, that perhaps seeking to persuade older voters, who are his worst demographic, was not a great get out the vote strategy, short term. I don’t think she wants to abandon anyone over 50.

  135. 135
    Comrade Luke says:

    @Nick:

    Well maybe it hasn’t gotten worse for people so much as it’s gotten bad for more overall? Combine that with everyone in DC patting themselves on the back and people get disgusted.

    I don’t think there’s much that can be done in today’s world, unfortunately. Republicans own the narrative even when they’re not in power (isn’t owning the narrative pretty much being in power?), and Democrats try to thread the needle between appearing to help people while avoiding pissing off their donors.

    I don’t know what to do.

  136. 136
    ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty says:

    @kay:

    Uh, if I am not mistaken, the recent election had the highest turnout percentage since 1968. Obama’s popular total was by far the largest number of votes ever cast for a presidential candidate.

  137. 137
    ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty says:

    Republicans own the narrative even when they’re not in power

    They dominate it on cable tv, which is watched by a very small percentage of voters. But that doesn’t translate into votes necessarily.

    If the “narrative” is crazy talk, this doesn’t necessarily work for them. Witness what happened to the McCain campaign after the convention and Sarah Palin’s addition to the ticket. Look at all the attention she got. It cost them a helluva lot of votes.

  138. 138
    kay says:

    @slag:

    It’s been a real assault, though. It’s just unrelenting, and it started the moment he took office.

    I was around and paying attention for Clinton. It’s worse, because there aren’t any moderate Republicans left.

    Newt Gingrich, wild-eyed partisan pathological liar, is now the grown up in that Party. Karl Rove is starting to look like a model of restraint. It’s been pretty incredible. A wild ride. They’ve thrown everything at him, and every day they just turn up the volume.

  139. 139
    Nick says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    I don’t know what to do.

    Bitch on a blog, that should do the trick, or you could fight back, but why do that when you can bitch on a blog.

    I’d say defend us, but you don’t seem to think anyone did anything good this past year to defend. Nevermind the fact that we went from losing nearly three quarter a million jobs to creating them in less than a year and got passed a healthcare bill seven administrations have failed at trying to get passed in better economic and political situations.

    With a base as negative and cynical as the Democratic base, is it any wonder they can’t control a narrative?

  140. 140
    Nick says:

    @ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty:

    They dominate it on cable tv, which is watched by a very small percentage of voters

    They dominate it on network news, radio, and the internet too.

  141. 141
    kay says:

    @ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty:

    They worked really hard with just those demographics I mentioned, though. Ohio State had a dedicated full-time organizer. One school. We had a periodically appearing Hispanic voter reach -out person here, and there’s 31,000 people in this county, probably 15% of whom are Hispanics.
    They just worked their asses off. I’ve never seen anything like it. I don’t think they can replicate that singular Obama-centered focus for a midterm. It’s just a different deal.

  142. 142
    Comrade Luke says:

    @Nick:

    Clap louder, it might someday work.

  143. 143
    Nick says:

    @Comrade Luke:clapping louder has worked a lot better in the past than excessive whining thank you very much, but keep being a whiny purist baby, it worked wonders in 1980 and 2000.

    You damn right I’m going to clap louder. It works for the Republicans in case you haven’t noticed.

  144. 144
    ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty says:

    @Nick:

    What’s the audience total for cable and network news?

    If it is 3% of the population, I’ll buy the next round.

  145. 145
    Nick says:

    @ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty: Prime Time Cable, about 7-8 million, about 2.5%-3% of the population, about 6%-7% of the total voting population.

    more than half of that is Fox alone.

    Network News? About 20 million….7% of the population, about 18% of the total voting population.

  146. 146
    Um Yeah says:

    Better than super duper sucky is still super sucky.

    A fairly optimistic estimate of what unemployment will be around election time is somewhere around what 8%?

    By which time how many people’s unemployment benefit will run out?

    If the democrats decide to rest on their laurels they deserve to lose.

    They need a real jobs bill not 15 billion dollars worth of tax credits.

  147. 147
    Tenzil Kem says:

    @Nick:

    The teabaggers SAY they’re going to show up now. Which is why it’s so important to force GOP candidates to say if they back a full repeal of HCR, what country Obama was born in, and any and every other wingnut article of faith. If they endorse those things, the handful of remaining sane Republicans stay home. If they don’t, the teabaggers fall away.

