Why Are Democrats Going to Lose When They Are More Popular?

There is a fascinating disparity in these 2010 elections. When asked which party will cope better with the issues facing this country over the next couple of years, Democrats win 42-38%. When asked who will handle the economy better, Democrats win 44-37%. When asked which party you approve of more in Congress, Democrats win 36-30%. Yet, they're about to get wiped out.

Why? Obviously, it has nothing to do with the Republicans because they are the only thing that has lower approval ratings than the Democrats. A gigantic 67% of the country disapproves of the Republicans on Congress (a Congress they're about to hand them). Nearly every poll shows general disdain for the Republican Party.

So, if it's not that the voters like the Republican Party or find their answers to our problems particularly appealing (they lose on almost every issue in the polls), what is causing this possibly enormous electoral shift? I think the answer is two-fold.

The first is obvious - voters are throwing the bums out. The Democrats are the party in power and they are paying the price when the country is in bad shape. This is Politics 101. People don't like what's happening, they vote out whoever is in office. That's democracy and it also makes some intrinsic sense generally (though in this case, it makes no sense since they are putting back in power the people who caused the problems in the first place).

Secondly, it's because the Democrats didn't deliver. They said there was going to be big change and that they were going to take care of the middle class. And they didn't. I'm not saying that because I disagree with the size of the stimulus, or gays in the military or whether we had the public option or not. This is not about whether we had sufficient change on specific issues (that's a good debate for another time).

No, this is about broader issues. Did you deliver for the average American voter or did you deliver for Wall Street? Come on, look at the numbers. Wall Street is backing to make record profits and bonuses and we're at nearly 10% unemployment. People aren't stupid. They got robbed. The system didn't get fixed. It's still rigged in favor of the rich and powerful.

Some liberals, progressives and Democrats will accuse me of party treason for saying that. They're right, I don't give a damn about the parties. In this day and age, I would never vote for a Republican in a national election because they have shown themselves to be a completely owned subsidiary of the rich and the powerful. They have demonstrated gross incompetence and are purposely derelict in their duty to the voters. But that doesn't mean I have to be excited about the Democrats. Who is excited by Blanche Lincoln? Other than corporations who bought her years ago.

The Democrats said they were going to bring change - and they didn't. That is their fundamental error. And that is why they are being voted out right now. But knowing how Washington works, they will not get that through their thick skulls. Instead, they will probably go further toward the jackals on the right after this election. They will cater to big business, Wall Street and the top 1% of this country even more after this election - and then wonder why people don't trust them.

I have a crazy suggestion for you guys, which I am sure the Washington establishment will hate with every fiber of their being - why don't you fight for us, the average American voter, over the next two years and see how that works out? Why don't you take on the powerful and punch them in the face (politically)? Why don't you take the fight to the Republicans and tell them you are going to stop the banks from robbing us no matter what happens? Why don't you tell the Washington media to shove it next time they suggest you work with the Republicans in cutting taxes for the rich and balancing the budget on the back of the poor and the middle class?

But you won't. You know it, I know it and the American people know it. You will bow your head and call populism a dirty word and keep catering to the lobbyists and the donors in a desperate attempt to appease them more than the Republicans do.

The system is broken. No one represents us. The special interests and the corporate interests have bought all of the politicians. So, when the American people throw the bums out, they are right. Unfortunately, this time around they are going to replace them with far, far worse bums. But they are going to learn that lesson the hard way. And next time, they'll throw them out again. And they'll keep doing that until one of the parties gets it through their heads that the Washington establishment does not represent the American people. They represent the powerful. And the more you cater to them the more the American people will hate you. And vote you out of office.

Watch The Young Turks Election Coverage Here

Follow Cenk Uygur on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheYoungTurks
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Why Are Democrats Going to Lose When They Are More Popular?

There is a fascinating disparity in these 2010 elections. When asked which party will cope better with the issues facing this country over the next couple of years, Democrats win 42-38%. When asked who will handle the economy better, Democrats win 44-37%. When asked which party you approve of more in Congress, Democrats win 36-30%. Yet, they're about to get wiped out.

Why? Obviously, it has nothing to do with the Republicans because they are the only thing that has lower approval ratings than the Democrats. A gigantic 67% of the country disapproves of the Republicans on Congress (a Congress they're about to hand them). Nearly every poll shows general disdain for the Republican Party.

