It’s the beginning of a new age

At the time, the 2008 election felt like a watershed event. We elected our first black president after he edged out a female candidate in the primary. But in a lot of ways, race was the dog that didn’t bark in the election (it’s barking now, I agree). For all the talk about the “Bradley effect”, Obama did almost exactly as well as polls predicted. He even won two confederate states.

The Republicans nominated an heir apparent, even if he trailed a bit early on. They lost badly in the November, because the economy was in the tank and the public hated the Republican incumbent president. Not too much new in that storyline.

The 2012 election is shaping up to be a different kind of election. Between 1980 and 2004, there was a clear Republican front-runner the year before the presidential primaries and in every case this frontrunner won the nomination. In 2008, things were a bit different, but only because of the general Giuliani weirdness; McCain was up 20-8 over Romney. Right now, Romney, Palin, and Huckabee are just about tied in the upper teens, and Palin and Huckabee may not even run. A crazy reality-show millionaire Republican candidate is getting more attention than any other candidate by being a full-on birther, while a crazy millionaire reality show Republican non-candidate has gotten so big her supporters say the presidency would be a step down. Michele Bachmann has to be considered a possible nominee, given her possible strength in Iowa and remarkable fundraising abilities. There have been weird semi-serious Republican candidates before, but the ones on this list, at least, had nowhere near Bachmann’s potential.

The economy is deep in the shitter, but Republican strategists think it’s unlikely that they can unseat Obama. When I look at the demographics, at the rise in the number of Latinos and the likelihood that they will support Obama at the same or higher levels as in 2008, I agree.

We are looking at an election where no one knows who the Republican nominee will be and where no one thinks that nominee will have much of a chance, even with economic conditions that would normally make an incumbent beatable. This is uncharted territory.






110 replies
  1. 1

    that analysis of palin’s influence is pure bullshit. where can i sign up for some breitbart money to spout nonsense like that?

  2. 2
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The GOP has imbraced, fully, the batshit insanity of the racist Jeebofascists.

    The 27% rule in GOPland.

  3. 3
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz about that rise in Latino population. My question is, are they registered to vote? If we really want to change this country, we have to change voting patterns, especially in mid-terms.

    My other question: Is Trump really doing/saying all this embarrassing crap because of a pathological need for attention? Does he really make money from that ridiculous TV show, or is it easier to get investors (or whatever?) if he’s on TV all the time? I also just can’t fathom anyone being so needy and sad, even with that hair.

  4. 4
    BGinCHI says:

    The GOP candidates are mostly stuck in the quandary of not being able to decide between wanting to run against a political figure they hate and not wanting to get slaughtered by a political figure they hate.

    Typical GOP. They want the prize but they don’t want to work for it.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    We are looking at an election where no one knows who the Republican nominee will be and where no one thinks that nominee will have much of a chance, even with economic conditions that would normally make an incumbent beatable. This is uncharted territory.

    What about Reagan in 1984? Didn’t the economy vastly improve in 1983, sealing his reelection? Obama won’t get 49 states because deep red states never swing, but it strikes me that could be a decent comparison depending how the economy is at the end of the year.

  6. 6
    GregB says:

    How can we discuss the upcoming elections without discussing the strong influence of ACORN, the New Black Panthers and the Obamilitia that will use their Soros and ACA funds to to force all of the eligible white voters on to boxcars and in to re-education camps headed by Van Jones, Cass Sunstein, Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank?

  7. 7
    Comrade DougJ says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    They are disproportionately young, so I don’t think the full impact will be felt for a while.

  8. 8
    Maude says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Donald Trump has always been an attention getter. Remember him being called The Donald?

  9. 9
    Sportelle says:

    I think we’ve learned that the only way to implement a progressive agenda is to have super-majorities in House and the Senate (especially the latter). Does anyone know if the demographic shifts will bring back the House?

    And would those demographic shifts sturdy up the spines of the Blue Dogs?

  10. 10
    Comrade DougJ says:

    @Baud:

    If the economy vastly improves in 2012, Obama will crush. It’s hard to see a Reagan-style victory (that was nearly 20 points), though, unless Bachmann or Barbour or Newt is the Republican nominee.

  11. 11
    wasabi gasp says:

    This is uncharted territory.

    They’re pioneers, like the Donner Party.

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    @Comrade DougJ: I guess another example would be FDR in ’36. Sure, the economy was better, but unemployment was still at 17%.

  13. 13
    BGinCHI says:

    @wasabi gasp: No way anyone could eat trump. The skin is too tough.

    And Palin’s skin is too thin.

  14. 14
    BGinCHI says:

    Just in case you were wondering whatever happened to PJ O’Rourke, now you know.

    He continues to be a big giant douchebag.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....bs=article

    Hey PJ, hope you stroke out soon, dude.

  15. 15
    Amir_Khalid says:

    I have to agree, DougJ. The Republican presidential field for 2012 is absolutely barking, especially the candidates most popular with the Tea Party base. I mean, imagine President Michele Bachmann/Donald Trump/Haley Barbour/Sarah Palin at an OECD summit’s Heads of Government round-table session. You just know something more embarrassing than a pounce on Angela Merkel’s neck is in the offing.

