Boren, Minnick, Bright - you really can't blame them. They are in districts and states that are bright red and trending redder. I don't see much use for them either, but if we didn't have them, the republicans would be stronger.
The ones that annoy me are Massa, Kissell, Kosmas, Nye...the ones who should take a stand for something despite the swing nature of their districts. These were the people that took advantage of the blue waves in 06 and 08 and are now blowing with the wind. We could have easily had 230 votes but for people like that. But I suppose the leadership wanted some of them to be able to have some sort of "conservatism" or "moderation" they could take back to their districts.
My opinion is that if these vulnerable people are going to lose, it will be on their own merits and skill as candidates, not their vote on health care. If they have strong, well-funded challengers, they will just say they "de-facto" supported health care anyway, like the TX GOP says about Chet Edwards. Their actual vote is irrelevant in light of the fact that THEY ARE DEMOCRATS, and that alone could sink many of them in 2010 despite their best efforts. They don't seem to understand that and think they can hide behind a "no" vote on high profile issues.
It's not that he needs to give more speeches. He needs to time them correctly - something that he was quite adept at during the campaign. He lost some steam over the summer because it wasn't clear what he was for, despite talking quite a bit about it. It seems he's much more effective in speech mode than in press conference mode.
Democrats elected him to achieve something; it seemed he was going to be unable to do that with healthcare. Now it's looking like it will go through, giving him an aura of success.
I always thought his approvals above 62-63% were superficial anyway. Considering the partisan environment, if he's around 60, high 50's, that's about the best possible performance, unless there's some sort of crisis that he handles well.
I don't think democrats are going to do that well in 2010. What goes up must eventually go down, and that holds true for democratic gains. Plus, the economic news continues to be bad, with unemployment reaching 9.4% last month. The economy will likely continue to look bad for another year or so. I don't think dems are going to lose either house, but they could go back to the smaller margins they had after 2006.
I'm a millenial like the above poster (b. 1982). I agree with much of what he says. I think the reason young people vote Dem is very simple. It's similar to why young people supported Reagan by unprecedented numbers.
When asked about the youth support for Reagan, Sen. Daniel Evans said that "They've only known two presidents, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. They voted for the one who didn't fail."
Apart from that, Republicans don't seem to realize that they're using outdated ideas that don't apply in today's world. "Socialism" to me means countries where people get healthcare.
Conservatives are banking on the stimulus being one gigantic failure.
It's almost laughable, since as recently as 2008 they were denigrating democrats who were against the Iraq War surge as being against "America." Now they are clearly hoping for a depression in order to resurrect their political fortunes.
I actually think David Frum has a lot of good ideas and that the GOP should listen to him. Not that I'm a big fan of the GOP, but I wouldn't mind reasonable opposition other than the idiocy we've heard from them lately. Anyone smarter than Sarah Palin would be a definite step up, and Frum is no fan of hers.
I wouldn't bet on that, though, since to many conservatives, taking advice from people like Frum would be abandoning their most sacred principles... becoming "democrats-lite."
In light of that, I think we're seeing the beginning of the end of Reagan-style conservatism. The GOP may make some superficial gains in congress in one cycle or the other, but it will take a generational change in order to rejuvinate the GOP.
I'm studying to be a professional historian, and most historians I know tend not to like these lists. It's unfair to judge presidents against each other from disparate eras. Some simply had more momentous issues during their administrations. Much of the ranking is driven by propaganda, ie: a case can be made that any of these presidents weren't really that great. For me, Eisenhower jumps out as someone that doesn't belong in the top 10. However, it's a fun exercise.
I'm always amazed at these lists for ranking Harry Truman as high as they do. He did have some major accomplishments, but he also made serious mistakes. He was about as unpopular as Nixon when he left office. I've written on the negative legacies of Harry Truman.
Truman was very down-to-earth and folksy, and that kind of attitude is popular, especially among conservatives, who usually also rank him highly. With more time, he may move downward.
James K. Polk as #12!? If you didn't like Bush going to war with Iraq, then you really shouldn't like James K. Polk, who was 10 times more blatant than Bush in the false pretenses for war with Mexico.
Bottom line is that these lists are more of a reflection on the politics of the day than the actual worthiness of any of the presidents.
Google Paul Krugman and Japan. I know he's written on the subject and he has a liberal view, so it might satisfy you.
Their recession started in the early 1990's and hasn't improved by all that much since. They did try various stimuli but they tended to raise taxes at the same time, reducing the benefits of extra spending. Then they tried lowering income taxes while raising sales taxes... basically they had incoherent policies.
They also are quite different than us in that average Japanse doesn't invest much and saves a lot (not in the market). The recession only heightened those impulses, thus people horded their money and demand slipped further.
If you go on any number of republican blogs, you'll find ostensibly "smart" people that really, really like Sarah Palin. Remember that Obama got to be where he is partly due to a "cult of personality" effect, so I wouldn't count Palin out just yet. If the economy is still bad in 4 years (God, I hope not!), expect people to become more receptive to getting mavericky.
If you look at her AK campaign against Murkowski, you'll find she did very well against men who acted like (and surely knew) that they were smarter than her. In fact, that's the element in which she does best, so a Romney-Palin primary battle would likely come out in her favor.
Yeah. Anyone who pronounces conservatism dead is smoking something. They are down but far from out, and it would be very unwise to dismiss them. Some of them make the "10 million republicans stayed home" - I don't believe that, but I do buy 3-4 million, which would have still been an Obama win, but much closer.
I was at the bookstore today. Look at what authors are on the bestseller lists - Bill O'Reilly, Glen Beck, etc... Ann Coulter has a book coming out next month that I'm sure will be in the top 5.
If anything, just think about this: Sarah Palin was on the ticket and they still got 46%. Unbelievable.
""lower taxes," "limited government," "free markets," "balanced budgets," "family values," and a "strong military"" --- This mantra is still extremely powerful and I don't see any reason to believe it won't remain that way.
We need to remember that Clinton has a ceiling in the general election. Across the country, half the people say they won't vote for her. That's a fact, proved in poll after poll. I'd say her ceiling hovers around 48% max. It may be closer to 46%.
Against Romney, she can win. Against McCain is a different story. She will lose crucial independents in swing states who find him more palatable than her. Those of you comparing Obama to Kerry, Dukakis, et al are missing the point. They were the establishment choice, and so is she. She will carry staunch democrats like those who post here and little more.
Obama, on the other hand, has more potential. I could see him getting 53%, maybe even 55%. This is possible, even against McCain, since they are both likable, and McCain could be painted as an old coot. It's also possible that Obama could lose and not get much more than 43-44%. We don't know exactly.
Obama's a riskier investment, but has more growth potential. Hillary's a known commodity. Her road to GE victory will be close, no matter what she does.