Hells to the yes

Those who know my stuff know that Susie Madrak speaks for me here.

I get really pissed when armchair prognosticators “explain” to me that it doesn’t matter, the GOP has gerrymandered away any chance of victory. Horse hockey: Gerrymandering only works when Dems have their usual tepid turnout. If we turn out, we win.

And here’s the simplest way to do it: Call every Democrat you know the weekend before the election, and remind them how important it is to vote. Then call and remind them the night before.

A wise man might have once said that there are two kinds of people in the world: people who think there are two kinds of people in the world and people who don’t. In the reactions to my earlier thoughts about shame and persuasion in politics many who resisted the most also seemed more likely to see ‘them’ as an undifferentiated mass neither worth the effort nor likely to respond to it. I disagree. Why does that matter? It matters to me because I think that believing the game is fixed, that people are fixed, makes an excellent excuse to check out and snipe from the margins (common synonym: blogging).

It takes effort to get your friends registered and voting, to call your Congressperson and write your local paper and perhaps most of all to talk with a supposed political ‘enemy’ on their level without antagonism, shaming or cheap shots. Sure some districts will never turn blue and some people have a head of reinforced concrete. If you want to believe that describes them all or even a significant plurality then go ahead and check out.

For everyone else I will point out the one thing in the Ferguson protests that freaked FOX News most of all: a table registering voters.

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80 replies
  1. 1

    “On 16 December, the Germans launched a surprise offensive through the Ardennes Forest which became known as the Battle of the Bulge. Two days later the 82nd joined the fighting and blunted General Gerd von Rundstedt’s northern penetration of American lines. During this campaign, PFC Martin, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, told a sergeant in a retreating tank destroyer to, “…pull your vehicle behind me—I’m the 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the bastards are going!”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8.....e_Division

  2. 2
    Elizabelle says:

    Thank you for this, Tim.

    I get tired of the Eeyorism. Get fired up and get voters out to support Democrats.

    And I do wonder why too many Democrats are not in the habit of voting in midterms and local elections. The reactionary right turns its foot (in mouth) soldiers out.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Botsplainer says:

    From downstairs, a late morning entry that appalled me:

    The terrorists hate us for our freedom, white Christian conservative men are courageous in their defense of people’s freedom and the thin blue line keeps us all safe.

    Enjoy this record of a woman silently videoing an open GOP campaign event as she gets roughed up, ejected and arrested.

    http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2.....gop-rally/

    Here’s how the Georgia’s attorney general reacted on Saturday, after being introduced to the crowd by Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black:

    “Let me be possibly politically incorrect here a second. If we stand for anything as a party, what are we afraid of with the lady having a camera, filming us? What are we saying here that shouldn’t be on film? What message are we sending? That because it’s private property they shouldn’t be filming? What is the harm?

    “The harm that occurs post-this is far greater than her filming us. What are we hiding? If we are telling you why we are running and what we stand for — what are we hiding? There is no reason for that. That is not right. It is private property. The property owner has the right to not have the person there. Who’s the winner in the long run? Not a good move.”

    Jen Talber, a spokeswoman for the Nathan Deal campaign, kept the ejection at arms’ length. “As this incident was in no way related to Deal for Governor, I am referring you to the owner of the private property at which the event took place.”

    The governor said Tisdale’s ouster made him feel “uncomfortable” but because he was a guest he had no involvement in the decision.

    http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2.....speaks-up/

    Bail was set at over $6000 dollars on a felony charge of assault, which manly man husband-owner is insisting upon. Deal sat silently like a chickenshit, and none of those manly men gun toters put a round through deputy meatslab’s melon. The local GOP woman’s rep left the event in disgust, to her credit, and the AG was a standup guy.

    Deal needs to pardon her (assuming he has that power), and the GBI should take a real hard look at deputy meatslab, whose department cleared him already.

  5. 5
    bemused says:

    @Botsplainer:

    I thought I read others were videoing and weren’t ordered to stop. She said the wife/owner okayed her videoing or at least attending. She was singled out because she wasn’t considered GOP friendly, imo.

