[The Democratic National Convention Delegates are]
Completely out of step with the voters we need in the fall. Four years ago, two thirds of the
delegates wanted to cut defense spending. Even
Democratic votes don't want us to touch it.
The delegates were split on the death penalty;
Democrats favor it two to one.
That's if Hillary somehow wins. Here is a much, much more likely scenario if Hillary gets our nomination.
1980-1984: P Reagan, VP Bush
1984-1988: P Reagan, VP Bush
1988-1992: P Bush, VP Quayle
1992-1996: P Clinton, VP Gore
1996-2000: P Clinton, VP Gore
2000-2004: P Bush, VP Cheney
2004-2008: P Bush, VP Cheney
2008-2012: P Jeb Bush, VP xyz
Before I became a yellow dog I used to make my voting decisions on gun issues. Not because I didn't care about a lot of other things, but because a politician's position on citizen ownership of arms is a great proxy for that politician's position on democracy, citizen participation, and the rights of the individual versus the powers of the government.
That correlation has weakened with the emergence of the new Texan Republican party (Bush and DeLay). Now my NRA-endorsed (and I should write my NRA a letter about this) "representative" is voting again and again to expand government surveilance of innocent citizens and warrentless secret searches of gun shop records. (It's a felony for them to tel you your records were searched with no warrant and no time limit applies.)
But it's still a good idea to check whether a politician thinks banning "assault" weapons (there is no such category in gun lore) is a good idea; if he does, he doesn't trust the citizens. Or if he says the assault weapon ban bans automatic weapons; that means he's ignorant but still eager to take your rights away without even finding out what rights he's taking. If he supports gun registration, he supports gun confiscation (remember California's gun confiscations). If he wants to "study" the impossible proposal to keep a database of shell markings, then he supports registration and therefore he supports confiscation.
If a politican thinks banning the NRA and labor unions from letting people know his true positions on issues in spite of the First Amendment is a fine idea (that's the main policy of McCain-Feingold) then you know he's a bad one. The Second Amendment depends on the First (and vice-versa).
What I want to say to summarize here is that it's not enough to be anti-victim-disarmament (that's the proper term for "gun control"; "gun control" is just a totalitarian frame word). We must be solidly pro-gun. Otherwise the people will know that our efforts are half-hearted and that we will betray them whenever the other side starts claiming they want to protect children. Gun owners have seen it again and again with supposedly pro-gun Democrats.
And that's going to take a while. But Howard Dean and Brian Schweitzer showed the way. (Too bad about the Dean suppport for the Clinton Gun Ban, though). I think one of those two is likely to be our next Democratic President now that we know we must have Western states to win (had the best chance in history to take Ohio and we still couldn't).
If you are serious about making progress on this issue, consider whether what I wrote here is appealing or appaling. This is the attitude we need to deal with to win the 5+% of voters in swing states who make this issue a litmus test.
With the organized fundamentalist-right shouting and harassment outside Temple Square and the Conference Center, I don't think utahns have any illusions what the southeastern-Republican base thinks of mormons.
"There is no such thing as a fundamentalist mormon" --President Gordon B. Hinckley
Rocky Anderson is a lightning rod who has made himself massively unpopular outside the central part of Salt Lake City (I did survey data mapping for the 2003 election campaign, so I know the details very well).
He does not help our statewide party at all.
Our superstar is state party chair Donald Dunn, who won that post at the tender age of 32. Our organiztional efforts under his leadership will begin to show in the off year elections of 2006 (turnout was quite high this year even in untargeted precincts, but we'll make a big difference in the off-year).
But Utah is not really about to flip. It's still pretty Republican around here.
It will take two good cycles to retake the Senate again. And that's only possible if we're really lucky and we win big both times.
The House will require a redistricting for us to win. Even if we win a big, giant national majority of House votes and win every single contestible seat, with the current gerrymanders we will face a deficit of at least five seats.
We gave the House away in 1991 with our majority-minority packed districts so that Republicans needed only one good election to take the House from us. The Rrepublicans will not make such a blunder. And if we continue with bad leadership like we had in 1991, it will be at least until 2022 before we have a chance at the House. Who in the current leadership can be as ruthless as DeLay? once we have such a person, then we can start to think about a long term strategy to take back the House.
The polygamists vote 100% Republican. They need a party in power that will decline to prosecute when they are caught raping and imprisoning teenaged girls and so far the R's are with them on that. The men vote the women's ballots so there's no chance anyone will vote for her daughters' freedom in the privacy of the voting booth.
Matheson is leading in Utah with 51-41 in the latest Dan Jones poll (the most reliable around here). Bush will win Utah-2 with about 70% but I meet a lot of Matheson Republicans when I go door to door over there. And rural Southern Utah (90%+ usual turnout -- really! -- no, really! -- and 80%+ Republican) has been the target of a lot of Matheson appeal lately on Nuclear testing issues (most families there have lost members to downwind cancers) so that turnout will not stick the Dems nearly as much as usual.