    That’s not what you said was barking? Whoops. My bad. Sorry.

  16. 16
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    My question is, are they registered to vote? If we really want to change this country, we have to change voting patterns, especially in mid-terms.

    No, they are not registered to vote. They punch below their weight.

    @Sportelle:

    The Democrat will be favored to win every national election for the next twenty years at this rate. The ability to translate that into a surge of actual progressive reform is dependent on something entirely different: removing the filibuster. Otherwise, we all just become California of the last twenty years.

  17. 17
    Comrade DougJ says:

    @Amir_Khalid:

    Ha ha.

    I am starting to think teh crazy may hurt Republicans in 2012, in the presidential election. I still say we get a serious Burkean like T-Paw or Mittens, but if Bachmann makes a race of it, that’s got to hurt somewhat.

  18. 18
    Comrade DougJ says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    The Democrat will be favored to win every national election for the next twenty years at this rate. The ability to translate that into a surge of actual progressive reform is dependent on something entirely different: removing the filibuster. Otherwise, we all just become California of the last twenty years.

    This is what I think too. Since you never agree with me, I have to wonder…is that snark or do you really believe it too?

  19. 19
    AAA Bonds says:

    Draft Christie and have Christie and Barbour debate each other dressed in Ren Faire costumes and holding gigantic turkey legs

  20. 20
    jl says:

    @wasabi gasp:

    Hey, now that you mention it, I was up there most of this week. Nice deep snow, which is lots of fun, if you are not stuck there with no food for months at a time.

    The Donner Lake/Pass territory was charted, it is just that the Donner Party did not know what it was doing, strictly speaking, which included a very late start for a trip over mountains in the western states. The real Donner Party story sounds more like what we are seeing in our great land today , including (political) cannibalism:

    ” …In 1844, the Stephens-Townsend-Murphy Party followed the Truckee River up into the mountains. At the head of what is now called Donner Lake, they found a low notch in the mountains and became the first overland emigrants to use the pass… ”

    ” …In early November 1846, the Donner Party found the route blocked by snow and was forced to spend the winter on the eastern side of the mountains. Of the 81 emigrants, only 45 survived to reach California… some of them are alleged to have resorted to cannibalism to survive. ”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donner_Pass

    Donner Lake
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donner_Lake

    The GOP is stumbling along trying to figure out inscrutable charts and journeys accomplished by their more capable predecessors. But so far they are doing it wrong.

    I see a Buddy Roemer for Pres 2012 ad on the RHS of the screen. Ad says he is ‘free from special interests’. Will he get tested for head lice and bedbugs too? Who is he? Wasn’t he a Democratic governor awhile ago, who went GOP?

    Sometimes when I am out of circulation for a few days, I wonder whether something new really great or really awful will be in the news upon my return. This time, it seems more like groundhog day, the movie.

    Edit: I removed the garbles and typos. Glad that comment edits are back working nicely.

  21. 21
    stickler says:

    The demographic reality is one thing; tried-and-true GOP vote suppression methods are another. They control redistricting and law enforcement in a lot of states now, and we know already they’re going to try to keep the turnout as low as possible.

    That’s the real wild card. Will the Obama Justice Dept. put the brakes on GOP vote-stealing? Who knows.

  22. 22
    Yutsano says:

    @Comrade DougJ: If this becomes an eternal love affair with divided government, I hope FH #1 has lots of room on his couch and doesn’t mind me spoiling Pedro with Vegemite early and often.

  23. 23
    LosGatosCA says:

    With Bachmann and Palin available, 2012 theme could become the year of the Republican MILF.

    I’m not sure there’s a place for Haley Barbour to fit in.

  24. 24
    Some says:

    Would Rubio as running mate make much of a difference to the Latino vote?

  25. 25
    The Political Nihilist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    @stickler:

    Bingo.

    Between that and the public’s general tendency for Hatting “Liberals” over actually wanting to get shit done, I’m not quite so optimistic.

  26. 26
    Comrade DougJ says:

    @Some:

    I’m skeptical, he’s Cuban. If Republicans play every card right AND put him on the ticket, he might help, but it’s not a slam dunk.

  27. 27
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Comrade DougJ:

    Do I think that the Senate is an intrinsically unprogressive, undemocratic, and corporatist body that’s sole purpose at this point is to obstruct anything other than the barest bones reform?

    Um, yeah. I do.

  28. 28
    BGinCHI says:

    @AAA Bonds: Charles Laughton lives!

  29. 29
    Emerald says:

    And let’s not forget that Obama is a master politician. He beat the Clintons when the Clintons had all the power and money and media going for them. Everybody knew the Clintons were going to win, and the media were pretty sure they’d win even after Obama had virtually clinched the nomination at the end of February.

    Plus, with the Republicans throwing every demographic outside of evangelicals and rich white dudes under the bus, the momentum should easily shift the Dem’s way.

    The problem that I see is that I truly don’t believe the Republican governors are going to allow free and fair elections in their states. That’s where the fight needs to go: to legal battles that might stop them from stealing their state elections.