    Two of the top GPOers disapproving of the way she was ousted immediately or right after were women which is interesting. Definitely a stupid move for the Republicans.

  6. 6
    Botsplainer says:

    @bemused:

    The AG “gets” it, and sounds like he may actually be interested in the concept of governance. Those women will remember that a long time, and had some scales fall off their eyes.

    ETA – I guess husband-owner trumps wife-owner because Jesus.

  7. 7

    OT: getting my electrodes off in a bit as soon as they’ll let me walk unassisted again. Then I get to find out just how long this arm catheter is…

    And I’ve got some pretty hardcore mange from the EKG haha. Wish we knew what caused the seizure…

    And a routine CAT found a cyst in my brain which is “probably fine.” Ah, my first real bout with aging.

  8. 8
    srv says:

    I still think most people are finite state machines, but I greatly enjoy giving them spurious inputs.

  9. 9
    RaflW says:

    I have family in WI but not in WI-06, yet I just donated to the Dem candidate (www.harrisforwisconsin.com). Why? Because even in a clearly +R district, every seat must be contested, and with the WI Governor’s race being critical, even getting a few more Dems fired up in the 6th could make a difference for the state.

    And who knows, the GOP candidate could self-destruct. It happens (FSM willing….)

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Carl Nyberg says:

    I too get frustrated when insiders & pundits decide there’s no chance of gains so donors might as well close the checkbooks.

    I’ve been out knocking on doors and making phone calls.

    Not everyone can volunteer, but many people can volunteer who don’t volunteer.

  12. 12
    cmorenc says:

    For everyone else I will point out the one thing in the Ferguson protests that freaked FOX News most of all: a table registering voters.

    To some extent, this reflects that the GOP base has bought into the notion that politics is like the “knife-fight” at the start of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” – there are no real rules except do whatever you need to do to win that you can get away with, including attempting to de-legitimize anything your opponents are doing that seemingly might be effective in increasing their voter turnout.

    HOWEVER, it’s also much more than just that – there’s a deep-seated belief across much of the GOP base that they are a natural majority among the classes of citizens who legitimately should be included in the electorate, and only become a potential minority when the electorate expands to include people undeserving or unentitled to vote. Among the implicit qualifications they believe should exist to voting is that it should be restricted to makers rather than takers, best tested by some minimum threshold of taxpaying or property ownership (similar to the way things were in many places a couple of hundred years ago) – conservative-leaning retirees included because they paid taxes during their working lives. Of course, this is ironic, given that most red states are net importers of federal tax funds rather than net exporters, and most blue states are net exporters rather than importers of federal tax funds.

    The protesters (especially the black protesters) in Fergueson represent to them a collage of examples of the sorts of people of color who are thuggish, uncivil takers rather than productive citizens, and thus it’s an outrage that activists are attempting to register more of them to vote.

  13. 13
    wmd says:

    Someone needs to formulate Pascal’s wager for cynicism about political involvement.

    If my engagement in the political process has no affect all I’ve lost is some time, if it has an affect I’ve helped achieve the policies I want.

    In reality even the lost time/effort has value, as you’ve built some networks with people with some similar policy goals.

  14. 14

    I will point out the one thing in the Ferguson protests that freaked FOX News most of all: a table registering voters.

    In North Carolina, an African American politician/LGBT activist was arrested for distributing voting rights information as part of the Moral Mondays campaign.

    Voting. Can’t have that.

  15. 15
    Tommy says:

    My mom runs elections in her town. At times 15 vote. A town of 15,000. Most elections mom calls in tears. She is not remotely a liberal. But she wants people to vote.

  16. 16
    Elizabelle says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Good luck to you. (You don’t look that old on a blog comment!)

  17. 17
    bago says:

    Sorry, but a brute force dictionary attack against an API with no auth retry penalty is easy least, and would be stopped cold by a two factor with scheme. That’s just basic knowledge.

