The irony about this is that Tauscher was trying to suggest that the putative Democratic majorities will not be a socialist wet dream, turning the country back to potentially 1968. It's probably also the case that she was coddled by Rahm to say this because even if he were to beat out Pelosi for Speaker...many other liberals would control the powerful committees and make it very hard for Rahm to unilaterally enforce a Congress like our friend "Hot Tub" Tom.
But there's also another element here no one has mentioned...Tauscher is effectively warning the liberal base that there are still plenty of Republicans to work across the aisle with and develop a bi-partisan "muddle through" coalition. Missing is anyone saying the real obvious....what about Republican "defectors"?
Now that Tom DeLay is getting fitted for his jumpsuit the Democratic Leadership in either house will have tremendous power to get the disaffected Republicans previously too muffled by the DeLay-Cheney-Frist Axis of Money to sign up for a dizzying array of legislation. Even the most basic intiaitives like raising the minimum wage or reforming Medicare Part D likely will trigger plenty of interest from Republicans willing to cross the aisle to get fed.
As bloggers, Chris and Matt can slap around the Defenso-crats all they want. But Tauscher, Lieberman, Ford, Harman and other hawks are going to have a hell of time selling this war when maverick Republicans like Chuck Hagel start campaigning on the idea of the draft.
Might I add that this is likely not going to work.
Not because we can't win these races but because it's a completely different issue on the House side versus the Senate.
Schumer wants this money to run ads in big, expensive TV markets along I-95 to gin up Democrats in New Jersey and NoVa. Although perhaps not the most valuable strategy it makes sense in a Senate race to make your competition ad for ad.
But in House....there's a slightly different problem. Namely, some districts are not going to have an urban center with a TV affiliate. Of course, there's always somewhere they can see the ad broadcast from, but in some districts they might have to rob Peter (running in CD-11) to show ads for Paul (in CD-12).
So the loans sound like good ideas, but in reality, they won't matter much because from here on in the RNC and Republicans are taught not to worry about TV ads but instead focus on their GOTV efforts. And you can't built that in two/three weeks...no more how much money you have.
All this said, there's no harm is giving districts in the second and third term some "allowance money" but we probably won't need a giant loan to do that.
I can't speak for Jerome but in tight primary years New Hampshire is usually won by a "maverick" candidate and that wasn't exactly going to be Warner. Some of his qualities would make the him the un-Democrat. The truth is that Hillary would have won Iowa, Feingold New Hampshire and Warner (sitting on his millions) would have been the only candidate to pour in enough money to hang on into South Carolina. Bill Richardson, Biden, Bayh, Gravel, etc....would all be jumping off the train at that point.
The emergence of Nevada's caucus is enigmatic that Harry Reid might have been on a "different page" than Marky Mark. I suppose it is possible that the fix is in...and that Hillary has been promised Nevada too...in exchange for her not challenging Reid for Senate Majority Leader next year.
I am sure that there is just a tad more here than Warner is letting on. The situation in America is going to get far worse than it is now, and soon. Perhaps Warner's informal discussions with other potential members of his team (future cabinet memebers or advisors) made him realize that who ever won in '08 would be a one-termer no matter how good a President he or she would be.
The other thing might be that Hillary may have locked up something without us knowing. I personally would vote for Feingold if he gets on the primary ballot in my state...but without a cagey guy like Warner I think now Hilzilla is now the prohibitive favorite for the Democrats. However that is probably just bad news for Dems because she can't win against a McCain/Hagel type and with Iraq descending into madness...that wing of their party is likely to get the nomination, not the Mitt Romney, George Allen, etc.
Pelosi and Reid can't stop Rahm because of Hillary's tremendously meddlesome influence. The bottom line is that no one is really sure what the logic is...if the Dems don't retake Congress Rahm and Hillary are supposed to argue that Pelosi and Reid and ineffective as leadership...and if they do win they are supposed to argue they are ineffective as leadership.
Hillary's Grand Plan is to have Emmanuel be her speaker of the House in '09 when she is inaugarated. He's simply positioning himself to get that far. It's true that such a thought is news to many liberals and Democrats...but the fact is that Dean is already concerned about a front-loaded primary (i.e. Hillary having a ton of cash and winning the nomination so fast that no messages or themes are road-tested and we get beat again by some schumcuk Republican.)
Noticeably absent from this poll is how many seats the internal poll thinks the Republicans would lose or gain if Hastert resigns.
Either way, once GOP voters realize that Foley was hid in part because he was a good fundraiser and in part because he's not the only gay Republican congressman, their base will be demoralized.
Thank God Lee Atwater is dead...otherwise he might have had an aneurysm over how badly things have gone south.
I also think the Hastert resignation is good in that if he's out...there's a new power struggle between DeLay's waning faction and other groups. This totally distracts them from campaigning because they had planned a robust "lame-duck" session had they retained the majority.
