Searching for Meaning in the 2014 Elections

The headlines are all over the place on why Republicans made so many gains in yesterday's elections and what it means for Democrats. I'm going to keep it simple: We get the government we elect. If Democrats don't come out and vote, they won't win.

This is a thread for all election-related topics.

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    I'm hoping (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:26:02 PM EST
    for gridlock and the tea party getting nothing that it wants.

    Kind of interesting that it seems the tea party is squealing that they won and have a mandate and the GOP establishment is saying there is no mandate for them.

    We already have gridlock (none / 0) (#6)
    by Farmboy on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:51:32 PM EST
    The GOP has blocked the Senate for years to make sure very little gets through unscathed.

    The only difference now is that when the House votes yet again to repeal the ACA, cancel Medicare, privatize Social Security, etc., we won't have Reid to say, "are you people nuts?" Those bills will come to a vote in the Senate and pass.

    Then the president will veto them, and he'll get the blame for the gridlock instead of the Senate.


    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 01:01:08 PM EST
    the crackpot stuff from the house is going to come up to a vote in the senate for sure. And yeah, it's going to be vetoed but I'm not sure that is going to be a negative for Obama considering the legislation that the GOP writes.

    But people don't realize (none / 0) (#56)
    by sallywally on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 09:33:22 AM EST
    that the gridlock has been caused by Republicans all along - they aren't paying attention and I fear they won't "get it" now either.

    The Onion weighs in, and is - as usual - (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:32:27 PM EST
    probably right on point:

    WASHINGTON--With precincts reporting GOP victories in key midterm election races nationwide, Beltway sources confirmed Tuesday that the Republican Party is poised to retain its complete control of the U.S. Senate. "If current polling projections are accurate, it appears as if Republican lawmakers will hold on to power in the Senate chamber and will continue to steer the legislative agenda with little resistance," political analyst Michael Barone told reporters, noting that the likely election results will preserve the GOP's singular authority over the direction of the Senate, allowing Republicans to go on stymieing judicial appointments, derailing or neutering any legislation they oppose, and obstructing President Obama at every turn. "With the Senate still firmly under their control, Mitch McConnell and his Republican colleagues will persist in refusing to cede an inch of political leverage to their Democratic rivals and will continue blocking Democratic initiatives just as they have been. Yet again, the GOP is in prime position to carry on dictating the course of the upper house of Congress." Barone went on to say that Republicans would finally relinquish control of the Senate only when Democrats captured the 100 seats they require to govern.

    I can't endorse (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 01:21:28 PM EST
    either "if Democratic voters don't come out and vote we (a) won't win or (b)will get the government we deserve."

      The problem I have is not literal accuracy, but the connotations of those messages.

      In essence, either formulation suggests the fault lies with voters not with the Party and its candidates who failed to persuade those voters. No Party or candidate is owed votes and no one has an obligation to vote for anyone.

      When the dominant messages are nothing more than my opponent is [pick one or several] crazy, mean, dishonest,  corrupt, stupid, evil] but, by the way, don't believe him I'll oppose Obama too, it's not surprising the Democratic voters are not overly enthusiastic.

       If someone wants an official  who will fight Obama, it makes sense that he would choose the person he believes has his heart in the fight and isn't just crafting his message to the polls. If someone wants someone who will support Obama then telling him you won't obviously is unlikely to motivate him to vote for you.

      If you are trying to attract the (not inconsiderable) segment who might vote based on something beyond support or opposition for the President, you still have to give him a good reason to vote FOR YOU.

      I think it was Lentinel who observed most people who don't vote have not been convinced selecting Candidate D over Candidate R (or vice versa for that matter) will have little affect on what happens in D.C. or the statehouses and that the candidates scream a lot about social issues that attract or repel the gutbucket voters but whisper in empty platitudes about the nuts and bolts issues that will affect  their personal economic well-being.

       I vote in every election, but I honestly can't remember the last time I enthusiastically voted FOR someone I believed was a great candidate as opposed to merely not as bad as the other choice.

    I'm not going to fault the voters for voting with their absence because it is in fact a rational response to a situation where you perceive no one running is truly committed to and capable of helping you or furthering goals important to you. I'll also suggest that perception is not without strong support.

      Elections are rarely won by guilt-tripping people into being reluctant voters. They are probably never won by telling potential voters they are causing the problems.

     It's the candidates' jobs to persuade people to vote for them.


    I'm someone who has voted in every (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 03:35:01 PM EST
    election since I was legally able (well, I think I missed an election after I broke and dislocated my shoulder).  I'm the one with the kids who always accompanied me or my husband so they would have the example of parents who took their responsibility seriously, and so we could - when they were old enough - have the discussions about what a privilege it is to have the right to vote, and how we truly have a responsibility to exercise that right.  

    So, we all vote - and my daughters' husbands vote, too.  It's just what we do.

    And that's why, in recent years, I've really struggled with the choices before me.  I found myself just so frustrated that, increasingly, I was being herded to vote for the Democrat for two, maybe three, reasons: (1) the (D) after his or her name, (2) because the (D) was better than the (R), and (3) The Supreme Court.  

    Okay, so the (D) was a given - I wasn't going to vote for a Republican.  "Better than the other guy" stopped being a good enough reason, especially since that metric  served to keep lowering the bar: candidates were getting worse, not better.  In 2008, I did not cast a vote for president.  First time I ever did that and it felt weird.  In 2012, I voted Green - for Jill Stein.  In this year's Democratic primary for Maryland governor, I voted for Heather Mizeur - a staunch liberal who was a breath of fresh air.  She lost.  Last evening, I held my nose and voted for Anthony Brown.  He lost, running one of the worst campaigns I've seen.  If he had run a better campaign, had a vision I could get excited about, that would have been preferable.

    I guess where I am with all of this is that by the time those of us who vote step into the voting booth, we have very little in the way of choice.  The system, that is so overloaded with corporate money and special interests, keeps a lot of good, qualified people from even being part of the conversation.  

    Maybe if we could get all that money out, we'd have a chance at taking back the reins of power, of having a  truly representative government, but it isn't in the interests of those who have the power to make it easier for others to kick them to the curb.

    Just thinking about 2016 depresses me.  The government we're getting is not the one I want, and it ticks me off that, year after year, I register my voice and my vote, I educate myself, I research and discuss and what do I get?  The same - or crappier - government I'd get if I didn't vote.

    And yet, I keep doing it; it's just that each year I'm a little angrier about it.  Not that that's doing me or anyone else any good, either.  

    The reality is that it feels like we get the kind of government someone else has decided is best for a very small group of people.  

    No one deserves that.


    Please don't give up. (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Juanita Moreno on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 12:54:32 AM EST
    It's not over 'til it's over. We need people like you.

    It's also much easier (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 01:36:04 PM EST
    For an outsider to make the case that, "I will fight for _" than an incumbent - especially in a year when incumbents of the president's party are particularly reviled.

    I've watched political ads this year, not only from Virginia, where I live, but Maryland, and even Louisiana and Pennsylvania.  You know what all the incumbents' ads say?  Things like, "I will work to create jobs"  and "I will do ___," and my first thought always was, "What have you been doing so far? Have you NOT been working to create jobs?"


    To an extent.... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 02:10:52 PM EST
      I'd be pleased with candidates just offering specific proposals for future actions that they believe will create jobs (or improve education, fund infrastructure improvements, etc.)

      No one has ever run a campaign on the platform of "I will destroy jobs, wreck education and let our roads go to Hell..."

      Describe a program, explain how you will fund it and why you think it will make things better. Simply listing desirable things and saying you are for them is meaningless.

      It's the cynicism of the Parties and the candidates (abetted by the mercenary consultants) who create elections people don't want to vote in. They all know that while everybody is for  a strong economy, a good school system, good roads, etc, in the abstract that different people have different idea about what specifically should be done and how it should be funded. So, they avoid offering specifics that can be dissected.