  18. 18
    Trollhattan says:

    Speaking of churning congress, I’ll endure some self-backpatting injuries for my prediction Eric Cantor would land on Wall and not K street, basically following in his wife’s stylish pumps. “Unsurprising” has it about right. Farewell, putz (not really, go choke on a cronut).

  19. 19
    bemused says:

    Ironically, if they had just left her alone to video along with others, hardly anyone out of the state would probably have heard of this public event on private property. They may have delighted the teaparty types there with the strongarm approach but caused more Republicans there to think, oh great, making us look like bullies and idiots again.

  20. 20
    Trollhattan says:

    @bago: You lost me after “Sorry”.

  21. 21
    CaseyL says:

    I live in reliably deep-blue Seattle. I’ve canvassed in the past, was a poll worker, and have done GOTV, but honestly don’t think my efforts are really needed here.

    But I am very uncomfortable with the idea of working the phones for other states’ and cities’ GOTV. I feel like an intruder.

    I think it would be different if I actually went out there and hit the streets in person (which I can’t afford to do). But as a stranger calling in from hundreds or thousands of miles away, saying “We really need your vote!” ? I think I’d feel peeved if someone from out of state called me and reminded me to vote. It’s like, “Who the hell are you to tell me about voting in my own goddamn city?”

  22. 22
    Botsplainer says:

    @Southern Beale:

    In North Carolina, an African American politician/LGBT activist was arrested for distributing voting rights information as part of the Moral Mondays campaign.

    Voting. Can’t have that.

    Yet they rage when the disenfranchised turn to radical political beliefs out of desperation.

  23. 23
    Mike E says:

    Yep, ahead of you on that…been making GOTV calls these last several elections, and barring a sudden job offer, I should be doing same this time around, too.
    Also.

  24. 24
    wmd says:

    @CaseyL:

    “Who the hell are you to tell me about voting in my own goddamn city?”

    I’m someone that cares about issues that are affected by this election in your city. I’m calling specifically because Candidate X is a much better choice than the alternatives on these issues that drive my passion. The software that put in in touch with you suggests that you care about the same issues, and that you haven’t committed to voting in this election. I’m calling to let you know your vote will be crucial – we can do this.

    I’ve made calls via the PCCC automated system in congressional districts in many states. I don’t follow the scripts verbatim, I engage as a human that cares about policy, and find common ground. Always polite, always willing to accept that they just their dog puke in the middle of the living room right before their date arrived and can’t talk.

    Yeah, I’ve been told that.

  25. 25
    efgoldman says:

    @Southern Beale:

    This is a horrible thought, because it diminishes America’s highest court in the land to mere Kabuki. That’s a level of cynicism even I never fathomed.

    I’d have thought you paid closer attention than that.
    This Five Savonarolas version of SCOTUS is an abomination, and an embarrassment to the courts, the country, and our history. 75 years from now Roberts will be considered the judicial-historical equivalent of Taney.

  26. 26
    wuzzat says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I am that person who requests an absentee ballot so she doesn’t miss local elections while away on business. That said, it’s not always easy to take time off work to go vote. Republicans get higher turnouts for what’s perceived as the “lesser” elections because they’ve got the higher percentage of people with more control over their daily schedule (e.g. retired folks and CEOs).

    I’ve always thought that voting ought to be compulsory and that employers should be legally required to give employees time off to vote, but that’s a minority opinion.

  27. 27
    wuzzat says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I am that person who requests an absentee ballot so she doesn’t miss local elections while away on business. That said, it’s not always easy to take time off work to go vote. Republicans get higher turnouts for what’s perceived as the “lesser” elections because they’ve got the higher percentage of people with more control over their daily schedule (e.g. retired folks and CEOs).

    I’ve always thought that voting ought to be compulsory and that employers should be legally required to give employees time off to vote, but that’s a minority opinion.

  28. 28
    efgoldman says:

    @Southern Beale:

    In North Carolina, an African American politician/LGBT activist was arrested for distributing voting rights information as part of the Moral Mondays campaign.