  30. 30
    Yutsano says:

    @Some: If only to show there’s no such thing as a monolithic Latino vote. There are many different national ethnicities that will come into play here. Florida will be a wash though.

  31. 31
    JPL says:

    @Some: I agree with Yutsano about FL. The rest of the nation will look at the top of the ticket.

  32. 32
    qwerty42 says:

    I don’t believe the Republicans can become a coherent party again until they loose another 2-3 elections. The remaining adults in the party are not exactly friends, but rest of the party seems more like a religious cult. I don’t believe they can disenthrall themselves from the cult without a string of losses. And I don’t know where the cultists go next. This seems the final fruit of the southern strategy, and it is not confined to the south. If the Republicans can come out ahead in the non-presidential elections, it will take longer. And I think they will get crazier.
    If the Democrats can regain the House (and don’t loose the Senate), it won’t be smooth sailing, but it will be better.

  33. 33
    AAA Bonds says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Do I think that the Senate is an intrinsically unprogressive, undemocratic, and corporatist body that’s sole purpose at this point is to obstruct anything other than the barest bones reform? Um, yeah. I do.

    Correct.

  34. 34
    Facebones says:

    While it is unlikely that any of the current Republicans could beat Obama, it’s not impossible. Remember, Bill Clinton was hardly a household name at this point in 1991. He’d given a clunker of a keynote address at the ’88 convention. And he was up against a popular wartime president.

    I can’t see Bachmann Barbour Overdrive beating Obama. Still, when you have a choice of only two parties and if people dislike the Dems enough… it’s not probable but not impossible.

  35. 35
    tworivers says:

    Doug J: Just curious – is the title of this post a reference to the last song on Side One of Loaded?

  36. 36
    Butler says:

    even with economic conditions that would normally make an incumbent beatable.

    Today. If the election were held today, the economy would make the incumbent vulnerable (though not as much as a year ago). If the economy (by which I mean the unemployment rate, because the Dow and GDP are doing fine) continues its far too slow yet steady rate of improvement, Obama will be sitting pretty. If, on the other hand, it flat lines or dips again, he will be in deep trouble, and would almost certainly be unseated by any Republican who isn’t a total nutter. So Romney, basically.

  37. 37
    jl says:

    I worry about voter suppression too. Except, if the Teabagger governors keep up their current efforts, the voting population that they will have to suppress in 2012 in places like Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio will be immense. As a commenter above noted above, they will lose pretty much everyone except reactionary evangelicals and rich people.

    The Hispanic demographic has not historically turned out as much as others. But if the GOP keeps up the really vicious and stupid xenophobia, that can be changed enough to swing elections. Witness California, what wiped out the GOP in state wide offices, and (if I remember correctly how the recounts went) got rid of on more GOP seat in the state legislature. I think we have to get rid of two GOP seats in each state chamber and the GOP will be below 2/3, and then politically they would basically go away for awhile in CA.

    But GOP voter suppression efforts need to be watched and countered for the next election.

  38. 38
    hilts says:

    Republican strategists think it’s unlikely that they can unseat Obama.

    I’m not losing much sleep over Obama’s re-election prospects. Instead, I’m losing sleep over the possibility that the Republicans will take control of the Senate while keeping control of the House.

  39. 39
    Emerald says:

    @efgoldman: Oh, if the electorate is allow to vote freely, and their votes are allowed to be counted, I agree that the presidency is a slam dunk, barring some catastrophic event that makes Obama look seriously bad.

    I’m just not sure that’s gonna happen in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, et al.

    Normally, you can’t steal an election unless it’s close, but those are essential states. Those Republican governors certainly will try to, um, “influence” the outcomes in their states.

    OTOH, I do think it’s quite likely that the Rs will nominate a fringe candidate. That’s the pattern in years when a party basically knows it’s gonna lose, i.e., Goldwater and Mondale. Pretty good chance that anyone reasonable on the R side won’t run.

  40. 40
    Butler says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz about that rise in Latino population. My question is, are they registered to vote? If we really want to change this country, we have to change voting patterns, especially in mid-terms.

    Harry Reid owes his job to an uncharacteristically high and united Latino turnout in November. That and Angle’s overall crazyness, but it was the latter which prompted a lot of the former.

    Latinos are not yet the political power they may some day be, but their power is growing both in overall numbers and in turnout rate.

  41. 41
    4tehlulz says:

    We are looking at an election where…no one thinks that nominee will have much of a chance, even with economic conditions that would normally make an incumbent beatable.

    Which is why the teatards in Congress will try to nuke the economy with the debt limit.

    Making things absolutely horrible might be the only chance they have.

  42. 42
    Facebones says:

    @efgoldman: I agree, but I hardly think we should assume the election is a done deal, especially 4 months after Democrats got their asses whipped at the polls.

  43. 43
    PeakVT says:

    As it stands, Obama will probably win. But the situation in the Senate will be the same or worse, and the Repukes will retain the majority in the House. I’d like to think that the looming shutdown will work against the Republicans, but even if it does, the collection of politicians who call themselves Democrats still are unlikely to control Congress.

