Open Thread: Don’t Mourn, GOTV!

So, fellow progressives, stop thinking about suicide or moving abroad. Want to feel better? Eat a sour grape, then do something immediately, now, today. Figure out what you can do to help rescue the country — join something, send a little money to some group, call somewhere and offer to volunteer, find a politician you like at the local level and start helping him or her to move up.
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Think about how you can lend a hand to the amazing myriad efforts that will promptly break out to help the country recover from what it has done to itself. Now is the time. Don’t mourn, organize. — Molly Ivins






65 replies
  1. 1
    Martin says:

    More on possible cell-phone biases in the polls:

    Who are these cell phone-only people? According to the National Center for Health Statistics:
    The young: 49 percent of those aged 25-29, and 38 percent of those aged 18-24.
    The less educated: 25 percent of those with high school educations or less, the most wireless group.
    Students: 29 percent of people who go to school.
    Hispanics: 30 percent, the most wireless of any race or ethnicity, with African-Americans at 25 percent and non-Hispanic whites at 21 percent.
    The poor: 36 percent.
    Renters, 43 percent.
    Many public polls this election season do include calls to cell phone-only voters, including McClatchy-Marist polls. However, some don’t, including automated surveys, such as the Rasmussen poll, that use computer-generated dialing and interviews.

    Those are larger percentages than I would have guessed, but there simply aren’t many polls including cell-phones.

  2. 2
    lamh32 says:

    I thought this post from Ambinder was interesting, it’s kinda has to do with telling Dems to stop the mourning.

    Democrats Should Stop Blaming the ‘Narrative’

    In their election pre-mortems, Democrats and others blame President Obama and his White House team for “losing the narrative.” I confess that in my nine years in this city, I still haven’t figured out what a “narrative” really is, and whether any one institution can “control” it. Certainly, on some issues, different parties gain an advantage based on how voters process information, but in recent history, events, not persons, dictate the stories that we tell each other. The best politicians figure out how to play off exigencies and contingencies…

    Let’s bring this out of the mooley-mooley realm and take up a specific example: the economy. Obama is said to have lost control of the economic narrative. If he only MESSAGED a certain way, then maybe people wouldn’t be so upset…Obama didn’t lie. He genuinely expected the economy to do better. He genuinely expected that people would recognize the signs of a recovering economy. He did not expect there to be what Ezra Klein called an “expectations bubble”–the idea that people have unrealistic expectations about what an economic recovery would look like. But the plain truth of the matter is that the economy is still very sluggish. And the guy in charge is going to get blamed until it gets better.

    It’s comforting for Democrats to think that if they had only gotten the message right–if they had figured out how to tune out Fox News, if they had sold the stimulus as the largest tax cut in history, if, if, if–voters wouldn’t be so pessimistic. But events–pesky events, things that no one can control–keep getting in the way. Health care was a messy process, and process shapes policy in a way that it never has before, thanks to the instant feedback loop of the Net. Voters were right to expect something different from a president who promised to govern above the fray, but then endorsed typical (fairly anodyne, in retrospect) compromises like the “Cornhusker Kickback.” Of course, if the President messaged in a vacuum, it would be easier to explain to people the benefits of the new health care law. But there’s never been a vacuum. The Bully Pulpit has been descending from the heavens for a long time. Presidents cannot simply speak and expect to be heard. The best they can do is speak, and hope that their words match what people are feeling.

  3. 3
    gbear says:

    I <3 Kate Rusby.

  4. 4
    Restrung says:

    OFFS! Just received this from our Republican house candidate in MN-4:

    Subject Meet Teresa Collett and Michelle Bachman this Thursday

    not even trying. Unless TC has a Michelle we haven’t heard of.

  5. 5
    Anonymous At Work says:

    http://swampland.blogs.time.co.....-syndrome/

    Holy Bat-Crap…Joe Klein came up with a new term for the lexicon, potentially: Fiduciopathy is a perverse twisting of normal fiduciary relationships to emphasize the pursuit of short-term profit without any sense of moral or societal consequences.

  6. 6
    TooManyJens says:

    This ad for Joe Manchin won my heart for saying what needs to be said:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSiY7oHpfNQ

    Also, too, I kinda like “fiduciopathy.”

  7. 7
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I don’t remember who it was, but a couple of days ago someone here was debating whether to vote for Gene Taylor (DINO – MS 1) or his GOPponent. Well, s/he can stop wondering.

    Taylor said today that he voted for McCain in 2008, and reiterated that he would oppose NANCY SMASH! as Speaker.

    AFAIAC, no contest how I’d vote.