    Was s/he actually charged? With what?

  29. 29
    efgoldman says:

    @wuzzat:

    I’ve always thought that voting ought to be compulsory and that employers should be legally required to give employees time off to vote, but that’s a minority opinion.

    Do it on Sundays, the way the dreaded Yurpeens do. Or make election day a national day off, where every other damned thing – Walmart, 7-11, gas stations, bars, Mickey-D, Dunkies – is closed.

  30. 30
    Mike E says:

    @CaseyL: I’ve trained many people on this subject…if it feels uncomfortable then that will translate to whomever you talk to, so do what you are comfortable with, like maybe volunteering for an office operation (data entry, filing, envelope stuffing, brewing coffee etc). Any steady support will help the GOTV effort if direct interaction with voters isn’t your thing.

  31. 31
    boatboy_srq says:

    @cmorenc: Simpler than that. The modern GOTea is populated with Calhoun’s descendants, who can’t seem to come to grips with the idea that ni-CLANGs are now entitled to a whole vote each and that wimmins are allowed to vote at all. This is the dark underbelly of Tentherism: voiding everything after the Bill of Rights gets around those pesky requirements.

  32. 32

    @Elizabelle: I’m 30! The doctors sort of just scratched their heads and put me up for a few days.

  33. 33
    El Caganer says:

    @bago: Is it legal to do that with farm animals in your state?

  34. 34
    El Caganer says:

    @efgoldman: Sorry, but in a truly God-fearing country, Sunday belongs to Baby Jesus. And you don’t fuck with Baby Jesus.

  35. 35
    boatboy_srq says:

    @efgoldman: He. Leafletting; which in that part of NC is apparently against some city ordnance – that’s never enforced when good upstanding hetero white males Real Voters™ do it.

  36. 36
    Redshift says:

    @Major Major Major Major: A friend of mine had a seizure a few years ago. As he describes it, one moment he was sitting eating lunch, and the next he was strapped to a gurney. (Apparently he had been “combative.”) After a battery of tests, the best they could tell him was that if it didn’t happen again soon, it probably wouldn’t happen again. He wasn’t allowed to drive for (I think) six months, and had been fine ever since. I jokingly referred to it as a ” brain crash. ”

    Here’s hoping yours is similarly inconsequential in the long term.

  37. 37
    Paul in KY says:

    @Tommy: I’m assuming that is in her precinct & not 15 out of 15,000.

  38. 38
    Elizabelle says:

    @wuzzat:
    @efgoldman:

    I like the idea of lots and lots of early voting, including several weekends. Plus no-excuse needed absentee voting, across every state, and mail in ballots. Paper ballot backup for EVERY vote.

    And don’t put the municipal elections in the off years. Expensive to do so, and you get a limited electorate.

    Also, federal guidelines for ALL federal elections. Don’t leave it to the states; you cannot trust the governors and rightwing legislatures of some.

  39. 39
    Redshift says:

    GOTV is everything. There’s very solid political science research showing that extremely few people can be swayed in any election (no matter how many call themselves “independents” or proudly say they vote for the candidate, not for the party.) The only thing that shifts is turnout. (This doesn’t mean ads and candidates don’t affect the chances, just that they primarily matter to the extent that they drive or depress turnout.)

    Once I understood that, I became even more devoted to GOTV work. It’s never wasted; even if you have no chance of winning any particular election, identifying supporters is building a foundation for future elections.

  40. 40
    catclub says:

    @El Caganer:

    Sunday belongs to Baby Jesus. And you don’t fuck with Baby Jesus.

    So THAT is why no NFL football on Sundays. I knew it was something like that.

  41. 41
    Trollhattan says:

    O/T according to the Bogg, puppy-kicking asshole CEO will henceforth have a lot of free time on his hands. Am certain his only regret is getting caught, and stadium beer will still be fourteen bucks.