  44. 44
    hilts says:

    Michele Bachmann has to be considered a possible nominee

    This has to rank as one of the most depressing sentences to appear on Balloon Juice in a long time. To say that Bachmann is a hideous monstrosity would be a gross understatement.

  45. 45
    jl says:

    @Butler: The GOP may be pursuing such a vile strategy for 2012. They know their only hope is probably a double dip recession, at least in terms of employment. They need to ruin the jobs picture while managing to lay the political blame on Obama (which is important for getting relatively sane but low info swing voters), and also keeping their Teabagger troops from getting all pouty and staying home. That trick will be difficult to pull off, thank goodness.

  46. 46
    New Yorker says:

    @Facebones:

    While it is unlikely that any of the current Republicans could beat Obama, it’s not impossible. Remember, Bill Clinton was hardly a household name at this point in 1991. He’d given a clunker of a keynote address at the ‘88 convention. And he was up against a popular wartime president.

    The problem there is that the economy went into the tank, sabotaging GHWB’s chances. Obama’s economy isn’t going to be booming in 2012, but it will be a lot better than it was in early 2009.

    Plus, Clinton was obviously a centrist. There is absofuckinglutely no way the GOP nominates anyone that could remotely be described as a centrist. The primary voters in the party are foaming-at-the-mouth insane and will be looking for candidates who promise to abolish public schools because they teach anti-American-Darwinist-Sharia law that turns students into Jesus-hating homos who don’t want to bomb Muslim countries.

  47. 47
    Punchy says:

    OT: Was I the only one who missed the Quran burning that took place on March 20? Apparently that pastor fuck finally did it, but did any news outlets report on it? If not, why not, after making such a big fucking deal about it last year?

  48. 48
    Yutsano says:

    @Punchy: Well the pastor from the last controversy didn’t actually do it, he just encouraged the fuck out of another pastor who took it upon himself to burn a stack of them. Cause nothing wins friends and influences people like desecrating their holy works. Morans.

    @Cat Lady: I already haz my popcorn ready. Epic won’t even begin to cover how awesome this will be.

  49. 49
    Cat Lady says:

    It’s now impossible for whoever emerges from the fail parade that is the current crop of potentials to energize the teatards for the primaries, then pivot for the general. The good news for Mittens is that he’s the only one who can do the teatard back flip then the double twisting Chamber of Commerce back flop. The bad news for Mittens is that no one outside of the Fox bubble believes he believes a word he says.

  50. 50
    Mark S. says:

    Obama’s numbers aren’t great (granted, there are a lot of Rasmussan numbers in there). He hardly seems unbeatable, but the way the GOP is acting it seems they think he is.

    OT–stumbled across this:

    In a CNN poll of American adults released Friday, the median guess on what percentage of the federal budget goes to public broadcasting was 5%. With a $3.55 trillion budget last year, that would put funding for the CBP at approximately $178 billion.

  51. 51
    Emerald says:

    @efgoldman: Actually you’re quite right about Mondale, but he ran such an inept campaign that allowed him to be painted as an extremist that I think the analogy holds (barely).

    I’m a big fan of Mondale, just not as a presidential nominee. But his $1,000 per person proposal was blown completely out of proportion and made him look like a fringe candidate. Throwing Eagleton overboard was a mistake. Refusing even to mention that he was an actual war hero may have been honorable, but that too was a mistake.

    Even Goldwater wasn’t nearly as bad as he was painted. Or rather, he mellowed later on in his life.

  52. 52
    Valdivia says:

    @Some:
    Others have already replied but I don’t think he will help. He’s not just Cuban he is a young Cuban with the politics of the old-crazy generation. The Latino growth is from countries that actually see the politics of the US outside the prism of the cold war.

    Also–though he has been quiet so far he has a lot of tea bag to him, that is how he ran and won and there are a few scandals (credit cards from the party he used for personal expenses if I recall correctly) that disappear in a national campaign. I think even FL might not buy him since the Reps are now seen as poison thanks to the new Gov there.

  53. 53
    Cat Lady says:

    @Yutsano:

    Srsly epic. That’s why no one has declared. They all know there’s no way to thread that needle, and the Fox and Koch teats are so, so sweet. And exploratory committees. Also, too.

  54. 54
    El Cid says:

    @Punchy: He put the Qur’aan “on trial” in his little shitty Florida church, and apparently could put the word out enough — aided as always by the Christianists & Islamophobes — where there was coverage of the event. After convicting the Qur’aan, it was executed by burning it. I heard a blip about it, but I didn’t anticipate it receiving this much attention or reaction. Oops.

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    The Senate was, of course, patterned somewhat on the House of Lords.

    So it’s in its nature to be a roadblock on the way to progress. Pelosi got a lot of good legislation passed in the House, but those bills died in the Senate because there are Portuguese Men O’War with more backbone that Harry Reid.

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Emerald:

    You mean McGovern, not Mondale, right? Eagleton was McGovern’s VP choice until he was forced out due to skeletons rattling about in the closet.

  57. 57
    Gustopher says:

    Since the Republican goal is 50%+1, that means the 27% batsh.t insane are a majority in their block. Why does this outcome surprise anyone?

