Feb
04
2015
2

Quote of the Day, This @SeanTrende Post Is Not Actually Alarming edition.

It should be, but it’s not. Sean Trende:

In 2016, Democrats have as their likely nominee possibly the single strongest candidate for putting the old Democratic coalition back together again. I think with an adequately strong economy and a campaign founded in progressive centrism[*], Hillary Clinton could very well put together a broader coalition than Obama’s, and a victory that eclipses his. Whether her party allows her to run such a campaign is probably the most important question of 2015; this book[**] explains why.

…And the reason is simple: the Democratic party will not allow Hillary Clinton to run such a campaign. The party elite may love Bill Clinton as an administrator, but their base will not tolerate being told that they will have to revert back to 1993-style ideological levels (i.e., move sharply to the Right).  It’s going to be interesting to see how far they make it through the primary without anybody going furniture-chewing crazy.

Moe Lane

*Essentially, a kinder, gentler progressivism. Progressivism with a human face. Compassionate progressivism. …Have I given enough examples to give my largely Righty audience an idea why the Democratic base kind of hates that term?

**The Emerging Democratic Majority. I should note that Sean Trende has a much more favorable opinion than me on the use of this book.  That’s a problem, because Sean is smarter than I am on this topic.

Feb
01
2015
6

Iowa Democrats kind of not ready for Hillary.

The more you think about this story, the weirder it gets.

Democrats are beginning to worry that Hillary Clinton is creating a drought in Iowa.

A year out from the Iowa caucus, some party members fret that Hillary Clinton’s dominance in the Democratic field will leave the party high and dry as the campaign season intensifies. A lack of competition within the party may hurt fundraising and makes it hard to develop the new blood that often grows out of highly competitive races, some party activists say.

(more…)

Jan
31
2015
7

Let me FIFY, National Journal: “Why Don’t White DEMOCRATS Elect Minority Reps to Congress?”

Titles like that annoy me. Essentially since when this is the first paragraph:

It’s an enduring contrast in Congress: Minority legislators are much less likely to represent districts where whites constitute a majority of the population than whites are to hold districts where racial minorities comprise the majority.

…and this is the ninth paragraph:

The evidence suggests[*] it may[**] be easier for minority Republicans to attract support from white voters than it is for minority Democrats. Only 14 of the 88 minority members in the House are Republicans. But they are eight of the 15 minority House members holding majority white seats. They especially have an edge in districts that are at least 70 percent white. Of those eight seats held by minority Republicans, six are in districts that are 70 percent or more white.

(more…)

Jan
31
2015
3

The Democrats have apparently decided to spot us NY-11.

Jolly good of them:

Last cycle, GOP Rep. Michael G. Grimm won re-election by more than dozen points in the face of a 20-count indictment and millions of dollars of Democratic attack ads. After the election, Grimm pleaded guilty to one count of tax fraud and earlier this month resigned from Congress, setting up what looked like yet another competitive special election in the Empire State.

Democrats were preparing to nominate former Rep. Michael E. McMahon or Assemblyman Michael Cusick in order to put the seat into play and, at a minimum, lay the foundation for a full takeover push in the 2016 general election. But Cusick told the Staten Island Advance Sunday he is not running, and McMahon has dialed back his initial interest to nearly zero.

(more…)

Jan
25
2015
2

Democratic Election season in Iowa off to a slow start.

At least, that’s the impression that I’m getting here. Admittedly, back in 2007 the fun didn’t really start until the second half of the year, but the general take from that piece seems to be …Ehh. Hillary will show up, and we’ll go rah-rah, and then she’ll win and that’ll be that. It’s not that they’re jumping up and down for her; it’s that nobody apparently really expects that Hillary Clinton will be seriously challenged in Iowa this go-round, so she might as well take it slow. (more…)

Jan
18
2015
4

GOP easily counters Barack Obama’s unconvincing, pro-forma rhetoric on tax hikes.