  8. 8
    Restrung says:

    heard Betty, TC and the IP guy on Eichten today. IP guy is running from the right. Was some fun. Betty was nice enough to not just say LIE! Wrong! She’s so polite.

  9. 9
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @lamh32:

    If he only MESSAGED a certain way, then maybe people wouldn’t be so upset

    I think we–commentators on the liberal/left continuum–have a lot of faith in this because _we think we could do it._ We’re creative people, we write, we crack jokes, we think we can do a decent job of connecting with people via language. So we yell and fight about “The Narrative” because we fancy that we are good at narrative.

    My personal feeling is that the people on the inside are just as good as we are. Probably better. But that there’s too much inertia pushing against and knocking down liberal narratives to make them ever successfully connect with people in a visible or tangible way. So I think even well-drawn narratives from the left get mired in the Beltway and media muck, while even poorly-drawn narratives from the right glide right on through into the popular consciousness. (A state of affairs for which I chiefly blame the think skin of the media and the itchy trigger fingers of the moguls who pay them and demand profits Profits PROFITS for their work, making it happen that offending the right feels very bad for business.)

  10. 10
    BGinCHI says:

    Damn, this is a good K-thug column.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c.....al-policy/

    Hard to imagine any conservatives reading it or even trying to see how this stuff works.

  11. 11
    John O says:

    Too much of me thinks it would be better 10-20 years from now if we just let the GOP have everything they want so that everyone knows someone eating cat food and obtains a clue.

    Maybe THEN the Dems could make a coherent case.

    I’m in IL, and I’m going heavily Green. No, I did not vote for Nader, but I’ve had enough. And in the close ones, I’ll hold my nose and vote D. Given the political job (not the policy job save a couple exceptions) I think they’ve done, they ought to be sending me money for my vote.

  12. 12
    Adam Lang says:

    Thanks for the Kate Rusby. Awesome voice, awesome music.

  13. 13
    Martin says:

    @John O:

    Maybe THEN the Dems could make a coherent case.

    So, you don’t care if the product is any good, just that they have catchy ads? America at its finest.

  14. 14
    Restrung says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    inertia is the word. good rant! and Cokie Roberts is the immovable object.

  15. 15

    @lamh32: Ambinder is an idiot. We aren’t blaming the narrative. We are demanding more action. Better programs(ditch HAMP .. it sucks).

  16. 16
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @John O:

    Too much of me thinks it would be better 10-20 years from now if we just let the GOP have everything they want

    People have been saying that since, in my memory, 1980 at least: “if they’re gonna vote for that bastard Reagan, they deserve what they get.” And there’s always lower to go. And no matter how bad it gets, the people never obtain that elusive clue.

  17. 17
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Restrung: Thanks. Too bad I wrote “think skin of the media” instead of “thin skin.” Maybe they do think with their skin. It would explain why their brains are so easily taxed.

  18. 18
    wmd says:

    You can help

    Organizing for America

    Progressive Change Campaign Committee The Voter Activation Network software has been upgraded and is a lot better!

    I have made 50 calls for Alan Grayson and 50 for Russ Feingold so far.
    By Tuesday I’ll have made over 200 calls for progressive House and Senate candidates, and likely 60 calls for Prop 19.

    Make a difference.

  19. 19
    John O says:

    @Martin:

    No, not true. They’ve been a civil liberties disaster (completely predictable), and somewhat responsible for not taking one or three issues at a time over the last two years and taking the time and money to explain the facts and the politics to the American people.

    You can argue that they’ve tried, but this election will prove they’ve failed either way.

    Of course, we could agree to stipulate that we all live in some sort of “marketing free” universe, but I would say that wasn’t a good premise.

  20. 20
    kdaug says:

    Ivans, Hightower, Richards.

    Hell, LBJ.

    Jackasses come from all states. So do the good guys.

    ‘Nuff said.

  21. 21
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle:

    We aren’t blaming the narrative. We are demanding more action.

    That may be so for various subsets of “we,” but LOTS of people really do blame “the narrative.” Think of the number of times you’ve seen people complain that something would be “good politics.” That’s the same thing: it presumes that there’s an easy way to express the benefits of a particular policy, which politicians could just plug right in. Steve Benen, whom I think is one of the smartest guys around, was doing this with his stuff lamenting how few candidates have whacked Republicans for opposing the obviously good stuff about HCR. Well, that’s because they don’t want to get tagged with the bad stuff. “Messaging” and “narrative” don’t just automatically convince people. You have to fight over them, which may involve taking a few lumps.

  22. 22
    Restrung says:

    @Restrung:

    crap, maybe Collett’s Michelle Bachman is Har Mar Superstar?