      Even most of  the straight ahead "cut taxes" people will only speak specifically about which taxes they would cut and to what degree, but they'll dance all around the second part of the equation concerning  what spending would they reduce or eliminate. Either they avoid any answer or give a silly one about increased efficiency and ending "waste" will make cuts unnecessary.

      I'll give you more of all the good things and less  of all the bad  is an empty promise even if people agree on what's good and bad.

      To some extent it's easier to respect the "crazies" who argue for eliminating public schools and social security and... At least they're honest and specific about their aims.


    I think that we'd be remiss ... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 03:07:33 PM EST
    ... if we didn't give a big shout-out to our favorite comedian-turned-pol, Sen. Al Franken (DFL-MN), who bucked the GOP tide last night and scored an impressive victory over Republican challenger Mike McFadden.

    In evaluating that triumph, please consider that while Franken and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton were each re-elected to another term, eleven DFL legislators in the Minnesota State House were not, and that body has reverted to GOP control. So on that note, his victory was most certainly not a given.

    This was the SNL alum's first campaign for re-election since he initially confounded skeptics in 2008, when he upset then-incumbent GOP Sen. Norm Coleman by a razor thin 312-vote margin. Apparently, Minnesotans have since been impressed by his tireless work ethic on their behalf and willingness to eschew the national limelight.

    With his return to Capitol Hill now safely assured, and his 6-mo.-old grandson Joseph's future to protect, we'll see if Sen. Franken now steps out from those shadows to take up the late Paul Wellstone's mantle, and become that champion of progressive values a lot of us were hoping he'd be.


    Thanks Donald, I was wanting to post (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 03:21:29 PM EST
    something similar last night, but you found the words. I really hope with one term under his belt , and 6 more years secured, Sen. Franken comes out from the shadows a little more and picks up the Wellstone mantle. I listened to his radio show enough to know that he has the intelligence, beliefs,  and passion to do it. I still expect great things from him - maybe Sen Majority Leader someday?

    I think that Al Franken ... (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 04:27:24 PM EST
    ... would be an awesome leader for the Senate's Democratic caucus. The guy is a total policy wonk and a fighter who knows how to campaign effectively and what it takes to win.

    In that regard, Democrats would also do well to relieve U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of her duties as DNC chair, and bring back Gov. Howard Dean, whose "50-state strategy" had earlier regained for us the House and Senate majorities in 2006 and 2008, which President Obama and his Beltway insider allies then proceeded to fritter away through their own fecklessness.



    As someone who survived the last six months (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by Farmboy on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 10:20:59 AM EST
    of political ads here in MN, I can tell you why Sen. Franken won. He ran on his record. He owned his last six years worth of votes. When the GOP attacked him by trotting out the "97% Obama" ads, he replied with a "you have a problem with health care coverage? with student loan reform? with expanded Medicare? etc." They had no honest response, because people do like those things.

    That's how you win reelection in 2014. And too few Dems had the spine of Sen. Franken to stand up as Dems.


    True... (4.00 / 4) (#4)
    by lentinel on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:36:55 PM EST
    "If democrats don't come out and vote, they won't win."

    My corollary would be that if Democrats don't start acting like Democrats, Democrats will not come out and vote for them.

    I hope that is the lesson learned -- but I don't know if that's what they learned, or if they think they need to lean even farther to the right.

    My reaction to the enormous gains for the feverish GOP can be summed up in this 25 clip.

    While I don't support the president (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by Slado on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 03:15:04 PM EST
    I must say your point is valid especially the idea that his "coalition" of young and black voters were not going to come out and vote in high numbers for democratic senators that ran away from the president and wouldn't even say they'd vote for him.  

    It's one of those things that seems so simple now that the results are in.

    How was Allison Grimes going to win in KY basically running as an independent?   It simply wasn't going to happen and the results showed it.

    Someone should do the math but it seems all the candidates who pretended not to know the President went down last night.

    You are a democrat.  Go down swinging for goodness sakes.  You might lose but you sure as hell aren't going to win pretending that you aren't one.


    A frikken men (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by CST on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 03:22:23 PM EST
    Bill Maher, yes that Bill Maher, had a pretty good segment on this.  He ripped into poor Clay Aiken to make a point, but the point was made.  You guys are all running away from the Dem base and the Dem president - but guess what, he actually managed to get elected, and you didn't.  Democrats exist but they aren't gonna get off the couch to vote for someone who would barely vote for themselves (in reference to Bill's Clay Aiken can't even with the Clay Aiken vote based on his statements on gay marriage).

    I have (2.67 / 3) (#31)
    by lentinel on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 04:14:28 PM EST
    to disagree with you.

    The guy who ran from the Democratic base is the president himself.

    Sure - he won reelection - running against Romney.
    A paper bag could have won against that idiot.

    If some so-called Democrats ran from Obama, it means nothing to me - because I don't know what they were running from.
    Progressive ideas? I don't think so. The wars? Doubtful because the media have managed to suppress any news about them and the President isn't saying anything either.

    Who really knows what the President stands for anyway?
    I don't.
    What I see is protection of the establishment.
    Condemnation of whistleblowers.
    The setting in stone of invasive procedures by the NSA, CIA and FBI.

    If I were running, I might not run from Obama, but I sure as he!! would find it difficult to invite his presence at any campaign stops.


    Could (none / 0) (#40)
    by lentinel on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 05:25:51 PM EST
    you articulate your differences of opinion with the above post, farmboy?

    Just dropping a "2" doesn't really tell me anything...


    Only because you asked. (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Farmboy on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 10:12:51 AM EST
    Did a number of Dems run away from the President's agenda? Absolutely. And a number of them lost, because much of that agenda is popular. Running away did nothing but hurt them. Had they run on that agenda, they might have held the Senate. How can I say this? Because that strategy worked for those who followed it.

    The other issue this election was that voter turnout nationally was disappointingly low, which often works to the GOP's advantage. People don't go out to vote without a reason, and there's no reason to vote for Dems who run away from her/his own votes. This affected down ticket elections, allowing for more GOP successes.

    So why the two ranking? Because yet again you claimed ignorance of the President's positions, despite seven years of him explaining them in detail, and despite many people here explaining them to you. And despite claiming that you don't know what those positions are, you're sure that they don't meet with your standards of party purity. That's why your post received a two from me.


    Pure speculation (3.50 / 2) (#64)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 10:28:34 AM EST
    Absolutely. And a number of them lost, because much of that agenda is popular. Running away did nothing but hurt them. Had they run on that agenda, they might have held the Senate. How can I say this? Because that strategy worked for those who followed it.

    No data to prove your theory, but much data to prove that many votes were against the Dems because of voters' unhappiness with Obama.  They could have also just as easily lost by much more.  you think Allison Grimes would have won by embracing Obama? Or Michelle Nunn?   Those who embraced Obama did so because it was safe enough to do so in their districts.


    Tons of data, actually (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Farmboy on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 11:57:31 AM EST
    Eighty-two percent (82%) of Democrats approve of the job the president is doing.


    That data is as of this week. The Democratic base overwhelmingly approves of Obama. The GOP base overwhelmingly does not. The Democratic pols who ran away from Obama ran away from their own voters.


    Which means nothing (none / 0) (#71)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 12:03:02 PM EST
    Where do those 82% live?  Do they live in contested purple-red states where there was a Senate race?



    Well (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 12:55:37 PM EST
    we don't know where they live and they might live in a red state like here in GA but there aren't enough of us even if everyone came out to vote. So you have to look at it that way too.

    All the more reason to make an argument for (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 01:18:01 PM EST
    those policies.

    As that is a national poll, where they live (none / 0) (#77)
    by Farmboy on Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 07:21:53 AM EST
    is a little country called the US. You should visit; many parts are quite nice.

    Right (none / 0) (#80)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 10:05:11 AM EST
    But those 82% of Democrats polled could live in places like New York City or Chicago or La - places where they did NOT have competitive Senate or House races, so saying 82% of Democrats support the president is meaningless, especially as this wasn't a "national" election.

    Maybe you should visit a nice place called "reality".