So, if it's not that the voters like the Republican Party or find their answers to our problems particularly appealing (they lose on almost every issue in the polls), what is causing this possibly enormous electoral shift? I think the answer is two-fold.

The first is obvious - voters are throwing the bums out. The Democrats are the party in power and they are paying the price when the country is in bad shape. This is Politics 101. People don't like what's happening, they vote out whoever is in office. That's democracy and it also makes some intrinsic sense generally (though in this case, it makes no sense since they are putting back in power the people who caused the problems in the first place).

Secondly, it's because the Democrats didn't deliver. They said there was going to be big change and that they were going to take care of the middle class. And they didn't. I'm not saying that because I disagree with the size of the stimulus, or gays in the military or whether we had the public option or not. This is not about whether we had sufficient change on specific issues (that's a good debate for another time).

No, this is about broader issues. Did you deliver for the average American voter or did you deliver for Wall Street? Come on, look at the numbers. Wall Street is backing to make record profits and bonuses and we're at nearly 10% unemployment. People aren't stupid. They got robbed. The system didn't get fixed. It's still rigged in favor of the rich and powerful.

Some liberals, progressives and Democrats will accuse me of party treason for saying that. They're right, I don't give a damn about the parties. In this day and age, I would never vote for a Republican in a national election because they have shown themselves to be a completely owned subsidiary of the rich and the powerful. They have demonstrated gross incompetence and are purposely derelict in their duty to the voters. But that doesn't mean I have to be excited about the Democrats. Who is excited by Blanche Lincoln? Other than corporations who bought her years ago.

The Democrats said they were going to bring change - and they didn't. That is their fundamental error. And that is why they are being voted out right now. But knowing how Washington works, they will not get that through their thick skulls. Instead, they will probably go further toward the jackals on the right after this election. They will cater to big business, Wall Street and the top 1% of this country even more after this election - and then wonder why people don't trust them.

I have a crazy suggestion for you guys, which I am sure the Washington establishment will hate with every fiber of their being - why don't you fight for us, the average American voter, over the next two years and see how that works out? Why don't you take on the powerful and punch them in the face (politically)? Why don't you take the fight to the Republicans and tell them you are going to stop the banks from robbing us no matter what happens? Why don't you tell the Washington media to shove it next time they suggest you work with the Republicans in cutting taxes for the rich and balancing the budget on the back of the poor and the middle class?

But you won't. You know it, I know it and the American people know it. You will bow your head and call populism a dirty word and keep catering to the lobbyists and the donors in a desperate attempt to appease them more than the Republicans do.

The system is broken. No one represents us. The special interests and the corporate interests have bought all of the politicians. So, when the American people throw the bums out, they are right. Unfortunately, this time around they are going to replace them with far, far worse bums. But they are going to learn that lesson the hard way. And next time, they'll throw them out again. And they'll keep doing that until one of the parties gets it through their heads that the Washington establishment does not represent the American people. They represent the powerful. And the more you cater to them the more the American people will hate you. And vote you out of office.

Watch The Young Turks Election Coverage Here

Follow Cenk Uygur on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheYoungTurks
Become a Fan of The Young Turks on Facebook: www.facebook.com/tytnation

 

 

Campaign Cash: Why Conservative Attack Ads Won’t Stop After Election Day

by Zach Carter, Media Consortium blogger

Today is the first election in American history in which corporations have been allowed to spend their own money to buy political favors. This legalized corruption comes courtesy of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which injected massive amounts of corporate cash and unprecedented levels of secrecy into American politics.

And all of this crazy corporate spending will not be restricted to elections. That’s right. As Jesse Zwick reports for The Washington Independent, two front-groups founded by GOP strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie plan to keep running ads attacking Democrats well after the elections are over.

As Zwick emphasizes, this is actually a way to help keep one of the organizations, known as American Crossroads GPS from breaking the law. Many groups that spend money on elections register as 501(c)(4) organizations, which must devote no more than half of their activity to political operations. In return for limiting their political activity—advocacy or condemnation of specific candidates—they don’t have to disclose who their donors are. So groups like American Crossroads GPS plan to run “issue ads” focusing on the budget deficit and immigration reform this fall to balance out the ads directed at specific candidates that they’ve already run.