    If it’s not clear yet, I freakin’ hate anybody misspelling anybody’s name for any reason. That’s why we gotta get Jeb Bush to run. :)

  23. 23
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @John O:

    somewhat responsible for not taking one or three issues at a time over the last two years and taking the time and money to explain the facts and the politics to the American people.

    They do explain it and they do market it. It doesn’t stick because (1) the media sucks, (2) the economy is so dire that no one wants to hear about small successes. For instance, “Recovery Summer” was a good idea, but the recovery isn’t robust, so it played as a sad joke. Good marketing idea, desperate underlying conditions… marketing FAIL.

    Don Draper might be able to sell Glo-Kote floor polish with a noir concept, but if it doesn’t clean the damn floor, Glo-Kote’s days are numbered anyway.

  24. 24
    Bnut says:

    I just looked at all the poll numbers, and was surprised that there is not a single black person running for any governor or Senate seat, and only 1 Congressional candidate. That struck me. With a headache.

  25. 25
    Nikki says:

    Lanny Davis is whispering?

  26. 26
    JCJ says:

    My ultra-Republican neighbor left an invitation earlier for some event where the main speaker is to be George W Bush. Recently I was visiting my daughter in Madison (Peoples Republic of) and we saw shirts on display in a store window for the traditional cheer at Camp Randall – “FUCK YOU”- with the obvious reply “EAT SHIT”. I suggested to her that we buy the shirts and go to this event and start the cheer. My wife vetoed it even though she thought it was a good idea.

  27. 27
    Mark S. says:

    Ah, the age old Sampras vs. Federer debate. I lean toward Federer, but this is bullshit:

    In his prime, Sampras had to play a much deeper top 10. In his first 30 victories, Sampras beat the likes of Jim Courier, Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi in finals. Federer’s toughest were Agassi, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and Marat Safin. Nadal was the toughest challenge of all, but don’t forget that he didn’t come into his own off the clay courts until 2008.

    Sampras never had a consistent rival anywhere near as good as Nadal. If Nadal never existed, Federer would be on at least his 20th Grand Slam title.

  28. 28
    John O says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Fair enough.

    How about marketing, from the start with one of your other two initiatives, “It takes a lot longer to fix (!) things than it does it does to break them,” and how many people do you know understand how TARP has done, from a purely fiscal perspective? Which same TARP I HATED AND HATE to this day, but that was easily foreseen, and not dealt with politically, at least not effectively.

    The media, however, sucks so bad they are the King of All Suck, “Doing What Your Job Is” competition.

  29. 29
    KCinDC says:

    I’m a little creeped out by the MTV teen soft porn ads, but at least they’re not making noise, scrolling my window, or exposing me to Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, or a deformed Pamela Anderson.

  30. 30
    lamh32 says:

    @Bnut:

    I’ve exhausted myself with the FL race, so I’ll just say that Kendrick Meeks is running for Senate in FL

  31. 31
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Bnut #24: Um, Kendrick Meeks?

  32. 32
    Bnut says:

    Yeah, i just realized there was a second page, plus I’m tired. Sorry.

  33. 33
    lamh32 says:

    @Mark S.:

    Other than the Williams Sisters I don’t really follow tennis much these days. But when I was younger, I loved me some Pete Sampras!

    I’ll admit that once the Williams Sister are out of tournaments I probably won’t be interested in Tennis at all.

  34. 34
    Restrung says:

    @Bnut:

    only one congressional candidate… you mean the muslim? thuh hell? there are 435 house seats and many are .. huh?

    edit: yup, I’m wrong often too.

  35. 35
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @John O:

    “It takes a lot longer to fix (!) things than it does it does to break them,”

    But they _do_ say that. That’s the whole car/ditch/keys scenario he trots out a lot, as well as “grab a mop.” If I said, “Hey, the great thing about getting chicken pox is that you don’t have to worry about getting chicken pox another time,” that’s not that wonderful to contemplate when you’re scratching your damn skin off.

    Yours is a good line, but they _have_ good lines. They just don’t have enough slam-dunk victories–mostly because the Republicans just fuck with them–and the ones they do have, like the car “bailout,” feel minor when you’ve got 10% unemployment killing everyone’s buzz.

  36. 36

    @John O:

    responsible for not taking one or three issues at a time over the last two years and taking the time and money to explain the facts and the politics to the American people.

    Hasn’t Obama done just that? Several times?

  37. 37
    Chris G. says:

    @TooManyJens: I must be a hippie puncher or something, because I’ve enjoyed a lot of Manchin’s ads this cycle.

