• comment on a post LA-2: Election Results Open Thread over 7 years ago

    William Jefferson is the new Marion Barry.

  • comment on a post LA-2: Election Results Open Thread over 7 years ago

    When he is indicted, he'll be expelled and someone not named Carter can replace him then. Would Karen Carter really run again after getting (apparently) hammered this time?

    One of the more interesting threads I gleaned from local bloggers when I was trying to figure out this race earlier this week (not that I spent as much time as some of you on it, not by a long shot) was this: local elected officials who aren't running have zero incentive to help Carter in what would have been a difficult race anyway, and every reason to want to see Dollar Bill win, because when he gets expelled, there's an open seat (in a very safe Dem district).

  • I'm behind bans on robocalls (proposed it on another blog two weeks ago, in fact) but...

    We should note that it can both help and hurt us: I have hearsay evidence of a big poll by a Dem firm purporting to show that robo-calls from Bill Clinton and other big names to drop-off voters (in labor households, maybe?) showed great results this year, and you may remember that robocalls from Clinton to black voters may well have put Mary Landrieu over the edge in 2002, when internal disputes among Louisiana's black pols almost kept a critical mass of black voters home.

    OTOH those GOP robocalls were nasty, and the only effective way to stop them might be to ban robocalling tout court. If I were a legislator I'd vote to ban them.

  • comment on a post Chances of taking House quickly vanishing over 7 years ago

    All the polls that led nonpartisan prognosticators to predict Dem blowouts-- as late as Wednesday and Thursday-- are also polls of LVs. Time and Newsweek have double-digit Dem leads for Congress-in-general in LVs (or else the summaries at Pollster.com are wrong). The Pew LV lead of 4 is less than 5, but both the other new generic-ballot polls that have us biting our nails-- Gallup/USA and ABC/WaPo-- have leads above 5 in LVs. That's why both USAT and WaPo are still predicting Dem takeovers, though by smaller margins. Yeah, the new polls have me worried, but "quickly vanishing" is just wrong-- "no longer 100%" is more like it. And go make some phone calls if you can.

  • comment on a post Did Dems peak too early? over 7 years ago

    There's such a thing as peaking too early in sports, where a limited number of people with limited stamina and limited focus (that is, the members of a team) can reach levels midseason which they know they won't be able to sustain.

    A media narrative can peak too early, in the sense that MSM writers get tired of it before we'd like them too-- "Republicans are corrupt and protect child molesters" would have peaked too early had Foleygate broken in July (I think it came at the right time for us, really, since the MSM were looking around for an election storyline right at that time).

    But a political wave can't peak too early unless volunteers get overconfident. Kos has been saying this but it bears repeating: if we outwork the bad guys we are in a position to make serious gains, and maybe take the House, perhaps even the Senate. Overconfidence and laziness are the enemy. "Peaking too early" refers to our energy level-- where I hope it's not true-- or it has no referent here at all.

  • comment on a post Dodd Comes In for Lamont, and New Q-Poll over 7 years ago

    I agree with the bit about electricity. You have to respect a skillfull opponent's skills if you want to defeat him.

    You could say-- some of  you do say-- that various DC Dem officials with national profiles have avoided this race since the primary because they're apathetic, or hate the netroots, or want to preserve their personal friendships with the sociopathic Joementum.

    But many DC Dems have a more creditable reason: there are a lot of elections coming up in a lot of states, many of which give Dems the chance to defeat Republicans. Every minute Russ Feingold or John Edwards spends on CT-Sen is a minute Feingold or Edwards isn't spending on TN-Sen or VA-Sen. Much as I want Joe to go, I'm not sure I'd want to direct national energy to CT if it meant directing energy away from those races at this time.

  • Reid is doing his job and doing what he should do. I'd vote for Lamont in the primary if I were a Connecticut voter, but I'm not the Senate minority leader. The job of the Senate minority leader (and of the House minority leader) is to support the actual elected Dems, even the annoying ones, in the service of eventually becoming majority leader of a majority party. True turncoats, fake Dems who vote GOP on everything important, like Henry Cuellar, perhaps don't deserve this kind of support-- but iffy, annoying, "centrist," hypocritical Dems like Lieberman in fact do deserve this kind of support-- it's in Reid's job description. Remember, he was voted Senate minority leader by the Dems in the Senate; that's who he serves. Vote for Lamont, but don't take your frustration out on Reid.

  • comment on a post Hackett Out of Politics? over 8 years ago

    Calm down, take a step back and think about the purpose of politics: as Paul Wellstone said, the improvement of people's lives.

    Paul Hackett's obviously an admirable guy, and he ran a heckuva campaign in OH-02. He nearly won that race in part because the netroots swooned over him, but also because Sherrod Brown's people ran his ground game.

    Brown stands to the left of Hackett on probably everything, he's a genuine progressive who actually has experience legislating, and he's apparently the core of the Ohio progressive network, what there is of it.

    Brown was our best chance to win this seat in every poll, from what I saw, when we thought we had a contested primary. Hackett has far less name rec among people who don't read political blogs, and less access to the Ohio ground game machine, and less experience (does he have any?) working with communities of color, who need to turn out in an off-year election for Dems to win a close race, than Brown.

    If I had been working for the Ohio Dem party, or for any other organization that tries to get Republicans out of power, I would have tried to convince Hackett to drop out of the Senate race and run for OH-02.

    He could, and should, run for state or local office if he wants to stay in politics. And I hope he does.

