Everything’s Obama’s Fault

Jeff Greenfield over at WIN THE MORNING decides that this whole “President Obama kicking ass for the last year or so” thing is getting boring, and giving a black President a positive can’t possibly be right, so we’re back to everything is Obama’s fault as to how he has destroyed the Democratic party.

Under Obama, the party started strong. “When Obama was elected in 2008, Democrats were at a high water mark,” says David Axelrod, who served as one of Obama’s top strategists. “Driven by antipathy to George W. Bush and then the Obama wave, Democrats had enjoyed two banner elections in ’06 and ’08. We won dozens of improbable congressional elections in states and districts that normally would tack Republican, and that effect trickled down to other offices. You add to that the fact that we would take office in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, and it was apparent, from Day One, that we had nowhere to go but down.”

The first signs of the slowly unfolding debacle that has meant the decimation of the Democratic Party nationally began early—with the special election of Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy’s empty Senate seat in Massachusetts. That early loss, even though the seat was won back eventually by Elizabeth Warren, presaged the 2010 midterms, which saw the loss of 63 House and six Senate seats. It was disaster that came as no surprise to the White House, but also proved a signal of what was to come.

The party’s record over the past six years has made clear that when Barack Obama leaves office in January 2017 the Democratic Party will have ceded vast sections of the country to Republicans, and will be left with a weak bench of high-level elected officials. It is, in fact, so bleak a record that even if the Democrats hold the White House and retake the Senate in 2016, the party’s wounds will remain deep and enduring, threatening the enactment of anything like a “progressive” agenda across much of the nation and eliminating nearly a decade’s worth of rising stars who might help strengthen the party in elections ahead.

The really weird part is that nowhere in the entire piece do I see the words “Debbie Wasserman Schultz” who, as chair of the DNC, would ostensibly be the person in charge of the election strategies and GOTV tactics that Greenfield is complaining about, but I guess Greenfield has never met her or something.

Also, there is the small matter of the impressive number of Democrats who lost by running as far away from Barack Obama as possible in 2010, 2012, and 2014 but no, the problem is of course Obama.

That’s the Beltway wisdom, and it will be for a very, very long time.

 

198 replies
  1. 1
    Lavocat says:

    I’ve always wondered: who the fuck pays any attention to these blowhards outside the echo-chamber!?

    They are painful to read. So why would anyone do so?

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    I love these pundit pieces that have no data and ignore historical electorate trends.

    They are like Barbie fanfic, but without the humor and honesty.

  3. 3
    Mr. Prosser says:

    “Also, there is the small matter of the impressive number of Democrats who lost by running as far away from Barack Obama as possible” Absolutely true. Spineless little weasels.

  4. 4
    Ryan says:

    Let us also contrast the small bench Greenfield proclaims the Democrats have (probably true at the local and state level) with the YOUUUGE bench the Republicans offer forth for the coming Presidential election.

  5. 5
    c u n d gulag says:

    I used to love listening to or reading Greenspan a few decades ago – back when he still had a brain and a “soul.”

    But now, he’s a DC MSM Villager of such long standing, that he’s like a Yoda for CW!
    “Don’t like the Democrats, do you? Yes… yes… yes…”

  6. 6
    JMG says:

    Greenfield wrote the same shit about Clinton, I’m sure. Carter, too. It’s always 1972 in Jeff’s world. Democratic members of Congress, their staffs and Democratic-aligned lobbyists (interchangeable parts of the same group of people) do nothing but whine about whatever Democrat is in the White House. Republicans hate governing, Democrats are afraid of it. That sentence applies only to the members of each party who regard holding office as the end point of politics, not the beginning.

  7. 7
    wilfred says:

    I think it was GK Chesterton who said that journalism was reporting that Lord so and so was dead to people who didn’t even know he was alive. Thus the Greenfield, Sullivan, blog axis of wankery. Fuck them

    The question of who did kill the Democratic Party, which, let’s face it, isn’t remotely like the one that existed before the Clintons is worth pursuing, even if you know the answer is the Clintons.

    Andrew Levine has a good article up about this:

  8. 8
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    Greenfield?

    Christ, I remember when he had hair down to his shoulders and wrote for the National Lampoon. I’ve never thought of him as anything other than a satirist.

  9. 9
    Tom says:

    @BGinCHI: “The Barbie museum!” “Klaus Barbie – sure, the butcher of Lyon, but who remembers his seven ballroom dancing titles?” From Rat Race.

  10. 10
    EconWatcher says:

    The Party was decimated and lost both Houses of Congress for the first time since Harry Truman when Clinton tried (unsuccessfully) to reform health care. At least this time around, we actually got the reform out of the deal.

    In fact, it was worth it: the purpose of winning elections is to enact important policies to help people, not to assure future wins. I can’t be bothered to look up the whole article, but if it doesn’t acknowledge that, it’s complete tripe.

  11. 11
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @BGinCHI:

    …like Barbie fanfic, but without the humor and honesty.

    that should be a blurb on the dust jacket of his next book.

  12. 12
    gene108 says:

    Also, there is the small matter of the impressive number of Democrats who lost by running as far away from Barack Obama as possible in 2010, 2012, and 2014 but no, the problem is of course Obama.

    There are large swaths of this country that are 90%+ white. West Virginia, our blog hosts home state, is one of them.

    You are not going to win by running on a coalition of women and minorities, because there aren’t enough minorities to off-set the white vote.

    Right-wing media has effectively demonized the last two Democratic Presidents, making them toxic to a lot of white people around the country, who are not overly jazzed about Republicans.

    I think, in 2014, Obama’s approval numbers in Kentucky (another state with mostly white folk, as you know), were around 30% and aren’t doing much better now.

    Are you really going to embrace a politician, who only 1/3 of your state approves of?

    That’s like Republicans running on George W. Bush’s record, in 2008, when 1/3 of the country approved of him and he was hated by most.

    The problem the Democrats face is asymmetrical structural disadvantages, which were not helped by the Citizens United decision.

    1. Republicans control the airwaves. They spent the post-Watergate years creating “respectable” news papers and magazines that were able to drive the MSM’s coverage of the Clinton Administration. And then you have talk radio, along with the rise of Fox News, after the 2000 Presidential election, when they were the only network to call Florida for Bush, Jr. Everyone is being bombarded with right-wing framings, headlines, talking points, etc. that they internalize them as the default setting from which to make decisions.

    2. The Constitution gives a disproportionate amount of representation to rural / small states. Those states lean Republican now. They do not have the same punch in the electoral college, but two Senators from Wyoming have the same votes that two Senators from California have, despite Wyoming having 500,000 people and California having 40 million.

    3. Citizen’s United was used with devastating effect in 2010 to flip state houses and down ticket races. Democrats do not have the natural allies, with such deep pockets to match the right-wing billionaire sugar daddies spending.

    There’s a lot more to why things have gone Republican recently than just “Democrats ran away from Obama” or “Democrats need to ‘message’ better”.

    Sure it’d help, but the structural advantages Republicans have is huge. The fact they cannot use these to outright crush Democrats is pretty indicative of how badly they govern.

  13. 13
    ThresherK says:

    For Politico, I’m Jeff (“Didn’t You Used to be Jeff Greenfield?”) Greenfield.

  14. 14
    Benw says:

    @Lavocat: in the world of these idiots, thinking to combine “Democrats in disarray!” with “it’s all Obama’s fault!” in one article is like Feynman-level genius.

  15. 15
    rikyrah says:

    they run away from the President, and don’t stand up for his accomplishments…get their azzes beat…and it’s President Obama’s fault?

    get da phuq outta here!

  16. 16
    Brachiator says:

    What hoodie. The party didn’t start strong, and half the time acted as though they were afraid of Obama. The other half of the time, they were afraid of themselves. Meanwhile, the GOP gerrymandered districts and got “purified” by the Tea Party. The Dems have work to do, and should build around Obama’s legacy.

  17. 17
    beltane says:

    Political parties do not fare well in the Age of Plutocrats. If anything, the Democratic party, as such, has held up slightly better than the GOP, which is nothing more than a front organization for a few billionaires. If Jeff Greenfield is looking for villeins, he might want to consider the role of money in politics rather than blaming Obama.

  18. 18
    gene108 says:

    @wilfred:

    The question of who did kill the Democratic Party, which, let’s face it, isn’t remotely like the one that existed before the Clintons is worth pursuing, even if you know the answer is the Clintons.

    Trying to get gays in the military, the two major gun control bills he signed into law, and putting restrictions on where people could protest outside abortion clinics probably alienated a lot of old school Democratic voters.

  19. 19
    beltane says:

    This is somewhat OT, but does anyone have a good handle on what’s going on in the Labour party elections in the UK?

  20. 20
    Derelict says:

    Seventeen GOP candidates all headed in different directions, with 12 billionaires all using money to back different horses on different courses. No big deal.

    Two Democrats disagree with each other, and Scott Brown won (and then lost decisively). DEMOCRATS IN DISARRAY!!!! and OBAMA: WORST PRESIDENT EVER, OR WORST THING TO EVER HAPPEN TO AMERICA?

  21. 21
    beltane says:

    @Derelict: Don’t forget Donald Trump, the giant elephant in the room who happens to be stomping all over the GOP establishment picks.

  22. 22

    @rikyrah:

    they run away from the President, and don’t stand up for his accomplishments…get their azzes beat…and it’s President Obama’s fault?

    You just have to ignore the “his accomplishments” part and it all makes sense.

  23. 23
    esc says:

    Yeah, Obama totally gerrymandered all those states (see Virginia). He recruited the mealy mouthed, spineless mass the DCCC seems so fond of. He’s down in the trenches of every state party micromanaging state races and is completely random as to how well he does it (see the difference between the state houses in Iowa). Makes total sense.

  24. 24
    beltane says:

    Jeff Greenfield was a C-list hack even back in the 1990s, barely even worthy of ridicule.

  25. 25
    srv says:

    Wasserman Schultz

    Rahm got rid of Dean, put Kaine in and then her.