    Yes, tons of data (none / 0) (#79)
    by Politalkix on Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 09:56:25 AM EST
    BHO won two elections convincingly while picking up wins in most purple states both times he ran while every spineless Democrat that ran away from the President lost in every election that they ran. Can anyone explain how BHO won two elections in Wisconsin convincingly where Democrats keep losing to Scott Walker every time they run against him and where even Russ Feingold lost? Much as I liked Russ Feingold, I thought it was stupid of him to distance himself from the President the last time he ran for office.

    I laugh out loudly when anyone compares the BHO coalition to the Dukakis or McGovern coalition. Dukakis and McGovern got trounced while BHO won two elections convincingly with his coalition (even when the economy was quite bad). I can also say that the way these commenters process their information is dated. One can't help but notics that a lot of darlings of this blog (Feingold, Udall, Andrew Romanoff, Wendy Davis, Allison Grimes, etc) have not done so well in elections; it is therefore quite likely that many bloggers here are more out of sync with Americans than the President is.  

    BHO is a lot more popular among Democrats than the jbindcs, lentinels and ga6th realize (also evident in polling statistics). BHO brings out the Democratic base to vote while those that shun him to curry favor with elusive potential conservative democrats, independents and republicans make pathetic fools of themselves. They end up losing the support of a healthy chunk of the Democratic base while earning the ridicule of the elusive electorate that they hoped would vote for them.


    Here's a thought (none / 0) (#81)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 10:06:24 AM EST
    "BHO is more popular...."

    Maybe he was 2 and 6 years ago.  Today - not so much.


    And oh yeah (none / 0) (#82)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 10:07:18 AM EST
    Oh yeah, and here is a thought (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Politalkix on Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 10:17:50 AM EST
    Exit polls are conducted only on people who show up to vote, not on those who do not show up because they could not be bothered about voting for a candidate who has distanced himself/herself from the President.

    Keep dreaming (none / 0) (#84)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 10:32:08 AM EST
    That Barack Obama is so popular, and that he could have saved the day.  (Might want to ask Anthony Brown of Maryland that - especially the part where people,  many of them AA, were leaving a rally in droves when Obama took the podium).

    He's old news. Move on.


    Keep dreaming (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Politalkix on Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 10:51:59 AM EST
    Allison Grimes campaigned as a "Clinton Democrat" and lost handily. You know that. Maybe your belligerence regarding the President has more to do with covering up this fact and your own insecurities than anything else.

    Your attitude towards AAs and many other people is loathesome. Don't be surprised when the comeuppamce comes for the candidates you support.


    She DID lose ... (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Yman on Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 12:38:27 PM EST
    ... largely because (your silly claims to the contrary):

    President Barack Obama is completely toxic in Kentucky. McConnell deftly used the specter of Obama to tarnish Grimes, who has little connection to the president beyond serving as a delegate to the Democratic conventions that nominated him.


    This is how big a drag President Obama is on Senate Democrats

    The problem in all of this for the Pryors and Grimes of the world -- not to mention Mary Landrieu in Louisiana and Mark Begich in Alaska -- is that their path to victory involves overperforming the most well-known politician in their party by 15+ points with an electorate that is already tilting against them.
    In short: Alison Lundergan Grimes could win -- not would win but could win -- if President Obama's approval ratings in Kentucky were at, say 38 percent.  At 28 percent, it's almost impossible to see how she ends up on top.

    Shorter Yman version (2.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Politalkix on Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 12:48:59 PM EST
    McConnell outwitted HRC who campaigned for Grimes (the Clintons are also close to the Grimes family) who sold herself as a "Clinton Democrat" in the same way GWB outwitted HRC in the run-up to the Iraq war. Makes HRC look very weak.

    That's not "Shorter Yman" (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Yman on Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 12:56:41 PM EST
    That's "Sillier Politalkix".

    Hey - at least you didn't have to resort to your old stand-by - false charges of "Racism!"

    Oh, ... never mind.

    I just saw your reply to jbindc.

    BTW - Just for you

    NKY Dem: Obama 'owns' Grimes' loss

    The race toward the end wasn't even considered competitive for many analysts. Nathan Gonzales, with the Rothenberg Political Report, wrote on Election Day that the Republicans ran a very effective campaign against her. From the start, Republicans attacked her lack of experience and tied her with Obama...

    "The president owns the loss," said Nathan Smith, a prominent Democratic donor from Fort Mitchell who held fundraisers for Grimes. "I think the president needs to do some soul searching about where his office is right now."


    Any Democrat stood little chance going against a powerful Senator at the same time the Democratic president is so unpopular, said Stephen Voss, political science professor at the University of Kentucky.

    Looks like those coattails you were so proud of in 2008 work both ways, and since Obama is now wearing a solid-lead overcoat, well ...



    Whatever (none / 0) (#93)
    by Politalkix on Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 01:19:14 PM EST
    From the posts of her strongest supporters I can only visualize a cartoon of an incredibly shrinking HRC wilting under the weight of the President (who in their words is wearing a "solid lead overcoat"). Not a good image to take to the electorate when you are seeking their votes...Just saying...  

    Probably your least "disturbing image" (none / 0) (#94)
    by Yman on Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 01:35:23 PM EST
    Maybe the funniest, though.

    Good thing "the electorate" isn't that delusional.


    We will see (none / 0) (#95)
    by Politalkix on Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 02:04:46 PM EST
    how the polls hold up once the Republicans are done with their 2016 primaries and progressives get a chance to do their own scrutiny.

    If she is so popular why can't you confidently predict that she is going to win in 2016? Why do you have to line up excuses involving BHO?


    They're not "excuses" (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Yman on Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 02:10:05 PM EST
    Anyone following the footsteps of an unpopular POTUS from their own party - Republican or Democrat - is going to have a much more difficult task getting elected than someone following a deeply unpopular POTUS of the other party, ala 2008.

    The only one making "excuses" regarding Obama is you.


    No (none / 0) (#98)
    by Politalkix on Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 02:26:35 PM EST
    The article that I posted was about Democrats that will run in the future and included HRC. The article was about how campaigns should be run to win. It was not about BHO who already finished running for elected office in 2012. You brought in BHO to make excuses for HRC.

    BHO has finished running for elected office. He has already won twice. I do not care whether he is popular or not at this time or during the remainder of his term (and I suspect he does not either). His legacy will be decided after he is gone from office.

    But there are Democrats who will still be running for office in the next few years and HRC is one of them. You should focus on what they should do to win instead of trying to line up excuses involving BHO in case they lose.


    Running after a very unpopular (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Yman on Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 02:42:58 PM EST
    ... POTUS from your own party is not an "excuse", it's just a fact that it's much harder to do than running against a party with a deeply popular POTUS from the other party, as Obama had in 2008.

    But I understand why you'd prefer to try to cast a truism as an "excuse".

    The "legacy will be decided many years after he leaves office" was pretty funny, though.  Just another way to avoid the reality that the public doesn't agree with your rose-colored version of Obama's presidency.


    I think I have this figured out (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by MO Blue on Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 02:15:00 PM EST
    You have volunteered to generate support for HRC on this blog by making accusations that are so off the wall even people who do not support her will come to her defense.

    This blog is an echo chamber (none / 0) (#99)
    by Politalkix on Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 02:38:32 PM EST
    for HRC supporters. I do not know what extra support can be generated here.

    But this blog is not the entire electorate in America. I am providing a perspective, it is up to her supporters to take a constructive view of it or get defensive and be dismissive.

    I am quote open about my opinions. My support for her is going to be conditional on the kind of campaign she and her supporters run. If I am satisfied, I will vote for her. If not, I will just leave my choice of President blank.


    If you really, believe that this blog is an echo (5.00 / 4) (#102)
    by MO Blue on Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 02:50:27 PM EST
    chamber for HRC, you haven't been paying attention.

    Oh, no!!!!! (none / 0) (#101)
    by Yman on Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 02:44:20 PM EST
    My support for her is going to be conditional on the kind of campaign she and her supporters run. If I am satisfied, I will vote for her. If not, I will just leave my choice of President blank.

