Election

Oct 192014
 

Vote for Romney? Really? Is this the Onion? Republicans truly have gone insane.

Romney Leads Scattered 2016 GOP Field, Clinton Still Dominates the Democratic Race – ABC News

By Ryan Struyk Oct 19, 2014 12:01am

GTY romney clinton jef 141017 16x9 608 Romney Leads Scattered 2016 GOP Field, Clinton Still Dominates the Democratic Race

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Hillary Clinton continues to hold a commanding lead in the potential Democratic field for president in 2016, while the GOP frontrunner in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll is a familiar figure – but one not favored by eight in 10 potential Republican voters.

That would be Mitt Romney, supported for the GOP nomination by 21 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. That’s double the support of his closest potential rival, but it also leaves 79 percent who prefer one of 13 other possible candidates tested, or none of them.

See PDF with full results and tables here.

When Romney is excluded from the race, his supporters scatter, adding no clarity to the GOP free-for-all. In that scenario former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul have 12 or 13 percent support from leaned Republicans who are registered to vote. All others have support in the single digits.

Were Romney to run again, he’d likely face some of the same challenges that dragged out the 2012 GOP contest. He’s supported by only half as many “strong” conservatives as those who are “somewhat” conservative, 15 vs. 30 percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates.

Romney Leads Scattered 2016 GOP Field, Clinton Still Dominates the Democratic Race – ABC News

 Posted by at 8:26 pm on Sun 10/19/14
Oct 122014
 

Hat tip to Merri Rudd.

In Defense of Obama | Rolling Stone By Paul Krugman | October 8, 2014

president obama

As you can see, there’s a theme running through each of the areas of domestic policy I’ve covered. In each case, Obama delivered less than his supporters wanted, less than the country arguably deserved, but more than his current detractors acknowledge. The extent of his partial success ranges from the pretty good to the not-so-bad to the ugly. Health reform looks pretty good, especially in historical perspective – remember, even Social Security, in its original FDR version, only covered around half the workforce. Financial reform is, I’d argue, not so bad – it’s not the second coming of Glass-Steagall, but there’s a lot more protection against runaway finance than anyone except angry Wall Streeters seems to realize. Economic policy wasn’t enough to avoid a very ugly period of high unemployment, but Obama did at least mitigate the worst.

And as far as climate policy goes, there’s reason for hope, but we’ll have to see. … [A]s with financial reform, acknowledging the inadequacy of what has been done doesn’t mean that nothing has been achieved. Saying that Obama has been the best environmental president in a long time is actually faint praise, since George W. Bush was terrible and Bill Clinton didn’t get much done. Still, it’s true, and there’s reason to hope for a lot more over the next two years.

Am I damning with faint praise? Not at all. This is what a successful presidency looks like. No president gets to do everything his supporters expected him to. FDR left behind a reformed nation, but one in which the wealthy retained a lot of power and privilege. On the other side, for all his anti-government rhetoric, Reagan left the core institutions of the New Deal and the Great Society in place. I don’t care about the fact that Obama hasn’t lived up to the golden dreams of 2008, and I care even less about his approval rating. I do care that he has, when all is said and done, achieved a lot. That is, as Joe Biden didn’t quite say, a big deal.

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty

In Defense of Obama | Rolling Stone By Paul Krugman | October 8, 2014

 Posted by at 3:04 pm on Sun 10/12/14
Oct 092014
 

Republicans should fear winning the Senate almost as much as Dems do. A Republican victory makes Obama the underdog, raises his popularity, and increases the odds that the Dem will win in 2016. (Gotta go throw up now.)

As of Tuesday afternoon, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, which turned the academic discipline of computer models into a media game, gives Republicans a 57.6 percent chance of taking the Senate. (Decimal points are particularly compelling.) The New York Times’s model goes with 61 percent, DailyKos 66 percent, Huffington Post 54 percent and PredictWise 73 percent. The Princeton Election Consortium gives a 54 percent advantage to Democrats . Apparently they forgot to add the toe of frog.

Predicting the Senate election down to the decimal point – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 8:06 pm on Thu 10/09/14
Sep 032014
 

Good god. Skip my excerpts and go straight to the link.

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant. …

John P. Judis sums up the modern GOP this way:

Over the last four decades, the Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority and threatens disorder when it is the minority. It is the party of Watergate and Iran-Contra, but also of the government shutdown in 1995 and the impeachment trial of 1999. If there is an earlier American precedent for today’s Republican Party, it is the antebellum Southern Democrats of John Calhoun who threatened to nullify, or disregard, federal legislation they objected to and who later led the fight to secede from the union over slavery.”