  58. 58
    Punchy says:

    @El Cid: This was leading news on every major channel when the Almost-Burning went down last year. I remember they even had the Penty chime in (Betrayus, natch) about what a bad idea it was….so I figured the Afghanys were just flat wrong about why they were protesting/murdering…guess not. Can that Evangelly get charged with inciting a riot?

  59. 59
    Yutsano says:

    @Valdivia: And even a lot of the young Cubans are starting to lose the love affair their parents had with the Republicans. (Hello wet foot-dry foot? Yeah that’s a fair immigration policy right there.) Mostly because they see that even in America they still get screwed. Counting them as a monolithic Republican bloc is a huge mistake.

    @Cat Lady: The real big problem they have is they honestly need another Reagan. Badly. And no one is even coming close to footing that bill. Rubio has some buzz but I’m thinking that ain’t gonna cut the mustard.

  60. 60
    Butler says:

    Was I the only one who missed the Quran burning that took place on March 20? Apparently that pastor fuck finally did it, but did any news outlets report on it? If not, why not, after making such a big fucking deal about it last year?

    I missed it too, but apparently the news got halfway around the world to Afghanistan.

    Interesting sidenote: the Westboro people were pissed at this Terry Jones and his Koran BBQ. Not because they respect muslims or advocate religious tolerance, but because they had torched some Korans several years before and no one paid them any heed. So you might think of the Westboro people as the hipsters of Koran burning.

  61. 61
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Emerald:

    Former Vice President Mondale was a “fringe” candidate?

    Oh, how history conspires to make people say silly things in retrospect.

  62. 62
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Yutsano:

    Also, the young Cuban-Americans are being assimilated, they don’t have all those memories of the good old days in Havana where they had the peasants in their place, under their feet. Which is the motivations of the Cubans who fled when Castro took over…he stole their gig.

    And, as Valvida points out, the major growth of Latinos is from those who don’t have the Cold War perspective on the US like the Cuban-Americans do.

  63. 63

    Two nitpicks:

    Obama won three confederate states, not two, North Carolina, Florida and Virginia.

    And, @Emerald,
    it was McGovern who dumped Eagleton, in 1972, not Mondale in 1984.

  64. 64
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Emerald: IIRC Larry Bartels’ retrospective study of economy/elections models had Mondale performing only a little worse than expected in 1984, despite the blowout. So a sacrificial lamb, yes.

    It’s a PDF from 2002 or so. Imma go look for it

  65. 65
    hilts says:

    The 2012 election is shaping up to be a different kind of election.

    How many more election cycles will it take for a critical mass to form in the 48 states not named Iowa or New Hampshire that will put an end to this ridiculous, indefensible bullshit presidential nominating system?

    I am sick and tired of these two fucking states having so much power and influence. No offense to anyone living in Iowa or New Hampshire, but I don’t appreciate the fact that your two states have hijacked our nominating process. It’s time for something completely different – like a rotating regional primary system.

    The National Association of Secretaries of States has a plan that merits consideration http://www.nass.org/index.php?.....Itemid=439

  66. 66

    @Emerald:

    . Throwing Eagleton overboard was a mistake.

    Are you talking mondale or mcgovern?

    ETA: I see others have beaten me to the confusion.

  67. 67

    Beat me to the draw on posting about Bachmentum’s fundraising numbers, but just. Well done.

    On the issue itself, I’m pretty stoked. I’d say that if she decides to run, and Huckabee doesn’t, her chances of being on the ticket one way or another are near 50/50. And her nomination would be a Welcome Corrective on Liberal Overreach in This Center-Right Nation.

  68. 68
    Butler says:

    @Elia Isquire:

    Beat me to the draw on posting about Bachmentum’s fundraising numbers, but just. Well done.

    I give her credit, she’s even infiltrated the sidebar here at BJ.

  69. 69
    Valdivia says:

    @Yutsano:

    Yep, as you and VDE notes the younger generation want to end the embargo and see things more as us Hispanics than Cubans and cold war warriors.

    I should note that I meant Rubio’s scandals will NOT escape notice in a national election, could not edit!

  70. 70
    Yutsano says:

    @hilts: Your first challenge is to go to Iowa and change the state law that decrees they get the first choice in any Presidential nomination contest. Then feel free to write back with your results. We’ll wait.

  71. 71
    Cat Lady says:

    @Elia Isquire:

    I want to see those crazy eyes on my TeeVee every day if she’s the nominee. Every.Day. I will go back to watching Chris Matthews every day. I will watch CNN again so that I can soak in Jack Cafferty’s comments and WTF viewer emails about her crazy eyed fucktard comment of the day. I might even start watching Fox to see Karl Rove explain to me like I’m five how she will get RealMurkans back to work with fiat money, unlike the hitleritekenyanusurper who doesn’t have a birth certificate. It will be epic.

  72. 72
    Three-nineteen says:

    You do realize that “A crazy reality-show millionaire Republican candidate” describes more than one person, right?