    Pfffftttttttt ....


    What about people like me, politalkix (none / 0) (#104)
    by christinep on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 06:41:33 PM EST
    I and others in my circle have great respect for both President Obama and Hillary Clinton.  What gives?  What the heck gives?  In many ways, their positions are demonstrably similar.  If he were white, some would react differently we all know.  If she were a he ....?  (Hey, I don't want to go there, but lets get it out in the open.  Otherwise, your comments appear to a relative outsider in the earlier dispute as either one who carries a grudge further than the President does or than HRC does OR as one that has an unstated issue.  Out with it, I say.)

    Not anymore :) (none / 0) (#105)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 07:34:46 PM EST
    Tempers seem to be running a bit hot right now.  Libs took a beating.

    Though I believe this would have all worked better if Hillary had been President first and Obama received some political seasoning and took the responsibility in 2016, I don't hate him.  I'm disappointed, but that's different.

    As a soldier's wife with children, I will always be grateful for the CIC that he has been, but so many are really suffering.  He miscalculated soooo much stateside policy and the needs of the little people.  If he ends up exploiting the middle class and the poor even more in the next two years it will make things very tough for the next Dem contender.

    And I am a strong Clinton supporter at this time.  Nobody has a crystal ball though, life happens.


    Whadda ya mean, not anymore? (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by oculus on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 10:45:31 PM EST
    In my opinion, this blog was never full throttle supporting HRC for president.

    This was a bit of a Puma haven though (none / 0) (#120)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 10, 2014 at 08:08:40 AM EST
    Back in the day :). That's why I blog here. BTD understood, and he wrote great stuff too.

    From my POV, it seems that (none / 0) (#103)
    by christinep on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 06:37:11 PM EST
    you are on a direct mission against Hillary Clinton.  I have no idea why ... other than what happened before I joined up here in 2008.  But, as one (who as you may know) generally aligned with a number of your comments, this one generally has me stumped.  The pox-on-Hillary type comments coming from you seem to be more & more strident.  How sad....

    Christinep (none / 0) (#106)
    by Politalkix on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 08:19:56 PM EST
    Believe me, you have totally misjudged my comments. I am just very frustrated with a few of her most strident supporters in this blog. I would also like to state that I have also never been as disrespectful towards HRC as some here have consistently been towards the President over many years.

    We all have our preferences. I have never disrespected the preferences of people even when they diverged from mine. Unfortunately, some of HRC's supporters in this blog have never shown the same respect for the preference of those who voiced support for BHO during the 2008 primaries. It gets very sad and frustrating at some point.

    I am not on a direct mission against HRC. Neither are my comments a "pox-on-Hillary" type of comments. Having said that I also think that she should be pushed towards a more progressive direction if she runs (which I expect her to do). The times and the situation in our country demand it. I also honestly believe that she won't be able to win unless she does so.

    It is my belief that if she runs as an economic populist (and takes a progressive such as Warren or Sherrod Brown as her running mate), she will be able to win. However, if she listens to consultants and tries a too clever by half approach in distancing and pinning blame on the President (like some Democrats did during the mid terms) to pander to people who have irrational grievances against him, she will lose my respect and my support.


    That's the funny thing ... (3.67 / 3) (#107)
    by Yman on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 08:34:12 PM EST
    ... about starting a sentence with "It is my belief .."

    Beliefs don't need to be based on facts, reality or evidence, like your claims of pandering to people who have "irrational grievance" against Obama.  And trying to blame HRC supporters for your own statements is ridiculous.


    O.K., I suggest we rule out HRC pandering (5.00 / 3) (#108)
    by MO Blue on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 08:56:12 PM EST
    to people with "irrational grievances" as long as she panders to people with rational grievances. I nominate myself as the "decider" who gets to decide which grievances are irrational and which are rational. That way I can be sure that I get pandered to nonstop.

    Ofcourse (none / 0) (#110)
    by Politalkix on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 09:07:16 PM EST
    My support will depend on how I view things myself and not on other people deciding for me about how I should view things.



    What you don't want me to be the decider? (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by MO Blue on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 09:17:21 PM EST
    Bummer. I always wanted a presidential candidate to pander to me. Pandering would be much better than being told "You Have No Where Else To Go."

    Everybody has some where else to go (none / 0) (#112)
    by Politalkix on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 09:28:59 PM EST
    (including leaving a choice of candidate blank)

    Why would you ever listen to someone telling you that you have no where else to go?


    My last two comments were (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by MO Blue on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 09:41:18 PM EST
    not meant to be real serious. Pretty much joking around.

    Serious answer:

    I wouldn't and I didn't.


    politalkix: Thank you (none / 0) (#114)
    by christinep on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 09:47:58 PM EST
    I appreciate your direct comment very much.

    In return: (1) My perception is also that there are a few noticeable commenters here who earlier seemed to be more than a little predisposed against the President in view of their experienced history of the 2008 primary.  It is my experience that, in certain areas of my life, forgiveness comes with difficulty ...for me, I visit those areas privately each Lenten season, even tho I realize that such examination of conscience should be constant. So, even as I "preach" about letting go of old hurts, my own example has lots of holes in it.  But, if only from the greater good sense of a Democrat in 2016, it is practical to let go.  In fact, the best models for that are found in the President himself and Hillary Clinton ... both have been pursued without let up by the rabid right for years in rumor, narrative, and hyperbolic charges.

    And, (2) Maybe it is possible for those with doubts about HRC--as we enter a transition electoral phase in another year--to consider the common interests of two very similar Democrats, Obama & Clinton.  If we get analytical about the major issues of the day, they are closer than not.  Personally, BTW, I am convinced that there are areas in these last two years of this Administration that significant acts, with longstanding ramifications, will be taken ...beginning with immigration reform and probably extending to some compromise on tax reform.  Practical reasons dictate that result.  

    Like you, it strikes me that the key theme for Democrats will be a populist one (or, at least, a populist framework.) It has taken a long while, but it is clear that most people have moved from their idolization of the "entrepreneur" mold of the 1990s and--while not exactly moving toward as large a government role as many here would like--people are quite turned in to the eye-popping "haves & have nots" dichotomy.  The only surprise would be if HRC did not know that and stress it.  Anyone worth their political salt has to know that the populist ship has come in ... the 4 states voting for minimum wage increases this past week is a harbinger, as President Obama has indicated.

    Finally, as to the far-off VP selection: I'd like to know more about each of them.  For example, Sherrod Brown could be right up there in terms of philosophy and home state ... that kind of stuff matters...as does the synergy with the standard-bearer.  There will be lots of time to see how that plays out.

    Again, thank you, politalkix.


    Christine, that Hillary may be very (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by Anne on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 10:09:11 PM EST
    similar to Obama is not the greatest selling point; many of us aren't all that excited about the prospect of 4 more years of the same-old, same-old hawkish, authoritarian, Wall-Street pandering, corporate-driven governance.  

    As for your plea that people let go of their old hurts, give me a break.  As if there are no rational, fact-based reasons for someone to not support Clinton or Obama - to want someone to push from the left.

    Read Elizabeth Warren's op-ed in the WaPo today; here's a snippet:

    It's not about big government or small government. It's not the size of government that worries people; rather it's deep-down concern over who government works for. People are ready to work, ready to do their part, ready to fight for their futures and their kids' futures, but they see a government that bows and scrapes for big corporations, big banks, big oil companies and big political donors -- and they know this government does not work for them.


    The American people want a fighting chance to build better lives for their families. They want a government that will stand up to the big banks when they break the law. A government that helps out students who are getting crushed by debt. A government that will protect and expand Social Security for our seniors and raise the minimum wage.


    Americans are deeply suspicious of trade deals negotiated in secret, with chief executives invited into the room while the workers whose jobs are on the line are locked outside. They have been burned enough times on tax deals that carefully protect the tender fannies of billionaires and big oil and other big political donors, while working families just get hammered. They are appalled by Wall Street banks that got taxpayer bailouts and now whine that the laws are too tough, even as they rake in billions in profits. If cutting deals means helping big corporations, Wall Street banks and the already-powerful, that isn't a victory for the American people -- it's just another round of the same old rigged game.