  42. 42
    Redshift says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I like the idea of lots and lots of early voting, including several weekends. Plus no-excuse needed absentee voting, across every state, and mail in ballots. Paper ballot backup for EVERY vote.

    And don’t put the municipal elections in the off years. Expensive to do so, and you get a limited electorate.

    Also, whether politicians support or oppose these measures is a good marker for whether they actually believe in democracy, or if they only want the “right” people to vote.

  43. 43

    @Redshift: Yeah, I was walking down the stairs to a game of nomic when all of a sudden I was sprawled on the floor, wondering whose house I was in and who those guys over there cosplaying EMTs were. When offered my glasses by my husband I said “those aren’t my glasses! Who are you?” Things gradually cleared up… and ow, my tongue.

    Wtf. Yeah, the doc said “everybody gets a freebie.”

  44. 44
    El Caganer says:

    @catclub: Hey, that’s Murkin football, and Baby Jesus is all thumbs-up with anything truly Murkin. Not like that faggy ‘futbol.’ Goddam Eurogooks can’t even spell.

  45. 45
    catclub says:

    @Redshift:

    And don’t put the municipal elections in the off years.

    haha. Mississippi Governors are elected in odd numbered years.

  46. 46
    Trollhattan says:

    Proof positive it’s still never too early to teach the young’ns to use Freedom Sticks(tm).

    A 7-year-old Bay Area boy had to be flown to a Sacramento hospital after he was hurt while target shooting at his family’s Georgetown property, deputies said Monday. The child was using a single-shot .22-caliber bolt action youth rifle with the help of his father, according to a news release from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department.

    He and his dad were shooting rifles at targets at the same time Saturday afternoon. The targets were about 40 yards away. Several family members stood behind the shooters, watching them, deputies said.

    Despite the fact that no one noticed any ricochets and the guns were always pointed down-range, the 7-year-old at one point grabbed his chest and complained of pain, deputies said. The boy’s father checked the son and noticed the child’s T-shirt had a small hole in it, where he was bleeding from his chest.

    A preliminary investigation shows pieces of a bullet did indeed ricochet, hitting the child, investigators told KCRA 3.

    http://www.kcra.com/news/local.....z3CBQCTHQe

    So very sorry the inlaws no longer live there.

  47. 47
    Elizabelle says:

    @Redshift:

    Yes indeed.

    Sad that “integrity of the vote” means different things to Democrats and Republicans.

  48. 48
    El Caganer says:

    @Trollhattan: And we’re at the point where this is almost a happy-ending story: nobody killed or permanently disabled. ‘Youth guns?”

  49. 49
    Redshift says:

    @catclub: In Virginia, both the governor and the legislature are elected in off years. VA and NJ are the only states that elect governors in the year after a presidential election. Even worse is the state senate, which is elected in the year when there are neither congressional or gubernatorial elections, i.e., the lowest possible turnout.

  50. 50
    Trollhattan says:

    @El Caganer:
    Yeah, he lives on to shoot again, and then become a gun consumer, just as god intended. In the same county a couple years ago one kid shot another in the chest with a .177 pellet gun, only the victim wasn’t this lucky and died. “But it’s just a toy.”

  51. 51
    Redshift says:

    @Elizabelle: Yeah, for me it took the Bush Administration running elections in Iraq to realize that to conservatives, the definition of democracy, at home or abroad, is “elections are held, and the right people win.”

  52. 52
    Citizen_X says:

    @Elizabelle:

    And don’t put the municipal elections in the off years. Expensive to do so, and you get a limited electorate.

    And THAT is how Ferguson, MO ended up with nearly all-white leadership and policing.

    It was originally a “Progressive” idea. Supposed to get local elections away from party machines ‘n all that.

  53. 53
    Carl Nyberg says:

    @CaseyL:

    I wish the Democrats had lists of people who were Democrats to be activated.

    I think many people would feel comfortable calling Democrats and Dem leaners in other places and encouraging them to get involved in campaigns.

    But calling into other states to do voter ID or persuasion… it does seem funky.