    All approved by Obama.

    Where does the buck stop for Democrats? Nowhere.

  26. 26
    Marc says:

    The hollowing out of Democrats at the state party level is absolutely real and crippling. Here in Ohio, the Republican incumbent governor Kasich won 64-33 in 2014 against a barely functional opponent. The State House is 65 R – 34D. The State Senate is 23R-10D. And this is a state where Democrats win a majority of the presidential vote, where they’re competitive for the Senate, and where they get a majority of the congressional vote (even though gerryrmandering turns that into a 12 R – 4 D split.)

    Even when the Dems get a chance, there frequently aren’t even defensible candidates at the state legislature level. It’s a real problem.

  27. 27
    Mike E says:

    @rikyrah: He’s just not doing it right…I can’t quite put my finger on why, exactly ;-)

  28. 28

    The Village wisdom is that when Democrats are in Disarray they lose, but when the Republicans are eating their own and polling a demagogue at twice the numbers of his nearest “establishment” competitor, they will win.

    Over to you, Jeff.

  29. 29
    Tommy says:

    I think it was Salon, should have bookmarked or put the article in Pocket, but it outlined how the Republicans at the state level had redistricted things to the point where they will have a majority in the House for the coming decade or so. Not much if anything we can do about it.

    I don’t think Obama being “weak” is why we lost control of the House and Senate. Well maybe at some level the Senate. But the House is just out of our reach with how the redistricting was done.

    I am not remotely making excuses for our party. I have many issues with it. But there are many places we just can’t win an election and the smart people we might have gotten to run in the past know this and won’t even throw their hat in the game for lack of a better phrase.

  30. 30
    RSA says:

    For fuck’s sake, how skewed a perspective do you have if you think about Obama’s legacy in horse race terms?

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    The Village will be attacking Obama for the next decade. Doubly so if the GOP wins next year.

  32. 32

    @Marc: The same here in Florida. We have a governor who is neck-and-neck with Paul LePage of Maine for the Worst Governor and he won re-election against a used Republican, Charlie Crist. Now that Marco Rubio is giving up his Senate seat, the Dems are choosing between recently-converted to the party Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson. The Republicans have owned the state legislature (Rubio turned it into his frat house when he was in the state legislature) and the state Democratic Party can’t scratch its own ass without having to read the instructions.

  33. 33
    Citizen_X says:

    Axelrod’s point–that 2008 was a special case because Bush had fucked up the country so totally, and that Dems won many marginal districts would inevitably be flipped back–flew waaaayyyy over Greenfield’s head.

  34. 34
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @gene108: great comment.

  35. 35
    Mike E says:

    @Tommy: You are correct.

    It’s that old chestnut about the good lacking total conviction and the bad having no end to their fire, passion, and, most important, money. It’ll take a ruthless tact to unseat these Repub monsters; otherwise, expect no changes on the local level.

  36. 36
    Matt McIrvin says:

    The Democratic Party’s decline started the moment Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and what killed it was racism. The only way to prevent it would have been more Democratic pandering to white racists.

    Obama absolutely did exacerbate the problem, but it was by being black. Not something he could exactly choose not to do.

    But how long could it have lasted? Nationally, going forward, being the White People’s Party is not a sustainable strategy. It’s just that it can still automatically win a hell of a lot of state and local elections.

  37. 37
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @ThresherK: For Politico, I’m Jeff (“Didn’t You Used to be Jeff Greenfield?”) Greenfield.

    Ha! that had to be repeated.

    Sweet Christ, the fucking Brown-Coakley election is an example of the destruction Obama hath wrought? Does the fact that Republicans were “supposed” to take the Senate in 2010 and 2012 figure into Greenfield’s story? Not gonna bother to check. I’m sure if I’m half asleep in front of the TeeVee after today’s yard work project is done, Tweety will be all over this article a big, screeching, bleach blond fly on a pile of horseshit under a hot sun

    Greenfield put out a “comic political novel” back in the nineties, about (best as I can recall) a tied presidential election hanging on the vote of one elector. The main character (IIRC, it’s been a while) was the Republican candidate–created out of a fusion of GHW Bush and Dan Quayle– scion of an old money family with a public reputation as a weak dimwit, who it turned out had been badly treated by the media and was actually a thoughtful and fundamentally decent guy.

  38. 38
    samiam says:

    Why should anyone take anything Zandar or anyone else says seriously when he is posting links to Politico and talking as if it’s a serious think piece that serious people should take seriously and seriously discuss it’s seriousness.

  39. 39
    Mike E says:

    @Baud: “Unskewing” the Obama legacy will be the least of our worries should a Repub win the White House.

  40. 40
    Patrick says:

    @EconWatcher:

    The Party was decimated and lost both Houses of Congress for the first time since Harry Truman when Clinton tried (unsuccessfully) to reform health care. At least this time around, we actually got the reform out of the deal.

    Amen. I am GLAD those Dems that opposed ACA lost. The never spoke for me anymore than a Republican did.

  41. 41

    @Citizen_X:
    It’s amazing how deaf people are to things they don’t want to hear.

  42. 42
    Tommy says:

    @Mustang Bobby: My little district has elected a Democrat to Congress for 70 straight years. Well until the last election and we elected this flat out crazy tea party guy.

    In those 70 years those we elected could easily be called part of the Democratic machine. And I don’t really say that in a totally positive way.

    Until my Congress person of 30 years retired to open up his seat he was often listed as one of the ten most powerful people in Congress. I can assure you have never heard his name. He has never done a national TV interview.

    But he won elections if the Republicans even put somebody to run against him with 65-70 of the vote. The amount of “pork” he sent back to my district is hard to wrap your mind around.

    The Democrats in my district, I guess the pure of heart, saw the ability to put somebody up that wasn’t a part of his political family. The guy won the first election. Did nothing I can think of in his one term, then got trounced by a tea party in his second election.

    I mean they “shift boated” him and the national Democratic party just left him out there hanging and didn’t come to this aid.

  43. 43
    Baud says:

    @Mike E:

    Not me. I’ll be at peace with the nation’s decision.

  44. 44
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @beltane: aren’t villeins peasant men?

  45. 45
    LAC says:

    @samiam: okay….. Did your reading skills devolve over time?

  46. 46
    waspuppet says:

    … the fact that we would take office in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression …

    And of course, Greenfield just glosses over that, like it was a completely unexplainable phenomenon that no one could have expected or done anything about.

  47. 47
    Mike in NC says:

    Jeff Greenfield is, and has always been, a worthless sack of Village Idiot shit.

  48. 48
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Marc: State level elections are dominated by that core electorate of middle age and younger seniors. The true blue Greatest Generation voters have mostly died, and the resentful Silent Gen is in the driver’s seat. Plus this electorate is going to skew wealthier. Plus Fox News has poisoned some people’s minds (to the point of flipping party affiliation).

    I think these factors are at least as significant as white backlash against Obama.

  49. 49
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Citizen_X: Axelrod’s point–that 2008 was a special case because Bush had fucked up the country so totally, and that Dems won many marginal districts would inevitably be flipped back–flew waaaayyyy over Greenfield’s head.

    Exactly how fucked up things had to get in ’06 and ’08 for people to vote for the Dems flies over the heads of a lot of people, including those who cling to the idea that Howard Dean was some kind of progressive Joan of Arc

  50. 50
    Peale says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Yep. But those long term trends are actually meaningless. I mean, the Dems simply must win the White House every election going forward or they will never win it again until those demographic trends actually matter. There’s a lot that can be done to prevent that Dem majority from ever having meaningful power.

  51. 51
    kindness says:

    If only my work network blocked Politico. I’d have so much less derp to read.

  52. 52
    Tommy says:

    @Mike E: The other problem is people that could or might win won’t run. My father would never call himself a liberal. But much of his views are pretty darn liberal.

    In the district my father lives in my family name carries a lot of weight. We got “name ID” and we’ve never run for any office.

    People in power keep begging my father to run for office. Says he’d win in a landslide.

    Dad refuses because he thinks politics have gotten to the point he couldn’t stomach it. Maybe the tea party guy he’d run again would note my mother was a Catholic but renounced her faith. Or she was married before being married to my father for 47 years. Whore.

    Or that my father’s dad gave illegal abortions at his medical practice in the 50s and 60s.

    Or that his kids might have smoked pot or ate mushrooms when we were in college and dad didn’t have an issue with it.

    He thinks, as I bet we all do, those things shouldn’t matter in an election, but they would be brought up and dad just won’t deal well with it.

  53. 53
    Chris says:

    @JMG:

    “It’s always 1972 in Jeff’s world.”

    This should be the epitaph of the entire Beltway media.

    If they ever finally die, that is.

  54. 54
    Zandar says:

    @gene108: I live in Kentucky.

    Alison Lundergan Grimes did everything she could to run away from Obama in 2014.

    She lost by 16 points. Jack Conway is headed down the same road as governor here in 2015, bragging about how he’s done nothing but sue Obama’s EPA at every turn.

    If running away from the black president gets you crushed, exactly what’s the answer?

  55. 55
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Tommy:

    I don’t think Obama being “weak” is why we lost control of the House and Senate. Well maybe at some level the Senate. But the House is just out of our reach with how the redistricting was done.

    From what I understand, the Democratic Party told Obama to walk softly in the leadup to the last senate race, which including delaying the planned executive order on DREAMers. If anything, that hurt the Democrats. Obama has better political instincts than 50 of them.

  56. 56
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Another Holocene Human: other factors it’s hard to see relating to Obama or his “weakness”: the political re-alignment of the south finally outweighing the strength of a family name (Pryor, Landrieu), razor’s edge election tipped by Ebola panic and ISIS porn (North Carolina), those last two putting the death grip on a really shitty campaign (Udall, CO)

  57. 57
    smintheus says:

    @beltane: New Labour is losing its sh*t because Corbyn, a candidate rather like Bernie Sanders, looks like he’ll win the leadership battle and then toss aside a lot of Blairism and sideline some of the worst party hacks. They’re portraying Corbyn as wanting to restore old (pre-Kinnock) Labour, when in fact he’s mostly advocating honest, transparent government in the public interest.