    But for him to pick up his marbles and go home because the folks who actually see the numbers rightly think our best chance of winning the seat is to avoid giving Brown a primary... well, I'll just say I now have doubts about Hackett's ability to pass legislation, should he ever find himself elected to a legislative body.

    And yes, Brown better win it.

  • comment on a post I'm through sticking up for Marshall Wittmann over 8 years ago
    Well put. Wittman seems to have lost it. Too bad: he's been a talented writer in the past.

    Please stick around here yourself. The Dems-- and the country-- need self-described moderates like yourself (and Ben Nelson and Dave Freudenthal) as much as we need self-described liberals and progressives if we are going to become a majority party.

  • comment on a post Boingboing and SNL over 8 years ago
    ...also worth noting that The Chronic is an important hip-hop term (and album title)-- it refers to a strain of especially potent pot. So the Chronic  (what?)-cles of Narnia is the white, harmless version of "the chronic" (potent weed), just as the mixed soft drinks to which the song refers are the white, harmless version of malt liquor.

    If I had to make my living from 1000-word opinion pieces-- and I am often grateful that I don't-- I'd be writing one on the Cultural Significance of this video clip right now.

  • comment on a post Klobuchar, Wetterling Lead Kennedy in MN-Sen over 8 years ago
    Klobuchar is our likely nominee. She has very high favorables and OK name rec, but her base is the Twin Cities and its suburbs-- it's not clear how she'll play in rural MN (whose support Wellstone required), nor it is clear how she'll respond to slimy attacks.

    Kennedy is an extraordinarily skilled campaigner, won't have a seriously contested primary, and will have loads of cash, in a media market that's not cheap, but not nearly as expensive as NY/NJ, Chicago, etc. He's already showed great skill with negative ads, and knows how to respond to (accurate) attacks.

    Klobuchar benefits in recent polling from the generic Dem leads that come from Dubya's low post-Katrina ratings: it would be nice if those low ratings would last, but we shouldn't bet the farm on it.

    Our annoying Republican governor has rather high approval ratings right now, and seems likely to win reelection, though he'll have to fight for it (probably against the current AG).

    Republicans in statewide races in Minnesota often do better than they poll, perhaps because (compared to other states) people who vote for Dems are more likely committed to the party, people who vote for Rethugs more likely independents who break late in the race. (That's what happened with polling on Kerry-Bush, where Kerry maintained a lead near double digits in some polls, but won the state only 52-47.)

    "Leans Dem" is where I'd put this race. "Toss-up" is pessimistic but quite justifiable. "Solid Dem" is, unfortuntaely, just wrong.

  • Some people somewhere in the blogosphere will attack you for saying true things in an article about blogs. They will be wrong, and you will (still) be right. Kevin Drum points out today that if you write an article about blogs saying anything, the entire blogosphere will descend upon you in wrath: he's probably right--- but it's Crowley's prob, not yours.
  • comment on a post Cillizza Misses a "House Race to Watch" over 8 years ago
    In CT, Nancy Johnson is probably safe-- she's a long-term incumbent in the most R (and the whitest) part of a state that's blue, but wasn't all that blue, last time around. Rob Simmons represents a swing district but has developed a nice reputation for constituent service, and folks in Eastern CT probably thank him for saving the sub base in Groton/ New London, initially favored for closure. We should make Simmons sweat, and we have a registration edge, but barring scandal, he's not a top-tier takeout opportunity. Chris Shays, on the other hand, had a tough fight in '04 and represents the professional classes in the affluent NYC suburbs, a demographic segment which has been getting steadily bluer: he's probably the least noxious of CT GOP'ers, and indeed one of the "best" among GOP House members, but he's also a seat we could do well to contest. (Van Hollen/ Morella in '02 should be the model: our candidate should tie Shays to the House leadership as much as possible-- this will work better in that district than in Simmons', because the hyperinformed NYTimes-reading voters of Fairfield County are more likely to vote against Tom DeLay-- Simmons' constituents read the New London Day and the Norwich Bulletin, and they're more likely to vote on pocketbook issues.)

    In MN, Mark Kennedy is leaving an open seat in MN-06 in order to run for the open Senate seat: Patty Wetterling could have taken that seat if she had chosen to run for House again, but she's stupidly running in the Dem primary for Senate instead. There will be a divisive Republican primary in MN-06, and if we field a strong candidate we should be able to take that increasingly-suburban district-- but I don't know who that candidate would be.

    No other seat in MN will be competitive: 4 safe Dems, and most likely 3 safe Rs, though John Kline could be washed away if there's a blue tidal wave-- he represents outer suburbs, he's not "independent" in the way that Gutknecht and Ramstad are, and he's only in his second term. (One of the safe Dems is Blue Dog Colin Peterson, whose seat would be R-leaning if he ever retired.)

  • comment on a post Best Democrat in US History (Poll) over 8 years ago
    I picked FDR, too-- but it's important for us to remember that Japanese-Americans may not agree. You  could also argue that Truman took more action to improve black/white race relations than FDR did (or perhaps could). FDR could not have improved the condition of the American working class so much without sometime help from the virulent racists who represented the Southern wing of the Dem party: for all the problems we have with our party these days, it's nice to remember that this time the white supremacists are all on the Other Side.
  • comment on a post Scandal Polls over 8 years ago
    Only 36% of respondents have negative feelings about Tom DeLay? That's a useful tailwind for Dems, but not a blueprint for regaining Congress. We need to sell Strong Families, Strong Communities, to tell folks how we are going to improve their lives, not least by protecting (and eventually by bringing home) their kids in Iraq. Running against DeLay, Frist, Rove and sleaze is necessary, but by no means sufficient.

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