Under the Citizens United ruling, so long as corporations or wealthy elites launder their political expenditures through a front-group, they can give as much as they want without ever being held publicly accountable. But the high court’s decision also allows these front-groups to keep their actual expenditures secret as well. It’s not just that we don’t know who is funding them—in many cases, we also don’t really know what they’re funding.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s foreign dues

The secrecy surrounding anonymous donors may very well extend to foreign corporations. As Harry Hanbury emphasizes in this video for GRITtv, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—a lobbying front-group for the largest American corporations—is facing heavy scrutiny over is foreign contributions. Nearly $900,000 in annual dues to the Chamber come from foreign firms, and the Chamber aggressively courts foreign donors who might benefit from weak U.S. laws—particularly environmental laws. The Chamber insists that it’s playing by the rules, but Hanbury catches them lying twice about the nature of the group’s foreign funding.

California’s environmental laws for sale

Corporations aren’t just targeting federal elections to influence public policy. As Tara Lohan explains for AlterNet, big oil companies have financed a campaign to repeal California’s carbon emission reduction law. Two major polluters—Valero and Tesoro—have spent a combined $7 million boosting the repeal, while Koch Industries—a major Tea Party funder—has kicked in about $1 million as well. A full 70 percent of the $10.7 million that has been spent to bolster the anti-environment ballot initiative has come from out-of-state sources.

Even the Tea Party’s worried

When the Tea Party Patriots received an anonymous $1 million donation for get-out-the-vote efforts, left-wing bloggers weren’t the only people upset about it. As Stephanie Mencimer reports for Mother Jones, some of the Tea Party Patriots’ own members were nervous: Who was funding this operation, and where was the money going?

We’ll probably never know, because the Tea Party Patriots aren’t legally obligated report their donors or expenses. The group has only disclosed $15,000 worth of expenditures of the $1 million donation, $10,000 of which was re-granted to another organization run by the father of Tea Party Patriots leader Mark Meckler. The remainder is anybody’s guess.

But wait, there’s more!

  • Writing for In These Times, Sam Ross-Brown highlights a potential legislative solution to some of these campaign finance shenanigans. The Fair Elections Now Act would limit individual campaign contributions to $100, and match them by a factor of four-to-one, increasing the spending power of ordinary citizens and helping to level the distorted playing field created by Citizens United.
  • Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones details who got hit the hardest this election season in the final push leading up to Election Day: Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) got some of the biggest expenditures. This year also smashed previous campaign expenditures, coming in at $443 million.
  • Suzy Khimm reports on voter intimidation tactics for Mother Jones from a McDonald’s fast food franchise  in Ohio’s 16th district. Employees were told to vote for Republicans or their wages would go down. McDonald’s may have been emboldened by Citizens United even though such tactics are still clearly illegal.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the mid-term elections and campaign financing by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit The Media Consortium for more articles on these issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, health care and immigration issues, check out The Audit, The Mulch, The Pulse, and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.

 

 

Are you voting tomorrow?

From the Restore Fairness blog-

Tomorrow is voting day, so make sure you get out there and vote. Here are some things that might motivate you to make your vote count and have your voice heard in the 2010 elections-

Our friends at Colorlines have been running a blog section on their website called ’2010 Elections’ that keeps you up to date with all news, events, and information pertaining to the mid-term elections. Their latest entry features Senator Harry Reid’s interview with Univision in which he promised Univision reporter Jorge Ramos that he would bring the DREAM Act up for a vote again, regardless of whether he won or lost tomorrow’s election. Reid’s opponent is a Tea Party supporter Sharron Angle, who’s election campaign centered around a series of racist, anti-immigrant ads. Another article on ’2010 Elections’ illustrates the hypocrisy of Republican strategist Robert de Posada, the man who created the ad that advised the Latino community not to vote in this election. Colorlines tells us that after creating this ad that told Latinos not to vote, it turns out that he himself voted by absentee ballot in Virginia earlier this month. The ad says-

Democratic leaders must pay for their broken promises and betrayals…If we go on supporting them this November, they will keep playing games with our future and keep taking our vote for granted…If they didn’t keep their promise on immigration reform then, they can’t count on our vote…Don’t vote this November. This is the only way to send them a clear message. You can no longer take us for granted. Don’t vote.

It is exactly this sort of voter suppression that we need to fight by voting tomorrow. Our friends at Presente.org told us about this and other voter suppression tactics that have been seen impacting the Latino community and their allies around the country. In Texas, a voter registration group called Houston Votes has been the victim of a systematic suppression campaign, including baseless allegations of fraud by the local registrar, and a string of threatening emails strewn with racist insults. The result: registrations have dropped from 1,000 per day to under 200. In Arizona, Senator Russel Pearce — the same man who authored SB 1070 — is accusing organizations like Mi Familia Vota of “voter fraud” in a thinly veiled effort to hamper their registration activities and scare Latino voters from the polls.