  58. 58
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Yup.

  59. 59
    Tommy says:

    @Zandar: Help me out here. I thought the huge win in KY was Obamacare or your Kynect. And coal. Obama is for “clean coal,” whatever that is.

    I am in Illinois. We got a shit load of coal in my state. Obama when in the State House, as a Senator, and now President has been pushing “clean coal.” We have the model “clean coal” plant in the nation outside of Champaign-Urbana. Something like a 2.5 billion dollar place.

    Why in KY you would run away from and not with Obama is beyond me!

  60. 60
    Eric S. says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    The same here in Florida. We have a governor who is neck-and-neck with Paul LePage of Maine for the Worst Governor

    I wouldn’t dispute this contention in any way at this point in time but keep your eye on Gov. Rauner here in Illinois. We are two months without a budget because he won’t sign any budget bills until the legislature passes laws breaking unions. He’s just getting started.

  61. 61
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Zandar: you don’t have the example of someone who won election in Kentucky by embracing Obama. All I’m hearing is that Kentucky voters don’t vote for Democrats in statewide elections.

  62. 62
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Tommy:

    I mean they “shift boated” him and the national Democratic party just left him out there hanging and didn’t come to this aid.

    Conservative donors are airlifting dumpsters loaded with cash into sleepy rural districts to keep the R’s numbers up. The Dems seem to have no response.

    Gwen Graham showed a Dem can win, in Florida’s District 2. (A district now getting the ax.) She was able to fundraise based on her name. Most candidates don’t have that. I have seen people work very, very hard, but with no money and little infrastructure and zero institutional support (not even a “voting for Obama? vote a democratic straight ticket” they can’t beat the R’s GOTV game.

  63. 63
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    @LAC: He can’t read.

  64. 64
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Tommy: Coal prices plummeted. Something something Obama’s fault.

  65. 65
    Brachiator says:

    @gene108: Everything you wrote is largely wrong. Whites are increasingly becoming a minority in key states, and talking about an Obama coalition is wrongheaded. The U.S. ain’t West Virginia.

    Balloon Juicers have an obsession with the airwaves and mainstream media. This is the age of Facebook and the Internets, especially for voters who are not old farts. And people are not as stupid as you think. They can filter through the noise. Or they are happy in an echo chamber. Too many Democrats and progressives, on the other hand, don’t seem to want to take the time to offer coherent arguments. They want to preach to the converted and insult or ignore those not in the know.

    The Republican congressional advantage has been intensified through gerrymandering. This is a problem, but not insurmountable.

    Money isn’t everything. Ask Megan Whitman in California. Or even Carly Fiorina. Obama won twice. Why didn’t money win against him?

    Obama worked to win votes and to appeal to voters. And this means more than mainly white men and a lucky few others allowed to hang around.

  66. 66
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Brachiator:

    Too many Democrats and progressives, on the other hand, don’t seem to want to take the time to offer coherent arguments.

    Are you talking about our pols, or dipshits on Facebook?

  67. 67
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: people forget the key assists from Mark Foley in 06 and Lehman Brothers in 08.

  68. 68

    @Bobby Thomson: Isn’t the governor of Kentucky at least nominally a Democrat?

    @Eric S.: Perhaps your governor will follow in the footsteps of several of his predecessors and end up in the joint. (I thought the governor of Illinois was Peter Florrick, who looks a lot like Chris Noth.)

  69. 69
    Tommy says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I didn’t know that.

    the Democratic Party told Obama to walk softly in the leadup to the last senate race, which including delaying the planned executive order on DREAMers.

    I live in a district that is well over 90% white according to the 2010 Census. We’ve seen a large influx of Hispanics the last few years. I don’t know why, but it has happened.

    There isn’t any outcry I can see about this. Of the last four businesses opened in my town, three were by Hispanics.

    One was of the only restaurant in my town that isn’t a chain. The place had been going downhill for years. It is a “greasy spoon.” I am something of a health nut but I love me a “greasy spoon.”

    A family of Hispanic folks bought it and overnight turned it around. I might have thought this wouldn’t happen. I live in a town of 8,700 people. 18 churches. Sunday the place under the old owners was packed. Waiting line of old white people.

    Even more so now.

    Heck I was at a bar the other day. Started talking to this Hispanics person and he said his family bought the local hardware store. We all moved here. We are making this our home and we’ll make the business work.

    I was like cool shit dude ….. welcome …..

  70. 70
    Betty Cracker says:

    I’m going to miss President Obama terribly when his second term is up. But I’m not going to miss the pervasive belief that every fucking thing that happens in politics is really about President Obama. And frankly, that applies to his most avid core of supporters as much as it applies to the Villager shitheads and Republican scum-buckets.

  71. 71
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Brachiator: Democrats live in cities, often by choice. In states with lots of cities, Democrats do OK on a statewide level but may get gerrymandered, depending on just how many cities (and how many very large cities) there are. Add Citizens United onto that and it’s a wonder Democrats win at all. Nothing gene108 said was wrong.

  72. 72
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Bobby Thomson: also, Jack Abramoff, Katrina, and Bush’s 05 attempt to privatize Social Security in ’06.

    Sarah Palin and McCain’s generally awful and “suspended” campaign in ’08.

    And the 8 ton gorilla in both: Iraq.

    But for some people, for reasons I can’t understand, there was, and is now, and ever shall be, only Howard. Howard is magic.

  73. 73
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Mustang Bobby: when was his last election? And did he embrace Obama?

  74. 74

    @Bobby Thomson: I said “nominally.” And he’s term-limited, no?

  75. 75
    Tommy says:

    @Another Holocene Human: My guy that lost was a General in the US military. Before running for office he was the head of the Illinois National Guard. Oh and he went to Harvard and was a lawyer. Kind of a smart guy that understood service.

    So we elected Mike Bost. If you don’t know the name I beg, beg you to watch this video of him on the floor in Springfield, IL. There are many more if you want to look for them.

  76. 76
    Hoodie says:

    @Zandar: I don’t know what you do in a place like KY. Distancing from Obama in an overwhelmingly white electorate like KY that has racial schisms might be ok if you had some meaningful alternative to GOP policies that was still congruent with most democrats, e.g., some Appalachian version of Bernie Sanders that caters to poor whites, like, instead of forcing folks to work in shitty, dangerous coal mining jobs, infrastructure and education to help those areas eventually compete for other types of jobs. Not being from KY, I don’t know how much Grimes and Conway have done along those lines. Part of the problem is that the GOP has tied economic policies to race, so it’s hard to sell government programs to poor whites.

    However, in states with bigger black and hispanic populations, it was arguably stupid to run away from Obama. I think Kay Hagan could have won in NC with better minority turnout in places like Charlotte and Greensboro. Being cool towards Obama did not help in that regard. It almost cost Mark Warner his seat.

  77. 77
    Jeffro says:

    @beltane:

    Political parties do not fare well in the Age of Plutocrats. If anything, the Democratic party, as such, has held up slightly better than the GOP,

    Interesting point and it got me thinking what the Dem version of the GOP’s Trump problem would look like…can’t quite get there, though. You’d need a self-funding Dem billionaire who was all over the map w/ his/her positions (I suppose he/she would have had to have formerly had a lot of conservative positions?) among other things…

  78. 78
    Paul in KY says:

    @Zandar: Embrace him & tell voters why Obama has been so good for them & why the Repubs are lying sacks of shit.

  79. 79
    Paul in KY says:

    @Bobby Thomson: They generally vote Democratic in governor’s elections (only 3 repubs in last 70 years).

  80. 80
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Conservative donors are airlifting dumpsters loaded with cash into sleepy rural districts to keep the R’s numbers up. The Dems seem to have no response.

    @Another Holocene Human: They are dumping cash into every single local race in my county. EVERY SINGLE ONE. The local Dem response seems to be…crickets.

  81. 81
    RL Harrngton says:

    Idiots who listened to conventional beltway types lost
    folks in tune with their voters and embraced the President, his agenda, and achievements won more often than not.
    No one wants to vote for a limp noodle…..
    Dems with backbones and plans win.

  82. 82
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Jeffro: Hell, Trump himself could have simply chosen to be a Democrat. But he wouldn’t have done it this year.

  83. 83
    Cacti says:

    That “run away from Obama” midterm strategy that Congressional Dems have used twice was pure genius.

    Senator Lundergan Grimes is thankful for it every day.

  84. 84
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Paul in KY: perhaps times have changed.

  85. 85
    Desdemona says:

    @srv: better question is why Obama hasn’t fired DWS for incompetence yet.

    @Bobby Thomson: evidence is not the man’s strong point.

    @Betty Cracker: you can just say you don’t like Zandar and his fanatical Obot bullshit, you know.

  86. 86
    tsquared2001 says:

    @Betty Cracker: You know that the Green Lanterism is applied to Democratic presidents only. When Mrs. Clinton wins in 2016, the same shit will continue to be the story line.

    If, God help us all, the GOP wins in 2016, there will be a concerted effort to make sure that the story line will be about “factions” & “disarray” and it is SO not President Bush’s fault.

  87. 87
    beltane says:

    @smintheus: Thanks. That is what I suspected. The amount of vitriol directed at Corbyn and his supporters by New Labour types at The Guardian and elsewhere could leave the casual American reader thinking that Corbyn was some kind of Lyndon LaRouche style lunatic. It really seems as though the Labour party eats their own worse than the Democratic party here.

  88. 88
    Cluttered Mind says:

    It doesn’t matter if the district or state you live in is composed of 80% Republicans and 20% Democrats if most of the Republicans don’t vote and nearly all the Democrats do. The Republicans can be counted on to vote more regularly than the Democrats, so it seems like it’s insurmountable, but it’s worth mentioning that turnout is dismal in this country compared to most democracies on the planet even among the Republicans. If I lived in a place like Kentucky, I’d crawl over broken glass to vote for an actual liberal candidate, but if I were feeling particularly sick the day of an election where my only option was to choose between the usual incumbent teatard or a Dem-lite who spent every moment of his campaign assuring people he wasn’t really a liberal, I’d probably just stay in bed because I would know there was no point.

