There’s Gotta Be a Morning After

  • Barack Obama is a wretched excuse for a president and leader of the Democratic Party. Nevermind this nonsense about a blanket “anti-incumbent” fevah. This was a repudiation of our party’s leaders and their policies. Instead of offering voters anything in the way of changed course—mortgage moratorium? Timothy Geithner’s head?—the White House decided to essentially ride out the clock. The thing about congressional politics is this: most representatives are hack politicians—one way or the other. Not every Democrat that voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, corporatist health care “reform,” etc., was Barney Frank or Obama. That is to say, left-wing agents of finance capital. The vast majority of these folk merely toe the line. Consequently the onus is on this president and he sacrificed a great deal of decent people last night. Many of them would have been willing to go down for a hell of a lot more than Mitt Romney’s health care plan. This man has to go.
  • A Republican rout of 60+ seats in the House of Representatives will probably retire Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Mrs. Pelosi was—nay, is—a tough broad, a trailblazer and a savvy operator. Over the past two years, her considerable talent has been in the service of either flawed or outright failed policies and that’s regrettable. I continue to regard Mrs. Pelosi as a relatively decent establishmentarian who would have been fantastic if given a real Democratic president on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
  • Grandpa Edwin is Governor of California again. Ironically, I suspect the failure of Proposition 19 will engender the least bit of griping from the progressive base. For all intents and purposes, ganja is already legal in the Golden State. There isn’t much either Gov. Brown or a Gov. Meg Whitman could have done to arrest the systemic problems the state faces otherwise, so it’s a wash.
  • Florida’s Marco Rubio bested both Charlie Crist, the orange governor who pole-vaulted to independence, and Rep. Kendrick Meek, the good guy. Once again President Obama disgraced himself. (Granted, Mr. Meek was an early, enthusiastic and loyal supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2008.) There wasn’t any reason to believe Marco Rubio would lose in either a two- or three-way race and many of us said so. Kendrick Meek may be a meek, small-time politician, but there’s no reason why Gov. Christ had to siphon as many Democratic votes from the Democratic nominee as he did. Meek’s supposed vulnerability was an entirely self-fulfilling prophecy. Barack Obama’s condescension towards the only possible black U.S. senator—aren’t we supposed to care about that kind of thing?—was stunning. “Don't say I never gave you anything,” Obama quipped after buying Kendrick Meek a sandwich while in town for a token visit.
  • In 1952 Barry AuH2O ousted Senate Majority Leader Ernest McFarland in Arizona. Harry Reid managed to avoid the same fate. This is a crowning achievement, to be sure, but pales to the point of transparency in comparison with him making a liar out of Jack Landsman. The latter was quite certain the harlot from Reno, Sharron Angle, would dispatch Mr. Reid electorally. Guess that “2nd Amendment” solution is back on the table, eh?
  • What else can possibly be said for our patron saint Russ Feingold—murked last night by a random reactionary named “Johnson” or some such? Ultimately Sen. Feingold has no one to blame but himself. In conservative districts around the country, numerous Democrats took the extraordinary step of running against their own House speaker or professing support for John McCain in 2008. And it was necessary. For his part, Russ Feingold should have thrown in with the left opposition to Barack Obama months ago. Obama and Feingold are not the same kind of liberals, but he nevertheless allowed himself to be caricatured as such. Instead of going out like a boss—a fitting end to the lone dissenter against the Patriot Act in October 2001—Russ Feingold went out like a punk, carping about outside expenditures, as if anyone cared about process. I want to believe he’ll be back in some fashion or another.

This Is Your President on Drugs

If only.

As a persistent (progressive) critic of Barack Obama, it is often demanded I offer any area in which I approve of the president. In response to the inquiry, I have usually given a two-fold answer: First, in terms of his personal appeal, I consider President Obama to be both the coolest fellow ever elected president and the coolest fellow that ever will be president. Although he’s notoriously overhyped, like Sean Penn, I’m drawn to the word “elegant” in describing our first black president. I am also aligned with Ann Coulter and The Hitch in the belief that Barack Obama is probably a non-believer—although I have usually expressed such gleeful suspicion sotto voce for fear of having my hipster chat overheard by teabaggers.

Furthermore, my very real desire to find some common ground with this president has led to me to lavish fulsome praise on his administration for what I thought was its enlightened stance on raids by the Drug Enforcement Agency on medicinal marijuana dispensaries even when they are in complete accordance with state laws.

Well, I’ll be damned.

Perusing the news only to find headlines like “How ObamaCare Guts Medicare,” or “Obama shifts tone on health care,” is as maddening as it is banal and totally predictable after a while. “Speak no evil: DEA, DOJ stay mum on medical marijuana raids,” however, is akin to a violent nutcheck.

Tucker’s Daily Caller:

Despite campaign promises to the contrary, the Department of Justice under President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder hasn’t stopped raiding marijuana dispensaries operating in states where sale of the drug is legal for medical purposes. But the DOJ has demonstrated one marked change now that it’s under Democratic control: The department has stopped publicizing medical marijuana raids, both by requesting that more cases be sealed under court order and by refusing to distribute press releases.