  73. 73
    Tom Q says:

    @Mark S.: Reagan’s numbers were worse at this point in ’83 (and there was no Rasmussen of the left to skew them). The expectation of most (GOP analysts, and us armchair pundits) is that Obama, like Reagan, has seen the worst of what the economy is going to do to his presidency, and that the further he gets from the bottom, the more the numbers (employment + presidential approvals) are going to float up.

    Obama also resembles Reagan (and differs wildly from Bush 41) in being a charismatic personality who shifted the country’s direction (even if Jane Hamsher doesn’t see either). With just respectable economic conditions, such presidents are almost universally re-elected, often by wide margins.

  74. 74
    bcinaz says:

    Republicans have a huge primary problem, it seems candidates have to spout Obama bashing birtherism to win in the primaries, however, that degree of crazy has no currency in a general election.

    Add in the expanding union busting overreach and by November 2012, there may not be any swing states left.

  75. 75
    Jeffro says:

    @Mark S.:

    OT—stumbled across this: In a CNN poll of American adults released Friday, the median guess on what percentage of the federal budget goes to public broadcasting was 5%. With a $3.55 trillion budget last year, that would put funding for the CBP at approximately $178 billion.

    That’s okay, the median guess on what we spend on foreign aid is 20% of the budget, or just under a trillion dollars. (It’s actually less than half of a percent…unless you count our military expenditures, of course)

  76. 76
    steve says:

    one cause of concern: according to The Last Oil Shock (fantastic book, btw), unemployment typically follows the price of oil with an 18-month lag. Now read yesterday’s boston globe:

    Oil prices hit a new 30-month high on Friday after the world’s top two oil consumers, the U.S. and China, issued positive economic reports that pointed to increased demand. Here’s how energy contracts traded.
    On the New York Mercantile Exchange:
    Crude rose $1.22 to settle at $107.94 per barrel.

    the election is a bit less than 18 mos from today…

  77. 77
    debbie says:

    I’ve never been one for conspiracy theories, but I can’t help noticing the practically identical, state-to-state behaviors of the GOP since they took control in January. Planned Parenthood, abortion, immigration, unions, privatization, disenfranchisement. It’s like there was a secret conference and they all got exactly the same playbook for one outcome: destroy the opposition and assume permanent control. Oh, and drop the word “thug” as often as possible.

    It can’t be Rove’s doing, or this would have happened during Bush’s administration. Maybe the Kochs? They certainly can foot the bill, but I don’t know how long they’ve really had sway with the GOP.

    It’s like Boris, Natasha, and Dear Leader have been huddling behind the curtain since Obama got elected, and they vowed to make sure nothing like that ever, ever happened again.

    When they’ve overreached as brazenly as they have, and they’ve pissed off a lot of people who voted for them because they promised to “focus like a laser” on jobs, can they really believe they’re going to win in 2012? Or do they think they might as well grab whatever they can while they can?

  78. 78
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Butler:

    The Westboro people need to go the way of the Branch Davidians. Full scale, DIAF way.

  79. 79
    Biscuits says:

    What Gustopher said @ 61. Also, too, this country elected commander codpiece/mr. Potter ….Twice!

  80. 80
    DougJ says:

    @tworivers:

    Of course!

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Well, that helps motivate me to get off the couch and go downstairs to wash and re-lube my bike so I can start riding it to work again. Maybe I’ll get a chance to piss O’Rourke off.

    (If he comes to Los Angeles, that is.)

  82. 82
    Triassic Sands says:

    Michele Bachmann has to be considered a possible nominee…

    If so, we are truly approaching the end of civilization.

  83. 83
    Comrade Luke says:

    Two things about this post bug the shit out of me. None of this is directed at DougJ, of course; he’s just stating the obvious. I’m more annoyed that the statements are true :)

    First, what the fuck with Iowa? Why should Iowa – or any single state – be the determining factor in who runs for president? This is nuts.

    Second, on the “rising Latino vote”; I’ll believe it when I see it. Not only is it a little silly to assume that every Latino will vote Democrat because they’re Latino, it drives me nuts that people are just sitting on their asses waiting for these people to reproduce enough so they can vote Democrat instead of…you know…FUCKING LEGISLATING. Not to mention the fact that if Democrats do nothing and just wait on the assumption that Latinos will blindly vote for them, there’s the distinct possibility that Latinos won’t vote at all because Democrats haven’t done anything. Chicken, egg.

  84. 84
    mclaren says:

    Agree with your analysis, DougJ.

    This is where you have to admit Obama is smart, because he obviously saw this coming. Obama and his advisors surely realized that the Republican Party is riding the crazy train right to the end of the line, and since Americans vote for politicians in the middle, typically speaking, this makes Republican presidential candidates unelectable right now.

    So Obama knew he could tack much farther to the right on policy because, really, what choice does a liberal voter have in 2012? Huckabee? Palin?

    Please.

    But this is also where you have to argue that Obama and his team are so smart they’re stupid, because by tacking much farther to the right, Obama is plunging this country right into the toilet. More tax cuts for the rich, no real Wall Street reform, massive giveaways to the medical-industrial complex and no actual reform on health care…these may get Obama re-elected, but they’re only accelerating America’s decline.