    You win in a place like Kentucky where the demographics skew against your party by giving the party base something to really care about. Given the huge difference Kynect has made for the poorer residents of Kentucky, you’d think that Kentucky dems would realize that Obama gift wrapped an issue for them to run on.

    Of course I could be wrong and racism could be such a gigantic factor that no Democrat is going to win in those places while Obama holds office, but that’s such a depressing thought that I have to hope it’s not true.

  89. 89
    Zandar says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    They are dumping cash into every single local race in my county. EVERY SINGLE ONE. The local Dem response seems to be…crickets.

    This.

    The one thing that struck me more than anything else in 2014 were the number of state offices (executive and legislative) where the Republican ran unopposed.

  90. 90
    Patrick says:

    @Cacti:

    That “run away from Obama” midterm strategy that Congressional Dems have used twice was pure genius. Senator Lundergan Grimes is thankful for it every day.

    I don’t know why Democrats keep doing that crap every fricking election. It reminds me of 2002 when scared Dems in Congress voted to approve bush’s war in Iraq right before the election. That turned out well, didn’t it? They lost seats in both chambers and the war was a disaster. Heck, Hillary Clinton may even have been our candidate in 2008 if she hadn’t played that stupid game before an election.

  91. 91
    Hal says:

    The first signs of the slowly unfolding debacle that has meant the decimation of the Democratic Party nationally began early—with the special election of Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy’s empty Senate seat in Massachusetts. That early loss, even though the seat was won back eventually by Elizabeth Warren, presaged the 2010 midterms, which saw the loss of 63 House and six Senate seats. It was disaster that came as no surprise to the White House, but also proved a signal of what was to come.

    This would be the seat that Brown lost two years later. The one lost by Martha Coakley, who everyone in MA agreed had run a bad campaign, but that’s Obama’s fault?

    The party’s record over the past six years has made clear that when Barack Obama leaves office in January 2017 the Democratic Party will have ceded vast sections of the country to Republicans, and will be left with a weak bench of high-level elected officials. It is, in fact, so bleak a record that even if the Democrats hold the White House and retake the Senate in 2016, the party’s wounds will remain deep and enduring, threatening the enactment of anything like a “progressive” agenda across much of the nation and eliminating nearly a decade’s worth of rising stars who might help strengthen the party in elections ahead.

    Wait, wait, wait. So if Democrats win the Presidency and take back the Senate, they still lose? Also, what rising stars have been scuttled?

  92. 92
    gvg says:

    I dunno. I thought Grimes was a fool for running away from Obama, but last night I was reading some of the stuff about Shaun King growing up in Kentucky in the 80’s. that was some hardcore mean racism. I thought parts of Florida were racist but it wasn’t like that. Fact is I don’t get it. Why do people put so much effort into being mean? If Kentucky is still tending that way, maybe it is impossible for a Dem to embrace Obama (or any black famous person) except in certain enclaves. It sounded murderous and that isn’t so long ago. It is possible that a local politician could know their own area better than we do.
    I think the links were on LGF.

    I’d like to think of a way to prevent gerrymandering that people can understand and is hard to game. I would accept that sometimes it wouldn’t favor Dems if it was always fair. I know even in elementary school when they explained historical gerrymandering I thought that was so disgusting. If you could come up with a mathmatical formula law that people could force their states to make into law, people might get behind it and force it on their politicians, even if it might hurt their party. People tend to assume others think as they do so they are likely to assume it will always benefit them. Of course the politicians elected under the current rules would lose if the rules change so they would start opposed to it. It would need to be so popular that being against it would lose an election, in order to actually happen.

  93. 93
    Joel Hanes says:

    Worse than Debbie WS:
    Steve Israel’s reign of errors as DCCC chair has severed much of the national party leadership from Democratic grassroots, and his successor, Ray Lujan, doesn’t promise to be much of an improvement. I think Pelosi’s lost her touch.

  94. 94
    Paul in KY says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I sure hope not. Last Repub governor was only 8 years ago & he was a complete fuck-up. DO NOT want any Matt Bevin!

  95. 95
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Jeffro: The problem is that there really aren’t any among the super-rich donor class who are liberal across the board the way that the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson and all the others are conservative across the board. The sorts of billionaires that tend to donate a ton to the Democrats are usually neoliberal types with glibertarian tendencies who aren’t going to get behind the kind of politicians that want to deliver the actual change that we need.

    It’s almost like if there are no constraints on money in politics, those with money control all the politics! Whoever could have thought?

  96. 96
    Jeffro says:

    @Zandar:

    The one thing that struck me more than anything else in 2014 were the number of state offices (executive and legislative) where the Republican ran unopposed.

    That’s the thing that boggles my mind: it costs so incredibly little to ensure you at least have a Dem on the ballot in every race. No need to pour millions into a red-state, red-district congressional race but just a couple grand to at least get a name out there. Heck, run the same folks each time – might take 3 election cycles, might take 30, but the name recognition will grow and so will the perception that the party at least tries to make its case instead of completely deserting their supporters.

  97. 97
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cluttered Mind: Why not try that?! This Republican-lite stuff just don’t work.

  98. 98
    Jeffro says:

    @Patrick:

    Hillary Clinton may even have been our candidate in 2008 if she hadn’t played that stupid game before an election.

    If she had voted against the war, Obama would have been deprived of a key difference between him and her in the primaries (and thus, a lot of that early energy)

  99. 99
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Zandar: If a Republican is running unopposed, the culprit is a wholly incompetent regional Democratic party. It does not matter one bit if you do not expect your candidate to win. You contest every election, you just do it. A LOT of people do not pay attention to local politics and will simply vote straight party ticket. All of those people are going to be guaranteed votes for the Democrat, but only if there IS A DEMOCRAT in the race! If you leave any race uncontested, you are ceding victory where it doesn’t have to be ceded. Wave elections happen. I bet that in 2006 and 2008 every state and local Republican politician who was running unopposed was quite relieved about that because they could have been unseated by a total nobody. It’s just moronic to not put anyone up given that.

  100. 100
    beltane says:

    @Joel Hanes: Just to show you what an asset Steve Israel is to the Democratic party, he is voting with the Republicans on the Iran deal.

  101. 101
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jeffro: yeah, with the usual caveat that counterfactuals is bunk, I think if HRC had been against Iraq she would’ve run and won in ’04

  102. 102
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Desdemona: I like Zandar just fine, thank you.

  103. 103
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Jeffro: Combine that with how tons of people don’t know a thing about their local politics and just vote straight party ticket, and whichever no name guy the Democrats run stands a good chance of winning even against a well known incumbent at the state or local level if the candidate at the top of the ticket has strong enough coattails. Especially in a presidential election year. It’s just stupid not to even try.

  104. 104
    Paul in KY says:

    @beltane: A guy with last name ‘Israel’ voting against Iran Treaty…tell me you’re joshing ;-)

  105. 105
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Kerry won in 2004 and the results were rejiggered to allow W to steal the victory again. It was closer than it should have been, but I do not believe Kerry actually lost Ohio any more than I believe Gore actually lost Florida.

  106. 106
    Gurkle says:

    Most of the article doesn’t even mention Obama and is a fairly straightforward rundown of the Democrats’ troubles. I think the “Obama’s fault” framing is mostly clickbait, because Greenfield never argues that it’s Obama’s fault. I guess it works, clickbait-wise.

    I think apart from all the other reasons noted, Republicans just seem more enthusiastic about state and local government. The fact that Democrats have trouble getting their voters to turn out in off-year elections extends to getting their supporters to run for these positions. But they make a difference. Conservatives seem to be attuned to that more than liberals are, whether it’s volunteers or rich donors.

  107. 107
    Paul in KY says:

    @Betty Cracker: I like Zandar fine too. Would like him more if he organized a tri-state meetup sometime.

    Hint, hint.

  108. 108
    Zandar says:

    @Cluttered Mind: You’re preaching to the choir.

  109. 109
    Archon says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    My worse fear in 2012 was Obama winning the electoral college while losing the popular vote. In that sense it’s good if the Republicans cheated to win Ohio in 04 because they would burn down the country before they let a Democrat in the White House govern who didn’t win the popular vote.

  110. 110
    Zandar says:

    @Paul in KY: I really do need to do that at some point.

  111. 111
    Mike J says:

    Louisiana GOP Executive Director Jason Doré said Thursday that his name was among those released as part of the Ashley Madison data dump earlier this week because he used the site for “opposition research.”

    http://thehill.com/business-a-.....-dump-hack

  112. 112
    Jeffro says:

    @Mike J:

    Louisiana GOP Executive Director Jason Doré said Thursday that his name was among those released as part of the Ashley Madison data dump earlier this week because he used the site for “opposition research.”

    That is, when he wasn’t already out hiking the Appalachian Trail…

  113. 113
    Duke of Clay says:

    @beltane: My read on this, if I may steal from Howard Dean, is that Corbyn represents the Labour wing of the Labour party. And that seems to be driving everybody crazy. I hear a lot of predictions that Labour will be marginalized for 20 years if he is elected. Apparently, the conventional wisdom is that Labour can only win if they pretend to be Tories. (We really are closely related to the English, aren’t we?)

  114. 114
    Kay says:

    @Jeffro:

    That’s the thing that boggles my mind: it costs so incredibly little to ensure you at least have a Dem on the ballot in every race.

    It costs a lot. First you have to find someone to run. They won’t want to, because running in a district or for a seat they probably won’t win is exhausting and costs them personally, often money and always in time.

    If you do find someone they have to run which means they have to spend every weekend campaigning and (odds are) lose and then you have to listen to every Democrat in the county tell you why they lost, which is one of three reasons- the candidate is somehow personally flawed (shocking, I know), the candidate was too much a Democrat or not enough a Democrat. Three months later you have to start the whole thing again.

