• comment on a post Gay DC Consultant calls for Dean to Resign over 7 years ago

    A wealthy insider consultant calls for Howard Dean to resign? The only thing new about this story is the gay angle.  Dean hasn't exactly done the best for the gay community, but he's done amazing things for the party, which will benefit the gay community as a whole in the long run.

    I think the DC insider crowd just can't see the forest for the trees.

  • Please, talk about pandering to wealthy interests.  Senator Schumer, who I'm usually a huge fan of, recruited Suozzi to run because the corrupt industries Spitzer went after were the same industries who made up Schumer's donor base.

    The entire primary challenge is a joke; I'm a Long Islander, but Suozzi's going nowhere and he can't offer nearly the experience or leadership Spitzer can.  This reeks of well-moneyed political opportunism, creating divisions at a time when Democrats should be united behind strong leaders.

    You show me a strong Democratic leader, and I'll show you plenty of self-absorbed Democrats who will round up a circular firing squad at a moment's notice.

  • comment on a post Is it time to cut out criticism of Democrats? over 7 years ago

    Yes, and no.  

    I think we need to use better judgment when we decide what should become an issue and what shouldn't.  Every single thing that happens that we don't like or don't agree with isn't grounds for an anti-Democrat tirade.

    I think we should engage in constructive criticism.  The DNC isn't perfect- no political party is- and when there are major or systematic institutional problems that need to be dealt with, we should criticize.  Also, we should make sure that criticism is meant to be constructive- we need to say that we support the party, and that's why we're urging for change; we need to let them know what the issue is, and possibly make suggestions as to how it can be fixed.  

    What we don't need is complaining.  We're a national party, and we're very diverse- there will always be Democrats, including Democratic leaders, who do or say things we don't agree with.  But that isn't grounds for critism, for the most part- every politician must represent their people, and that means they can't always represent the party.  Attacking a politician, the party, or its leadership over minor ideological disputes or tactical disagreements is sheer stupidity.

    So, we need to filter.  We need to pick our battles.  We must be positive and work hard to fix the major problems, and we must learn to hold our tongues over the minor squabbles.  This way, we will fix the major problems with the DNC without unduly hurting our fellow Democrats.  

    (for example, the type of "let's-hang-the-party-out-to-dry-because -they-did-something-I-dislike"  complaining John Aravosis is engaging in isn't helpful, it isn't necessary, and it isn't fixing anything.)

  • Hell, I'm 19 and I know what plagiarism is, I know that it's immoral and unprofessional, and I know that any writer with a modicum of sense and talent would never even consider it. If I were to engage in plagiarism in any of my classes, I would fail the assignment, probably fail the class, be referred to Student Judicial Services, and face some sort of academic sanction.  

    Either Ben Domenech has no idea what plagiarism is, in which case he needs to go back to college, since that kind of ignorance disqualifies him from writing for any reputable publication, or he intentionally and shamelessly plagiarized other writers for his own personal gain, in which case he also has no business writing for any reputable publication.

    Either way, Mr. Domenech has no place in the world of journalism.

    If the Post has any journalistic integrity left, they'll can Mr. Domenech and issue an apology for this whole sordid incident.

  • Approval ratings don't really mean much in and of themselves- disapproval ratings also matter.  A candidate with 50% approval can be sitting pretty if their disapproval is extremely low (say, 10%), but they could be in serious trouble if their disapproval is relatively high (like 50%).

    A better measure of a candidate's popularity is net approval, which is their approval rating minus their disapproval rating.  This uses both approval and disapproval to chart where a candidate stands among all voters, not just the ones who approve of him or her.

    McCain's approval-disapproval ratings were 72-24 a month ago; now they're 64-29.  His net approval a month ago was 48 (72 minus 24) and now it's 35 (64 minus 29).  Therefore, his net approval ratings underwent a 13-point swing in the last month.

  • There was a post a few days ago about McCain being the last Bush Republican, and I think that's significantly hurting his approval ratings (especially among independents, who are becoming far less Bush-friendly as time goes on).

    I always wondered why John McCain carried water for the GOP despite the fact that they kept him out of the White House in 2000.  He's supported Bush, he's campaigned for him, he's campaigned for other right-wingers and radical conservatives...but why? Why go through to much trouble to placate your former political enemies?

    It's because McCain is biding his time. He wants another shot at the White House, so he's sucking up to Bush and to the GOP establishment because he wants their endorsement in 2000.  He wants to become the de facto GOP nominee in 2008, just like Bush was in 2000, and he thinks making nice with the President and the Republican Party will do that.

    Problem is, he's still riding the Bush Bandwagon, long after most of the country has already bailed.  If he starts distancing himself now, he'll incur the further ire of the GOP establishment, and it will be blatantly obvious he's trying to distance himself from an unpopular President.  On the other hand, if he sticks around, he will be dragged down along with the President and the GOP as another Bush water-carrier.  