    (Not that people aligned with Rahm Emanuel had any problems hiring out-of-state firm to do voter ID in Chicago.)

  54. 54
    Roger Moore says:

    @Elizabelle:

    And don’t put the municipal elections in the off years. Expensive to do so, and you get a limited electorate.

    Why do you think they like doing it that way? I actually think there’s some advantage to having the statewide elections at the same time as the federal midterms, since those elections are likely to give people more motivation to vote. The real flaw is in having them in years when there’s no federal election.

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    this is how I see it…get out and vote – we win. period.

  56. 56
    CaseyL says:

    @Mike E: The advice is much appreciated, but I’m not sure the technology exists to do make coffee and stuff envelopes from another state :)

    Local stuff, I have no problems talking to strangers on the phone. This is my city; I know the issues and the history of the issues. That’s one thing. Carpetbagging into another state is another, and that’s what I’m uncomfortable doing.

    I remember 2004, the Dean Machine, where a bunch of kids went out over the land and essentially made pests of themselves. They had the enthusiasm and fervor; what they didn’t have was a sense of when enough was enough, leave me alone already.

    I watched that happen, saw it help derail what might have been a viable campaign, and have been ultra-sensitive about the issue every since.

  57. 57
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Redshift: Interesting, no, that in any other “democracy” voter turnout below 90% is “illegitimate” but in the US voter turnout above 50% is “VOTER FRAUD!!!11!1!™”?

  58. 58
    efgoldman says:

    @El Caganer:

    Sunday belongs to Baby Jesus. And you don’t fuck with Baby Jesus.

    If that came within even a mile of being true, the gawd-botherer states wouldn’t have been the first ones to allow stores opening on the sabbath.

  59. 59
    efgoldman says:

    @Elizabelle:

    And don’t put the municipal elections in the off years.

    In New England, they’re not only in off years, they’re often in the spring, prior to town meeting.

  60. 60
    Heliopause says:

    And here’s the simplest way to do it: Call every Democrat you know the weekend before the election, and remind them how important it is to vote. Then call and remind them the night before.

    Yes, that’s brilliant. All you committed white liberals call up all your committed white liberal friends and remind them to vote. That’ll punch up turnout.

    Newsflash: unless your circle of friends includes a crapload of college students and hispanics you’re wasting your time.

  61. 61
    Tenar Darell says:

    @efgoldman: Funny, my Dad grumps just about every year something like: it should be a #%^+*! Holiday where people who have to work vote early and polling stations open all day! But, he’s old fashioned, and believes in voting on Election Day in person and after all the news comes in, no matter what.

    I must have gotten my attitude towards “things there ought to be holidays for” from him, because although early and weekend voting are the best way to give everyone a chance at the polls, so far, Election Day should also be a real holiday, and employers should have to treat it like it was jury duty. If that means that everyone gets to come to work late or leave work early or take the day off or the polls stay open for 24 hours, then that’s what should be enforced everywhere, even for local elections. (But that would make too much sense I suppose).

  62. 62
    El Caganer says:

    @efgoldman: Opening stores = free-market capitalism = Christian Freedumb
    Voting = big-gummint socialism = Satanic Islamosexuality

  63. 63
    wmd says:

    @Carl Nyberg:

    The calls I made via the PCCC and OFA were to supporters – something over 95%.

    The tools are really useful – you sit somewhere comfortable, you phone rings and the record of the person you’re being connected to comes up on your screen. in 2008 and 2010 the scripts were fairly generic, but I suspect that the analytics will be improving each election and it won’t be long before the GOTV caller has the specific issues for the person and a more custom script that incorporates those issues.

  64. 64
    Roger Moore says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    in any other “democracy” voter turnout below 90% is “illegitimate”

    Not even close to true. Look at turnout in the last EU elections, for example. No country in the EU managed 90% turnout, the election as a whole had turnout less than half that, and there were more countries with turnout below 35% than above 50%. In the absence of some kind of compulsory voting, 90%+ turnout is a lot more suspicious than 50%-. Some countries can’t get 90% turnout even with compulsory voting.