    Obama came in promising substantive reform of a whole range of unsustainable policies, from America’s endless unwinnable drug war to America’s endlessly skyrocketing medical costs to America’s endless unwinnable foreign wars…

    …And he’s delivered on none of those reforms.

    Not.

    One.

    Smart electoral politics. Disastrously stupid public policy.

  85. 85
    mclaren says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    Why should Iowa – or any single state – be the determining factor in who runs for president? This is nuts.

    But quintessentially typical of human behavior.

    Modern non-austistic behavioral economics recognizes that path-dependency is a basic characteristic of real-world nonlinear economic systems.

    “Path dependency” means that the final state of a system winds up being dependent on some trivial nonsensical starting condition. A classic example is the QWERTYUIOP typewriter keyboard. The Iowa primary is another example.

    Yes, it’s crazy, totally irrational — and therefore entirely typical of human behavior, and exactly what we would expect in the real world.

  86. 86
    Calouste says:

    Bachman doesn’t have remarkable fundraising capabilities. In the same three quarters 4 years ago, Obama raised $25 million and Clinton raised $26 million.

    The talk should be about why the GOP undeclared candidates’ fundraising is so completely anemic.

  87. 87
    Corner Stone says:

    @mclaren:

    Smart electoral politics. Disastrously stupid public policy.

    But he’ll be worth $200M+ 5 years from the end of his term.

  88. 88

    @hilts:

    I’ve seen that plan before, and I can’t say I like it much. The one I saw that I did like was to have the smallest states go first early in the winter: Delaware, Vermont, Alaska, South and North Dakota, Wyoming, Hawaii, Maine, Rhode Island and I don’t know, maybe a few others I’m forgetting. Maybe all on one day, or 2 or 3 a week for a few weeks. Then Some slightly bigger states, like West Virginia, Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Mississippi go. Then middling states like Connecticut, Maryland, Oklahoma and such. Later on, fairly big states, like Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, Missouri, Massachussetts, Wisconsin, Washington, and the like. Last come the 10 or so biggest states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Illinois and California.

    I like that plan, since it gives every state some shot at having a say in who gets chosen. Small states get to choose early, and that’s good, since a candidate can stumble and lose a state or even a string of states, and not be out of it. Sometimes an underdog can come near to winning in Iowa or New Hampshire, but then doesn’t get anywhere since he’s already tagged a “loser”, and the states come so fast, one right after the other after the first two or 3, that there’s no way to keep up.

    Howard Dean might not have been out of the race after Iowa and his scream if there had been a slow but steady stream of other small states after Iowa, rather than New Hampshire and then Everything Else Together. (I wasn’t a fan of Dean in 2004, but I think having his campaign ended over one dumb thing like “The Scream” was bad for the country. I think it’s always good to have as spirited a primary season as can be.)

  89. 89
    steve says:

    Since there will never be 60 libs in the senate, the most important thing dem voters could do would be to become single-issue voters on ending the fillibuster.

  90. 90
    TenguPhule says:

    When Obama wins Phase II, it will be so much easier to round up the self-identified batshit insane people and ship them to the liberal education camps.

  91. 91
    TenguPhule says:

    If so, we are truly approaching the end of civilization.

    We have looked into the abyss and it is winking starbursts back at us.

  92. 92
    hilts says:

    @Duncan Dönitz (formerly Otto Graf von Pfmidtnöchtler-Pízsmőgy, Mumphrey, et al.):

    There’s no perfect solution, but I can’t think of anything worse than the presidential nominating system that is currently in place.

  93. 93
    mclaren says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Yet Obama is already destined for a life of glory and wealth because he’s the first black American president. He’s going to be a permanent star on the celebrity circuit, and his memoirs will become a huge bestseller whatever he does in office because (A) Barack Obama is a fabulous writer, one of the best writers in the Oval Office, comparable only to Uylsses S. Grant and JFK; and (B) there’s a huge novelty premium attached to memoirs written by the first black American president.

    So Obama’s got it made financially and in terms of his place in history regardless of what he had chosen to do in terms of public policy.

    This makes Obama’s choice to wimp out and reneg on his promise of substantive reform particularly inexplicable and saddening. So what if pushing for real reform meant he never got a second term, he’s got it made for life already. Why not go for the gusto and take the shot?

  94. 94
    mclaren says:

    @steve:

    Since there will never be 60 libs in the Senate…

    Never say never, kiddo.

    Take a look at the demographics. Do you have any idea how sulphurously angry under-25 voters are at conservatives and Republicans?

    Do you have any idea how fast the Latino and Asian populations are growing, and how they tend to vote?

    I’d say it’s a demographic certainty that at some time in the foreseeable future we’ll have 60 libs in the senate. In fact, it’s only a matter of time.

  95. 95
    steve says:

    @mclaren: 20% of americans identify as liberal

    So, yeah, never. I hate it too, but it’s the state of affairs.

  96. 96
    steve says:

    maybe in 50 years.

  97. 97
    Emerald says:

    @Duncan Dönitz (formerly Otto Graf von Pfmidtnöchtler-Pízsmőgy, Mumphrey, et al.):

    it was McGovern who dumped Eagleton, in 1972, not Mondale in 1984.

