Voted at a new polling place this morning on Diebold touch-screen systems. It went very smoothly, with no problems evident. The final verification screen accurately displayed my choices, so any "problems" will happen on down the line somewhere in the tallying process.
The only problem I heard about was simply related to the new polling place. The old one was getting crowded, so they opened a new place this year (closer to where I live). I heard in line from a couple of people who inadvertently went to the old location. Our election mailing correctly identified the new place, so I'm guessing these were long-time voters who hadn't read their mailing.
The good news is that the people at the old location were accurately forwarding voters to the right one.
The polling place was not overly crowded, though the room was rather small (this was at 7:30 AM). They had perhaps 10 touch-screen systems set up.
Oh, and I got a bona-fide friendly robocall from Martin O'Malley this morning, kindly asking me to go out and vote.
Hopefully things are going as smoothly in the rest of Maryland, and no shenanigans take place with the vote tabulation.
The more I see, the more I believe that for the GOP and the Whitehouse, the only real goal in this upcoming election is holding on to the Senate. And the way they plan to do that is to 1) help Lieberman and 2) get him to switch parties, or at least vote GOP for majority leader.
There had been stories for years about Democratic corruption by 1994, and Democrats had been in power in Congress for a long time, and even held the Whitehouse. There's a strong case to be made that people simply wanted change, among other factors that pulled in the Republicans' favor in 1994.
Democratic activists tend to credit Newt's "Contract with America" with more effectiveness than it actually had.
First of all, nice "pox on both houses" sentiment. Truly foolish, IMHO. But I'm sure that's nothing you haven't heard before.
Second, I think Dems abandoned the "culture of corruption" meme because it wasn't getting much traction.
There is a real insularity in DC, of which we're all aware and which we've discussed online at length. But there's another form of insularity that activists really need to keep in mind more: most people, including voters, are not wonks or activists and couldn't care less what the Rahm Emanuel's and the Chuck Schumers and the Ken Mehlman's of the world say. In fact, the vast majority of people are only dimly aware that these people exist, if they've ever heard of them at all.
In other words, what we see as important just doesn't matter to all that many people.
What matters to the average voter in the upcoming election? Whether or not his or her life is going well, whether or not his or her representative is individually corrupt or has said or done dumb things, and (at most) whether or not his or her rep is tied closely to Bush and his war.
I think ads trying to slime Democrats as corrupt, based upon what Rahm Emanuel is quoted as saying about lobbyists, would be a tremendous waste of GOP money, and I fully encourage them to make that their national strategy.
I think, given what people already think about politicians in general, that general comments about lobbying and fundraising may not have a big impact. At the same time, I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense to be bragging about it.
Yes, we all know that money flows in politics, and we know that lobbyists play a big part on both sides. No real need to discuss it like you think it's something of which to be proud.
On the other hand, if the whole point is to try to change the lobbying zeitgeist and free up cash that the Republicans have had locked in, then I can see where the comments might be aimed. But it's sure possible to overdo it.
Gotta agree with the above. I have no love of corruption and money in politics, and I like Sirota a lot. At the same time, the idea that there has been a fundamental shift in who people trust because of articles in publications the general public doesn't read just isn't reasonable.
It is indeed a very big deal. And all the moreso because it drives home just how divided Republicans have become without a popular Bush to cleave to, and without Tom DeLay and Abramoff's dirty payoff money to keep them in line.
When people talk about what Bush is trying to do in the way of terror trial legislation, putting Democrats between a rock and a hard place, it's no longer a done deal that Democrats, with their embryonic efforts at solidarity, will be facing an undivided and seamless Republican front.
Like all bullies, these guys are cowards to a man. They talk a good talk and feel safe when they send anonymous emails to people, but would never have the courage to say something like that to your face, nor would they have the courage to go and fight the war they so desperately want other people's kids to fight.
The simple fact of their extreme cowardace is both the origin of their hateful statements (after all, isn't the modern "conservative" movement powered almost entirely by fear and hate?) and a reason to simply ignore what they spew. If these people ever got the courage to venture out of their parents' basements, they might be dangerous and worthy of genuine smackdown. As it is, they're merely noisy.