  65. 65

    agree 1000%, esp about this:

    >For everyone else I will point out the one thing in the Ferguson protests that freaked FOX News most of all: a table registering voters.

    Same with ACA. While a lot of people on the Left complained that they didn’t get all they wanted RIGHT NOW – I was reassured by the unholy freakout it elicited on the Right. That’s a reliable gauge.

  66. 66
    Roger Moore says:

    @Hillary Rettig:
    Just wait until people suggest you should be able to register to vote at the same time you sign up for Obamacare.

  67. 67
    catclub says:

    @Heliopause: Somebody else said

    I wish the Democrats had lists of people who were Democrats to be activated.

    But if you expand your circles, (and get a bit of organization – Democrats!?) eventually you will get to the latinos and college students, and women ( oh my).

  68. 68
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Roger Moore: Yes, but those elections don’t hit the US news. Think more Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya,…. there, you’ll hear Reichwhinging that the elections are somehow “tainted” because of “low turnout”. Kristol, Will, Brooks and others have all said this; yet somehow a disengaged electorate at home isn’t the crisis it is in places like that (where the risks involved are far higher). REMINDER: we’re not talking about actual election data here – we’re discussing Teahad freakouts when they lose versus conviction that “everyone votes” is the standard for the places they think are noteworthy.

  69. 69
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Tenar Darell: I am convinced that Tuesday elections are maintained precisely because they support the status quo – much like Sunday off was intended for indoctrination Church. Give the people time off, and they might actually [gasp] participate.

  70. 70
    boatboy_srq says:

    @efgoldman: Those Southern states are confusing God and Mammon again. But they’ve done that since they discovered cotton and tobacco were cash crops.

  71. 71
    rikyrah says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I like all your ideas. Have no disagreement with any of your list.

  72. 72
    Tenar Darell says:

    @boatboy_srq: Yes, you are correct, as currently constituted it certainly supports the status quo. We could probably argue that even the tradition of having elections on Tuesdays, because that way you wouldn’t be traveling on Sundays or interfering with Market Day on Wednesdays, was obsolete by the Civil War, and certainly by the turn of the century between urbanization and industrialization. It’s why the arguments today sound so similar, this fight for the franchise has been going on for a long time. The basic strategy stays the same, even as the tactics change. I wonder if there is something that far back on chaging the day in the history/poli-sci lit on this? (I have to go, so anyone who feels like digging….)

  73. 73
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @wuzzat: In Massachusetts, employers are legally required to give employees time off to vote. It’s just two hours, unpaid, and the employee has to request it, all of which could obviously render the requirement useless. But there is a law.

  74. 74
    John N says:

    At a certain point, don’t we have to start questioning WHY everyone is checked out? Why people believe the game is fixed? Why people aren’t excited about Democrats? Do the Democrats themselves ever bear ANY responsibility for failing to excite their liberal base?

    If liberals aren’t turning out, or Democrats more broadly aren’t turning out, then THROW THEM SOME FUCKING RED MEAT.

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    John N says:

    PS – What are liberals supposed to do? We want a liberal party. We will never have that until we have a party filled with people who are willing to say “government is not the problem, government helps people.” We don’t have that now. The biggest obstacle to liberal policy and the biggest thing that helps conservatives (except money, of course, that’s a whole different issue) is the notion, broadly held, that government is a problem to be solved. Liberals get very frustrated watching politicians in our party, who we voted for, buy into this idea, and help perpetuate it.

    But what can we do? We aren’t allowed to primary an “electable” candidate, and we’re not allowed to abstain from voting, because then Republicans win, right? So what do we do? How do we get the party we want?

    Obviously, these are rhetorical questions. We should be defeating non-liberal candidates in primary elections. And if the party establishment consistently does what they did when Ned Lamont won the primary against Lieberman, then we can definitively say that they do not represent our interests, nor do they value our viewpoint. So, why should liberals support that?