    You’ll have two kinds of Democratic “supporters” during this (probably losing) campaign. There will be the Democrats who believe that you will win, despite the fact that there are 2 Republicans to every one Democrat and actually it’s a long shot. They will blame you, personally, when you lose. There are also the Democrats who believe you will lose. They’ll tell you that every day you’re running. If/when you lose they will then go to “not enough of a Democrat/too much of a Democrat”.

  115. 115
    Paul in KY says:

    @Zandar: I think there’s potentially 7 or 8 of us in the semi-local area. Know you have other things to do, like a job, etc. so I understand about having time to do stuff.

  116. 116
    Jeffro says:

    @Cluttered Mind: Especially considering what’s at stake, a couple grand is nothing to at least make sure you have every office covered in case the incumbent implodes (hello Ashley Madison!) You can’t win if you don’t even play.

    /lottery logic

  117. 117
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Archon: I remember that after the 2004 election Mark Blumenthal tried to figure out whether the Republicans cheated to win Ohio. His conclusion was basically that they cheated (in conventional vote-suppression ways, not by outright faking the vote counts) but it wasn’t enough to make the difference; they would have won anyway. But it was all really close.

    The claims that the 2004 election was stolen rest heavily on the leaked early exit polls on Election Day, and the idea that exit polling is always more accurate than pre-election polling, but this isn’t true. If you were to look at the pre-election polls during the last week of the campaign and do a Sam Wang-style analysis (and Sam Wang was actually doing this at the time, though he got misled by his own fudge factor), you’d have predicted the exact result we got. The leaked exits that sounded so good for Kerry were weirdly out of line with those results, probably because of sampling biases.

  118. 118
    Jeffro says:

    @Kay:

    It costs a lot. First you have to find someone to run. They won’t want to, because running in a district or for a seat they probably won’t win is exhausting and costs them personally, often money and always in time.

    If you do find someone they have to run which means they have to spend every weekend campaigning and (odds are) lose and then you have to listen to every Democrat in the county tell you why they lost, which is one of three reasons- the candidate is somehow personally flawed (shocking, I know), the candidate was too much a Democrat or not enough a Democrat. Three months later you have to start the whole thing again.

    Or, one could do it differently: EVERY congressional district in America has at least one Dem who’ll at least put his/her name on the ballot. So – do that. They don’t have to run all-out, and they don’t have to personally invest their life savings. Just get them on the ballot. The state and national parties can decide how much dough they can afford to blow on these long- and even-longer-shots, but there’s no need to drive yourself nuts or spend your own money. Do a few events, be positive, talk with the press, work that social media. Every bit of name recognition, media, and event helps build the candidate and the party for the next time.

    You’ll have two kinds of Democratic “supporters” during this (probably losing) campaign. There will be the Democrats who believe that you will win, despite the fact that there are 2 Republicans to every one Democrat and actually it’s a long shot. They will blame you, personally, when you lose. There are also the Democrats who believe you will lose. They’ll tell you that every day you’re running. If/when you lose they will then go to “not enough of a Democrat/too much of a Democrat”.

    You forgot the third kind, who will try to shoot you down and discourage you before you even start. =)

  119. 119
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I don’t. Supporting the Iraq war was a winning position in 2004. It had stopped being one by 2006.

  120. 120

    @gvg:
    Yes, Kentucky is that bad. This is the place where I was told the best assistant manager in the district would never get his own store because ‘he’s a nigger’. Embracing Obama means losing the election. A Democrat running away from Obama means losing the election, because you can’t win as Republican Lite. Between the two, I figure you might as well go honestly liberal, but I at least understand why they don’t.

    And something nobody seems to point out is that 2010 went almost exactly as predicted by electoral patterning. Slightly better, really. As much as I wanted to believe the patterners were wrong, they nailed it. No GOP master plans, Citizens United influence, or even racism was required. A backlash election happened at exactly the time it would screw the Democrats over hardest, and now we’re suffering from the gerrymandering it let the GOP set up. We would have control of the House if numbers there were actually representative of voting percentages.

  121. 121
    boatboy_srq says:

    Isn’t this piece from the same pundit class that said that Obama needed to reach across the aisle more; that the Teahad wasn’t some signal that the GOP wasn’t going to govern responsibly; that first Rubio and then JEB! would be serious candidates; that Trump as a candidate was a joke, who wouldn’t last a month and certainly not through the first primary debate? Uh-huh…

  122. 122
    bystander says:

    @Mike J: Right. And David Vitter was on to make sure that no taxpayer money was being used to promote adultery and prostitution.

    Jeff Greenfield is a noted homophobe. I’ve hated him for years. I used to see him occasionally on the subway. Only a great deal of restraint kept me from asking if he had ever publicly apologized for his coverage of Stonewall in the Voice.

  123. 123
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @bystander: Jeff Greenfield is a noted homophobe

    I never knew that. I always thought of him as, like this piece suggests, your garden variety tote-bagger Villager
    ETA: not that you won’t find a lot of ugly if you scratch away the paint on that breed

  124. 124
    Kay says:

    @Jeffro:

    I’ve done this for state and county level seats and the candidates don’t see it that way. It’s their name and they are personally invested in it, every single one of them. In Republican districts they see it as risk/reward and the risk doesn’t justify the reward. They’re introducing this whole new level of scrutiny and conflict into their life and it affects every part of their life from work to family. Politics is adversarial. It’s a race. They can’t maintain what might have been a very comfortable low profile once they announce. Maybe it would work for congressional districts where there are 600k people but I don’t think it would work for state level and state level is where Democrats are bleeding. That matters because a lot of the things liberals care about are primarily state law.

    One thing Democrats can do for the US Congress is current Democratic congresspeople can tap people they know. Marcy Kaptur in Ohio does this. She gets on the phone and she calls the 3 million people she knows (only a slight exaggeration) because she’s been a Democrat forever and she finds candidates for red districts. I have met three of the people she tapped (all of them lost). She talked them into it.

    When I used to call people to run for the statehouse they sometimes would say “why don’t you run?” I don’t have an answer for that because the truth is I’ve seen it and it’s not much fun. The person who wants to spend every weekend traversing 6 counties and talking to strangers for no pay is a tad unusual. There aren’t that many of them.

  125. 125
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Mr. Prosser: It’s funny, but I really doubt that those spineless weasels or any of the MSM see that one of the commonalities of the losing Dems in the Senate or House was how they tried to run as Republican Lite candidates.

    I know there are a lot of people who will say otherwise, but the American public and the progressives in particular, are better off without those spineless weasels in Congress anyhow.

  126. 126
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Tommy: Heh, I did see the videos. He’s more embarrassing than our embarrassment in North Central Florida, Ted Yoho. (State’s so big the regions need two modifiers.)

  127. 127
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jeffro: They don’t have to run all-out, and they don’t have to personally invest their life savings. Just get them on the ballot.

    Read Kay’s response above. Once you’ve decided to run, there’s no halfway. There’s always some event to do, some place you haven’t been that you need to go and campaign, you can’t just sit back. I ran for local office a long time ago, and even at the municipal level, it really consumes a great deal of time and energy, and if it’s something you are exceedingly unlikely to win, it’s really hard to see the point.

  128. 128
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Hal:

    Wait, wait, wait. So if Democrats win the Presidency and take back the Senate, they still lose? Also, what rising stars have been scuttled?

    I feel like the party “brand” is much stronger now, between Obama’s record and voters kicking out the bums. The national congressional PAC is a mess. Some of the state parties are totally fucked. Others are organizing and fighting back. The South is actually a bright spot for Dems going forward with increases in African American voter participation and high profile pols. The last of the Dixiecrats have been sent to retirement. The D’s are pulling numbers in the New South without them.

    D’s are taking a pounding in central Miss valley states, Appalachia, and any Western state where whites dominate. These states are less important in terms of total US population, which irks the GOP to no end.

  129. 129
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Archon: How do you think the Republicans would have behaved differently starting in 2009 had Obama lost the popular vote? They already started from a position of total opposition to everything to the point of sabotage. Short of committing physical violence I don’t see how the Republicans could have opposed Obama any more than they have, popular vote or no popular vote.

  130. 130
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @gvg: I don’t know what your meter is for how mean, how murderous, and how long ago, because I have heard some absolutely hair-raising shit since I moved to the “Southern” part of Northern Florida.

  131. 131
    Kay says:

    I love this, I must say, from Friend of the Working Man Donald Trump:

    The culinary union — a long time ally of immigrants –has become more vocal about the workers’ battle with Trump. The Trump International doesn’t provide free health care and pays around $3 or $4 less per hour than hotels and casinos on the Las Vegas Strip in which workers are unionized, said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, secretary treasurer for the culinary union.
    “The employees want to have the same opportunities to provide like the rest of the workers in the city,” she said. “They are workers that want job security, health benefits and no worries about retirement and pensions.” The culinary union will hold a rally in front of Trump International on Friday.

    Now that Donald Trump is a real candidate can we get some of the scrutiny that applies to every other candidate? He’s had a long career. Let’s look at those 4 bankruptcy petitions and see how many people he stiffed to buy that helicopter. Let’s look at Trump University where he ripped off thousands of people with a phony business course. Let’s look at the corporate welfare he took to build that empire and go golfing. If he wants to be taken seriously, okay, let’s go.

    When Obama started to hit the Washington Post did 2000 words on his home mortgage application. Donald Trump has a hell of a lot more paper than that to scrutinize. This free ride for the reality tv candidate should end.

  132. 132
    Kay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I don’t think that approach fits the personality. They always, always believe they can win. They are competitive people or they wouldn’t do it. I think you almost have to believe you can win because it’s so horrible no one would do it otherwise.

  133. 133
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay:

    The person who wants to spend every weekend traversing 6 counties and talking to strangers for no pay is a tad unusual. There aren’t that many of them …

    … who aren’t fanatical Republicans?

  134. 134
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Nominally is about the only kind of Democrat KY can handle. Or as my dear friend who grew up in Pineville KY said of Jack Conway in his Senate race “in any other state he’d be a Republican.”