I said on Twitter the other day that Barack Obama’s new tax hike proposals weren’t designed to pass, or even embarrass the Right (they won’t): he made them in order to keep the Left off of his back.  Alas, nobody noticed or cared enough to push back; but if somebody had done so I would have noted that ‘higher taxes’ is the Democrats’ great white whale.  They always chase it, obsess over it really – and never seem to notice that everybody else looks at them funny over it.

And it’s not exactly difficult to counter the rhetoric.  Case in point: from a Hill article on the GOP response to the aforementioned tax hikes.

“It’s not surprising to see the president call for tax hikes, but now he’s asking Congress to reverse bipartisan tax relief that he signed into law,” said Don Stewart, deputy chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Stewart said that “Republicans believe we should simplify America’s outdated tax code; that tax filing should be easier for you, not just those with fancy accountants; and that tax reform should create jobs for families, not the [Internal Revenue Service].”

(more…)

Jan
13
2015
35

The demographic shriveling of the Democratic party continues.

Oh, dear. It’s worse for the Democratic party than I thought.

The GOP dominance in these predominantly white working-class districts underscores the structural challenge facing Democrats: While the party has repeatedly captured the White House despite big deficits among the working-class white voters who once anchored its electoral coalition, these results show how difficult it will be to recapture the House without improving on that performance. “The question is: Are we at rock bottom here?” says Tom Bonier, CEO of the Democratic voter targeting firm TargetSmart Communications.

These trends present Republicans with a mirror-image challenge. The vast majority of their House members can thrive without devising an agenda on issues—such as immigration reform—that attract the minority voters whose growing numbers nationally have helped Democrats win the popular vote in five of the past six presidential elections.

Note the weasel phrase in the last sentence, there: now that ‘Republicans can’t defeat incumbent Democratic Senators’ has joined ‘Democrats always win special elections’ in the great heap of Rules Of Thumb Past Their Sell-By Date you can expect to hear that particular factoid. Because Democrats won the popular vote in five of the last eight Presidential elections. And five of the last nine. Six of the last ten. Six of the last twelve. Eight of the last fourteen. Eight of the last sixteen. And that gets us to the end of the Truman administration. Put another way: hey, here’s a news flash! The Democrats and Republicans have been trading the White House every eight years or so since my mother was a child. Expect that to happen in 2016, too. (more…)

Dec
30
2014
--

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) under federal investigation.

Ooo.  This should be fun: “Federal authorities are investigating substantial payments made to the State Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, by a small law firm that seeks real estate tax reductions for commercial and residential properties in New York City, according to people with knowledge of the matter.” To summarize the article: one way to hide payoffs to politicians is via the venerable “consulting/contract work” method.  You pay a guy a salary, he picks up the paycheck, and understandings are reached.  In this particular case, apparently Silver wasn’t reporting the income in question – which, truth be told, sounds a bit weird: that seems to be a rookie corruption mistake. The point is that Silver is taking a lot of revenue from a law firm that specializes in a type of tax law that Silver reportedly has no professional experience in, and has been doing so for some time. (more…)

Dec
18
2014
4

Barack Obama not yet understanding that he needs to be irrelevant to 2016.

Well, I don’t need him to be irrelevant.  But you know what I mean.

This should be fascinating to watch: “In recent weeks, Democratic operatives have begun to voice concerns that the 2014 midterms made plain the limits of an approach that failed to reach beyond minority groups or those who are reflexively liberal. And yet what should come next is not yet totally clear.” Largely because it’s essentially futile.  The Democrats will not have control over their message in 2016, because in our system a sitting President has tremendous power to define for the public what his political faction does or does not care about.

And the bear is loose:

[Barack] Obama feels liberated, aides say, and sees the recent flurry of aggressive executive action and deal-making as a pivot for him to spend the last two years being more of the president he always wanted to be.

I don’t often feel sympathy for my opposite numbers – and, in fact, in this case I still don’t.  But if I were to feel sympathy, it’d be in the way that they’re going to have to spend the next two years going Never mind Barack Obama without actually looking like they’re going Never mind Barack Obama.  Because while Barack Obama’s popularity generally is in the toilet*, it’s noticeably better among Democratic primary voters. Which means that the Democrats can’t actually tell Barack Obama to sit down and shaddap.

