Oct
02
2014
5

Quote of the Day, ‘Election 2014: Suck It Up And Walk It Off’ edition.

Frank J is in rare form here:

…back in 2008, Barack Obama was elected president with a Democrat-controlled House and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Many of us correctly knew this was like having a toddler armed with power tools. Others, though, didn’t see the danger and cooed, “Oh, look at that little guy. He’s so industrious! He’s going to get a lot done,” while the rest of us were freaking out, worried about him getting near anything valuable. And before we could yell, “No, little Barry, no!” he went right after health care with his drill, and it’s basically all ruined now.

So in 2010 we voted to take away his power tools by turning the House over to the Republicans. Obama was still a destructive little tyke who just refused to listen, but at least now it was a bit harder for him to burn the whole house down or something. In 2012, we — well, I don’t know how to stretch the analogy — had the option to exchange little Barry at the kid-trade-in emporium and get a better kid who might not be as dumb and destructive. I guess we had grown fond of the little dummy, though, and thought maybe he was finally learning. We were just being sentimental, of course. We really should have done the smart thing and sold the kid to gypsies.

(more…)

Sep
29
2014
1

Do not expect the Democrats to panic until it is too late.

‘Too late’ being defined in terms of what I would find amusing or seemly, of course. And the reason for this is simple: the Democratic party’s propagandists – both official and unofficial – are no longer dedicated to winning the 2014 election cycle.  What they’re dedicated to right now is the task of keeping their base from panicking.

I could have sworn that I made this analysis before, but I can’t find it, so I guess that I’ll just have to repeat the thought from memory: the 2009 gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia demonstrate why panic is bad for a political party.  In Virginia: the, well, hapless candidate (Creigh Deeds) was widely considered to be DOOMed a month before the election.  And the Democrats abandoned him in a panic… and in the process also abandoned all the other candidates, which is one reason why in 2009 state Democrats got decimated in the General Assembly* and lost all three statewide positions. Contrariwise, New Jersey Democrats refused to panic, and they ended up with a situation where Chris Christie won election handily, yet failed to supply coat-tails for pretty much anybody else. (more…)

Sep
28
2014
5

Quote of the Day, DOOM in Ohio-GOV edition.

This call is justified, I think. The New York Times:

Just five weeks before Election Day, Ohio Democrats have descended into recriminations…

[pause]

Yeah, there’s no need to write anything further. What a pity there’s no Senate races in Ohio this year, huh?

Sep
27
2014
5

The Five Senate Races that will NOT decide control of the Senate.

OK, this is how you reinforce a narrative in This Town.  You start off by writing something like this:

The fight for the Senate majority is increasingly focused on five races: four controlled by Democrats and one held by Republicans. These contests — Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina and Kansas — are acknowledged by both sides to be very competitive, and because of that are likely to see the heaviest spending by both the party committees and the outside groups over the last five-plus weeks of the midterm election.

To a Democrat, that doesn’t sound too bad.  That Democrat already ‘knows’ that Alaska is being locked down for the GOP (true), Colorado is trending the GOP’s way (true), Iowa hasn’t yet slipped into GOP territory yet (actually, it probably has), North Carolina is still in the Democratic zone (we’ll see), and Kansas is a wild card (no, not really).  So there’s still a chance, right? (more…)

Written by in: Politics | Tags: ,
Sep
14
2014
2

Et tu, Jay Carney?

It’s not that he’s saying anything that the rest of us don’t already know

“It’s not going to be a good year for Democrats by definition,” [former White House press secretary Jay] Carney said. “The sixth year is always particularly bad for a president’s party. You couple that with the fact so many seats are defended by Democrats in red states where Mitt Romney did very well against the president, double-digits in most cases, and there’s no outcome in November that anybody could say would be great for Democrats, except for barely holding onto the Senate.”

…it’s that the sight of Jay Carney saying something clearly and straightforwardly (and, frankly, accurately) is a kind of a new sensation for everybody. It’s like watching a moose tap-dance; theoretically it’s possible, but you still kind of have to stare.  I’d feel bad about being rude like that; but, hey, Jay Carney.

Moe Lane

PS: I understand that it’s currently fashionable to manage expectations about the Senate.  Oh, who am I kidding? It’s always fashionable.  Win or lose, every two years it’s like clockwork.