    @Tommy:

    Why in KY you would run away from and not with Obama is beyond me!

    To offer one explanation, because hundreds of thousands of Kentucky residents will tell you that “Obamacare” is the tool of the devil while raving about KYConnect. Which is a Kentucky branded ACA. You will run into a blind holler in Kentucky if you run with Obama, and the people who live there will not welcome you warmly.

    The People’s Socialist Sharia Democratic Republic of Louisville is the exception rather than the rule.

  135. 135
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Joel Hanes:

    Steve Israel’s reign of errors as DCCC chair has severed much of the national party leadership from Democratic grassroots, and his successor, Ray Lujan, doesn’t promise to be much of an improvement. I think Pelosi’s lost her touch.

    Cause or symptom? I think there’s a persistent disconnect between grassroots, especially and most importantly the crazy folks who walk wards every election to GOTV, and party elites in every state, so why wouldn’t the national conglomerate be out to lunch?

    The nationals are listening to VSP big donors all day. They have very little info about state candidates, and what they get is filtered through state parties. But the state parties are full of jerkbags, dipwads, rich aholes, backstabbers, insidery insiders, and dinosaurs. Some of the ward walkers are involved with their local Dem club anyway, but just as many consider it a big fat fucking waste of time. (Plus, campaigns rely on bringing in fresh blood that’s never spent significant time try to gladhand their way up internal party organizations.)

    Look at Mass. Martha Choke-ly was nominated by the party bosses YET AGAIN. Grassroots who attended the convention tried to stage a revolt. But at the end of the day, those like clockwork Democratic grannies who control the primaries voted for the name they knew. Then the under-80 set got a shot in the general and, well, they vote under a different rubric than “Is it an Irish name?”

    In Florida, personally, I liked Crist. I don’t trust Florida Dems and he was a known quantity. But, whatevs, the truth is the grassroots HAAAAAATED him. And blame him for the loss to Scott. Better example. Alex Sink. Special election. Bigfooted a local D who looked set to win. Infuriated the ward walkers. Didn’t impress voters either. District went to an R. Own goal. Managed to suck down incredible amounts of Labor money on the way down, though.

  136. 136
    Mike J says:

    @Jeffro: You’re presumably a Democrat. What office are you running for?

  137. 137
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Jeffro:

    Heck, run the same folks each time – might take 3 election cycles, might take 30, but the name recognition will grow and so will the perception that the party at least tries to make its case instead of completely deserting their supporters.

    You’re right, but the Party provides no support, and acts like they don’t know them. People of good will but modest means throw their hat in the ring, endangering their jobs and/or businesses. They work incredibly hard and get burned out. You just don’t see people run repeatedly unless they’re independently wealthy.

    But I think the party’s psychology is shaped by losing over and over again. They won’t even contest a losing race. It’s very short-sighted.

  138. 138
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Zandar:

    I really do need to do that at some point.

    Um, yes you do.

    @Kay: Thank you for explaining that. You have much more credibility on that topic than I do. Even as I remember a County Prosecutor race with no D candidate on the ballot.. when the R incumbent had to resign after declaration period.

  139. 139
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Mike J: Good save, lol.

  140. 140
    the Conster says:

    The first signs of the slowly unfolding debacle that has meant the decimation of the Democratic Party nationally began early—with the special election of Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy’s empty Senate seat in Massachusetts.

    This lazy Villager analysis makes me fucking crazy. It clearly never occurred to moron to ask anyone from Massachusetts what actually happened. Yes, Coakley was a terrible campaigner, but the special election was on a cold snowy weekday in mid January, right after the third in a row – the THIRD IN A ROW – Democratic Speaker of the Masschusetts House was indicted, which was shortly after Dem. State Senator Diane Wilkerson was caught on camera stuffing her bra full of corrupt cash. Scott Brown campaigned really hard, had great relatable ads, is good looking and looked like a Senator, and was not a tea party Republican nutjob. People like to be wooed, and he’s really good at asking people for their vote – that’s what he did, and he rode a mini wave of anti-Democratic Massachusetts machine political backlash all the way to the Senate, where the wave died, and receded after his snotty little shitty campaign against Elizabeth Warren showed him to be the dumb snotty himbo that he really is..

    That’s what happened.

  141. 141
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Desdemona: dropped the silent k theme, huh?

  142. 142
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Matt McIrvin: That position requires that you consider disparate equipment distribution by the politics of precinct location a traditional method of voter suppression. Which I guess is in fact reasonable. I doesn’t answer doubts about the integrity of Diebold tallies, however.

  143. 143
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Kay:

    You’ll have two kinds of Democratic “supporters” during this (probably losing) campaign. There will be the Democrats who believe that you will win, despite the fact that there are 2 Republicans to every one Democrat and actually it’s a long shot. They will blame you, personally, when you lose. There are also the Democrats who believe you will lose. They’ll tell you that every day you’re running. If/when you lose they will then go to “not enough of a Democrat/too much of a Democrat”.

    I know it’s human nature, but it’s so depressing. Union campaigns are like this as well. Sometimes you fight your hardest and you lose anyway. Sometimes there’s other shit out of your control. But a lot of people have the urge to blame the closest body for whatever happened. I live by a district that has been contested repeatedly by good Dems with no money. They’ve tried everything and campaigned their hearts out, but can’t get over that 55-45 spread. I think they could with some real money, but that’s never been tried. I think the way the party didn’t even make a token gesture to assist them was crap. Why are you working so hard to turn out new voters and get actually MAD when someone suggests asking them to vote D down ticket? Lord knows I handed out ballot question voter guides, Congr. lit, and added the subject to my patter when I walked my ward for Obama. Child, please. This stuff is important!

  144. 144
    Kay says:

    @Cervantes:

    That’s true to a certain extent, though, in R-leaning areas. They’re not fire-breathing liberals. We had a lovely man run for the statehouse last time. Just a great human being. He could do it because he’s retired and his children are grown and he also owns hundreds of acres :)

    I was with him at the fair and listening to him and he was explaining, explaining, explaining. He has to bring them along or he’s getting 35% instead of 45% :)

    I was actually sad about his loss because I’m like everyone else- “lightening could strike!” and he was just such a great guy.

  145. 145
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @the Conster: Yeah, we Massholes sure know how to pick our Speakers of the House, don’t we. And that’s before we get into our lovely taste in Presidents of the State Senate. Good old William “Of course I have no idea where my brother is or what he’s up to” Bulger and his very lucrative career.

  146. 146
    Jeffro says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Read Kay’s response above. Once you’ve decided to run, there’s no halfway. There’s always some event to do, some place you haven’t been that you need to go and campaign, you can’t just sit back. I ran for local office a long time ago, and even at the municipal level, it really consumes a great deal of time and energy, and if it’s something you are exceedingly unlikely to win, it’s really hard to see the point.

    Thanks, I read it. Just because that is the way it’s always been done, though, doesn’t mean that’s how it always has to be done. And this particular sidebar started by noting that it was important to get a Dem on every ballot – no more uncontested seats. I agree with you that most are inclined to go all-out, that there’s always another place to campaign, the time & energy it consumes, etc – totally agree (and h/t to you for running btw). What I’m suggesting is that if it’s the difference between having no one and having a Dem who “runs on the weekends” (at least, the first time out) and shows up at the debates and talks to the press – I’ll take the ‘weekender’. Ugh that is an awkward term, but I think you’ll get the point. Having no one there at all ensures a Republican wins.

    @Mike J: I didn’t realize advocating for change required me to be a candidate, that’s an intriguing concept.

  147. 147
    goblue72 says:

    @the Conster: Thank. Massachusetts is also the state that elected Mitt Romney to GOVERNOR. Not because of some decimated Democratic Party but because he ran as a basically sane, not a nut job, Northeast Republican. And his opponent was State Treasurer Shannon O’Brien – a Democratic Party hack who possibly an even worse campaigner than Coakley.

    I attended a small fundraiser for her hosted by the downtown Boston law firm I worked at, and she was introduced by her running mate, Chris Gabrieli – a dweeby, annoying venture capitalist, failed Congressional candidate. And he still had 10 times more charisma than her. I recall thinking at the time “oh shit – we are so screwed”.

    Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar – and a crappy candidate is just a crappy candidate.

  148. 148
    Kay says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Union people amaze me, quite frankly. They are the definition of “getting back up”. You’ll read about a successful organizing campaign and somewhere in there will be “they started in 1994”. Truly. Years.

    Without labor people we would not have a Democratic Party in this county. I know that’s not true everywhere but it’s true here.

  149. 149
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Kay: I think part of the problem has to do with the way that the national Democratic party apparatus treats people who run and lose. It’s “one strike and you’re out” unless you’re already a known quantity. Republicans don’t do that to their people who are willing to endure the stress of campaigns, there is always support for another try. Of course it’s going to be hard to win in Republican areas if it’s hard to get someone to even try it once and then the support from the party disappears after the first loss.

    The movie Milk with Sean Penn really showed the toll that this takes on people. Harvey Milk had to run again and again, causing intense problems with his personal life and relationships before he finally won an election. That’s what it takes to get a foothold, and it’s not going to happen if the Democratic party keeps shunning people who try and fail.

    Even Martha Coakley ran a much better campaign her second time around. People need to remember that Massachusetts is rigged for GOP governors the same way Wisconsin is. 4 year terms, elections always take place halfway through a Presidential term. GOP electorate shows up, Dems don’t.

  150. 150
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Kay: But it was a home mortgage application from a Negro, clearly of great public interest.

    Relevant: the South Side of Chicago looks like its bombed out self today because of mid-20th century predatory and discriminatory lending practices. White people could miss a payment and just pay it back. Blacks got foreclosed on. One step forward, two steps back.

  151. 151
    Cervantes says:

    @Jeffro:

    I didn’t realize advocating for change required me to be a candidate, that’s an intriguing concept.

    Well, you have your reasons for not running all-out, I’m sure — but why not run as a “weekender”?