A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media. … This ill-informed public cynicism, in its turn, further intensifies the long-term decline in public trust in government that has been taking place since the early 1960s – a distrust that has been stoked by Republican rhetoric at every turn (“Government is the problem,” declared Ronald Reagan in 1980). …

There were only 44 million Republican voters in the 2010 mid-term elections, but they effectively canceled the political results of the election of President Obama by 69 million voters.

This tactic of inducing public distrust of government is not only cynical, it is schizophrenic. For people who profess to revere the Constitution, it is strange that they so caustically denigrate the very federal government that is the material expression of the principles embodied in that document. …

Thus, the modern GOP; it hardly seems conceivable that a Republican could have written the following:

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.” (That was President Eisenhower, writing to his brother Edgar in 1954.)

It is this broad and ever-widening gulf between the traditional Republicanism of an Eisenhower and the quasi-totalitarian cult of a Michele Bachmann that impelled my departure from Capitol Hill. …

—–
Mike Lofgren is a former congressional staff member who served on both the House and Senate budget committees.

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

 Posted by at 7:47 am on Wed 09/03/14
Aug 132014
 

Americans’ optimism is dying – The Washington Post By Dana Milbank Opinion writer

the gloom goes beyond wealth, gender, race, region, age and ideology. This fractious nation is united by one thing: lost faith in the United States. …

[T]he problem is the result of two decades of scorched-earth politics. That’s bad news for the rest of us, though, because the problem is larger than any leader’s ability to bring hope and change. …

“To me, this is less about economic reality than about our political system — our lack of confidence that our political leaders, regardless of party, are equipped to deal with the future.” –Fred Yang, the Democratic pollster who conducted the survey along with Republican Bill McInturff.

Americans’ optimism is dying – The Washington Post

Take it back before Idiot DUHbya and Dark Lord Cheney, back to Raygun, or further to Tricky Dick and thug Agnew, or further to Goldwater.

 Posted by at 7:39 am on Wed 08/13/14
Aug 102014
 

The Republican Party has completely traded positions with Southern Democrats, the angry white males who need to put people down to feel superior.

Leonard Pitts, Jr.: Yes, he actually said ‘war on whites’ – Leonard Pitts Jr. – MiamiHerald.com

At this point, you really have to wonder: Is it still news when a Republican says something asinine?

On the off chance it is, let us spend a few moments pondering the strange case of Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, who said last week that the Democratic Party is waging a “War on Whites.”

Yeah, he actually said that. You can look it up if you want. …

[H]ere is what Brooks said: “This is a part of the war on whites that is being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else. It’s a part of the strategy that Barack Obama implemented in 2008, continued in 2012, where he divides us all on race, on sex, greed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things.”

“A War on Whites.” Yet it’s President Obama who is guilty of racially inflammatory rhetoric? ,,,

Brooks doubled down, repeating the claim in an interview with a website, AL.com: “What the Democrats are doing with their dividing America by race is they are waging a war on whites and I find that repugnant.”

Okay, so let’s say the obvious first. There’s something surreal and absurd about this lecture, coming as it does from a member of the party that invented the Southern strategy and birtherism and whose voters were last seen standing at the border screaming at terrified Guatemalan kids. But it’s not the ridiculousness of Brooks’ words that should be of greatest concern. You see, Fournier is right. If something does not arrest its present trajectory, the GOP seems destined to shrink into a regional party with appeal only to older white voters. [mjh: Make that *some* older white voters, not me or most of my older white friends.] It will be irrelevant in a nation where white voters will soon cease to be a majority — no group will be a majority — and appeals to racial and cultural resentments have less power to sway elections….

Leonard Pitts, Jr.: Yes, he actually said ‘war on whites’ – Leonard Pitts Jr. – MiamiHerald.com

 Posted by at 8:11 am on Sun 08/10/14
Aug 042014
 

Don’t let it happen. VOTE. Get excited, get out and VOTE. Shut the fools down.

Nate Silver: GOP Has 60 Percent Chance Of Winning The Senate

“Summing the probabilities of each race yields an estimate of 51 seats for Republicans. That makes them very slight favorites — perhaps somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-40 — to take control of the Senate, but also doesn’t leave them much room for error,” Silver wrote at FiveThirtyEight on Monday.

Nate Silver: GOP Has 60 Percent Chance Of Winning The Senate

 Posted by at 3:55 pm on Mon 08/04/14