Aug
31
2014
6

At-Risk Senate Seats, 08/31/2014 edition (Includes DOOM calls).

Here is my latest At-Risk races… and there are DOOM calls. Hey, it’s Labor Day Weekend. Time to start in on that.

Alaska Mark Begich High Risk
Arkansas Mark Pryor High Risk
Colorado Mark Udall Serious Risk
Iowa Retiring High Risk
Louisiana Mary Landrieu High Risk
Michigan Retiring Some Risk
Minnesota Al Franken Low Risk
Montana Retiring DOOM
New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen Some Risk
New Mexico Tom Udall Off list
North Carolina Kay Hagan High Risk
Oregon Jeff Merkley Low Risk
South Dakota Retiring DOOM
Virginia Mark Warner Low Risk
West Virginia Retiring DOOM

(more…)

Aug
27
2014
7

The American Prospect: Hey, so we lose six Senate seats and control. No biggie.

Ooh, I wasn’t expecting stories like this until some time after Labor Day:

senate-democrats-tap

Link via RCP: the gist of it is that of course the Democrats will win back the Senate in 2016, because all of those young, hip, ethnically diverse voters will come out and vote for the Democratic candidate for Senator, right after they vote for whichever old white person the Democrats nominate for President!

…Huh. Doesn’t have the same zing, when put that way. (more…)

Written by in: Politics | Tags: , ,
Aug
21
2014
10

So, it’s August, and it’s GOP +7 in the Senate.

Via Stephen Green: oh, how I love this RCP Senate average map.

rcp-senate

I might not love it so much if it hasn’t changed by October 21st, but for right now that’s a great map. Seven GOP pickups that don’t have Alaska, Colorado, and even maybe Michigan? And no Democratic pickups?  Yeah, I’ll take that at this stage of the election cycle.  After all, it’s not even Labor Day. (more…)

Written by in: Politics | Tags: , , ,
Aug
07
2014
2

Obama administration quietly doing back-channel evisceration of Obamacare’s individual mandate tax.

Point (July 2013):

President Obama on Tuesday threatened to veto a pair of Republican bills in the House which would delay the employer and individual mandates for one year in the Obama health reform laws, as GOP leaders pressed Democrats to break ranks with the White House on the issue.

Another Point (March, 2014):

The White House said Tuesday that President Obama would veto a House GOP bill to delay a contentious part of Obamacare for one year.

The House is set to vote this week on the Simple Fairness Act, which let Americans go without health insurance in 2014 without facing the tax penalty prescribed by the Affordable Care Act.

Counter-point (August 2014)

Almost 90% of the nation’s 30 million uninsured won’t pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act in 2016 because of a growing batch of exemptions to the health-coverage requirement.

The architects of the health law wanted most Americans to carry insurance or pay a penalty. But an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation said most of the uninsured will qualify for one or more exemptions.

(more…)

Aug
06
2014
6

The Democrats’ 2014 problem in one sentence.

From a Hill article, discussing the Democrats’ current kitchen sink / spaghetti against the wall / Hail Mary play / spin the chamber and hope it’s the one without the bullet strategy they’ve adopted for the midterms:

Central to the Democrats’ campaign message is their “Middle Class Jumpstart” agenda — a package, unveiled last month, that includes specific proposals to expand education opportunities, empower women in the workplace and promote domestic job creation.

…this is the first I’ve heard of it.  Me, the political junkie.  And if I haven’t heard of it, even to mock it – and, believe me, I would have mocked it if I had heard of it – then it didn’t succeed as an unveiling. (more…)

Aug
06
2014
1

Why it doesn’t matter, electorally speaking, that the public hates Congress more than Barack Obama.

Writing stuff like this actually does no favors for Democrats

President Obama has hit another low in another poll, but so have many of his critics in Congress.

The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll gives the president an approval rating of 40%, a record low; Congress has a rating of only 14%, also a low.

…and this is why: it produces a false equivalence.  Democratic incumbents in trouble aren’t going to be happy to see Barack Obama showing up… but Republican incumbents in trouble – yes, there are some – weren’t going to get ‘Congress’ to come out to campaign for them.  They’d get specific (and popular) Republican politicians to do that.  I understand that you can’t really compare Barack Obama’s popularity against every member of Congress and not have the result be utterly cumbersome, but I think framing the discussion this way doesn’t really lead to correct conclusions.

(more…)

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