Late last week, DEA and FBI agents raided five medical marijuana dispensaries in Nevada. In July, DEA agents raided the home of 65-year-old Mendocino County, California, grower Joy Greenfield and confiscated plants, money, and her computer. Also in July, DEA agents raided the home of a couple in Michigan who were licensed by the state to use marijuana, as well as three medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego. In January and February of this year, the DEA raided two medical marijuana research labs in Colorado.

In all of the above cases, the DEA and the U.S. Attorneys’ offices issued no press releases and held no press conferences. The websites for DEA and the U.S. Attorneys’ offices in Detroit, Denver, Northern California, and Los Angeles (which also handles cases in Nevada) make no mention of the above dispensary raids, but do feature news releases for raids, arrests, and investigations involving harder drugs, as well marijuana trafficking, which is illegal in all states.

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US Mid-Term Election Campaign Reader

They're off and running! And so is our coverage of the 2010 Mid-Term Elections. Here are stories from around the country on races for Federal, state and local offices.

In Connecticut, Lamont Tacks to the Center
The New York Times reports on how Ned Lamont, the Connecticut businessman who won an insurgent campaign against Senator Joe Lieberman by running left with his anti-war stance, is tacking to the center in his bid to win the Democratic nomination for Governor in the Constitution state. The primary is Tuesday.

As Mr. Lamont gears up for the Democratic primary for governor on Tuesday , progressives are grumbling that he has talked too much about tax breaks and streamlining red tape, and not enough about issues dear to labor unions and government watchdogs.

Modeling himself after Lowell P. Weicker Jr., a former Republican who became an independent, Mr. Lamont has vowed to shake up Hartford, and even borrowed Mr. Weicker’s “Nobody’s Man But Yours” slogan from his successful 1990 race for governor.

And some bloggers who had thrown themselves behind Mr. Lamont’s Senate bid have been lukewarm or indifferent. When Mr. Lamont announced his candidacy in February, using the word “business” more than a dozen times in his speech, My Left Nutmeg, a liberal Web site, ran the headline: “Ned Lamont announces for Governor.”

“If Lamont’s supposed hard-core supporters cannot rouse themselves to cheer his announcement, complete with fawning video, how in the wide world of sports is he supposed to win this thing?” one blogger wrote.

The 2010 version of Ned Lamont offers yet another striking sign of how a rough national landscape for Democrats is influencing politics at the local level.

By repositioning himself as a business-friendly centrist, Mr. Lamont is betting that liberals will give him a pass, if begrudgingly, because Democrats are desperate to capture the State Capitol for the first time since 1986.

The President Heads to Texas
President Obama heads to Austin and Dallas on Monday where the main event is a Democratic National Committee luncheon expected to raise $750,000 to $1 million. Tickets start at $5,000 per couple. The Texas Democratic Party will receive $250,000 to help build the party in the Lone Star State. The Dallas Morning News has more on the President's visit to Texas.

The political realities for Texas Democrats are stark – in part because backlash against Obama and his policies has fueled Republican energy. Democrats had hoped for years that by 2010, demographic shifts would help them regain a statewide office or reclaim the state House, but both goals remain major challenges.

The lunch in Austin will be followed by a speech at the University of Texas. Afterwards, the President flies to Dallas where he will attend a fundraiser at the Highland Park home of attorney Russell Budd and his wife, Dorothy. The event is to raise money for the DSCC.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White has opted to steer clear of the President whose popularity in Texas leaves much to be desired. As of late July, Rasmussen finds that 63 percent of Texans disapprove of Obama's performance (with 56 percent "strongly" disapproving). The Austin American-Statesman looks at the calculated risk that Bill White is taking by staying away from Obama and finds there's really not much downside.

In Florida, Tea Party Movement Raising Millions for Conservatives
The Orlando Sentinel has a story on the financial rewards that the ultra-conservative Republican candidates are reaping from their involvement in the Tea Party Movement. Allen West has raised nearly $3.5 million for his rematch with Rep. Ron Klein in the Florida Twenty-second Congressional District. Marco Rubio has harnessed Tea Party support to help rack up $11.6 million of campaign funds in his bid to win the Senate seat.

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California Democratic Party Content to Lose in November

UPDATE: The fix was in, the vote wasn't even close. Sad day for California Democrats who value winning.

California is beyond crisis. Yet unfortunately, there has not been an appropriate effort by the California Democratic Party establishment to respond. The complete and total failure to respond to the budget crisis was malpractice, but now it seems the CDP doesn't even want to bother trying to win in November. The issue in question is California's Proposition 19, to tax and regulate marijuana, which has become the latest test of whether the CDP wants to win elections. A vote today by the state party Resolutions Committee showed the fix to be in against incorporating all of the new energy around Prop 19 into Democrats' GOTV program. When it came down to trying to win, or trying to be "very serious people" who are content to lose, they decided they value propping up Mexican drug cartels more than they value electing Jerry Brown.

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