    Either McCain saddles up to the GOP establishment and drives his approval ratings into the ground, or he jumps ship and draws the ire of the Republican party.

    Either way, Dear John isn't looking too good, and good riddance.  America does not need another posturing, pandering, faux-moderate Republican driving it into the ground.

  • on a comment on Mark Warner Open Thread over 8 years ago

    It's a terrible picture.  It looks nothing like him. The New York Times needs a better photographer.

  • on a comment on Mark Warner Open Thread over 8 years ago

    I've been enamored of Warner ever since I volunteered for Tim Kaine's campaign.  We learned a lot about Warner's administration, all of the good work he did as governor, and his overall message while on the campaign trail.  I'm very glad to have met the man, and I'm certainly proud that he's an alumnus of my university.

    Personally, though, I think it's too far out to be ruminating on 2008.  All of the current polls are little more than quizzes on name recognition, so they aren't much help.  Also, the political landscape can change in a moment's notice- someone can go from being a nobody to a frontrunner, or from the frontrunner to a second- or third-place standing in a matter of weeks.

    It'll be well into primary season two years from now; remember how much has changed in the past two years.  At this point, it's too early to start casting lots beyond pure speculation.

    Still, I do like Governor Warner, and I have a great deal of respect for him.  I can see him doing well in the campaign.

    (Also, I couldn't believe the picture of the front page of The New York Times Magazine. It's really horrible- it makes him look a lot older, for one, and in it he bears a resemblance to Richard Nixon.  They need to fire their photographer.)

  • "When Democrats fight Democrats, we all lose."

    I find that statement incredibly ironic, since those who want to draft Hackett as an independent are essentially urging just that: Democrats fighting Democrats.  

    And, if Hackett runs as an independent, he'll invariably split the liberal vote between himself and Brown.  Though DeWine is vulnerable, he is still an incumbent, and he has the backing of both the national GOP machine and the Ohio GOP machine.  Beating him, despite all of his corruption and his partisanship, will still be difficult.  

    What it comes down to is, are we going to try to replace a corrupt Republican Senator with a progressive Democrat, or are we going to fall victim to our hero-worship of Paul Hackett, split the vote between him and Brown, and ensure DeWine keeps his seat for the next six years?   Do we really want to put a top-tier Senate race in jeopardy to prove a point?

    "Unfortunately, establishment Democrats in Ohio decided to fight Paul Hackett.  We can't let them win. "

    "Send a message to the greedy Democrats who turned on Paul Hackett. "

    These statements show that you don't care about winning this race, you don't care about Mike DeWine or corruption or the future of Ohio; all you care about is getting back at those people who took down your hero.  Paul Hackett is an impressive man who has a lot of potential to go far in politics, but he's not worth losing a Senate seat over.  

    And I know people will say to me that it's more than a Senate seat, it's about the future of the Democratic party.  Well, we're all trying to change the Democratic party, and the process is unfortunately and painfully slow.  I would like to see the Democratic party evolve to where we, the netroots, want it to be as soon as possible.   For now, though, the party establishment is still in power, and sometimes we're going to have to go along with the decisions they make.  

    I'm not happy that Hackett dropped out, but running as an independent is doing nothing but being spiteful and vindictive.  It's not going to change anything; if anything, it will be a sad, unpleasant mistake, liks that made by Ralph Nader and all of his supporters in 2000.

  • Remember that, in 1994, Long Island was the largest and most reliable source of Republican votes in New York State; politicians such as Governor Pataki relied on the support of Long Islanders for their re-elections.

    But now, Long Island has gotten a lot more Democratic.  In fact, Congressman King is the only Republican Congressman left on the Island, and it's long overdue for the good people of his district to get the type of representation they deserve.

    My district, NY's 1st, was one of the only Congressional seats that changed hands from the GOP to the Democratic party in 2002.  This is a top-tier race, and it's an opportunity nobody in the progressive community should overlook.

  • comment on a post Liberal Bloggers Raise $20 Million over 8 years ago

    Being the key word.  Something like this is possible, and the leaders of the liberal netroots should pick this idea up and run with it.

  • comment on a post New Yorkers Support the Transit Strike over 8 years ago
    I know that the transit employees are ordinary, working-class people just trying to make ends meet.  I know the economy has been hard on everyone who works for a living, but these are people who are just trying to earn a fair wage for a hard day's work.  They are the backbone of this city, and the MTA has a duty to provide them with adequate compensation for the vital job they perform.

    You have these transit workers, people earning $20,000 or $30,000 a year, and they're being denied a fair wage by city bureaucrats earning $70,000, $80,000, $100,000 a year...it's shameful.