  152. 152
    Jeffro says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    People of good will but modest means throw their hat in the ring, endangering their jobs and/or businesses. They work incredibly hard and get burned out.

    Agreed, and it is a shame. They should be better supported by the state and national party (and part of that means, not letting newbies burn themselves out, go broke, etc. It just doesn’t have to be that way – they are already assuming some risk just by doing the party a favor and running.)

    As you noted, it is very short-sighted. And as others have noted, the “other guy” drops out of the race all the time. It’s important to at least have that name on the ballot for a number of reasons.

  153. 153
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Similar to how utilities work in poor black neighborhoods compared to whites. I’d have to not pay my bills at all for months before they’d just get shut off.

  154. 154

    @Jeffro:

    I think Mike’s point is that you’re reading comments from people who have actually recruited local candidates or run themselves and you don’t seem to be listening to them when they tell you that running for office doesn’t work the way you seem to think it does.

    It’s not unreasonable to say that maybe some real-world experience — not necessarily running yourself, but recruiting and supporting a local candidate — would help you understand the obstacles a little better.

  155. 155
    Jeffro says:

    @Cervantes: Point taken. I’ll have to look pretty hard, though – my district in NoVA is stacked to the gills with eager Dems running for every office, every election. I will check in with my local party and make sure everything is covered for 2016. Who knows, this could be how my national bestseller, “Weekending Your Way To County Dogcatcher” begins…?

  156. 156
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @the Conster:

    which was shortly after Dem. State Senator Diane Wilkerson was caught on camera stuffing her bra full of corrupt cash

    Damn. Missed that one. The people who defended her over the years must be crying in their beer.

    Here’s the thing with Boston. You can be corrupt as fuck. But you have to be in The Club. You really can’t worm your way into The Club. You’re more born into it, if you know what I mean and I think you do. The Club controls the local FBI office. Which means if you’re taking bribes and, say, Black, you’re going to prison. (Btw, I don’t believe Chuck Turner took a bribe at all. I think he fought City Hall and City Hall won.) If you’re an Irish Catholic hooligan in a suit with the right friends you can be as corrupt as fuck, steering paving contracts and liquor licenses and whatever else to your buddies, and nobody, least of all the public, will be able to do a damn thing about it!

  157. 157
    goblue72 says:

    @Cluttered Mind: The best part about when Billy Bulger ran the State Senate, we also had Charles Flaherty as Speaker of the House, a guy who wound up pleading guilty to tax evasion.

  158. 158
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kay: I wonder if Trump is even vulnerable to any kind of attack about his personal behavior. Won’t his response just be “Heh, heh, ain’t I a stinker? But this country is so messed up, I got away with it! And it takes a bastard to fight a bastard!” Etc.

  159. 159
    Archon says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    In 2009 I suspect the GOP wouldn’t have even pretended to be open to working with Obama like they did by showing up to those ACA discussions.

    If Obama had lost the popular vote in 2012 they would have impeached him already.

  160. 160
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Cluttered Mind: Well, the voters are responsible too. We could have had Scotty Harshbarger but went with a Republican instead. The Lege leadership was out to get him because he didn’t stop at investigating R pols–he was looking at them, too.

    I guess Mass voters want to “clean up the corruption” (Romney’s signs had a broom on them) as long as nobody actually gets indicted. That’s going too far.

  161. 161
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @goblue72: The way the media tried to cover for O’Brien’s basic stupidity was amusing, in a way.

    (Not unlike the attempts to cover for W.)

  162. 162
    AxelFoley says:

    @gene108:

    You are not going to win by running on a coalition of women and minorities, because there aren’t enough minorities to off-set the white vote.

    2008 and 2012 say otherwise.

  163. 163
    Jeffro says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    It’s not unreasonable to say that maybe some real-world experience — not necessarily running yourself, but recruiting and supporting a local candidate — would help you understand the obstacles a little better.

    I haven’t mentioned experiences of mine (probably should have, earlier) but I’ve worked on campaigns at the local and state level pretty much every election since 2000. I have knocked on doors, stuffed envelopes, phone-banked, gone to enough beef-and-beers that I now need to attend, and only attend, argula-and-aguas, etc. Some of those were for popular, well-supported candidates; some were 1st time local office races. I’ve never seen it directly from a candidate’s perspective, but I have seen all the rest – that’s part of why I’m advocating for something different (at least, for some races). More importantly, I’m arguing for a stronger commitment from the top so that they provide the basics to get people onto every ballot, a minimal amount of resources to get started, and an end to the “one and done” mentality that some have described earlier in this thread.

    It’s interesting – I had a chance at a seminar this past spring to talk with Don Berwick (one of Martha Coakley’s primary challengers). Very nice guy, astoundingly smart too. I asked him about campaigning and he said he loved getting out and meeting voters, even somewhat hostile ones. He said the events didn’t drain him – the constant fundraising calls did (which he described as over 30 hours a week). That’s nuts. So…working on campaign finance reform would ease a lot of these pressures as well obviously.

  164. 164
    goblue72 says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I think you’re right about Chuck. Boston FBI is corrupt down to its bones. And the Irish are going to give up power only when its forced from their cold dead hands. They had to suffer through decades of watching that Eye-talian run City Hall, and when he finally retired, by God, they took back what was “theirs”.

    I got a kick out of watching from afar the mayoral race between the townie from Dot and the two-toilet townie from West Roxbury. So glad I moved West.

  165. 165
    Betty Cracker says:

    @NorthLeft12: I’m as down on Blue Dogs as anyone else, but the fact is, we are definitely worse off when they are replaced by Republicans. As maddening as their contrarian shtick can be, sometimes we need them for critical votes when they would actually be with us and Republicans would not.

  166. 166
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Cluttered Mind: There’s also this urban vs exurban and rural thing in Mass politics that R’s exploit.

    The heads of the Lege are voted in by the delegates and senators but it’s more complicated than that, it’s really down to the machine, which is still a thing despite some inner ring suburb attempts at a revolt. The exurbs and rural areas can’t control who is in charge of the Lege, always someone from a very, ahem, urban* district and somehow likely to be Roman Catholic and probably Irish as well or some sort of knockoff Irish, like Italian.

    *in Massachusettsese, “majority-minority” is the term for a mostly non-white district, urban here means in the Boston city limits :)

    When Weld ran he ran explicitly on a platform of “I’m a WASP, emphasis on the P because I’m pro-choice.” But he also had an ad during one of his campaign lampooning his Dem opponents as a swarthy three stooges. Everyone but “Bumbles” Cellucci, who was basically put in there by the Democratic machine, up through when I left Mass basically ran on the platform of “I’m a solid Protestant, not one of those corrupt, grubby, grasping, low class, ethnic Catholics”. Yes, even Romney. The Boston Globe disliked him and tried to make an issue of his Olympics record and his Mormonism, but it blew up because they reported he made waves in Utah for using “foul words” and it made people in Massachusetts respect him more. See, he’s not too Mormony. He’s just right.

  167. 167
    the Conster says:

    @goblue72:

    And who can forget Tom Finneran? He was a Democratic tea partier, pled guilty to obstruction of justice IIRC, and was disbarred and of course came back to am talk radio. Couldn’t fucking stand that guy, but he was in The Club as Another Halocene Human mentions above. Knew where all the bodies were buried (mostly Bulger’s, probably). Shannon O’Brien was Finneran’s creation, and I was not a fan. I think that’s the year I voted for Jill Stein for Governor.

  168. 168
    Jeffro says:

    @Archon:

    If Obama had lost the popular vote in 2012 they would have impeached him already.

    If he had lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College, it’s hard to not get carried away with nightmare scenarios for this country. Although it would have been interesting watching SCOTUS try to revisit Bush v Gore and guarantee the opposite outcome this time. I’m sure Fat Tony would have been up to the job.

  169. 169
    Tripod says:

    Kentucky doesn’t have one working UMWA member. There might be 1500 miners left in the state. The time when the industry meant something economically and politically to Kentucky is gone, yet candidates like Grimes feel they have to nostalgia pander. It’s fucking stupid.

  170. 170
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I’m still annoyed about that. I worked as a data entry drone on the Robert Reich primary campaign as a summer volunteer position, and to this day I feel that if Reich had gotten through the primary, the rest of the country would never have heard the name Mitt Romney.

    And yes, I know very well how it works there. I grew up in and around Boston, and my poli sci B.A. is from Northeastern University. It astonishes me just how ignorant most of the country is about what Massachusetts is really like. They just hear “Massachusetts” and start thinking about snooty east coast liberal elitists. There might be a few of those hanging around in Cambridge but there are plenty of people in Western Massachusetts and up by the NH border that you could put up next to any Texas or Arizona teabagger and you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference.

    And then there’s everything you’ve accurately documented in the thread about how the state Democratic party “works”.

  171. 171
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @goblue72:

    I got a kick out of watching from afar the mayoral race between the townie from Dot and the two-toilet townie from West Roxbury. So glad I moved West.

    Bfffahahahahaha!!!

    (It’s personal, I halfway grew up in and around “Westie” because my parents joined the “wrong” parish.)

    From very afar, it seems like Walsh is a good guy, though. People I trust think his election was a BFD. (Menino did a TON for the city, especially it’s neighborhoods. A prince among mayors.)

    Which brings me to Flynn. What an asshat!

  172. 172
    beltane says:

    @Betty Cracker: What’s going on with redistricting in Florida? There seems to have been some kind of epic clusterfuck in the legislature today, proving that the Republicans are not only unable to govern well, but are often unable to govern at all: http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....sional-map

  173. 173
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Betty Cracker: I think they’re finished, though. The swing voters went pure GOP. Blue dogs don’t offer that sweet sweet hate, for one thing. We had someone go up against Yoho on a blue doggish platform. He was on local hate radio making his case for jobs jobs jobs. Didn’t make a dent. Haters wanna hate.

  174. 174
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @the Conster:

    I think that’s the year I voted for Jill Stein for Governor.