  38. 38
    Mark S. says:

    @lamh32:

    The Williams sisters were smart. All lot of these other players burn themselves out playing fifty weeks a year and have to retire at 22. Serena and Venus paced themselves and are still going strong at 30.

  39. 39
    Martin says:

    @John O:

    No, not true. They’ve been a civil liberties disaster (completely predictable), and somewhat responsible for not taking one or three issues at a time over the last two years and taking the time and money to explain the facts and the politics to the American people.

    Ah, so you are arguing that the Dems should have done less, and marketed more. Okay.

    You can argue that they’ve tried, but this election will prove they’ve failed either way.

    So now you’re actually cheering them on to fail.

    Of course, we could agree to stipulate that we all live in some sort of “marketing free” universe, but I would say that wasn’t a good premise.

    But you’re not arguing that other people won’t vote for Dems over marketing. You’re essentially arguing that even if the Dems had done every policy initiative that you wanted, you aren’t voting for Dems because other people respond to marketing and the Dems didn’t market well.

    This is sort of a ‘I’d like an Android phone but they suck at marketing, and now everyone is going to buy an iPhone, so Android deserves to lose over their shitty marketing and now I’m going to go buy that Windows Mobile thing to express my disappointment.’

    So, I’m going to call bullshit on your reasoning and ask us to tell us what your real voting motivations are.

  40. 40
    burnspbesq says:

    Molly and Kate in the same thread? Win overload.

    Now how about some love for Karan Casey, Julie Fowlis, Karen Matheson, Cara Dillon, et al?

  41. 41
    burnspbesq says:

    @Mark S.:

    That’s only a “smart” strategy if you think that repeatedly getting injured is a smart thing to do. Venus and Serena have taken advantage of extended periods of enforced absence to have actual lives. That’s different from Clijsters and Davenport, who took time off to have kids.

  42. 42
    John O says:

    You know, I really try to avoid stepping in it here.

    There are no D’s in close races who won’t get my vote, which I said from the start.

    I am NOT rooting for their failure, either. I’m wondering if a complete collapse wouldn’t be better for us sooner rather than later. It would at least maybe be better for me.

    But you’re not arguing that other people won’t vote for Dems over marketing. You’re essentially arguing that even if the Dems had done every policy initiative that you wanted, you aren’t voting for Dems because other people respond to marketing and the Dems didn’t market well.

    I do not know from what this was gleaned. The policies have been, on balance (except for civil liberties, and I even give them a pass on THAT because I know they know more than I do about what is keeping stuff from blowing up) good, and moving us in a positive direction, which is why where it is close I’ll pull the lever D.

    Corporate Democrats are only marginally better than Republicans, on that I think most of us can agree. Also, too, the left’s dominance of the blogosphere, where most of us informed people go, is no match for a Corporate Media/Propaganda outlet.

  43. 43
    Restrung says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    He does it A LOT. Not my fault nobody’s listening. He happens to be right on that stuff, but ya know, the expectations. hmmph. Guy thinks people respond to truth, justice and the American way. I’m not saying he’s wrong, but… hey, what’s that? It’s somebody yelling Hitler! And somebody thinks Obama is Hitler! Hi, sir! can you join us? and Stalin? Can we get a Marx and a Lenin sign over here, please? For balance? This is gonna be great.

  44. 44
    John O says:

    I played competitive tennis (poorly) through H.S., and the Federer-Anyone Else thing is a conundrum to me. I’m not sure he’s better than Sampras on grass, arguably he’s not, and he sure isn’t better than Nadal on clay, so how can I call him the best?

    Every now and then it is simply because he plays the game so beautifully and effortlessly.

  45. 45
    WereBear says:

    @Anonymous At Work: I now loathe Joe Klein somewhat less that I did before, because that is a darned useful term too.

    However, I figure he stole it from someone more intelligent.

  46. 46
    AhabTRuler says:

    Shorter Joke Line: Why did someone have to go and spoil all the fun and profit of neoliberalism and globalization American Exceptionalism.

  47. 47
    Martin says:

    @John O: Reasonable enough. Sorry I overreacted.

  48. 48
    gbear says:

    Here is Mitch McConnell’s message:

    The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president…. Our single biggest political goal is to give our nominee for president the maximum opportunity to be successful.”

    Nice marketing. And the media is running with it. And the ruling class is dumping a gazillion dollars into pushing that message.

    Yes, the democratic message can seem pretty puny and inadequate compared to the onslaught, but at least their message is about trying to do something other than killing everything that moves.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    John O says:

    @Martin:

    LOL…real politics is nothing compared to comments sections on blogs. No apology necessary, and accepted nevertheless.