    And to see these wealthy Republicans like Bloomberg and Pataki come out and denounce these workers--these people who are exercising their basic right as Americans to strike, who are just trying to make ends meet and put food on their tables--it burns me up.  Once again, it's the wealthy Republicans at the top versus the working-class Americans trying to earn a fair wage.

    Yeah, this is a big inconveiniance.  But I blame the city bureaucrats, not the transit workers. They haven't gone on strike in 25 years, and for each day they strike, the lose two days' pay; you know they wouldn't strike unless they had to.  

    I back the transit workers 100%.  I'll walk in the cold if it means tens of thousands of working-class New Yorkers get a fair deal from the city.

  • comment on a post Dean Is Wrong Because He's Right over 8 years ago
    I've always been a Howard Dean skeptic, and though I'm far less critical than I used to be, the good doctor has yet to prove himself to me.

    (Now, it would be great if he could unify the party, especially behind issues such as the Iraq War.  But, I don't hold out any hope for that- a lot of politicians are too egotistical and self-absorbed, more worried about their own careers than improving the country through a Democratic majority).

    I'll believe in Chairman Dean when he delivers us some victories in 2006 and 2008.  Until then, I'll remain a skeptic.

  • How do we turn "Anti-Bush sentiment" into "Anti-Republican sentiment?"

    Just because the American people reject this administration doesn't mean that they're going to reject the Republican party just yet.  Especially if, for 2008, the Republicans get themselves an "outsider" candidate, someone who hasn't always been on board with this administration, and someone who's willing to critisize this administration.  Why do you think Republicans such as Hagel aren't hesitating to go after the President? Why did the Senate just pass that GOP bill on the Iraq War? Because the Republicans are going to turn this administration into a pariah, and they're going to be calling for reform just as much as we are.

    I'm not sure if dislike for this administration is going to be enough to become dislike for the Republican party, especially if they hang the President out to dry.  

  • comment on a post Why should we be happy that Kaine won? over 8 years ago
    A VA Democrat is very different from a NY Democrat.  A TX Democrat is very different from a CA Democrat.

    Democrats can't demand ideological purity- even with the candidates we have now, we're not in the majority. If we excluded or discouraged all of those Democrats who had ideologies that didn't fit a liberal ideal, then our party would get very small, very quickly.

    There are some states where an ideologically pure Democrat would never win, such as in Virginia.  If we ran the perfect Democrat there we would lose by a significant margin.  He would be painted as an out-of-the-mainstream liberal and he would be defeated quite handily.  In fact, that was a line Kilgore tried to use on Kaine, even though Kaine is quite moderate (as has been stated above).

    To win in a district, you have to fit with that district's ideology, to an extent.  People will vote for you if they agree with what you have to say.  If you have a candidate in Virginia saing they want to make all abortions legal, and put a moratorium on the death penalty, and legalize gay marriage, then he would lose because those beliefs do not mirror the beliefs of the people of Virginia.

    The same goes for the GOP as well.  A TX Republican is very different froma  NY Republican.  New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg won re-election, even though he's pretty moderate (and probably would be considered liberal by Republican standards- he did change his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican in order to run for mayor).  To win in a district, you have to fit the ideology of that district, and since ideologies change depending on where you are, so will the local versions of "Republicans" and "Democrats."

    But this isn't anything new.  It's how politics have always been- you swear alleigance to a national party, to liberalism or conservatism, but you also have to identify with your voters.  If people feel you're an out-of-touch ideologue, they won't vote for you.  As it is, our candidates are attacked for being too "liberal;" unfortunately, conservatives have turned the concept of being a liberal into a negative, and we have to start reversing that idea.  We have to go back to the days where "conservative" is the negative ideology, not "liberal."  

    But those days aren't close.  We first have to get Democrats elected, we first have to get into office before we can produce progressive results.  We must have offices, we must have victories, before we can demand a more refined ideology from our candidates. Still, the Democrats are a big tent party- we can't demand the same discipline the GOP does, because then we would lose a lot of people.

    The race was between Republican Jerry Kilgore and Democrat Tim Kaine.  Kaine was better than Kilgore.  He may have been a conservative, in your opinion, but as governor he will be more progressive, in comparison, than Kilgore would have been.  It's not necessarily about conseravtive versus liberal, but about which candidate will be more progressive.  Believe me, I certainly wish we could have ran a Democratic dream candidate, but the ideological bent of VA would not have allowed it.  

    This is how politics has always been.  People elect someone they agree with and they think will work best for them.  They don't vote for party-wonk ideologues who stick to a political agenda.  If that means fielding some moderate candidates here or there to win, so be it- to me, a Democrat in office is always, always better than  Republican, unless that Democrat is corrupt.  

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