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @John N:

    We want a liberal party. We will never have that until we have a party filled with people who are willing to say “government is not the problem, government helps people.” We don’t have that now.

    Here’s part of the problem, though: there are a fair number of people voting on the Democratic side who are better described as left libertarians who don’t believe that the government helps people. They really do believe that the government needs to get out of the way and let private enterprise work whenever possible. So there’s a major schism right inside the Democratic Party even before you begin.

    I don’t think it’s hopeless, but I do think you need to be careful about deciding what government programs you want to highlight and point out the spots where private enterprise has let us down, because those people have a very strong anti-government prejudice that you need to overcome.

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    @CaseyL: >But I am very uncomfortable with the idea of working the
    >phones for other states’ and cities’ GOTV. I feel like an intruder.

    Get over it.

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    mclaren says:

    This is why guys like Richard Mayhew are dead-enders, destined for the ashcan of history. These people constantly recite a litany of things that are politically “impossible.” We can’t get universal health care because it’s politicalyl “impossible.” We can’t get a Democratic majority in congress because it’s politically “impossible.” We can’t shut down America’s endless unwinnable foreign wars because it’s politically “impossible.”

    That kind of cynicism is just a cheap excuse to sit on your fat lazy ass and do nothing. I have lived long enough to have seen lots of politically “impossible” things happen, so I continue to volunteer for the local Democratic phone bank and door-to-door campaigning. Eventually, things will change. I’ve seen it during my lifetime. Pay no attention to the cynics.

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    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Redshift:

    The only thing that shifts is turnout.

    That makes a lot of sense, with the potential caveat of being coupled with motivated voter registration drives. It’s really hard to convince people to change their minds. It’s much easier to get like-minded people to the polls (though that is hard in too many cases for lots of reasons).

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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    John N says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s kind of the issue in a nutshell. What does it mean to be a Democrat? It has to mean more than just not being a Republican.

    I would like to see Democrats highlight specific government policies that help people, sure, but in a more general way, I don’t think they need to let themselves get bogged down in details. I want to see them present the argument, essentially, that even if things don’t always go smoothly, the government has the power to help people in an enormous way, and it’s worth the effort to try. I want to see them make the moral argument that people need help, and that helping them is the right thing to do, even when it costs a lot to do it. I feel like this should be a philosophical position that most liberal Democrats would agree with, and I want to hear it more clearly and consistently articulated.

    If there is a faction of Democrats who don’t agree with this notion, then that presents an issue. But considering what the Democrats have done and stood for since FDR and the New Deal, it presents the question: why are they Democrats? Are we worried about them defecting to Republicans on election day? If so, how can we allow them to influence the positions of the Democratic party so heavily? Are we worried about them staying home on election day? Well, then, they should be subject to the same types of arguments about how it will be their fault if Republicans get elected. And if they won’t defect, and won’t stay home, then let them be the ones who hold their nose and vote for a Democrat because the Republicans are too crazy.

    I am a liberal, so I happen to believe that liberal policies would be better for the country, and for most members of the public. That is the primary reason why I want to see Democrats elected, to implement liberal policy. So if liberals won a primary election, and got a more liberal candidate on the ballot, I think it would be a good thing. I would expect that most Democrats could be convinced to vote for the more liberal candidate. And if liberal policies ever got enacted, I think it would, on the whole, convince more people to vote for Democrats. So it’s kind of a feedback loop, but it doesn’t start unless more liberal candidates and ideas are added into the mix. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me that the reason why there are so many people in our Democratic tent, and such a wide range of ideology is because they simply don’t want to vote for Republicans. So now is the time, while we have them feeling that way, to push more liberal policies. I think it’s worth the risk.

    Basically, the schism you describe exists already, it’s just working in the opposite direction, where liberals are being forced to the sidelines of the party to accommodate those Democrats who don’t feel that government can be a positive solution to social issues.

    I’m sorry for being so wordy. Seriously. I try not to be, but it just never works!

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