  51. 51
    Nick says:

    @John O: you’re blaming the Dems because people are stupid?

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John O:

    I’m wondering if a complete collapse wouldn’t be better for us sooner rather than later. It would at least maybe be better for me.

    Like Flip said, people have been predicting for 30 years that the Republicans were going to run things into the ground and then people would finally wake up and turn against them. Actually, it’s probably more like 40 since people started saying when Nixon was first elected.

    Didn’t happen now, won’t happen then. The “complete collapse” would be into an oligarchy where the ultra-rich ride in limos to their gated communities while the rest of us live in squalor. And at least half of the people sliding into squalor would do it proudly, convinced they were doing their bit against encroaching sociaIism and refusing any offers of help. And even then, it will probably take another 10 years or so to get there, even with the Republicans greasing the skids.

    That may be better for you, but it sure wouldn’t be better for me.

  53. 53
    John O says:

    @Nick:

    No, 25%-30% of the American electorate is unreachable, as has been discussed here at length–see Crazification Factor. Elections are won in 1 standard deviation.

  54. 54
    Nick says:

    @Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle:

    We aren’t blaming the narrative. We are demanding more action

    No, we’re blaming the narrative, because “the narrative” keeps that action from happening.

  55. 55
    John O says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Well, that outcome wouldn’t be good for me, either, and is completely plausible.

    I suppose we’re just quibbling about exactly how stupid the American electorate is.

  56. 56
    goblue72 says:

    @gbear: And this, in a nutshell, is why I am no longer personal friends with anyone who is a registered Republican. At a certain point, when you consistently vote to put traitors in office, then you’re a traitor yourself.

  57. 57

    I have had to stop listening to Even the Liberal NPR because of all the pre-mortem “Dems will lose the house” shit. Guy Raz was f-ing that chicken yesterday afternoon on Weekend All Things Considered.

    In OT news, for those who were around last night when I was trying to get my new blog to work and couldn’t get the links to work, everything is working now, so please check out AWS and The Somebody Listen to Music. There’s a link to some free Canadian music to make it worth your while. Everyone else is welcome as well.

    New content will be coming soon too.

  58. 58
    Mark S. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And at least half of the people sliding into squalor would do it proudly

    Principled Conservatism.

  59. 59
    Nick says:

    @John O: Why would anyone believe that outcome would open the eyes of the people to progressive solutions?

    It’s much more likely they will have no where to go but the churches and end up blaming everything on Muslims, Mexicans and gays.

  60. 60
    John O says:

    @Nick:

    Yep, anywhere between 25-40% would do that, for sure. But not 51%. At least not yet.

  61. 61
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John O:

    I suppose we’re just quibbling about exactly how stupid the American electorate is.

    Not stupid — desperate. And when one side is saying, “We can fix things, but it’s going to be a long, hard slog and things will not get better right away” and the other side is saying, “All we need is more tax cuts and everything will be fine!” human nature is to go for the quick, easy fix, even if it makes things worse later on.

    You have to remember, there are people alive today who have been fed a diet of tax cuts, government doesn’t work, and FDR caused the Depression their whole lives. They literally do not believe that there can be such a thing as a functional government. Those are the people who will be perfectly willing to let corporations take everything over because everyone knows that the government sucks and can’t do anything anyway, so why not hand things over to corporations to run?

    If people no longer believe that any government can be run for the good of the people, then we may as well pack up shop now.

  62. 62
    John O says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I don’t disagree with a word you said, Mnemosyne, but you really didn’t address the “stupid” question very well. :-)

    You’re saying that people have been believing what they’ve been told, and to me that is quite stupid.

  63. 63
    BDeevDad says:

    Prop 19 might actually be the key to the CA elections by bringing out the youth vote.

  64. 64
    Jay in Oregon says:

    I’m late to the party, I’m sure, but WTF? Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK?

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.....debate.php

    Rand Paul Supporter Stomps Head Of Female MoveOn Member Outside KY Debate (VIDEO)
    __
    Josh Green flagged an incident that occurred outside of the Rand Paul-Jack Conway debate in Lexington, Kentucky Monday night that’s already dominating the news in Kentucky and could easily make headlines nationally.
    __
    [Emphasis mine] As the candidates arrived, a group of Paul supporters pulled a female MoveOn member to the ground and held her there as another Paul supporter stomped on the back of her head and neck.

  65. 65
    brantl says:

    For fuck’s sake, GET OUT AND VOTE. And vote for the people that can beat the Rethugs, or we’re all going back to Hoovervilles.

    Jumping Christ on a crutch.

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