  148. 148
    TrishB says:

    @Xenos: Yes, the goal would to be to stay in this area, no matter how much upstate NY and MA call me back. My parents will need help in a few years, and I will be the one dealing with all that entails. Hell, the first job offer I had was in Las Vegas. I couldn’t find a fit worse than that for my personality.

    Excuse me while I go complete the country song that became my life last week, while I take my newly blind, diabetic dog for a walk. There’d be a smiley here, but it’s BJ after all, and Pepper is barking at the hutch, not the door. Damn good thing she’s cute.

  149. 149
    Nick says:

    @Um Yeah: A real jobs bill like what? You do know that the $15 billion in tax credits was one piece of a larger jobs bill, right?

    I mean if you’re expecting a $1.5 trillion WPA (which didn’t even pass Congress in the 1930s), I think they’re kidding yourself and you’re kidding yourself if you think that’s going to make the Democrats’ electoral position better…look how cynical people are about Census jobs.

  150. 150
    someguy says:

    With a base as negative and cynical as the Democratic base, is it any wonder they can’t control a narrative?

    And that’s the real problem here, is not being able to control the narrative. And other theories of socio linguistics.

    If only we were better at narrative control we wouldn’t be having this discussion. /headshaking

  151. 151
    ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty says:

    @Nick:

    The cable figures sound right. The network news figure sounds … wrong. 20m people watch network news?

    I would like to know where they are getting that from. I don’t know anyone who watches those shows, and I mean anyone, old, young, man, woman, or child. I don’t know anyone who could name two network anchors. And — hold onto your hat — I actually know a lot of people. Actual live humans. With tv sets and everything.

  152. 152
    Nick says:

    @ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty: Yep, 19-20 million as of 2009; 7.3 million on NBC, 6.8 Million on super conservative ABC who I used to work, so I know the ratings, and 5.4 million on CBS.

    http://bungalowbillscw.blogspo.....w-low.html

  153. 153
    Um Yeah says:

    @Nick:

    What happened to the rest of those jobs bills BTW?

    In all seriousness, I haven’t heard much of anything and I tend to keep on top of these things.

  154. 154
    Nick says:

    @Um Yeah: The Senate’s been in recess for two weeks, that’s why you haven’t heard anything about it.

  155. 155
    Nick says:

    @someguy: In order to control a narrative and a message, you must first have faith in it, and look around you, we’re not liberal enough or we’re too liberal and no one has any faith in the agenda…and to say you have faith in the agenda means you’re an Obamabot or your blind or you’re “clapping louder”

  156. 156
    Um Yeah says:

    @Nick:

    Ugh.

    One would think, you know as a supposedly rational person there would be some kind of general idea of what they had planned. You know seeing as step 1 passed before they went on vacation, besides it as not as if strategery stopped just because they aren’t in session.

  157. 157
    ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty says:

    @Nick:

    { headdesk }

  158. 158
    Little Dreamer says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that political conversations of recent years are nothing more than ratfucking missions.

    I’m going into lurking mode, I may be back posting one day, or I may just decide to forget the blog addresses of all these sites that I’ve been visiting for so long and turn my attention to something that makes actual sense.

  159. 159
    ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    Squeak. Squeak.

  160. 160
    Boston Yankee says:

    A few teabaggers will have disappeared by 2012 judging from the numerous photos indicating their age. These remaining 25 million hardcore bags are, in the final analysis, angry, misinformed hot air bags. Remember, the US has a population of over 300 million, probably less after the baggies refuse to send in their census forms. This group is a bunch of losers, egged on by the country club crowd, who would never personally associate with any of them. In general, it seems most consider them to be clueless morons.

    Now some places, Arizona and Georgia, love clueless morons. But these places cannot elect a president or elect enough yahoos to control the congress. They can only screw the people unfortunate enough to find themselves living in Arizona and Georgia. And you haven’t been fucked until you get to be represented in the Senate by either J.D. or our national treasure, John McCain.

  161. 161
    ds says:

    I’ve accepted that this country is crazy as hell, and will happily elect the most vicious, insane right wing cranks when given the chance.

    The Republicans started two unpopular wars, drove the country into massive debt, and presided over the worst financial crisis since they Great Depression and they still won 45% of the vote in 2008.

    The stock market had tanked, the country was losing a million jobs a month, and nearly half the country thought it was still a good idea to send the Republicans back to office. And that was with Sarah Palin on the ticket!

    Given that, it was obvious from the beginning that the triumphalism was misplaced, and that the Dems only had a short window of opportunity to achieve their agenda.