    That's what I believe Clinton will be playing: another round of the same old rigged game.


    I like Warren a lot (none / 0) (#116)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 10:17:03 PM EST
    She isn't a fighter though.  She is incredible support, she is something to build on, but she isn't a lion.  I foresee someone who can scrap being one of the greatest needs for the job at this time.

    I think Warren may be more of a fighter (4.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 10, 2014 at 06:51:31 AM EST
    than people think she is, but either way, I like her where she is, at least for now.  She needs to be in the Senate, driving the message she set out in her op-ed, reminding her fellow Senators who it is that they're supposed to be working for.

    Not that I expect the GOP to pay much attention to her, so she may have to go public with her fights instead of trying to keep them in-house.  I don't think she's going away, though - I think she's prepared to be a thorn in quite a few GOP sides.

    You're right about Sanders, too - I hope his leftward push will increase in both intensity and volume - we really need it.  Democrats need to break up with the centrists and start separating themselves from the bad policies of the GOP.  Sooner, rather than later would be good.

    The real question is, will the media allow either of these people to be heard?  Or will they once again attempt to shape this in the way that works best for them, and marginalize the liberal, populist voices?  I don't know - maybe anything and anyone that challenges Clinton in any way will appeal to the media.

    I am so not looking forward to it.


    And Bernie is probably running (none / 0) (#117)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 10:19:46 PM EST
    He will push Dems Left.  He has some scrap to him...with facts, and all the solutions the Dem base wants and will get excited for.

    Thinking about this comment, Anne (none / 0) (#124)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 07:06:46 PM EST
    It is so good to have a passionate person, a firebrand like Elizabeth Warren in our midst; I felt that way about Howard Dean too in his day.  IMO, both of them were & are essential for the stimulus we need to move forward and to make that progress we want.

    Saul Alinsky distinguished between the "catalyst" (perhaps, in his framework, Dean and now Warren) and the ultimate leader who makes the deals to move forward as the "compromiser" (perhaps, in that same framework, Obama.)  The only thing I would add is that those who tend to hold the top leadership positions in modern America are usually not the firebrands ... they are those who can appeal to the broadest segments of Americans.  And, in a vast and varied democracy, maybe that is as it should be.

     With that approach in mind, Hillary Clinton's service, skills, and public dedication may be the match that many want for a leader.  While it is important, I think, that the march forward in the election sense be something more/other than a coronation, I believe also that it is important not to disregard or put down one in favor of the new flavor of the month.  What I would hope to see is meaningful discussion about the various positions in the Democratic party ... for a number of reasons, beginning with the fact that it is the right thing to do and also because it keeps the top contender sharp.  

    There still is a lot of time, and no one is preventing anyone from running ... despite conspiracy theories.  Frankly, the more the merrier, etc.


    Sorry christine (none / 0) (#125)
    by sj on Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 09:26:58 PM EST
    This makes me laugh.
    From my POV, it seems that (none / 0) (#103)
    by christinep on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 05:37:11 PM MDT

    you are on a direct mission against Hillary Clinton.  I have no idea why ... other than what happened before I joined up here in 2008.  But, as one (who as you may know) generally aligned with a number of your comments, this one generally has me stumped.  The pox-on-Hillary type comments coming from you seem to be more & more strident.  How sad....

    PK's current comments/histrionics/insults are totally in alignment with her past history. She is being perfectly consistent in the aspersions she casts on anyone who dares to disagree with her, and with her previous status as an Obama partisan. She has never been a Dem partisan.

    The only difference is in how you view her comments. Prior to now you just wanted her to pile on and insult the same people you did. You're just not in the same clique anymore. Or at least not right now.

    I'm surprised you didn't see this coming.


    Allison Grimes lost (none / 0) (#86)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 11:01:59 AM EST
    because of Obama (and not saying whether she voted for him or not), but also because she never connected with the voters on a host of issues.  But, please do waste more bandwidth and your fantasies and your insults.

    Of those who voted in the mid-term (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 11:16:35 AM EST
    Reports today are that 67% were 45 years of age or older.  The per cent in the 18 to 30 range appears to be no more than 13%.  While most understand that young voters almost always drop off in mid-term elections, the composition of the electorate this time is  considered "older."  (I still have personal twinges saying "old" voter even tho I'm in the 65 plus quadrant.  Ah, tempus fugit.)  It is as close to axiomatic as political scientists get to say that older voters vote more conservatively ... including Latino voters.

    While I clearly took some lessons--particularly one that reinforced the strength in unity of purpose & message--there are lessons for everyone. An important lesson from the past & now: Mid-terms have smaller voting turnout ... and, older voters tend to vote more conservatively ... and, the voting base in this election was demographically perfect for Repub successes.


    Interesting sub thread (none / 0) (#121)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Nov 10, 2014 at 10:37:12 AM EST
    i think Hillary will because of demographics.  Depending on the republican nominee show couid win big.
    Let's be honest , she is more militarily aggressive comfortable and confident than Obama.  She will likely have more republican (McCain, ms Lindsey) support.

    We will see how that turns out.


    just some perspective (none / 0) (#78)
    by CST on Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 09:28:22 AM EST
    We're talking about an openly gay man who won't state in public that he supports gay marriage because he's running in North Carolina.

    North Carolina has a Dem base, it's not Alabama, there are some actual liberals there.  They aren't gonna come out and vote for someone who wouldn't even vote for themselves.

    There are areas where legit Dems can't compete.  But those areas are not everywhere that Dems lost.


    Not as easy as you'd think (none / 0) (#29)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 04:05:19 PM EST
    How we got here

    While Republicans were moving to address their problems, Democrats were trying to overcome problems of their own -- including difficulties with a White House suspicious of their leadership and protective of the president's reputation, his political network and his biggest donors.

    After years of tension between President Obama and his former Senate colleagues, trust between Democrats at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue had eroded. A fight between the White House and Senate Democrats over a relatively small sum of money had mushroomed into a major confrontation.

    At a March 4 Oval Office meeting, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and other Senate leaders pleaded with Obama to transfer millions in party funds and to also help raise money for an outside group. "We were never going to get on the same page," said David Krone, Reid's chief of staff. "We were beating our heads against the wall."

    The tension represented something more fundamental than money -- it was indicative of a wider resentment among Democrats in the Capitol of how the president was approaching the election and how, they felt, he was dragging them down. All year on the trail, Democratic incumbents would be pounded for administration blunders beyond their control -- the disastrous rollout of the health-care law, problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, undocumented children flooding across the border, Islamic State terrorism and fears about Ebola.

    As these issues festered, many Senate Democrats would put the onus squarely on the president -- and they were keeping their distance from him.


    From the outset of the campaign, Republicans had a simple plan: Don't make mistakes, and make it all about Obama, Obama, Obama. Every new White House crisis would bring a new Republican ad. And every Democratic incumbent would be attacked relentlessly for voting with the president 97 or 98 or 99 percent of the time.

    But none of that would work if Republicans did not get the right candidates, a basic tenet that had eluded them in recent elections. This time, party officials pushed bad candidates out, recruited and coached contenders with broad appeal and resuscitated two flailing incumbents, Roberts and Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi.

    Rival organizations also improved coordination with each other and beefed up their opposition research to wreak havoc on Democrats, while the party closed the gap on data, digital and voter turnout programs

    Interesting (none / 0) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 04:14:44 PM EST
    that they hid their radical agenda running from the word conservative even. What exactly are they for except some kind of knee jerk what Obama is for we're against.

    Out here, GOP candidates even dropped ... (none / 0) (#44)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 06:46:50 PM EST
    ... any reference whatsoever to the Republican Party in their campaign literature, including using the "(R)" behind their name, because the party brand has become toxic.

    This sort of sanitizing has reached a point where I've had voters in my district inquire as to a certain congressional candidate's party membership. Much as he had in the previous elections, Charles Djou was going so far as to talk like a Democrat on the campaign trail, when he was actually a longtime Republican.