I've heard that Trent Lott is ready to challenge McConnell for the Majority Leader position...but in any case...
Bush has already said that he will leave office with troops still in Iraq. He's already said he doesn't think the war can be won. So I have no idea....no freeping clue just what context this "celebration" would happen.
But then again..."Mission Accomplished" was paper-thin at best. Major combat operations didn't exactly end as they said.
My money is the celebration happens just before the anniversary of the declaration of war in Iraq. That way it will deflect some heat for them. But the real purpose, I think, is to provide cover for the noxious legislation the GOP will pass if they retain the majority in the first 100 days of this Congress...so it will be a "celebration about Iraq and Afghanistan"...just that won't be the reason for corporate America to celebrate.
The game the Rove-DeLay-Stevens machine wants to play is oblierating the swing voter and to make you be either for them or against them in toto. The RNC doesn't waste its time in Rhode Island trying to convince Lincoln Chafee to vote for President Bush. Instead it's all about reminding the trampled white underclass that the Democrats are the party of niggers, Jews, queers, Catholics and the like who will utterly destroy your way of life if you ever so much as think of voting for them.
Now...the Democrats continue to think there is a big "middle" of voters hiding somewhere just waiting to turn blue. But while there are independents, the Democrats lose elections by in large because they don't do what the Republicans do...surpress turnout of the other side.
I don't advocate true voter supression tactics, but as far as the Lakoffian "framing" argument ... the Dems routinely think they can "evangelize" conservatives to the social justice Gospel.
In other words, the Kaus hypothesis would make sense but for the reality that the sampling techniques used 40 years ago to get a broad brush of the electorate are now obsolete. The way Democrats win in this environment is to nail potential Republican "saviors" to the cross and convince their followers they are dead and no longer important.
Turnout, as Rove would tell you, is a zero-sum game not a bell curve. If the Dems use that logic, and wisely discard it in other areas of their strategy, they may have a much easier road ahead.
The basic strategy this year is...turn out the Republican base, fire them up and don't worry about moderates and independents or "Reagan Democrats". The Dems then have the tougher challenger....get the nonaligned and Dem base to turn out.
There are the districts and states that are likely to swing, and those that are not. Polling is imprecise and the generic ballot's weakness is that we don't know where those respondents were polled, in the America that will decide this election or the America that won't.
In the "new political calculus" the GOP has been winning by evincing excellent turnout and using a smaller base to achieve victory. The Dems have known for years how to beat this, by concentrating on issues that will keep the Republicans home and not vote.
Immigration is a particularly good wedge issue for the GOP because the strident opposition sees it as an "invasion" and is irrational. Democrat groups ranging from the unions to blacks to environment groups all have things they don't like about copious illegal immigration and undocumented labor. But because their opposition is seen as less frenzied and more composed, Democrats in Washington don't take it as seriously as Hastert does the Minutemen.
The fact is, our country has a unique problem. The work force and population are shrinking among the native born, but because jobs are being outsourced quickly the only jobs left being created are low paying and dead-end. But in those countries in which international trade policy has gotten a firm grasp, the alienation population finds itself drawn to this work explosion as a way to balance the equation.
It's Wal-Mart foreign policy and it overshadows everything that America does internationally...even...the "war on terror" and Iraq.
Here in CA, the Angelides camp has even gone so far as to endorse the need for low turnout to help their chances.
And the trend nationally of indepedent voters means little if not broken down into the 435 separate elections being held this year. In other words...don't read so much into one district. CA-50 was a case where Bubsy took the bait on immigration instead of running a Democratic campaign and forcing Bilbray to court the hard-line stance on immigration himself.
Most of the battleground districts are along the Ohio River this year, suggesting that if you want to win the turnout game...Democrats merely must convince Republicans to stay home...not to crossover. That isn't hard to achieve...since the Democrats need only to say....
"Look at the last four years. If you want three branches of governemtn again, instead of one...vote Democrat."
[Cue disturbing melange of Katrina, Iraq, inflation, health care, Minutemen, etc. imagery].
Living in Hawai'i at the time of 2002 race you must remember that Hirono's biggest challenger for the Democratic nomination was....Ed Case! The machine in Hawai'i is really powerful...but that's not all.
Hirono lost because Lingle exploited the glorious collapse of Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris' bid for Governor. Corruption (and the foul stench) help fueld Lingle's ability to argue that regulation had suffocated the business climate in Hawai'i. Note this was right after 2001 when the economy appears headed back to recession.
With the economy now running smoothly again there...and with the most progressive mayor they have seen in years...the Dems don't have much to worry about
The Republicans can count. They want to pool their resources into the most compeittive races to keep whatever sliver of majority. The retreat from AZ-08 is pretty striking. But perhaps it's retaliation for McCain obdurancy on the terror trails.