In case you’re wondering: yes, normally second-term Presidents don’t need to be told this.  Generally speaking the sitting President gets out of the way as gracefully as possible so that the eventual nominee from their party can get on with the remarkably difficult task of winning three elections in a row.  Fortunately (for my side), nobody bothered to tell Barack Obama that. Or maybe he doesn’t care.  Or – and this would be the best answer – the man still hasn’t come to terms with the limits to his competence, and Obama thinks that he can (chuckle, snort!) help

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: If Barack Obama thinks that what was going this session was ‘deal-making’ (instead of, say, ‘trying to work around an over-rated Harry Reid’), we will probably find next year to be quite amusing, in its way.

*I should note, by the way, that his reputation will recover, post-Presidency.  That’s what typically happens.  Don’t get bent out of shape over it, because doing so won’t affect the process and you’ll just be there in the dark chewing bitter bones, as the Elves might say.

Dec
08
2014
--

The hot new Democratic trend to watch for in 2015.

Basically? Cannibalizing majority-minority districts for their voters. Expect to see more casual attacks on the process like this from Greg Sargent:

Today I chatted with David Wasserman, who closely tracks House districts for the Cook Political Report. Wasserman recently wrote that due to population shifts and redistricting that have resulted in huge concentrations of Democratic votes in Dem districts — wasting a lot of those votes — Democrats can now expect that the percentage of seats they win will consistently trail their victory in the overall popular vote by about four percentage points.

Bolding mine.  From the point of view of the Congressmen who hold those seats, those votes aren’t wasted at all – which is why the CBC and the GOP so often find themselves on the same side of redistricting court battles.  Basically, those ‘huge concentrations’ are minority voters, which is to say, black ones; and when 90% of a particular racial group consistently vote for one political party in a two-party system you tend to see operatives from both political parties take advantage of that.  So we should be seeing an amusing internal struggle going on inside the Democratic party, as white Democrats attempt to bust up existing majority-minority districts and fight to stop new ones from coming into existence…

Moe Lane

PS: Oh, one other wrinkle: black Democrats will vote for Democrats.  White Democrats tend not to vote for black politicians whose name isn’t Barack Obama.  So all those Congressmen in the CBC will promptly lose their jobs if their districts are redesigned, and they all know it.

Dec
06
2014
8

Democrats still confused as to why the South has given up on them.

I can tell you the Democrats’ problem with running candidates in the South (and everywhere else that isn’t the Pacific Coast and/or the Northeast) without trying hard, and it’s nothing that’s in this Politico article:

[Former Tennessee governor Phil] Bredesen said Democrats who are thinking about running for office need to adopt what he calls “the Walmart test.”

“When you think about what your platform is going to be, go to the nearest Walmart and stop someone in the aisle and tell them what you’re going to run on,” he said. “If that engages them and they’re interested, then you have a plan.”

(more…)

Dec
04
2014
11

Chuck Schumer and pretending that the Democratic party is not what it is.

This is an entertaining article on Chuck Schumer by Dan Henninger, but this sentence makes me raise an eyebrow: “With [his speech indicating that Democrats should not have concentrated on Obamacare], Chuck Schumer was sending an audible signal to state and local party bosses around the country and to peeved donors—aghast at the midterm results—that not everyone in Washington has lost his mind to the party’s Occupy-and-windmill wing.” …Only, the Democrats in Washington have collectively lost their minds.  Because talk is cheap.

No, seriously, we have heard this song and dance before. In 2006 and 2008 the Democrats ran a lot of candidates who talked a great game about dealing with American pocketbook issues and finding solutions and whatnot. And the American people elected those candidates… who then turned right around and looted the Treasury for the benefit of their pet causes (called the ‘stimulus’), followed closely by howlingly incompetent, and rapidly-approaching-disastrous*, social-economic engineering (‘Obamacare’).  Chuck Schumer was in on that.  The man has the morals of a cat – which is to say, he has none, but he’s legitimately affectionate towards anyone who feeds him regularly – so it doesn’t surprise me that Schumer now wants off of the Carousel. (more…)

Site by Neil Stevens | Theme by TheBuckmaker.com