    If the Dems can retain a one vote majority in the House, we can call it a victory, because at the very least we can spare the country 2 years of government shutdowns, baseless scandals, Obenis investigations, and impeachment proceedings.

    Clinton was able to survive that stuff because we were in an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity. The situation today is much more volatile, and it’s not clear that Obama can withstand the endless torrent of bullshit that will flow his way.

    If you think the media is bad now, wait until they become fawning courtiers of Speaker John Boehner.

  162. 162
    Nick says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that political conversations of recent years are nothing more than ratfucking missions.I’m going into lurking mode, I may be back posting one day, or I may just decide to forget the blog addresses of all these sites that I’ve been visiting for so long and turn my attention to something that makes actual sense.

    And this, my dear friends, is why there’s an enthusiasm gap.

  163. 163
    Alex says:

    Are they going to lose seats? Well, I don’t see how they can gain them, even if you add the odd LA-2 or whatever. But I look around, and I see a re-energized party and base, and Republican Party going totally bonkers, and an economy that’s slowly but surely improving. Add a financial reform bill to the mix and I can’t see more than -30 in the House and -4 or 5 in the Senate.

    Also, when the Dems have such a huge majority, they can afford to cut the fat. If the likes of Glenn Nye, Lincoln Davis, and Jim Matheson get kicked out, will anyone even notice the difference?

  164. 164
    Nick says:

    @Alex:

    Also, when the Dems have such a huge majority, they can afford to cut the fat. If the likes of Glenn Nye, Lincoln Davis, and Jim Matheson get kicked out, will anyone even notice the difference?

    Considering they all have over 80% Democratic voting records, you bet you will…when it comes time for budget battles, appropriations bills, and committee assignments.

  165. 165
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    This is exactly what ‘they’ want you to do, pull away from the fray. One less voice for ‘them’ to contend with, one less voice that leans the way of the President. I have been watching the blackwaterdog bit over at the GoS because it’s the same thing there. Just about anyone who has any kind thing to say about Obama is harassed for being a blind sycophant or paid White House operative. I hope blackwaterdog stays and stares the haters down.

    It’s all or nothing with these assholes, you’re either with them or against them. You can’t praise the President because doing so helps blind the masses to the ‘truth’ of the reality that they are pushing. That any praise or pictures that place Obama in a positive light are nothing more than propaganda unless you also mention all of the horrors! he has perpetrated on the masses.

    Of course their pet peeves/causes are not propaganda, right? It’s as if you can’t like Obama a bit because he isn’t pure enough. Fuck them with a barnacle-encrusted rusty anchor. While I don’t agree with Obama on everything he has (or has not) done I still like the fact that it is he and not Walnuts who is running (or ruining!) the country.

    Let the whiners whine all they want, I couldn’t care less about them and their purity.

  166. 166
    Alex says:

    The reason why liberals have a tougher time holding together coalitions is because we have self-awareness, higher ideals, and human decency in ways that Republicans don’t. And yay us, but that doesn’t mean jack when it comes to deciding who’s going to run the country. When I see Taibbi or Glenn go off on one of their screeds, I feel like taking them by the throat and saying “This isn’t a game. No one’s going to give a damn about your morals when conservatives take control of this country.” Sometimes, you’ve got to play the game before you can change the rules, and the rules here are no mercy. And if liberals maintain power for the next 40 years, as conservatives did from 1969-2008, then we can talk about purity and splitting up marriages of necessity.

  167. 167
    ruemara says:

    I think Americans are deeply, genetically, fucking handmade by deity as the stupidest sacks of flesh to ever drool while they poke themselves in an eye with a sharp stick. I just doubt they are *that* stupid, because self preservation keeps our IQs just about room temperature. Survival doesn’t vote wingnutpublican.

  168. 168
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    Just a couple of questions:

    – Are the Teabaggers going to run their own candidates, or have they all really been co-opted by the Republicans?

    – When in the election process do we find this out?

    – If Teabaggers/Conservatives run, where does that leave the Republicans?

    I got to say that from an outsider’s point of view, US politics is astounding.

    What Somalia is to economics, the US is to democracy.

  169. 169
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Nick:

    Why does that matter if I still exercise my voice at the ballot box?

    Several people on this thread have talked about how crazy the political atmosphere in this country is right now. I agree. It’s insane and I’m taking steps to preserve some of my sanity so that when it is time to exercise my voice at the ballot box, I’m not sitting in some mental institution on lithium and unable to cognate what event is taking place that day.