    (Off the record, it obviously doesn't say much for those particular voters, given that this was the third time in four years that Djou's run for that same office.)

    One recommendation I'm making to our state legislators for the upcoming session is that they consider a bill that would require any candidate running for public office at the state and federal level to forthrightly and clearly disclose the political party with which he or she is affiliated, and to do so on all campaign literature, signs and media advertising.



    Other than the MJ initiatives passing, (none / 0) (#2)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:32:20 PM EST
    the only positive thing I saw was Tom Wolf putting Tom Corbett out of a job here in PA. Beyond that, my outlook is, for at least the next two years, we're doomed.

    Out here on the Pacific Rim, ... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 02:36:09 PM EST
    ... we actually had a pretty good night. California voters re-elected Gov. Jerry Brown to an historic fourth term, and Washington state voters approved an expansion of background checks for prospective gun owners, closing the so-called "gun show loophole."

    And here in the islands, we have a new Democratic governor (David Ige) and a new Democratic U.S. Representative for urban Honolulu (Mark Takai), and Maui County voters approved a moratorium on GMO crop development until an EIS is performed, essentially ignoring $7.9 million worth of entreaties from Monsanto and Dow Chemical to vote it down.

    Sometimes, there is such a thing as too much money to spend on a political campaign. Given the county's population is 160,000, Monsanto and Dow Chemical spent nearly $50 per Maui resident in their effort to defeat that county ballot measure, outspending their opposition by a breathtaking 87-to-1 margin. For that rather dubious achievement, we can thank Chief Justice John Roberts and his Gang of Five.

    Even up in Alaska, it looks like GOP Gov. Sean Parnell may be in big trouble, thanks in no small part to a burgeoning National Guard sex scandal which overshadowed his campaign during the final two weeks. With all precincts throughout the state having reported, he currently trails independent Bill Walker by 3,165 votes out of 224,500 ballots cast, with an estimated 20,000 absentee ballots still outstanding.

    However, we will be waiting a while for the final results in that race, because Alaska law requires the state Division of Elections to continue receiving those ballots by mail until Nov. 19, provided that they've been postmarked by Election Day. Only then are they tallied and their numbers included in the final vote totals, with the results duly certified.



    Actually it's not (none / 0) (#5)
    by Natal on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:37:22 PM EST
    "We get the government we elect. If Democrats don't come out and vote, they won't win."

    It's better phrased: We get the government we deserve.

    I Disagree (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 01:39:42 PM EST
    Maybe we get the government the special interests allow us to have.  This belief that we actually choose is bothersome, they give us two choices, one or the other and in the end they are one in same who are indebted to the dollars it takes to win.

    If you think that choosing between X or Y is really a choice, then I guess I understand that comment.  But when I go to vote, and see the two choices, to me it's rather obvious, the choice was made long ago by the folks who fiance these million and billion dollar campaigns.

    Until special interests and their financial influence is removed from the political process, we will never have the government we want or deserve.

    We deserve so much better.


    No we don't... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 02:02:26 PM EST
    who's fault is it that two crooked parties totally beholden to special interests and the 1%have a stranglehold on power?  We the people's, because we accept it.

    By the simple act of voting for Brand D's & R's, we endorse the whole f*cking con.

    iow, it is our responsibility to assume ownership of our government, and root out the cancer that is big money.  The Representative Democracy Fairy isn't gonna do it for us.  And nobody said it will be easy, often times in history it involves getting locked up and/or getting shot and nothing less.  

    In conclusion, I know damn well this is the government I deserve, because all I'm willing to do about it is vote for third party's religiously, which is little more than political masturbation...it feels good, but it's not gonna get you laid.


    Well, a simple solution (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Juanita Moreno on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 01:00:52 AM EST
    is to require all political communications to the public to be publically funded. Every politician gets equal time on the Internet/TV channel. No feel-good music allowed, no special effects. Simply the individual speaking to the public. That's it.

    If we can achieve that goal, we will eliminate all monetary indebtedness, except graft. Then we prosecute the graft.


    Agreed 100% (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 09:49:23 AM EST
    And I would make lobbying illegal and stop the legalized bribery system that currently exists.

    If corporations want to influence the government they should go through the people and not directly to politicians.


    Here's what bothers me about your (none / 0) (#24)
    by Slado on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 03:22:00 PM EST

    How exactly are we going to remove "special interests" from government if we support progressive policies?

    In your world doesn't the support of government lead to more government, more money and the inevitable influence of "special interests"?

    Progressives complain about "special interests" all the time while supporting either willingly or unwillingly their expanded influence through the growth of government.

    Been to DC lately?  There's a reason it's the most affluent region in the country and possibly the world.   That's were the money is.  That's where it will continue to go because as DC grows so do all the things that are required to make it happen.

    Namely, lobbyists and lawyers.    

    More government means more special interests.   No matter what flavor it is.


    It Does Not... (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 09:45:42 AM EST
    ...and I am the first one to claim Obama is a corporate tool.

    No Lobbyists, period.  Legalized bribery is still bribery, and the the fact the people getting bribed are the only ones who can change the law is why we will never have candidates who are the will of the people.

    Do you really believe Americans deserved GWB and Obama ?  Do you really believe we would have had either if special interests didn't have an inordinate amount of influence in DC ?


    If lobbying is outlawed... (none / 0) (#76)
    by unitron on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 04:24:19 PM EST
    ...rich people will still be able to get congresscritters to talk with them.

    ::headdesk:: (none / 0) (#41)
    by sj on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 05:33:57 PM EST
    How exactly are we going to remove "special interests" from government if we support progressive policies?

    A fair number of Dems... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 01:19:14 PM EST
    ... did come out and vote.  However, they dumped an Obama rubber stamp and voted against the failed policies of the administration.

    Not all Dems are Koolaid drinkers.

    I hope they like what they get (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 01:21:07 PM EST
    I guess (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 01:32:59 PM EST
    you missed the part where the GOP didn't campaign on issues.

    Huh? (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 02:03:10 PM EST

    So Obamacare was not an issue?  The weakest post war recovery was not an issue?  The falling household median income was not an issue?  The declining labor force participation was not an issue?  The increasing numbers of college grads living in parent's basements was not an issue?



    Nope (none / 0) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 02:20:12 PM EST
    not here in GA. They campaigned on zero issues. They just campaigned against Obama the person.

    Even the GOP establishment admits they don't have a mandate and many of the senate candidates didn't even campaign on the stances on their website. The GOP candidates tried to hide their stances on issues.


    Why would you campaign (none / 0) (#26)
    by Slado on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 03:23:32 PM EST
    on issues when all you have to do is say you're not Obama.

    Seemed to work didn't it?

    Now that they've won they need to put forth an agenda in conflict with the President.

    We'll see what happens.


    You (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 03:59:37 PM EST
    are right it worked but the problem apparently is that their issues are not popular. I mean if your stances like personhood are so popular why not campaign on them? It's because they know they are not and actually ran from the word conservative which is interesting.

    And how are they going to manage to be bipartisan when they ran on Obama being the anti Christ?

    Just sounds like more gridlock and more circular firing squad in the GOP to me.

    And you are going to have the GOP clowns front and center.


    No they don't (none / 0) (#51)
    by Juanita Moreno on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 01:04:05 AM EST
    Now that they've won they need to put forth an agenda in conflict with the President.

    An interesting map (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 01:56:38 PM EST
    I always did like (none / 0) (#18)
    by CST on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 02:17:15 PM EST
    Santa Fe.

    Surprised at how blue Arizona is and how red CO and Nevada are.


    It is that. (none / 0) (#30)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 04:14:24 PM EST
    But before anyone gets too mesmerized by the extent of the red, it's best to realize that many GOP-controlled House districts are comprised of rural locales, which are sparsely populated and in some cases are comprised of a lot of empty space.