    Ouch! You’re right!

    And it was McGovern who was the WW2 air hero. And who wanted the $1,000 payment to everyone. Got confused by the initial consonant. I intended to say poor ‘ol McGovern was perceived as the “fringe” candidate.

    Mea Maxima Culpa. I will quit posting until I dunk my head in some windshield wiper fluid a couple of times.

  98. 98
    mclaren says:

    @steve:

    This is where I think you’re being too pessimistic. Look, I grew up in a world where most people polled thought black people shouldn’t be able to move in next door.

    Things got better.

    I have confidence that people are basically decent and that while all of us underestimate the horrors and brutality of how bad things can get in the short run, all of us also underestimate the tremendous progressive effects of education and modern communications technology in the long run.

  99. 99
    ThresherK says:

    @Mnemosyne: When he’s not not sucking in print, P.J. O’Rourke is making “Bluff the Listener” 33% easier to play on “Wait! Wait!” to even the least devoted listener (a.k.a. me): He’ll make up some shit about the government, perferably from a coastal elite state or city, put a Democratic, black, female, Latino, gay or lesbian face on it, and then wonder why nobody falls for it.

    “Why, that just killed down at the gentlemens’ club, over those of us reading Investors’ Business Daily!”

  100. 100
    priscianus jr says:

    @debbie:

    I’ve never been one for conspiracy theories, but I can’t help noticing the practically identical, state-to-state behaviors of the GOP since they took control in January.

    http://scholarcitizen.williamc.....3/15/alec/

  101. 101
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    @Emerald: Whoa, Em, if someone’s already corrected you downthread, forgive me, but wasn’t it McGovern who threw Eagleton overboard? Like 12 years before Mondale ran?

    ETA: Shit, nevermind. Honest mistake. Mondale, McGovern, what’s the fucking difference? All the Democrats looked alike back in the day.

  102. 102
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    I will quit posting until I dunk my head in some windshield wiper fluid a couple of times.

    That shit’s bad for you.

  103. 103
    Jay C says:

    @mclaren:

    So what if pushing for real reform meant he never got a second term, he’s got it made for life already.

    Except that if by “real reform” you mean anything that might even remotely mean stemming, even slightly, the hemorrhage of our nation’s income and wealth ever upward to the top 2-3% (max.), Obama’s replacement in the WH for the 2013-17 term would probably have ALL of said “reforms” reversed by January 23, 2013, latest.

  104. 104
    Paula says:

    IMHO, I think the GOP nom is staying in the shadows. I think Sen Rubio will run. Call me crazy, but that’s what I think. Since his election, I haven’t heard much about him. He is avoiding he spotlight and when he does it’s noncontroversial, under the radar. He is cuban (Latino) and would get votes from that community on that basis alone. He maybe be perceived among the GOP establishment as their version of Obama.

  105. 105
    Paula says:

    IMHO, I think the GOP nom is staying in the shadows. I think Sen Rubio will run. Call me crazy, but that’s what I think. Since his election, I haven’t heard much about him. He is avoiding he spotlight and when he does it’s noncontroversial, under the radar. He is cuban (Latino) and would get votes from that community on that basis alone. He maybe be perceived among the GOP establishment as their version of Obama.

  106. 106

    mclaren #100 “I’d say it’s a demographic certainty that at some time in the foreseeable future we’ll have 60 libs in the senate. In fact, it’s only a matter of time.”
    Of course by that time, after all the stumbles and lurches to the Right, the FutureDems will be the equivalent of the PresentTeabaggers, and will be complaining about “Takin’ our country back from them lazy Martians!” (while the FutureGOP will be up in arms over RobObama’s plan to help brains in jars avoid defaulting on their jar-mortgages).

  107. 107
    bob h says:

    This is uncharted territory.

    I see the Republicans reacting to their helplessness and haplessness not with self-examination but with anger directed at Obama. I just hope the SS is adding staff for the election.

  108. 108
    debbie says:

    @ priscianus jr:

    Thanks for the link. I must say I’m surprised at the Satanic malevolence lurking behind the mild-manneredness that is/was Henry Hyde.

  109. 109
    TJ says:

    Overconfidence, thy name is DougJ. Way too early for this shit.

  110. 110

    […] But the Tea Party of 2010 may not be the Tea Party of 2012.  In the last cycle, the Teabaggers benefitted from some very heavy institutional support, most notably fawning daily tongue baths on FOX News and helicopter money drops from well funded astroturf outfits like Freedom Works.  With the White House on the line, will the men with the checkbooks withdraw their support?  And if they do, can the Tea Party stand on its own?  The identity of the Red nominee may hinge on those linked questions, and it truly is anyone’s game. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] But the Tea Party of 2010 may not be the Tea Party of 2012.  In the last cycle, the Teabaggers benefitted from some very heavy institutional support, most notably fawning daily tongue baths on FOX News and helicopter money drops from well funded astroturf outfits like Freedom Works.  With the White House on the line, will the men with the checkbooks withdraw their support?  And if they do, can the Tea Party stand on its own?  The identity of the Red nominee may hinge on those linked questions, and it truly is anyone’s game. […]

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