  170. 170
    ds says:

    – Are the Teabaggers going to run their own candidates, or have they all really been co-opted by the Republicans?
    – When in the election process do we find this out?
    – If Teabaggers/Conservatives run, where does that leave the Republicans?

    The teabaggers are just the Republican base, with a few libertarians and eccentrics thrown in. They’re not a new movement.

    They’ll probably purge out any Republicans in the primary who show signs of moderation, but they’re not going to run on their own.

  171. 171
    ds says:

    Several people on this thread have talked about how crazy the political atmosphere in this country is right now. I agree. It’s insane and I’m taking steps to preserve some of my sanity so that when it is time to exercise my voice at the ballot box, I’m not sitting in some mental institution on lithium and unable to cognate what event is taking place that day.

    It’s not that crazy. The Repubs were able to gin up a crazed backlash against a moderate Southern white guy riding high on the “Peace Dividend.”

    1994 was a shock. This isn’t.

    What did Dems think would happen to a black guy with a funny name governing during the worst downturn since the Great Depression?

    The people who believe Obama is a socialist dictator believed that Clinton was going to suspend the Constitution and lock up dissidents.

  172. 172
    ds says:

    Several people on this thread have talked about how crazy the political atmosphere in this country is right now. I agree. It’s insane and I’m taking steps to preserve some of my sanity so that when it is time to exercise my voice at the ballot box, I’m not sitting in some mental institution on lithium and unable to cognate what event is taking place that day.

    It’s not that crazy. The Repubs were able to gin up a crazed backlash against a moderate Southern white guy riding high on the “Peace Dividend.”

    1994 was a shock. This isn’t.

    What did Dems think would happen to a black guy with a funny name governing during the worst downturn since the Great Depression?

    The people who believe Obama is a soc.ialist dictator believed that Clinton was going to suspend the Constitution and lock up dissidents.

  173. 173
    Ravi J says:

    George S is actually doing a great service by bringing up Palin before potus. Potus is not going to keep quiet. He will put her in her place, whilest also reminding umrika what a dumbass she is.

  174. 174
    Little Dreamer says:

    @ds:

    1994 was a shock. This isn’t.

    Really? In 1994, I was awaiting the birth of a child and I was feeling pretty good about the prospects for that child’s future. I no longer feel that way at all.

  175. 175
    Little Dreamer says:

    @ds:
    __

    What did Dems think would happen to a black guy with a funny name governing during after the worst downturn since the Great Depression?

    Yeah, I got your number.

  176. 176
    ds says:

    @Ravi J:

    Palin doesn’t really worry me for 2012. But if Obama is reelected, she could be an easy favorite to win the presidency in 2016.

    She’s smarter and more coherent than Bush was in 2000. After 8 years of Democratic rule, the press is going to be viciously and absurdly attacking whoever the Democratic candidate is à la Gore, and start pumping the hell out of her.

  177. 177
    Little Dreamer says:

    @ds:

    She’s smarter and more coherent than Bush was in 2000.

    Says who?

  178. 178
    ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty says:

    @ds:

    start pumping the hell out of her.

    Here we go with the sleaze.

    But anyway, smarter than Bush? That’s taking “damning with faint praise” to a whole new level ……

  179. 179
    ds says:

    Really? In 1994, I was awaiting the birth of a child and I was feeling pretty good about the prospects for that child’s future. I no longer feel that way at all.

    In 1994 crazed right wing radicals took over an entire branch of the government. The same thing happened in 2000. And at the time, things were going pretty well with the country.

    It’s easy to understand how dangerous individuals can gain power during bad times. We’ve seen that happen all throughout history. What’s shocking is when it happens during good times.

  180. 180
    ds says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    Compare the Palin-Biden debate with the Bush-Gore debates.

    She’s quicker on her feet, and much less prone to errors.

    If Bush was ever subjected to the intense scrutiny that Palin was, he would have had his Katie Couric interview moments, and probably much worse.

    He was shockingly ignorant of public affairs. At the time of the election, he wasn’t aware that there was a difference between Medicare and Medicaid, even though Medicare Part D was part of his platform.

  181. 181
    Little Dreamer says:

    @ds:

    No, during good times, things are still hopeful, and the majority sees the good that is happening.

    When things are not going so well, it becomes a slope to slide down. Mental depression follows from economic depression.

    You might think it’s more shocking when things are going well, but the fact is, more crazy coming towards us when we’re stuck in bad conditions is more dangerous.