A number of radicals are resorting to fear-mongering and scare tactics to ensure that certain communities are denied a voice in this election. In addition to voting tomorrow, get involved with an important project called Video the Vote, a national network of everyday people on who watch out for problems on Election Day. The project helps people report things they see when voting and also document incidents that occur in their area. Started in 2006, Video the Vote volunteers have helped raise national awareness of voting problems by recording over 1,000 videos that have been broadcast on networks like CBS, CNN, and ABC and viewed over 1 million times online.

It’s essential that voter suppression problems get reported right away and that their full story is told by the media on Election Day. Video the Vote urgently needs more volunteers, so if you want to help protect the right to vote, join today and tell your friends about the program as well.

And one last thing. Did you know that thousands of people didn’t cast in 2008 because they didn’t know where to vote? Luckily, for the first time in American history, every voter can now look up their polling place. All you have to do is enter your address to find out which polling station is yours. And make sure to share this handy tool with your friends through Facebook and Twitter.

Happy voting!

Learn. Share. Act. Go to restorefairness.org

 

 

 

Are you voting tomorrow?

From the Restore Fairness blog-

Tomorrow is voting day, so make sure you get out there and vote. Here are some things that might motivate you to make your vote count and have your voice heard in the 2010 elections-

Our friends at Colorlines have been running a blog section on their website called ’2010 Elections’ that keeps you up to date with all news, events, and information pertaining to the mid-term elections. Their latest entry features Senator Harry Reid’s interview with Univision in which he promised Univision reporter Jorge Ramos that he would bring the DREAM Act up for a vote again, regardless of whether he won or lost tomorrow’s election. Reid’s opponent is a Tea Party supporter Sharron Angle, who’s election campaign centered around a series of racist, anti-immigrant ads. Another article on ’2010 Elections’ illustrates the hypocrisy of Republican strategist Robert de Posada, the man who created the ad that advised the Latino community not to vote in this election. Colorlines tells us that after creating this ad that told Latinos not to vote, it turns out that he himself voted by absentee ballot in Virginia earlier this month. The ad says-

Democratic leaders must pay for their broken promises and betrayals…If we go on supporting them this November, they will keep playing games with our future and keep taking our vote for granted…If they didn’t keep their promise on immigration reform then, they can’t count on our vote…Don’t vote this November. This is the only way to send them a clear message. You can no longer take us for granted. Don’t vote.

It is exactly this sort of voter suppression that we need to fight by voting tomorrow. Our friends at Presente.org told us about this and other voter suppression tactics that have been seen impacting the Latino community and their allies around the country. In Texas, a voter registration group called Houston Votes has been the victim of a systematic suppression campaign, including baseless allegations of fraud by the local registrar, and a string of threatening emails strewn with racist insults. The result: registrations have dropped from 1,000 per day to under 200. In Arizona, Senator Russel Pearce — the same man who authored SB 1070 — is accusing organizations like Mi Familia Vota of “voter fraud” in a thinly veiled effort to hamper their registration activities and scare Latino voters from the polls.

A number of radicals are resorting to fear-mongering and scare tactics to ensure that certain communities are denied a voice in this election. In addition to voting tomorrow, get involved with an important project called Video the Vote, a national network of everyday people on who watch out for problems on Election Day. The project helps people report things they see when voting and also document incidents that occur in their area. Started in 2006, Video the Vote volunteers have helped raise national awareness of voting problems by recording over 1,000 videos that have been broadcast on networks like CBS, CNN, and ABC and viewed over 1 million times online.

It’s essential that voter suppression problems get reported right away and that their full story is told by the media on Election Day. Video the Vote urgently needs more volunteers, so if you want to help protect the right to vote, join today and tell your friends about the program as well.

And one last thing. Did you know that thousands of people didn’t cast in 2008 because they didn’t know where to vote? Luckily, for the first time in American history, every voter can now look up their polling place. All you have to do is enter your address to find out which polling station is yours. And make sure to share this handy tool with your friends through Facebook and Twitter.

Happy voting!

Learn. Share. Act. Go to restorefairness.org

 

 

 

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