    Consider California, for example. Nearly 60% of the state's population, some 22 million people, resides in that cramped clump of districts along the coast in the state's southwestern corner. Meanwhile, CA-8 -- the state's largest congressional district, covering most of eastern California from northern L.A. County to just south of Lake Tahoe -- has a total population of 520,000, of whom some 85% live in a relatively thin strip of territory along the district's southwestern corner, from Victorville to Lancaster-Palmdale. Most of CA-08 is comprised of Owens Valley, Death Valley and the Mojave Desert, the latter two places being all but uninhabitable.

    And I'd think if the National Journal's mapmakers had really wanted to enthrall the Fox News crowd with red splendor, they'd have drawn Alaska to scale. If one superimposed our own great white north over a map of our lower 48, its southeastern panhandle would encompass most of Georgia from Jacksonville, FL to Chattanooga, TN; its Arctic coastline would stretch from Lake Michigan to Wyoming's eastern state line; and its Aleutian Islands would arc out west from the Texas-New Mexico border all the way to San Luis Obispo, CA.

    Now, THAT is one impressively-sized House district!


    The whole (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 04:15:57 PM EST
    sea of red thing is something the GOP uses to pretend they are popular and the majority of Americans like then which they don't judging from the latest GOP numbers.

    Actually, what I find striking (none / 0) (#34)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 04:22:11 PM EST
    Is that the population of a handful of cities, mostly on the coasts, gets to make a lot of decisions for the rest of the country, when in many cases, they really have no clue, nor do they care to have a clue, about how those people live their lives.

    sure but the opposite is true as well (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by CST on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 07:58:12 PM EST
    That a handful of people in rural states get to make decisions that affect millions of people in cities - without understanding or caring how they live either.  When you look at the Senate people in sparsely populated states have waay more influence and power than people in denser ones.  

    They know just as little about urban life as urban people know about rural life.

    And urban issues are just as valid, relevant, and important as rural ones.


    Again - not an either/or proposition (none / 0) (#54)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 07:37:07 AM EST
    That's primarily due to a concept ... (2.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 05:53:52 PM EST
    jbindc: "Actually, what I find striking [is] that the population of a handful of cities, mostly on the coasts, gets to make a lot of decisions for the rest of the country, when in many cases, they really have no clue, nor do they care to have a clue, about how those people live their lives."

    ... known as "majority rule," since 249 million Americans -- 80.7% of the population -- reside in urban areas. Or would you rather that the 19.3% of the population which lives in the "rest of the country" instead make decisions for the rest of us?

    And for the record, nearly 81 million Americans -- that's a little over one in four of us -- live either on the Atlantic seaboard between Norfolk, VA to Boston, MA (42.6 million), or in the State of California (38.3 million). They probably also account for about 40-45% of the country's GDP, perhaps more. (I'd have to research that further.)

    Quite honestly, your comment sounds like a standard GOP talking point, one that's often used to pander to the politics of envy in rural America, where poverty rates are indeed alarmingly high and stubbornly pervasive. Trouble is, the Republicans in Congress have really done nothing to address and alleviate that particular problem.

    In fact, they've even recently slashed over $600 million in federal funds for FQHCs (federally qualified health centers), which are integral to the provision of primary health and dental care needs in many rural communities under 50,000 residents.

    So, if we who live in urban areas do end up "[making] a lot of decisions for the rest of the country," it's often because residents in those locales keep (re-)electing public officials who then tend to work against their own constituents' best socio-economic interests -- except, of course, when it comes to protecting them from illegal brown persons, Ebola, and that nasty homosexual agenda.



    Thank you for that 7th grade civics lesson (none / 0) (#53)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 07:36:19 AM EST
    I understand how it works.

    Wait for it....

    Quite honestly, your comment sounds like a standard GOP talking point, one that's often used to pander to the politics of envy in rural America, where poverty rates are indeed alarmingly high and stubbornly pervasive. Trouble is, the Republicans in Congress have really done nothing to address and alleviate that particular problem

    When you can't acknowledge that there are actual concerns and basically want to tell everyone who doesn't agree with you to STFU, then the "You're a Republican" meme comes out.  Not a very intelligent way to make an argument, and yet, ironic, since you are trying to imply that the people you are addressing are not very intelligent.

    Or would you rather that the 19.3% of the population which lives in the "rest of the country" instead make decisions for the rest of us?

    Not sure why it's an "either/or" proposition, but again, your argument isn't an intelligent one, so this logic isn't surprising.

    And I live on the east coast, but I am a transplanted Midwesterner.  Trust me - I understand the coastal bias in this country and think some of the policies, customs, and attitudes are ludicrous. I think people in the urban areas sometimes are so myopic, and it's because their heads are so far up their butts that they can't or won't at least listen to the concerns of people in the rest of the country.

    And how high handed of you - as if people in urban areas never elect people who work against the constituents' interests.

    What complete bs.


    ... given that loaded GOP talking point you repeated as thought it were fact.

    Please, enlighten us again about how you're really a Democrat.


    For both you and jb - and anyone else (5.00 / 4) (#69)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 11:27:33 AM EST
    who's interested - here's a take on the state of things that may make some sense:

    Turnout keeps declining in midterm elections as people lose faith in the political process. And the people who do vote, consistently vote for someone to change something. It's entirely likely that people will be fed up with Republicans fighting one another and putting terrible bills on the President's desk and vote again for change in the other direction in 2016--particularly with a larger, more progressive electorate. Not a given, of course, but likely.

    And why not? The country is broken, and everyone who isn't already wealthy knows it. Wages are stagnant; millennials are a lost generation with high student loan debt and unaffordable housing; the rich just keep getting richer; entire industries are disappearing, work hours are getting longer with lower pay, and life is generally less stable than it used to be. And it seems like absolutely nothing is going to change any of that, no matter who gets into office.

    If you're liberal you're inclined to blame the plutocrats for that, and you would be right. If you're of a more conservative bent, you'll probably blame immigrants or government regulation or godlessness. And then there's a very confused sliver of the electorate that blames all of the above, bounces back and forth between which side they want to punish more, exacerbating the now familiar midterm and presidential turnout seesaw.


    Compromise isn't going to fix any of this. People say they want compromise because in their personal lives compromise is how normal people solve problems. But compromise isn't the goal--it's a means to an end. What people want is problems to get solved. If stuffed shirt Democrats aren't fixing things, maybe the nice smiling folksy pro-business lady will get in there and do something. Obviously Obama isn't getting anything done.

    That's what's going on. It isn't as if the Republican brand or Republican policies somehow got more popular. They didn't. And the next time around people will probably be saying "well, let's try putting a woman in office and some agreeable politicians and see." But they'll flip again when things don't change. Demography will ultimately doom the current incarnation of the Republican Party, but not before something snaps.

    Eventually this will reach a breaking point. It has to. It'll break when some sufficiently large crisis occurs, and one side is fully prepared to use that seething rage for constructive outcomes.

    The party that is more ready for that moment will be the one that makes real policy changes. Until then, we'll just keep surfing waves, watching each side crow that Americans have finally "woken up" and "put the adults back in charge" every two years while not a whole lot actually gets done for anybody but the rich.

    And one more thing - and this is really starting to be a problem here: please stop the unnecessary and gratuitous bullying of people because something they've offered for discussion or some question they've asked is not sufficiently Democratic for you.  

    Honestly, Donald, there have been many times when you've insisted that we all remain loyal to and accepting of any politician who carries a (D) behind his or her name, even when those so-called Democrats do not espouse particularly Democratic policies.  Does that make you a better, more real Democrat than someone like me, who has been lectured for not being willing to compromise my liberal positions?  

    If you are as big a proponent as you claim to be about the party needing to be a big tent, comprising Democrats that run the gamut of the liberal/conservative spectrum, you need to quit questioning the quality and validity of people's party membership.