  182. 182
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    So I am thinking I will need to ramp my enthusiasm/efforts/donations for 2010 back up to something approaching 2008 election levels. It’s that important…or so it seems to me.

    Wonder if John will put up a generic ActBlue page, or pages for selected candidates, so we can feel focused?

  183. 183
    Little Dreamer says:

    @ds:

    You think Palin subjecting herself to a bunch of talking points that she used over and over is smarter tactics?

    Ummm, no, she didn’t really show off much skill during that debate, I’m sorry.

    The fact that you have to compare her to GWB shows me what your agenda is. You know, it would be really nice if we could start electing people with some real knowledge, people who know how to think, and talk – and Obama is someone who actually belongs on that list, unlike Palin and Bush Jr. But, you go ahead and push the meme that he’s a black man with a funny name, and talk about how you think Palin might be in a position to do some real damage. You’re insane.

  184. 184
    mclaren says:

    …I have got to say — I can not figure out why.

    From the 1996 Darwin awards:

    Polish farmer Krystof Azninski…30, had been drinking with friends when it was suggested they strip naked and play some `men’s games.’ Initially they hit each other over the head with frozen turnips, but then one man upped the ante by seizing a chainsaw and cutting off the end of his foot. Not to be outdone, Azninski grabbed the saw and, shouting `Watch this then,’ he swung at his own head and chopped it off.

    Any questions?

  185. 185
    Xenos says:

    @ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty: It is more a matter of praising with faint damns.

  186. 186
    bob h says:

    What’s even worse is that we propose to turn control back to the people who dug the hole in the first place.

  187. 187
    Lisa K. says:

    We’re a really stupid country.

    Yes, we are. We are a stupid, easily distracted bunch with the attention span of less than a second. Just eighteen months ago George Bush had a 25% approval rating, and the exit of him and his administration could not come quickly enough for the vast majority of voters. Now, it seems they are all pining again for the days of war and impending financial collapse. Whatever. There is no control for idiocy.

    In order to avoid going insane, I am simply going to adopt the attitude that the country deserves the people they elect, and if they want to elect Palin clones, more power to ’em.

  188. 188
    Lisa K. says:

    Why are there strikethroughs through half of all the comments here…?

  189. 189
    El Cid says:

    With the solid 27% of ultra-rightwing crazy, in any election, all they need do is add another 25% (for a nice round number) for victory.

    On the other hand, maybe it should be remembered that these approval and enthusiasm polls (upon which Nate Silver in part depends) often have huge regional variability, with Obama & Dem’s much more unpopular in the South than anywhere else.

  190. 190
    Lisa K. says:

    I love Nate, but he has been kind of milquetoasty on the issue. Essentially he says the Dems could lose 20 seats, or they could lose 50 seats. Whatever, Nate. I could flip a coin and come up with those predictions.

  191. 191
    doug r says:

    @Turgidson:
    I think that’s part of the problem. We are thinking so far ahead and “accepting” that the Wurlitzer is going to say this. We have to speak out and call bullshit when it happens.
    OFF-CYCLE ELECTIONS ALWAYS LOOSE SEATS FOR THE GOVERNING PARTY. IT’S NEWS WHEN IT DOESN’T HAPPEN.

  192. 192
    Nick says:

    @doug r:

    OFF-CYCLE ELECTIONS ALWAYS LOOSE SEATS FOR THE GOVERNING PARTY. IT’S NEWS WHEN IT DOESN’T HAPPEN.

    It doesn’t always cause loss of government though, which is what we’re discussing now, the real likelihood of a Republican majority next year.

    And our side is made up of only whiny little petulant jerkoffs like Paul Rosenberg, Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald who think we all deserve to lose because, i dunno, Obama didn’t do some stupid thing they wanted.

  193. 193
    gabecker says:

    how do you know they’re not getting bj’s?

  194. 194

    […] take this recent example from John Cole: When the President was elected and this congress took office, we were losing over half a million […]

  195. 195

    […] Bob Cesca’s post here. It’s very funny. John Cole’s original piece is here, so read that. Here are the nuts and bolts from Cole’s piece. In the past year and a half, […]

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  1. […] Bob Cesca’s post here. It’s very funny. John Cole’s original piece is here, so read that. Here are the nuts and bolts from Cole’s piece. In the past year and a half, […]

  2. […] take this recent example from John Cole: When the President was elected and this congress took office, we were losing over half a million […]

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