    I must say that Jill Stein pantsing (former State Treasurer!!) Shannon O’Brien on the budget on live television was one of the most incredible moments I have ever seen in a debate.

    ETA: I held my nose and voted D because I hated Mitt “Mitt” Romney.

  175. 175
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Cluttered Mind: Massachusetts has had so many awesome sauce people run for major office that couldn’t crack 20% in the primaries (hard to overcome block votes that are basically bought and paid for, just look at the signs that go up in certain urban businesses, and when), it kind of boggles the mind that Elizabeth Warren actually got in there instead of some hack.

  176. 176
    dedc79 says:

    Rep. Nadler is supporting the Iran Deal. An excerpt from the section where he rebuts common criticisms of the deal:

    1. We shouldn’t lift sanctions because that would provide a multi-billion dollar windfall to Iran, much of which would be used to support terrorism and continue illicit conduct. Nor can we allow the lifting of critical bans on conventional and ballistic weapons sales to such a dangerous regime.

    Saying we should never lift sanctions is saying that we should never negotiate — that any deal, whatever its terms, is unacceptable. Multilateral sanctions were imposed, with international cooperation, to force the Iranians to the negotiation table to reach a deal that would prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The P5+1 countries and Iran have now successfully concluded such an agreement, and Congress can either support or reject the agreement. The lifting of the sanctions was always expected if we reached a deal. If we rule out the lifting of sanctions in exchange for any deal to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, there can be no conceivable incentive for Iran to agree to anything — no quid for the quo — and the only option left would be military action.

    In addition, the Iranians will almost certainly get this money whether Congress approves the JCPOA or not.

  177. 177
    Kay says:

    @Jeffro:

    They did a good thing here for a while, in the state. They had “candidate school”. I went to one that was run by Sherrod Brown’s (beautiful) daughter, who is interesting all by herself because she is a senator’s daughter yet took this grunt work on rather than working on a DC campaign or think tank or whatever. It was great. Really nuts and bolts and also chatty and lively.

  178. 178
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @beltane: That article seems to have explained it. This is nothing new with them. There’s a long backstory to the law that is driving all of this. The bottom line is that the courts have yet be re-corrupted after being reformed in the 70s. That’s the bastion. And also, citizens can modify the state constitution without going through the legislature.

    Senate and House hate each other in part because Senate districts are much larger than House districts and thus tend to be more moderate, like the state itself. House is full of bought-and-paid-for peons of the 1%, like the idiot from the district next to mine (don’t worry, his former classroom teachers verify he is an idiot), nasty ideologues, and, in both parties, dumb-dumbs. (Some people have run unopposed in House districts because opponents failed to submit the correct paperwork.) There are great people in the House but the leadership are assholes, which means committee chairs are assholes, and you get spectacles like the attempt to ban trans people from bathrooms this year.

  179. 179
    Zandar says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Why yes. Yes they did.

    zap.

  180. 180
    Kay says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    I think part of the problem has to do with the way that the national Democratic party apparatus treats people who run and lose. It’s “one strike and you’re out” unless you’re already a known quantity.

    I don’t know. I think partly it’s the person because they can always run in a local race after they do the obligatory “lose the House seat” run. One of the people Marcy Kaptur recruited in Ohio was my election law instructor. Young man. He ran in a red CD, lost, and then went back home and won a city council race. He made it work for him, in a way, so that 9 months running as the sacrifice wasn’t wasted.

    He has a great story about his congressional race. He was dating someone when he ran, and he did a “visibility event” except it rained and no one showed up. He did it anyway, standing there alone with his own sign in the rain. The woman he was dating saw him and told him later she couldn’t see him anymore “because it’s too pathetic for me”. There aren’t 5000 people who will put themselves thru that. You have to be pretty confident and have a good sense of humor :)

  181. 181
    Fred says:

    Howard Dean was party chair during the years when the Dems were making gains. His 50 state strategy was abandoned and failure followed. Maybe, just maybe that might not be a coincidence.

  182. 182
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @dedc79: Given his district, this is a BFD.

  183. 183
    catclub says:

    @AxelFoley: I think Gene meant ‘in Kentucky’.

  184. 184
    cintibud says:

    @Zandar: Letme know!

  185. 185
    Goblue72 says:

    @the Conster: God how I hated Tommy Finneran. If I recall, Tom Birmingham was Senate President and would occasionally try to push a more liberal budget through but Tommy would just bring out the hammer & put a kibosh on it.

    Weaselly awful little tyrant he was.

  186. 186
    Goblue72 says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I wasn’t sure if I should make the two-toilet joke or the lace curtain joke. ;)

    I got some friends still in Boston who are more lefty than even I, and they seem ok with Walsh. He’s pro-union in a way that’s needed these days I guess – and he’s at least making the right noises about cleaning up the BRA.

  187. 187
    japa21 says:

    In some of these states, it isn’t so much the Dems need to embrace Obama as it is they don’t need to run away from Obama. The biggest mistake the Dems made in 2010 was not to give a full throated support of the ACA. They were afraid of the damn teapartiers or just felt they didn’t need to. Joe Walsh won specifically because his opponent, the first Dem in that district in decades and a two termer was so confident she didn’t feel she needed to defend the ACA and didn’t realize Walsh was a serious opponent until too late.

    One thing about the GOP, they act as if they are complacent (except maybe Romney) and they fight for every vote. Dems just don’t do that.

    Grimes also made a mistake by not defending KyNect more. She didn’t have to praise the ACA, but she needed to efend Kentucky’s version and really blast McConnell for wanting to take it away. She needed to get out to the coal mine area and talk about wanting them to keep their jobs but wanting to make sure they had safe working conditions. She did not need to talk about going to DC to oppose Obama. McConnell already had staked out that territory.

  188. 188
    Yukoner says:

    @Kay:

    In parliamentary systems there is a long tradition of so-called paper candidates. The most well-known in Canada is Ruth Ellen Brosseau who was elected as a 27 year old bartender and single mum in 2011 for a riding in Quebec where she had never been in her life. A reasonable summary of her story is here.
    What is very funny is that she is heavily favoured to win re-election this fall.

  189. 189
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @gene108: By golly, you’re right! That’s why Obama lost both the presidential elections he ran in!

  190. 190
    joel hanes says:

    @beltane:

    Steve Israel is … voting with the Republicans on the Iran deal.

    To quote Kurt Vonnegut :

    ” *”

    (the asterisk, used as a glyph for a puckered nether orifice)

    Shumer was never my favorite either, but now he’s dead to me.

  191. 191
    Cervantes says:

    @Jeffro:

    The question was just food for thought!

    In any event, were you to run where I vote, you’d certainly have my support over any conceivable Republican.

  192. 192
    jl says:

    Ha ha ha. Maybe this Greenfield guy is trolling.
    The Democrats have a primary for next presidential election with two high polling candidates, and national polls have shown either of them could beat the whole boatload of loons running in the GOP goof show. And the Democrats have a VP who could do the same thing if he entered.

    So, fine, the Democrats are destroyed. I will note that down.

  193. 193
    AxelFoley says:

    @Brachiator:

    @gene108: Everything you wrote is largely wrong. Whites are increasingly becoming a minority in key states, and talking about an Obama coalition is wrongheaded. The U.S. ain’t West Virginia.

    Balloon Juicers have an obsession with the airwaves and mainstream media. This is the age of Facebook and the Internets, especially for voters who are not old farts. And people are not as stupid as you think. They can filter through the noise. Or they are happy in an echo chamber. Too many Democrats and progressives, on the other hand, don’t seem to want to take the time to offer coherent arguments. They want to preach to the converted and insult or ignore those not in the know.

    The Republican congressional advantage has been intensified through gerrymandering. This is a problem, but not insurmountable.

    Money isn’t everything. Ask Megan Whitman in California. Or even Carly Fiorina. Obama won twice. Why didn’t money win against him?

    Obama worked to win votes and to appeal to voters. And this means more than mainly white men and a lucky few others allowed to hang around.

    Co-signing this.

  194. 194
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Mike J: If he’s not running, does that invalidate what he said, in your mind?

  195. 195
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    They just hear “Massachusetts” and start thinking about snooty east coast liberal elitists. There might be a few of those hanging around in Cambridge but there are plenty of people in Western Massachusetts and up by the NH border that you could put up next to any Texas or Arizona teabagger and you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference.

    The furthest west part of Massachusetts is something else again: it’s basically an extension of Vermont. Rural white ultra-liberals, really unusual by national standards.

    But, yeah, you go to some of the less-urbanized areas around Worcester and it’s Tea Party land. Also the whiter outer suburbs of Boston.

    My town is up at the NH border and it’s a weird mix; the town as a whole is actually mildly Democratic but I suspect there’s a lot of division by neighborhood and race. A fair number of people who fit your description, including a few dudes who roll coal and drive around with Confederate flags on their trucks.

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    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Brachiator: We often talk about how it’s always 1972 or 1980 for the political media. I came of age during the Reagan age, in a mostly Republican neighborhood, and my instincts are kind of like that too: my knee-jerk intuition is that the dumbest kind of conservative demagogy will always basically work, and most people in the real world will think you’re weird for not believing it. And it always kind of surprises me when it comes out differently, even though I’ve lived in very liberal places since then. But it gives me this streak of fatalistic pessimism when it comes to politics.

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    dww44 says:

    @Betty Cracker: I so agree. My former bluedog Dem lost in 2010 and now we have a young GOP’er and they’ve redrawn the district so that there’s no way a Republican will ever lose. Took this majority minority small city and split it so that no one from the city will ever run for Congress with any hope at all of winning. Upshot, we are represented by one GOP’er who lives 150 miles away and a Dem who lives in another city 90 miles away.

    The GOP’er doesn’t even have a local office here;it’s 25 miles down the road in the Republican stronghold home to an absolutely economically crucial Air Force base. Want proof that the Air Force is way conservative, check us out sometime.

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    AxelFoley says:

    @catclub:

    @AxelFoley: I think Gene meant ‘in Kentucky’.

    Ah, that makes sense.

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