    I Don't Know But.... (none / 0) (#73)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 01:09:18 PM EST
    The idea that the current incarnation of the democratic party is not concerned about the middle of the country just doesn't ring true to me.  The fact that JB used a 2008 article and refers to guns and corn in her post, IMO, are not strong indicators of a gap there.  I find it hard to believe if a dem talks about guns and corn more, dems will turn red states blue.  Because some blogger or pundit is dismissive does not mean our party is. Don's point is valid in that we shouldn't be behoden to a small segment of our population. Indeed that small segment generally has the same concerns as those in large cities. Can I pay my bills? Is my job and family safe? However, the fact is if small issues are what they base their votes on, more power to 'em. But let's not pretend that that voting small like that, oblivious to the reality of the political process in this country, is helpful to anyone but themselves.  Even still, that is the catch-22 of our country.

    If you vote for divided government that is what you get.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 01:21:40 PM EST
    part of the problem is you need a candidate who will actually go and talk to the voters. So it's kind of pointless to complain about corn etc. if no one is even going there to discuss the issue with them.

    I think turnout during midterms declines (none / 0) (#89)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 01:39:27 PM EST
    Because we have the two party system.  Time and again, if the nation is mostly unhappy they vote for those they believe are not in power at the time.  Everyone gets revved up for a Presidential election, but if things aren't going well two years in many want to just check out, their hopes are dashed.

    Very few members of my family that voted in Colorado actually know even the basics of how anything is passed in DC or the state level.  I have been equally surprised to discover that someone I married into and who has very strong Conservative political opinions and holds a Master's doesn't even understand how legislation is introduced or what is required for passage in DC.

    Seems to me that with the existing two party system, it is a continuous case of voting someone out instead of voting for something or someone.  And two years after a Presidential election seems to be an awful time to be voting someones out because you are unhappy, while not even understanding the basics of why or how you are unhappy.  Seems to be how it goes though over and over again.


    Well (none / 0) (#122)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 10, 2014 at 07:42:54 PM EST
    it seems that the same campaign has been run in the last and it's called I'm not X. Even the GOP ran on I'm not X this year.

    People are yearning for something to vote FOR and unless you give them something to vote FOR it's just going to be the same ole voting against X.


    Spoken like an elitist (none / 0) (#67)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 11:04:13 AM EST
    Who can't really argue outside of tired memes.

    What Concerns? (none / 0) (#57)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 09:38:54 AM EST
    Are so different in rural areas?

    Why do you assume (none / 0) (#60)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 09:52:32 AM EST
    it's just "rural areas"? There are suburbs and exurbs and small towns who may have different perspectives on priorities than people in the 10  largest metro areas in the country do. Why are their views any less valid because we have "majority rule"?  

    I Don't Assume Anything (none / 0) (#61)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 09:59:05 AM EST
    Was replying to your post - you talked about rural.  Even still, exurbs, suburbs, rural, what concerns do you think were brushed off?

    Well (none / 0) (#65)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 10:49:56 AM EST
    Here's a good article - yes, from the American Prospect, but written by someone who is a liberal, who puts it together nicely.  It's about a whole attitude of a whole class of people. And unfortunately, that class of people get to control the discussion and make policy.

    It's about guns, for example.  While I personally don't like guns and wish we could have more gun control, it's generally not the people in rural areas who are going into offices and such and shooting up the place. They aren't the ones knocking off corner stores with their hunting rifles.  Yet, "guns" gets classified as an issue that the "rubes" care about.  But nobody wants to have an intelligent discussion.

    Politicians only want to talk about farming and ethanol when it's a presidential year.  Other than that, "corn is bad" - forgetting of course, that it feeds the world.

    East coast liberals love the idea of gas tax increases. Again - some politicians have floated this idea and want the money to be used for noble causes - infrastructure repair, reduce congestion, better for the environment, etc.  But seriously? Most people in this country are just getting by, and oh, they have to drive to work.  Wouldn't it be nice if they actually felt like their voices were at least being heard on this issue instead of just diminished?

    The blame isn't all with politicians - it's with coastal born and raised academics and media and bloggers who, for all their supposed worldliness, actually don't know, and don't care to know, how a vast majority of people in this country live.

    Just for starters...


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 10, 2014 at 07:47:53 PM EST
    as someone who lives in the exurbs I can tell you that a lot of these voters are shooting themselves in the foot. We have tried and tried to do something about the problem here in metro Atlanta but all they care about is "those people" might get something even it might help themselves. So they would rather spend 1.5 hours in a car every day commuting to work in congested traffic because after all there are no jobs in the exurbs either than actually do something about it. The GOP's solution to all this? Put in a lane where everybody has to pay. So if you don't have money or can't afford to go in the new lane you're going to have to still sit in traffic.

    Well (none / 0) (#36)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 04:35:13 PM EST
    that is why they have a rep in the house to represent their interests. And in a democracy it's majority rule so rural people are going to lose out when it comes to numbers.

    Really, only rural people (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 04:51:29 PM EST
     in states where the urban/suburban population dwarfs the rural population.

      Predominantly rural states not only have elections decided by rural voters, because, for example Montana and Wyoming have 2 Senators just as do California and NY, the power of many rural voters is magnified not minimized.


    And the Senate is therefore anti-democratic (none / 0) (#52)
    by Juanita Moreno on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 01:10:31 AM EST
    Except (none / 0) (#37)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 04:43:01 PM EST
    Not all those red areas are "rural".  But that proves my point exactly.

    You're the one who trotted out that map, ... (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 11:08:07 AM EST
    ... implying how cool it looked. And you're the one who commented without foundation how a handful of dashing urbanites are shoving stuff down the throats of everyone else in "the rest of the country." If there's a point to be made here, it's that you sure like to move the goalposts during these discussions.

    Thanks, Donald (none / 0) (#88)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 11:30:13 AM EST
    It seems that jbindc is trotting out the tired Repub trope that Democrats too often become "nattering nabobs" or rule from the "Left Coast."  

    Thanks for pushing back; since the Repubs where I live have used the jbindc argument off & on for some years, my energy level for responding to that construct eludes me on nice days like today.


    I have a nominee (none / 0) (#39)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 04:57:38 PM EST
    For the most extreme winner of an election yesterday.
    This guy.

    After an election night filled with far-right victories, it's hard to dub any single winner the most extreme. But Michael Peroutka, newly elected to the Anne Arundel County Council in Maryland, would have to be in anyone's top five. Peroutka is a radical Christian Reconstructionist and southern secessionist. He says "so-called civil rights laws" are not valid because "there is no such thing as a civil right." He says promoting evolution "is an act of disloyalty to America." He says of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, "The reason he hates God is because he thinks he is God." He thinks gay people are out to "recruit your children" into their "deathstyle."

    Remarkably for someone who has just become an elected official in Maryland, Peroutka argues that since state legislators have passed laws like marriage equality that "violate God's law," the Maryland General Assembly is "no longer a valid legislative body" and none of the laws that it has passed are "legally valid and legally enforceable."

    Thank goodness he only won a county election, and not a state election or, worse, a national office.  {{Shudder}}

    LOL! How totally campy! (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 06:18:07 PM EST
    That calls for a wholly appropriate tune by The Band, "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," from Martin Scorsese's classic 1976 documentary "The Last Waltz."

    You have my sympathies, Zorba, for having to share the same state as that clown. But on the bright side, when extremists like him do get elected, they are more often than not "one and done." I'd lay pretty good odds that it won't be very long before he starts embarrassing constituents to high heaven. The electorate will then likely show him the door sooner, rather than later.



    He would (none / 0) (#45)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 06:48:45 PM EST
    probably be a federal rep if he was residing here in GA.

    I certainly won't tell him that, (none / 0) (#46)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 07:18:10 PM EST
    Because he might move down there in a quest for higher office.
    You guys don't need any more loons than the ones you already have.

    Oh (none / 0) (#47)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 07:22:08 PM EST
    you're not kidding. We have more loons than anybody deserves. A friend of mine is thinking about moving because of it. The ugliness and the hatefulness of the GOP down here is getting to her.

    She probably should not move to (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by fishcamp on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 07:44:36 AM EST
    Florida then...

    I plan to heed Armando at DK and Paul Krugman in (none / 0) (#109)
    by oculus on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 09:06:44 PM EST
    the NYT.